Portraits on Location
Last year the Commonwealth Games was a dream, something that seemed ages away, I was inspired by the fact that a new Aquatic Centre was going to be built and it would be a great legacy for the region. The next generation of swimmers would have a world class facility to use and it was not just the swimmers that shall use it, I know from personal experience as I grew up in West Bromwich, and Birmingham but I was always a fan of all things Aquatic, I watched Jacques Cousteau and from about 9 years old wanted to be a scuba diver, not just an enthusiast, but a professional. So I joined the West Bromwich Sub Aqua Club and would practice the sport in the pool at West Brom, that pool has long since shut, but it reminded me of other pools we used, Rolfe Street...more
I have had the privilege to photograph the authors and celebrities at the Stratford Literary Festival since 2015, I approached the festival then as I had enjoyed a successful project with Stratford’s Art Festival with a series of portraits shot at a pop up Studio in 2014, sadly the Arts Festival did not plan to continue so an alternative annual event such as the Literary festival seemed like a natural choice. The director of the festival, Annie Ashworth kindly agreed to let me try out a season and it seemed to work well, the aim was to create a body of work that documented the subjects that visited the festival and in the long term archive the material for the town.
Now in 2022 there is another year of the festival and it celebrates its 15th year, sadly I was not involved at the...more
In the late 1970's I came across the Ernest Dyche studio at 354 Moseley Road, Sparkbrook. The owner a Malcolm Dyche was retired and generously showed me the old studio where he still occasionally worked, it was a wonderland and although I had my own studio in Digbeth ( Pictures,164 Deritend) I certainly had studio envy. There was standing at the side a contraption that had a background canvas, in fact it held over 6 backdrops and after a long negotiation I eventually purchased them and used them for a calendar project I had been commissioned to shoot. The Stand and backdrops then followed me on on a few studio moves and eventually became a decorative 'Objet d'art' in my home, initially in Warwickshire then London and back via many interesting locations. During this time I used the...more
In August 2021 I was approached by an agency client about a possible project that involved food photography and maybe a little more, thus began a journey that took me into Heavy Metal, food photography, portraits and industrial photography and videography.
A metal foundry in the black country had found that its production had fallen because of global changes, the company Chamberlin & Hill had been producing quality castings since 1890 and had decided to venture into the consumer cookware market and they designed and made a griddle and skillet.
The brand EMBA was born and I am proud that I was involved with the development and execution of the visual assets for the website and marketing for these great products.
The story of the...more
It was a surprise to be approached by a magazine editor, Sharon Martin,to be a subject of an article, I am often approached by the editorial department of magazines to provide an image of a subject they are featuring, in fact it is one of the areas of photography that I most enjoy, portraits of 'interesting' people, an article is often already written, and the subject is seen as someone worth photographing and I am always delighted to photograph the subject, however, why me as as a subject of an article?
Well I am lucky that I have photographed a large number of celebrities over the years, although I have never been a specialist in that area, but by association I suppose some of that celebrity status rubs off?
I would like to think I am not star struck or ever have been,...more
The Pandemic certainly impacted my work, although I have always worked across many genre, since 2010 the majority of my work has been portrait based, with personal projects such as the ‘In the American West Midlands’ and ‘A day at the Races’ the personal work then informs the commercial commissions with Brand campaigns such as Marsh & Parsons as well as editorial portraits.
Not able to work in studios and location while lockdowns were in place, was OK as somehow product and food projects came in and I enjoyed the opportunity to work with subjects that did not have limited time or were reluctant to be in front of a camera, able to work from home with a small still life studio was a new approach that I enjoyed, but I did miss my portrait work.
Now the situation has...more
Why do photographer wear black?
I have for many years worn black, my sister even told her young son that I was a ‘man in black ‘ and was really some kind of covert agent, as I was often out of the country, I was actually shooting Ads but to my nephew it made sense (he is now in the industry so he understands). The ubiquitous black T shirt and black jeans, ok the jeans were often classic blue, but with a black jacket that was my uniform?
Yes, it's a uniform because I belong to a tribe, the social aspect is limited as we don’t gather together much, we often work by ourselves and spend hours on a computer processing and editing our work but still we wear the darkest colour.
I know black is flattering and can make you appear a little lighter than you are, but there are...more
What should you do to create a good headshot for Linkedin or your social media?
Here are some suggestions, tips and tricks to ensure you have a great headshot for social media.
If you can’t access a professional headshot or portrait photographer here are some guidelines.
Use a camera phone with a ‘portrait’ lens. There are many smart phones around today, some are incredibly well specified, and may have a selection of lens.
If you can get someone else to operate it, or have it secured and get away from the camera, ideally by two metres.
1: The further away from the camera the less chance there is to have perspective distortion. This is an effect that is natural but not flattering, if you get close to someone their nose is closer and in-fact it can look...more
The term "Brand Photography' has been around to my knowledge since the 1980's , in fact it is certainly well used and now seems like one of those Buzz words that are associated with the creative industry and terms that are used to replace advertising and marketing, when that is what it's all about. Marketing and communication is what commercial and not for profit companies do, they can be selling a product or providing a service, and in order to communicate the product or service to an audience they use many methods including photography.
So let's keep it simple, Brand photography is Advertising photography.
Well, yes and no, because communication is what is happening, and not always in an advertising context. The recent amazing work done by the...more