Lifestyle Ad Campaign for Radiocentre

advertising photographer london

How to make radio modern and relevant for 2018? This was the task set by the guys at Radiocentre ahead of shooting a new image bank for them a few months ago - for use in their ATL campaigns across the UK. Radiocentre are the governing body for all commercial radio in the UK and they've always struggled against the cliché stock-imagery 'eargasm' images made available in the stock world, hence commissioning their own set of images with very specific briefs for each. A big part of what I love about the world of advertising photography is being able to understand business, clients' needs and marketing techniques, then become a creative visual problem solver (aka - photographer). This brief was a great example of that.

It was a two day shoot with a big crew and a lot to do, but an absolute pleasure to work on. Brilliant production from ShootJam making things easier. 10 scenarios, and 12 models to portray all the various uses/situations that radio has in today's society - done! 

A few behind the scenes shots from the two day shoot...

A Vintage Drive in The Western Cape | Lifestyle Story

lifestyle photographer london

On a recent trip to (the very wonderful) South Africa to complete the photography for my upcoming new project The Uber Impact, I couldn't resist shooting some lifestyle making the most of what the Western Cape has to offer. 

1 x MG Midget in British Racing Green, 1 x epic wine estate with private roads and stunning scenery, 2 x annoyingly beautiful people and 1 x weather forecast which was almost accurate. The result is the story 'A vintage drive in the Western Cape'. There was wine, sun, laughter and some driving skills thanks to male model Morgan being completely at home in a vintage MG thanks to growing up on a farm driving tractors. It was a good recipe!

Big thanks to Boss Models Cape Town (Monika & Morgan), Paul Cluver Wines and my wonderful team of assistants: Emily, Rosie and Isaac. Here are a few from the series:

Economia Front Cover | Portrait for Graze

Here is the cover shoot of Graze CFO Andy Gibbs for the very beautifully designed and printed Economia magazine. Not only was Andy a willing and enthusiastic subject for this shoot, but I left with a goody bag of Graze snacks which supplied me for a 3-day wild-camping trek in the Lake District, which started the day after this shoot. Everyone loves a freebie - especially an edible one. 

I always appreciate when my 'real people' subjects bring an enthusiasm and vulnerability to the shoot. It's very much not part of the job description that they sign up for, so to trust a photographer they've never met before to capture their face/emotions/thoughts/feelings is a big deal. Andy hadn't told his wife about this shoot and was going to wait for the issue to arrive on their doormat in the post to completely freak her out! Love it. Thanks to John at progressive for the commission.

Infiniti in Italy | Cars and Chefs in Parma

Here are some of the images shot on location in Parma (and the surrounding timeless Italian countryside) for Infiniti a few months ago. It was a pleasure to shoot for the lovely people at TMW agency shooting for both Infiniti cars and Michelin in the same day. Many a slice of Parma ham was consumed amongst all the other Michelin-star food throughout the day, a small perk of the job. Infiniti being the brand partner for the Michelin guide in Italy, we were there to depict the joining of two major brands of sophistication, as well as have some fun with some of the cars too! 

Here's to 2017: Selected as Best 200 Ad Photographers!

200 best logo.png

I'm absolutely chuffed to announce that I have been selected for inclusion in the legendary Lürzer's '200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide'. This year has contained a lot - it's been an amazing journey. But, to finish it being featured in a book containing so many photographers and so much work which I hugely respect, which gets sold around the world for the next two years really is a big honour. The curated work really is stunning - get yourself a copy here. It's a lot of book for less than £30!

I was fortunate enough to have two images selected for the 2018/29 annual - both from projects not officially released yet. The first was taken on day one of a two-week assignment in Nepal earlier this year, with the charity Tearfund. This trip was absolutely epic. It was tough, tiring, uncomfortable and sweaty but also absolutely mind-blowing. The scenery, the people, the stories, the culture, the wildlife, the driving.... (the driving!!!) - all an amazing experience. However, I'll talk about this in a future post when more of the archive makes its way online. 

The second portrait features the face of London musician/artist Tawiah.  This was shot as part of a personal project I've been shooting throughout 2017 called The Changing Face of Music. Tawiah has tremendous talent and is an amazing soul who absolutely threw herself into this project so I'm so glad to see it gaining recognition already! I hope to launch this project in the new year so more to come in 2018 on that...

lürzer's archive best 200 ad photographers
Tawiah music by Matthew Joseph

AOP Awards Finalist | aGenda - makes it through!

Matthew Joseph

Those in this industry know the weight the annual AOP awards hold when they come around each year - this is one of those awards shows that people really pay attention to, at least in the UK anyway! I'd never thought to even enter a competition until 2016 - when I did, I won and was on TV, Radio, newspaper etc etc... I figured I could do with a bit more of that and just had thought in time to enter into this year's open category (for non members - I need to sort that out!) before the deadline arrived. 

So I was absolutely thrilled to receive the email stating that the aGenda project had been accepted into this year's AOP Final. This means inclusion in the exhibition at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, and being featured in the awards book (see below) too. It was nothing short of a huge honour to have this personal project recognised, which had absorbed so much of my time, thoughts, resources and energy over the past 14 months. Then, to see the amazing array of talent hung on the same walls really topped it off. There was some serious work from serious photographers included in the exhibition - really nice to see that the industry seems so strong, it always inspires me to push myself and up my game!

Awards are funny... you have to make a decision to enter a competition yourself - there aren't some magic photography industry elves that knock on your door delivering you a golden invite. You have to make an active decision to say 'I think this is good - I need it recognised'. It's almost a validation for insecurity - but then it's not because entering awards is playing the game of the industry. In today's world you have to do everything you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd in a world full of ever-increasing talent. Then winning an award is another thing altogether! I didn't win my category this time, but I'm totally ok with that - it was enough of an honour to get selected for the final. But then I know of other work by other photographers, which is strong, brilliant work, that didn't make it through. It's all subjective, it's art and decisions are made by people with opinions - no right or wrong - just simple human opinions which are probably based on a myriad of emotions, experiences and general taste. All we can do is try!!

London Editorial Portraits for etc venues

Since being asked to shoot the CEO of London's finest corporate venue providers for The Times,  amongst other publications, earlier this year - I have recently returned to give the rest of the board the same treatment. We had the luxury of using every corner of their beutifully refurbished County Hall to switch up the enivornments and make things as relevatnt to the indiviudal as possible. County Hall is probably one of the most significant pieces of real estate in the world - overlooking Big Ben, Westminster Bridge and the Thames. I struggle to get my head around this place being derelict for so long, before etc Venues came in to take over.

It's the kind of venue that could inspire you time and time again, a rare treat for a portrait photographer - and it beats a clostraphobic hotel room with a colourama squeezed in the corner any day!

Yorkshire Provender 2017 Campaign

I recently was given the chance to hang out in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales for a few days, where we were to start the new 2017 advertising campaign for Yorkshire Provender Soup. Telling the story of a group of young people enjoying life, enjoying the countryside and happening to eat some pretty tasty soup in the process.

lifestyle photographer london

Starting the shoot in a series 1 Land Rover is pretty ideal, ending the shoot in a perfectly restored '60s VW Camper is even better. This was a lifestyle photography dream! The models were all cast from a mixture of staff, friends and family, which turned this into a genuine trip away together, genuine laughs, what you see is what you get - just as with the soup itself. A great example of when 'real people' can sell a brand. 

Great to see this all live now as the client rolls out its new branding. They make great porridge, they make great soup - trust me, I've tried them all! More to come later as this has been an ongoing campaign through 2017...

aGenda - New Exhibition Announced!

I'm very excited to announce that my next exhibition is being held on London's South Bank at Gallery@Oxo for a limited time - 24th to 27th August with the private view (invite only) on 23rd. This project was a while in the making... I'm very much looking forward to getting this out there! Please come along if you are nearby, it's free entry and it would be great to say hi. Info below: 

aGenda photography exhibition

The one-handed Pianist shoot

Rarely do the worlds of my passions collide as they did on this shoot (and I have a lot of things I'm passionate about!). Not all will know this, but my first career was actually in music (long story) and specifically within that, the majority of my work was as a pianist/keyboard player. So to be asked to shoot classical artist, Keith Porter-Snell ... at Steinway's London showroom... well, how could I not!?

Portrait photographer london

There was me thinking I knew the world of piano quite well until the theme of our shoot discussion unfolded to reveal a whole topic of 'left hand only' pianists - Keith being one of them due to a muscular problem in his right hand. This was all new to me and totally fascinating. Keith has been busy researching the history of this art as there is a severe shortage of music written for left hand only pianists. His story is quite unbelievable in places, as he detailed his quest to retrace lost and hidden works which were once commissioned by someone of influence to the great composers of that era. Quite simply, there is music written which he can't access but is eager to play. His passion for music that has pushed him beyond giving up after having realised he'd lost the use of his right hand, has kept him on this remarkable journey. My anecdotes won't do it justice!

music photographer london

As ever with my work, the pleasuer is as much in meeting such people and hearing their story and journey, as it is taking their portraits. This shoot gave both in equal measure - AND I got to spend some time playing some beautiful £150k pianos as we compared notes!

editorial photographer london

Chris Brambley promo

Here are a few of the final images from a recent shoot I did for folk artist Chris Brambley. It was so nice to work alongside fellow creatives who brought so much vision to the table - the discussion was exciting and the idea development natural. Big thanks to the management too for letting me be free to do my thing with this.

chris brambley portrait photographer london

Both images took new levels of commitment including: (subtle) trespassing, location scouting in downpours, getting cold and wet, risking some not-so-cheap gear and crafting a scene spending a good length of time securing guitars to trees. The crucial smashing up of guitars was also a chore.... (not at all!)

music photographer london

commitment to the cause....

behind the scenes phase one

Re-brand and image library for a Soho business

Here are some images from a vast library I helped create for a Soho-based tech recruitment firm. Shot across two days, we had a lot to fit in as they were going for a complete brand overhaul and (as is often the case) they needed an extensive image library to be able to accommodate all their marketing needs for the next year or so - website, collateral, social media etc...

advertising photography london

 

The client was very proud of their location in Soho, and it was key to get this message across to convey them to the correct demographic of tech-savvy new young professionals seeking new roles. So along with the candid lifestyle photography of the staff, striving to capture honest and real reactions - in an area of imagery which is commonly forced - we had many other briefs which included images to surmise Soho life - trying to capture the essence of Soho in 2017 and some 'Instagram-style' (that was the brief) table top images to match various themes for the website.

We then also had five models come into a studio we set up in their office, to help us produce a series of new header images for the website. This was a strong move, creating a real campaign around the idea of a recruitment firm catering for all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and backgrounds. The faces were not in shot, highlighting that it's more about what you can do and your skill set than it is about what your face looks like. As an advertising photographer in London, it's always nice to be able to shoot such a varied campaign - really engaging with real people, as well as working with models. Spending time with the client, getting into their mindset of why they believe their business is the best, provides a unique insight for an outsider and is most definitely a critical part of the job in advertising photography. The client were a pleasure to work with and thank you to all who were involved, especially John at Shootjam.

Urban Fitness Photography for BMA Models

Having recently stumbled upon an incredible urban location in Central London a few months ago, I was eager to find an appropriate use for it. Finding such a space in the heart of London a stone's throw from St Paul's is just a bit unheard of - the most bizarre underground carpark which goes down 14 floors and only used for the first 4! 

fitness photography london

When BMA models got in touch about a fitness shoot for some new models they had recently signed I realised this was it. The general image of fitness photography is very clean cut which nicely represents clean living and sells the brand of fitness as a positive one. Everyone smiling, clean and happy - it's easy right!? I'm not convinced. Time to get rid of this #instafitness lie - working out is messy, knackering, pushes us to our limits, it's sweaty, brutal - we do not look our best when we're working out!! So I was keen to bring a bit of grit and reality into this, 14 floors or deserted concrete beneath London seemed like an apt place to do so.

 

Lucas and Millie were a dream to work with - I definitely pushed them as I wanted it to be real, and they stepped up to the challenge (as all good models should do ;) !). I hope everything you see here is real - it was my aim. Lifestyle photography should be honest, it should reflect... lifestyle, and the lifestyle of the fitness world isn't always that polished!

Back in SA...

I am slowly falling in love with South Africa. I am recently back from my second trip there and I am fully fascinated with this country. It's easy to see why Cape Town is such a popular destination for filming and photography - stunning light, stunning scenery and stunning people; the local wines and steaks make this even sweeter!

I had a few meetings with agents in Cape Town before exploring parts I've not been to before and getting to see some family at the same time. A few images of the trip are below, they sum up a fraction of who I met and what I saw - as always, trying my best to do things justice with my lens whilst soaking up the culture (and hiding my white British skin from that sun of their's!).

I also managed to shoot a few new additions for the Horizon series which is ongoing as I follow my work around the world. SA has some good horizons! I'm really treasuring this long-term project and as it slowly builds, it's starting to make sense. I plan to exhibit in 2027!

Deciphering Lenny Henry

I recently had the privilege of encountering (and attempting to capture) the many faces of Lenny Henry. Growing up with Lenny being a household name, it was an honour to be asked by Birmingham City University to photograph him as part of their announcment of him becoming the university's new chancellor. 

Lenny Henry Photoshoot

It is my responsibility as a portrait photographer to endeavour to document honesty above anything else. Personally, my journey into commercial photography came via the means of technical intrigue - at heart I had always been a technical photographer, striving for perfection in all that I do. I soon realised that this was not enough and my journey has changed course over the last few years, as I redirect to prioritise honesty and authenticity in my work. Naturally, however, the technical side of things has to be a given, so it's not ignoring that - just a change in priorities and adding a new layer to the work I produce. 

My biggest challenge with Lenny on this shoot was that he initially didn't want to be there (he is right in the middle of a PhD!). This is not uncommon, I spend a lot of time photographing various VIPs for whom a photoshoot is an interruption to their day, and they would really rather be doing something else, somewhere else. Being a true professional and having posed for 100s of shoots through his career, Lenny quickly gave me his professional persona - which could have easily been more than fine for the job I was commissioned to do. However, it struck me that he didn't want to let me in, and that I always see as a challenge. Portrait photography is as much about rapport, reading situations and people skills as it is about a camera - I feel the majority of the work is done without looking through the viewfinder. I wasn't simply able to settle for showing the comedic, instant, professional side of Lenny as this is something that's been seen over and over - I needed to get an honest reaction out of him, to catch him off guard. Not in a manipulative way, but in a way which was real - I simply being ready to capture whatever came of that.

I'm pretty sure he left the room slightly happier than he arrived and I feel like the shot highlighted above was a snapshot into the personality beyond the methodical and professional wall that naturally needs to be there for someone in his position. Lenny is an institution and he fully deserves to be able to put up any front he likes - I just can't resist trying to peak over the wall from time to time!

Lenny Henry

Wondering around Williamsburg

On a recent work trip to New York, out of everything I shot and saw in 10 days, mindlessly strolling around the backs streets of Williamsburg on a winter's late afternoon was definitely a highlight. Having absolutely no agenda, targets, deadlines or aims and equipped with one camera, one prime lens (admittedly this was a Phase One hanging around my neck so not exactly street-wise) is, for me, nothing but freeing. 

Literally shooting what I see, what I want, when I want with no thought of 'I'm meant to be this kind of photographer, I should be shooting this' etc... back to basics: look, learn, wait, capture, move on. I wouldn't call this street photography (every time I hit the shutter on this Danish machine, the pigeons 2 blocks away scatter), I wouldn't call it travel - it is simply just an interpretation of an aimless walk, purely for the pleasure of creating images.

So here is some of what I saw. 

 

Latest iSing cover shoot | Portrait Photography

I had the pleasure of shooting the wonderful Kelli-Leigh recently, for her cover of iSing magazine. As a photographer passionate about people, a good portion of the pleasure of my job comes from simply hanging/chatting/getting to know my subjects. You know this is going well when you spend twice as long as you're meant to on the shoot! Kelli is talented, ambitious and a dream to photograph - as much as I love a challenge, I also enjoy having my job made easier for me occasionally!!

The whole shoot was set up at her home studio in Greenwich and as usual with editorial photography commissions, there are always fairly strict guidelines of what's needed to best suit the text theme and layout. We got slightly carried away and ended up shooting a load more looks than initially intended, making use of introducing colour and movement to some shots to really make the most of one environment, producing a wider variety of options. This is one of the main challenges of an editorial photographer or on location portrait photographer - this is not your space, you often don't know what to expect when you arrive and you have to deal with it, make it work and turn the tables so you're in charge of what is happening from a lighting perspective. But, it's also what I love about it - I'm a problem solver at heart and it keeps you nicely on your toes!