On The Road in Japan
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Japanese popular culture. Back in ‘91 I would jump out of bed to watch Samurai Pizza Cats every Saturday morning. A few years later I was jumping at the chance to be weirded out by Akira and Ninja Scroll. Not much has changed since then.
A while back I was asked to shoot a wedding in Hayama, a small town on the coast south of Tokyo. The chance to photograph a wedding day AND spend two weeks zipping around the sights of Honshu was an absolute dream assignment.
Perhaps my opinion is biased, but it turns out that Japan is an incredible place filled with great food, unique experiences and awesome people. Perhaps it’s an island culture thing, but for every jarring culture shock, there’s an unexpected similarity with the way things are here in the UK.
The wedding images have now been delivered and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly hoping for a referral off the back of them…
Mayflys Double A-Side Launch
Back in 2006, some very close friends and I finished our music degrees. Without much idea of what to do next, we did what did what any group of plan-less musicians would do and started a band.
In the time since then I’m pleased to say we’ve played a tonne of shows (Shambala and 2000 Trees festivals being among my favourites), put out a couple of records and even had a few bits of BBC radio airplay.
This Sunday marks another big moment for us as we release our first double A side single launch at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush. We’re putting out two tracks, Train Song (I’m Here) and Playground, both of which we’ve poured a lot of love into.
If you’re about on Sunday 28th Feb and fancy coming to celebrate with us you can find more details and also buy tickets via the Facebook event.
These frames are from our 2013 press shoot, shot with my buddy Miles Taylor at The Lamb in Surbiton. Many thanks to the owner Adam for letting us take over for the morning!
The Travelling Fuzzberrys
Q: How do you shoot a press kit assignment for a troupe of children’s puppets that have been evicted from their cartoon stately home and forced to live in a council flat?
A: You assemble a team of puppeteers, roll up early to an estate on a grim, overcast morning and get to work.
I’ve gotten quite used to shooting assignments alone or with a single assistant. My work is generally quite small scale and, if anything, benefits from the contained environment created by a limited head count. When sitting down to plan this shoot with the Fuzzberrys’ creator Jason Linney however, it quickly became apparent that we would need some able bodies on site. A few persuasive phone calls later we had a seven-strong crew to take on location at the crack of dawn one bitterly cold Sunday morning.
What followed was an…odd encounter.
The thing about shooting puppets is that they need to look engaged. If there’s no spark of character in their expression when the shutter drops you’ll end up with a nicely lit photograph of an inanimate object. Jason did a great job of directing these expressions and our team made short work of creating them. It wasn’t long before I began seeing the puppets as characters myself. On occasion I caught myself addressing the puppets and not their operators. At the time it felt perfectly logical to ask Fuzzy Bob to “take a step back so that Lord Purr Purr didn’t catch so much shadow”.
Now I’m not so sure.
Huge thanks go to Shnar, Vicki, Piotr, Miles and Jo for their skills and willingness to go make pictures at silly o’clock in the morning.
Lorna, Take 2
This is a frame from another set up I shot with Lorna the other week.
Very different look to this image, much more contemporary. There’s a mix of soft light up front and hard light to the sides here. I love how much shape it’s given Lorna’s hair on the right hand of the frame.
The Chanel Look
This is Lorna, manager of Lush Wimbledon and well-read perfume nut. It’s always a pleasure listening to people talk about their passions and Lorna is no exception.
When we arranged to shoot some portraits I was keen to let some of that character into her image. After a bit of research I found some beautiful photographs of Catherine Deneuve that ran in a 1972 Chanel no.5 campaign. I loved the super-soft quality to the light, not to mention the squeaky-clean catchlights in the eyes.
So here it is, my take on Richard Avedon’s lighting for Chanel, for Lorna.