Take a chair…

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Another year I get to spend a fun morning meeting and shoot the portraits of some interior designer talent of the future at The Interior Design school founded by Iris Dunbar, (Director) http://idschool.co.uk

Each student gets to select a designer chair that they would like to sit in and my part is to photograph a relaxed, approachable yet professional portrait that will introduce them to the interior design community from the launch of their end-of-year show right on through to  their first commissioned post and beyond.

It is amazing we get all 15 or so portraits wrapped up by lunch and everyone feels like it was a whole lot more of a fun experience than they were expecting. As a portrait photographer I always tell my students that once the bells and whistles on their camera and lighting is learnt to level of second nature, the true skill of Portrait Photography is the communication with the subject and being able to read what shape/pose suits them best. There is not one posture suits all. We come in all different shapes and sizes and there is always a great pose for us all. Some subjects are a challenge, that find it hard to relax and not be self conscious, but after a bit of my irish banter I manage to bring out a moment just right for the shot. Above, Interior design student Anya was the opposite and a natural in front of the camera… finally selecting the image top left as her profile image.

I am very much looking forward to meeting all the present year students and tutors again and looking at the work at The Interior Design school’s end of year show early summer 2016. I will also be sharing how I took these shots and more on my up coming ‘Portrait Photography: Studio & location‘ course @MorleyCollege starting on 11th April this year:

https://www.morleycollege.ac.uk/courses/1264-portrait-photography-studio-location/1725

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Belgium Bound

Very excited to be heading off on a 3-day shoot to Antwerp at the end of this week as I loved visiting it as part of my Rough Guides book commission last year to traverse the whole of Belgium. So, as a warm up to the trip I sifted through some of the images I shot last year to share on my blog.

Below, is the wonderful Rubenshuis in Antwerp

Rough guide to Belgium

Rough guide to Belgium

Rough guide to Belgium

Rough guide to Belgium

After navigating various train changes, the last being only once every 3hrs, and a 2.5km march along country lanes it was completely worth it to finally arrive at the very opulent Chateaux Attre, with its fading hand printed wall papers, and dark richly oil-painted portraits.

Rough Guides Begium

Rough Guides Begium

Rough Guides Begium

Rough Guides Begium

Rough Guides Begium

A relatively short distance away was the wonderfully laid out Zoo Pairi Daiza, Cambron, Brugelette. Fell in love with the giraffes…

Rough Guides Begium

Below: Pink Flamingos Bar, GhentRough Guide Belgium

Below: St Baafskathedraal, Ghent, BelgiumRough Guide Belgium

Below: Outside Portal details, Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Tournai, BelgiumRough Guides Begium

Below: The Burg, BrugesRough Guide Belgium

Below: Palace of Justice, Brussels, BelgiumRough Guides Begium

Below: Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels, BelgiumRough Guides Begium

Below: Cake shop, Brussels, BelgiumRough Guide Belgium

THIS WEEK…

Looking forward to my assignment in Antwerp hoping the autumn sun will shine to bring out the best of what the city offers – Art, local food, Cityscapes, interiors and their details.

#visitflanders #Belgium #Roughguides

 

Trace… snip… fold… POP-UP!

When I am commissioned by Quintet to shoot a new craft ‘makes’ book I get to work in many lovely location houses with lots of opportunities for me to style my own shots. The very recent new Pop-Up card book I was commissioned to shoot I especially loved photographing against interesting backdrops, with an abundance of nice details/items for me to place in the frame in a supporting role to graphic cut-out cards themselves.

Here are a few I shot that day…

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I am sure my 10 year old son would especially like to make the last one!

Wishing all the best of luck to Quintet at this October’s Frankfurt book festival.

The Talented Mr Oldfield

This month You Magazine published a lovely feature on the ever stylish and talented Bruce Oldfield. It was great to be part of this, to meet Bruce to take his portrait and details of his glamorous creations at his showroom and atelier around the corner from Harrods.

Here below are a small selection of images I shot that morning.

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Another wooly story…

Following close behind the book ‘500 Crochet blocks’ (Quintet Publishing, Autumn 2012)
I also was commissioned to photograph ‘HandKnitted Letters’ published earlier this year worldwide. In my photograph above I liked the twist on the old craft of hand knitting a cover but for the modern day Kindle.

Next stop was having fun and games trying to capture kids in whimsical brightly coloured hand knitted hats that took on various shapes and sizes…

The project was started back in October, and thereafter we battled with keeping toddlers and babies from frost bite on various very cold UK winter days – come March still little improvement. You know what they say about working with kids and dogs, well, add freezing temperatures and bitter winds… However, hurrah! Come April we completed it, and the result for us I must say is a very good looking book. ‘Fun Hats’, Search Press (UK) and ‘Whimsical Hats’, Barrons (USA) will be published Autumn 2013. Below, is a small selection of my favorite shots.

Cuba covered…

The Malecon, Havana, Cuba

I discovered this week that the image above that I photographed on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba has been bought for a cover of a book. I always get excited when I see an image of mine republished. Although I have shot both Time Out ‘Havana and the best of Cuba’ and ‘The Rough guide to Cuba’, this was a personal image I took on a much earlier trip, back in the day of ‘film’ photography. I once entered it into a Guardian photographic competition and it did make it to be featured on their website. See below a handful of some other favorite photographs I have taken in Cuba…

Afro Cuban Dance performance about to start in Havana Vieja

Chelsea Flower Show 2012… here I come!

Yippee! Another year I have the great honor to be going to the RHS Chelsea Flower show. Hopefully lots of good pictures to be taken for placing with my picture library client, GAP Photos. Last year was great weather, for a change. So let’s hope it will be a dry day this coming Monday.

Here are a few images I took last year

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A world of interiors

As the Travel bug is still getting to me I reflect on aspect I have enjoyed doing past travel book commissions, especially Thames & Hudson Style City Europe book where I shot the Lisbon Chapter, and beautiful Paris for Rough Guides. With these two books I got to show how I enjoy to shoot interiors as much as capturing a sense of a location at street level too. Both books gave me the opportunities to shoot in top rated venues. Here below are some of my images from these publications.

 

Mustard catering… a wonderful attack on the taste buds!

This is the part one of the most difficult parts of my job… trying not to eat too many of my props! At the time Mustard Catering invited me to photograph various wonderful food creations of theirs on-site, it was impossible to resist sampling more than one or two of these pieces of food artwork. I had to work very fast, using lovely natural light and was very lucky that they stocked so many great serving surfaces, from textured grey slabs of slate, distressed metal trays to the finest bone china. (http://www.mustardcatering.com).

Rachel Stirling for GROVE Magazine

Today I have been thinking about the great places I get to discover whilst working as a photographer, one of which was The Wilton’s Music Hall in the City where I met up with Rachel Stirling to shoot a cover shot for GROVE magazine. Rachel was great and I was amazed how much she looks like her mother, Diana Rigg. But, the Music hall was a star too, with it’s wonderful peeling gilt moldings and well worn wooden stage, (http://wiltons.org.uk) . From the out side you could easily pass by and miss it, tucked away in a small street. “The world’s oldest surviving music hall can still – just – be found… No theatrical facade: just a door set into a peeling wall.” (The Telegraph). Thank you GROVE for the opportunity to realise how great some of the aspects of this job can be.