Didjitalis ~ St Pancras Station Session

This is first video I’ve shot on my new camera, not bad considering I only looked at the manual 2 hours earlier! Only problem is… after 7 years of getting good with still photography its now back to school for video! Its a little underexposed and slightly shaky as I was using a monopod rather than a tripod. Lessons learned and to be honest Darien just asked me along to take some still shots.

The film features the band Didjitalis playing their track Wild Child at the St Pancras Station sessions on St Georges Day April 2013. They played a half hour set, I shot the video and also took some stills shots as well for their website. From their website……

“Didjitalis is a musical collective formed by a DJ, a jazz pianist and a didgeridooist. Known artists in their respective fields,  they have come together to form one of London’s top live dance acts. With their unique blend of organic instrumentation, musicality and cutting edge technology, Didjitalis strive to create the most innovative live performances around. With a deep passion for the natural world firmly embedded in the band’s ethos, Didjitalis invite you to join them on a musical journey which explores our relationship with the Earth, through a sound that will blow you away!”

Was very impressed at how the band has progressed since I last some them play, on Australia day in 2012 at a bar in Balham.  I took some photo’s at this gig and then some studio promo photo’s of the band last June. This was before Andre their singer joined them.  You can see the earlier band shoot here.

They are next playing the Ship in Kennington on the 1st of June, I’ll be there taking some more photo’s and experimenting with the video.

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Inspired by Ansel

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I went to the Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea exhibition last weekend at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, it finishes end of this month if you haven’t been. It was nice to see some of his other less famous work. His Surf Sequence shots looking down a cliff at waves breaking on a sandy beach created these lovely flat abstract images as shown here.

Which reminded me of series of images I took a few years ago whilst we were on holiday in Colombia back in 2010. We went to Tayrona National Park which had these fantastic beaches which had both black and yellow sand. I never managed to process them in a way I was completely happy with. Converted them to duo-toned B&W and boosted the contrast and I’m a lot happier with them.

Holly M Portraits

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I’ve been taking portraits of Holly for several years now, I think this was her 6th shoot. She currently a student back in my home town of Glasgow completing a 1 year acting course. I’ve seen her in a couple of productions here in London and she’s very good.  She was back down in London a few weeks ago at The Globe Theatre as part of her course. We hooked up as she needed some new head shots taken for her acting CV, the consequences of having her fringe cut.  Playing around with the lights in studio we came up with a variety of looks.

Brick Lane Portraits

Rather than concentrating on candid photography I went up to Brick Lane thinking it was time to get out of my comfort zone. I decided to start asking strangers for posed portraits, I need to practice establishing rapport quickly with subjects so people to loosen up in front of the camera and you hopefully get better images. Plenty of other photographers do it, so how hard could it be?

I either got lucky, chose my subjects well, or my “hanging around and waiting for people to get curious” technique works. Managed to take 6 portraits and didn’t get any knock backs in 2-3 hours. Having my iPhone loaded up with my portrait portfolio helped.

First up we have two visitors to London, Fabiana from Taiwan looking very fashionable. Completely engrossed in texting, she was oblivious to me taking photo’s of her from 6 feet away before I asked her. The posed portrait is a much better than the candid shots I took.

Fabulous Fabiana

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Siobhain ~ Norcott Road Party

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Continuing the Friendly Tree series of portraits, this is my friend Siobhain aka “Shiv” who I’ve known almost as long as I’ve known my partner Selena. They met while they were both temping at a company for just one day in 1993.  Another chance meeting that turned into a long term friendship. We been to Thailand and Guatemala with Shiv, and through her Selena and I established a large group of long standing friends. Step forward the SOAS gang – Tim, Robism, Kevin, Jules, Ant, Ian, Miranda, Helen, Andy, Mischa, James & Jo the other James and Jo and then all the partners, husbands and wife’s that came along as the years went by.

The first time I really met Shiv is amusing. Very early in my relationship with Selena we had a party at the house share I was in, in Stoke Newington. I was living there with Mark, the chef and his girlfriend Marika, the couple that took me to DTPM where I had met Stephen. Also living there was Jane, she had invited some of her London friends one of which was James Leppard, who unbeknown to us was also friends with Siobhain. The party was in full swing and the doorbell goes and Selena and I answer it. There is James asking for Jane, with Siobhain standing behind him with a puzzled look on her face, wondering what the hell Selena was doing at this party with friends of James. In this massive city of 6 million people I had ended up sharing a house with a friend of friend of Siobhains.

This however is not the only strange coincidence. Years later we find out that Siobhain had known a very good friend of ours – Gina – for several years before either of them figured out they both knew the same Robbie and Selena. Here’s Gina recollection of when they figured it out…

“I first met Siobhan through my ex flat mate Suzie in March 2004- at LMNT, my now favourite restaurant in Hackney. Suzie and I had just moved to Hackney and while I had never met her, had often recounted stories of her colourful and gregarious friend Siobhan and I was looking forward to meeting her- especially when she said Siobhan had suggested we meet in a decadent cocktail bar/restaurant with an outlandish Egyptian theme. Outlandish it was- with cocktails named after Pharaohs genitalia and mythic porn etched into the loo walls- although Siobhan was totally at ease as if she’d grown up there.  As expected she was energetic, sharply witty and huge fun- with her own brand of intelligence and abandon that few people can match. Suzie then moved to Scotland and I saw less of Siobhan but it wasn’t until the spring of 2006 that Siobhan mentioned Robbie and Selena in passing at another one of our drunken 6 hour lunches at LMNT that we realised that we had them in common – and the shock that we hadn’t realised this before still amazes me. Siobhan will always be her own individual person, and I am so grateful to know her and now rare though it is always love to see her – both through Suzie and Robbie/Selena- thank you guys!”


Business portraits for your website – Kibri

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Professional portraits for personal and business websites.

If you run your own business then its goes without saying that you need a website these days, and a standard element of any business website should be an About us or Profile page on the owners, or key employees. Having a high quality photo, typically a headshot, of the person or people providing the service or running the business puts a face to the company and helps build trust with your potential clients. They show that you take your business seriously and are prepared to invest in projecting your business in a professional manner.

Kibri has just started working for my friend Tim, who is a podiatrist. He is setting up a clinic in north London covering the Hackney & Walthamstow area. I did a photo shoot back in July for his new website, where I went to the health clinic and took a selection of business portraits and photographs of Tim carrying out his job. This was before Kibri started working for him, so they needed some additional profile portraits taken.  She came down to my south London studio where we took these additional images. We completed the website business portraits fairly quickly and had a little bit of time left to try some other studio portrait set ups. It was too good an opportunity to miss having someone as photogenic as Kibri is in front of the camera. Taking some more casual portraits also means the person has additional image that they can use on other websites such as Facebook or LinkedIN.

Kibri was a great model, she didn’t blink, and could hold a pose and its amazing the difference a white scrub coat can make. Compare the first two business portraits with the rest, we go from smart health professional to fashion model in the blink of eye. I used my big Westcott 50″ soft box with a single SB900 flash. Its a gorgeous light on its own, or used in with a reflector or with a hair/ cross light from behind.

One final thing about a good profile page is it also provides a potential opportunity for SEO, because if each business portrait also has a short biography of the person attached to it, then the keywords and phrases about your business can be inserted into the biography, in Kibri’s case such as “podiatrist” or “foot care”. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results.

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