Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Hannah and Mark's wedding!

Massive congratulations to Hannah and Mark Taylor who got married on the 13th April!
Had a great time shooting their special day with co-shooter Suzanne Nolan! Here are some of my favourite shots from the day!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Shooting Giles Andreae for ELLE Russia

Back in January I had the privilege of shooting a portrait of Giles Andreae (childrens author & creator of Purple Ronnie and Edward Monkton) for the April edition of ELLE Russia!

The portrait was to be included with a feature on fathers who also successfully work with children, as the series featured people who lived in Russia, America and the UK they needed a team from each country to photograph them so that they could eventually all look part of the same series!

The photoshoot took place at Giles's writing studio in Oxfordshire so on the day I met Melissa from ELLE Russia and Elizabeth from ELLE Uk at Paddington to catch the train out to Oxfordshire.On the train we had a closer look at the other photos that were already shot for the series and discussed our ideas for the images we planned to take with Giles!

We met Lara Himpelmann our make-up artist & Suze my assistant for the day at the train station, from there Lara drove and the rest of us got a taxi to the location!
When we arrived we met Giles who introduced us to his son Jackson who would be at the shoot and his daughter Freya was on her way back from school!

Melissa and Elizabeth began by showing Giles the clothing they had so he could chose what he would be wearing - and also a selection for Jackson to chose from when he arrived. Whilst they did this Suze and I set up a temporary studio and the lighting for the photos!

When everyone had got their selected outfits on and were ready to shoot Lara did some light make-up for Giles and Freya and then we begun shooting!
My aim was to keep everything quick during the shoot to keep Jackson from getting bored - so we worked quickly talking to them throughout the shoot.

There were some really funny moments during the shoot - trying to get some fun photos - at one point Giles said that Jackson could say the rudest thing he could think of to make everyone laugh, after double checking he wouldn't get told off Jackson smiled to himself and then said "f**k off you Russian idiots!" to us - here is the reaction photo;
Here's another funny moment..

Here's another favourite image from the shoot! 

For the shoot I used the Canon 5D MkII with the 28-70mm F2.8 L lens, 1x Canon Speedlite and 2x Interfit flash heads. As you can see from the behind the scenes photo the backdrop would not be wide enough for the final images, which is where photoshop came into the equation, here is a before and after photoshop shot;

Here is a translation of the text in the magazine article!
Dad's school

In an executive poll of the most touching/moving/emotive images, that of man and child came top of the list. The heroes/subjects/stars? of this project have already achieved the most important thing - they've become great fathers. But they went even further, and have dedicated their time to improving the lives of other children.

Text: Olga Siplivaya
Photos: Timur Artamonov, Temma Hankin, Oscar May

Next page:

Giles Andreae

The English children's writer, author of the bestsellers "Rumble in the Jungle" and "The Lion who wanted to Love". Freya, 12 years old. Jackson, 6 years old.

It turned out that the books that had the biggest influence on me were those I read during my childhood. They were short stories, but in the depth and strength of their emotions they portrayed they could give adult literature a run for its money. It's probably because of this that I decided to become a children's writer.
I have four kids, and they are my most important influences and source of inspiration. Before sending a book off to the editors, I always read it to them first. Once my youngest son declared that my newest opus was "a bit dull" and that I should write about Batman instead, since "all the boys love Batman". Of course my son was still unfamiliar with copyright laws.
I see a lot of myself in them, especially in those born redheads, as was I. Also I remember the day when we revealed to our three older kids that there was going to be an addition to the family. They were thrilled! Later they confessed that it was the best present we, as parents, could have ever given them.
They ask me so many different questions, that I as a writer feel I should have the answer to. The hardest thing to discuss is religion. When a three year old looks up at you, wide-eyed and without blinking, and asks "Daddy, is God real?" you are stumped for an answer. "Yes" sounds too straightforward. "No" seems intuitively dishonest. Maybe the joy of fatherhood lies in exactly that - playing games at the same time as being borderline honest. It's a challenge, an experiment and the most unimaginable happiness.

Thankyou Maria for translating the article for me!!

Friday, 27 April 2012


A still from the 'Crying' by Yours&Mine
Model: Mona Spence

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Festival Photography

Over the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to spend the majority of my summers photographing festivals around the UK for Festival Annual and also some for Company magazine! Here is a collection of my favourite shots from 2011! 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Press: Youngman in Disorder Magazine - Issue 38

This one is quite a lot more recent! I got my hands on the latest issue of Disorder Magazine on Friday. I photographed musician Youngman for this issue towards the end of last year - here it is!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Press: Vogue, September 2008

So, a bit of an old one, but here's a better scan of the page that features me in the September issue of British Vogue in 2008..  my aim is to get back in there one day!

Hannah & Mark Engagement Shoot

 Back in December I shot these Engagement photos for the lovely couple, Hannah & Mark who are getting married this April! I'll be taking the photos at their wedding with Suzie Nolan - who also did photos here! I've put some of her behind the scenes shots down further down this post!
Really looking forward to shooting the wedding soon - it's going to be a great day!


Behind the scenes photo credit: Suzanne Nolan

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Behind the Scenes: Eleanor Hardwick shoots for Rookie

A couple of weeks ago, at the end of January my friend Eleanor Hardwick asked me along to her shoot for Rookie Magazine to assist and help with the lighting. 
The shoot was a collaboration between Eleanor and artist Mirren Kessling, the title was 'Miss World'. Here are my behind the scenes photos and to see the photos Eleanor took just follow this link!

Monday, 27 February 2012

London Fashion Week AW12 - February 2012

This February I had the privilege of being invited by Canon to shoot the Tuesday of London Fashion Week. 
Having only shot a couple of small fashion shows before I was quite nervous about squeezing in between the seasoned pro's in the photographer pit and producing a good documentary of the shows! 
Throughout the day I was fortunate enough to use the Canon 1D MkIV with a selection of lenses. For the first show, David Koma, I started out with one of my favourite lenses, the familiar 70-200mm F/2.8 II L, which was a great lens to use for a catwalk as you could zoom in to get full length shots when the model walks onto the runway but also have the option of a head and shoulders shot when the model gets close, or still take a 3/4 or full length photo by zooming out to 70mm. 
Something that also helped was the realisation the lighting was even enough to have everything set to manual and the colour temperature could stay the same throughout the day which always helps keep the continuity in the images nicely.

For the next show, Holly Fulton, I decided to take the new 400mm F/2.8 L out for a trial, having felt the weight of its predecessor I can't say that it was heavy but holding it still without a monopod for 25 minutes is definitely a workout for the arms! 
Being a prime lens this meant I could only stick to that focal length but it took some stunningly sharp images so it was certainly worth it. 
I could just about get a full length image of the models if I took a photo of them as soon as they walked onto the runway, the lens was great for close up shots and the main attraction in using it was to get a nice depth of field whilst having enough focusing space to get one models face nicely in focus during the line up at the end of the show!

Next up was the Ashish show, which was really fun and loved the fact that there was a lot of details on the backs of the designs that really kept the photographers on their toes! I decided to test out the 24mm F/3.5 II L Tilt-shift lens, though after a quick test we decided it would probably be best to get used to the lens for a bit longer before using it to shoot a show as it is manual focus and had a lot more options than the lenses I'm used to (shifting the plane of focus etc!) It definitely looks like a fun lens to use in the future though! Here is one of my test images from that lens:

I quickly changed over to the 8-15mm F/4.0 L Fisheye lens to catch the Ashish show which give me some really different images and helped to capture a wider shot which will hopefully help to show what actually being at the show is like! 

For my final show of the day, Aminaka Wilmont, I decided to use the 70-200mm F/2.8 again as I did find it the best all-round lens to use, though I think my best results were probably from the 400mm F/2.8! The only aspect of this show that I didn't anticipate before was that the lighting changed - so only the lights in the closest third of the runway were on full power, so consequently the exposure settings I set for one part of the runway would be different to the closest part which made things a bit harder, after realising this I just shot the girls when they were in the well lit area! 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

more than just video posts..

So I've come to the conclusion that I want to write more than just the video side of things so I'll be using this as my entire blog until I have the blog on my website up and running ;)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Video: The Libertines acoustic set

In March 2010 I was lucky enough to be working at MOJO magazine for a few weeks helping out on the picture desk and on my last day there they asked whether I would be interested in going to take photos at the press conference for The Libertines announcement that they were re-forming to play Reading and Leeds festival that year, of course I said yes, definitely!

It was a really exciting experience and I managed to get a really close spot to the band during the conference and then to my amazement they said they would be playing some songs for the press too. I managed to squeeze a little closer at this point as these are more the kind of photos I am interested in taking, as I was snapping away I suddenly remembered I could also record some of it on my camera!

You can probably tell I didn't have much room to move about during this as the rest of the cameramen/women were also trying to get a good angle on the performance!
I can still remember how surreal it felt to put down the camera and realise I was actually there right in front of one of my favourite bands witnessing this performance first person! I think the video portrays a bit like how it was to be there, I was being pushed around a little but had to stand my ground to keep in place, it would have been really useful to have some kind of support for the camera (like a shoulder mount perhaps) to get smoother shots - but i'll expand on that in a future post!

Inspiration: Nocturne by Vincent Laforet

Nocturne is one of the first video's that I came across that really opened my eyes to the potential DSLR's have when it comes to working with moving image. What really struck me was the depth of field and the sharpness of the shots which made me realise the quality that could be achieved with the lenses available.

Nocturne was filmed entirely using available light which really demonstrates the camera's amazing ability to reduce noise even at high iso's, although I do note this was shot with the Canon 1D MkIV which was the most advanced Canon model at the time so it's noise reduction is better than the 5D MkII, but I have also found the noise reduction on that superb.

Nocturne from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Video: The Shutes - Sweet Marie

Here is one of my earliest video's which I shot at a gig on the Isle of Wight where The Shutes were playing,for this video I used the Canon 5D MkII and a Canon 50mm F1.2 L lens. The sound was also recorded in camera which I thought came out surprisingly well considering how loud the gig was! I think the footage could be improved if I'd started recording earlier obviously... and it would definitely look more professional to have smoother shots and better focus transitions! Also I can imagine it would look better to have a wider shot or multiple angles to then edit together in post-production!


For just over 2 years I had been only occasionally trying out the video feature, but I was still having trouble making it keep the settings I wanted it to be shooting at, I'd previously looked online to see how to do this and had found a tutorial on how to sort of trick the camera into keeping the aperture you wanted but locking the exposure but this was a bit hit and miss because it depended on the lighting conditions not being too light as the iso and shutter speed would adjust themselves accordingly - this had always put me off doing much filming before.. I had started to see more and more people producing amazing footage with it and I could see they must have learnt how to make the camera use the exposure settings they wanted!
It wasn't until I saw my friends at Allora Visuals filming that I realised they had full control over the exposure settings and  quickly realised I'd been using the original firmware system for the camera still and had missed a couple of updates which had vastly improved the video capacities.. Definitely felt pretty silly about that but it did really lift my resistance to experimenting with video and it was also nice to know the stunning work I'd seen other producing with these cameras would be a lot more achievable for me now!

This post probably isn't very relevant anymore as most Canon 5D MkII's bought after the firmware update will be installed with a more recent version but it explains the main reason it took me so long to get onto the moving image bandwagon!

Memory Cards...

The first obstacle I came up against when experimenting with the video features was one that meant I could only record for roughly 20 seconds at the time, as I was mainly working with stills and occasionally experimenting with video it took me quite a while to realise this wasn't supposed to happen... I'd initially put it down to the internal computer not being quick enough to write the data to the memory card, but when I thought about it a bit more I realised it may be the memory card I had been using - it was a really basic SanDisk 4GB card I'd had for years - In my photography I shoot quite slowly so I'd never had any need for a quicker card (that also quickly changed after I saw the file sizes of RAW images on the 5D MkII.)

When I tried out a quicker card I found that I could film for as long as the memory card had free space - so that was my first obstacle overcome!

In retrospect I do realise that I would have probably found the solution for this probably if I'd looked in the instruction manual, but I don't often read them and didn't particularly need to use the video functions at this point!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


When I first saw the announcements for the Canon 5D MkII I could tell this camera would be a game changer in the digital photography scene, however I thought the changes that would make the most impact to mine and other photographers workflows would be the improvements made to noise reduction on high iso images and also the 21mp resolution.
Most photographers I heard talking about the video feature thought it would be more of a novelty feature and some of my friends who work in the moving image industry already didn't have much faith in their ability to compete with the existing purpose built video cameras.
It's amazing how much we underestimated the changes the addition of video capabilities to the SLR would make!

I bought the 5D MkII shortly after it was released and was very impressed by the quality and performance it gave. After a while I experimented a bit with the video but with mixed results... at the time there wasn't much instruction to be found online about how to use the video features so there was quite a lot of trial and error involved in learning how to use it, in this blog I will be writing about my continuing experiences about my explorations into the moving imagery world, I will be posting about the different issues I came up with and the solutions I found (some very basic so the more technically adept of you skip these posts if you want!), I'll be uploading some of the videos I've done and linking to resources I've found useful and others work that has inspired me!