BLOG

Self Exploration – Vision

The location is called Test Bed. It is a large warehouse space in Battersea, South London and primarily used for art exhibitions and performances.

The story is about Shirly Webb, a model, and the brief: to show her true personality.

I wanted to keep the shoot intimate and simple, only myself, the art director and Shirly were on location using natural daylight. And leaving the final images clean of retouching.

Sir Peter Blake

“Within every man and woman a secret is hidden,

and as a photographer it’s my task

to reveal it if I can.”

Yousef Karsh

 

Sir Peter Blake is a real life Museum of Everything.

He is a collector of wonder and I am hoping to capture a glimpse of this legendary pop artist in his own treasure trove. He is alone and we follow him in to the kitchen area, every inch of this space feels like a million stories.

We only have one hour and I want to shoot candid moments and some more formal portraits, using solid backdrops, referencing his own iconic colours: red, blue, yellow.

As we move around the studio he speaks enthusiastically about his daughter Rose. He seemed comfortable and relaxed. He shows us his original prints and we all get lost in his wonderful world of cut out.

The portrait of Sir Peter Blake holding his Brit award refereneces his painting ‘Milk Maids.’ A portrait of an artist in his own style of art. The Iconic Marylin Monreo has been replaced with his own painting of a young girl, who I like to believe is his daughter.

I hope by mixing different styles of portrait photography and graphic art something more of this gentle man has been revealed. The montage for opening double page spread by artist Echo Morgan is truly beautiful.

Happy 80’th birthday Sir Peter Blake.

Gillian Anderson

A Touch of Slovenia

Julie Walters

Dimitri from Paris

Christian Louboutin

St Petersburg

Into that nowhere, to linger in which
Is possible for thought, to sight forbidden.
There, beyond nowhere, beyond its limit,
Black, flowerless, it is possible white,
There is a thing of some kind, an object,
Perhaps a body. In the epoch of decay
The speed of light is the speed of sight,
Even where there is no light.

Joseph Brodksy ends one of his most beautiful poems with those words.

I have always had a keen interest in Russian art and culture since a work trip to Moscow several years ago. This interest was cemented after discovering Sergei Parajanov who was actually Armenian but studied at the VGIK film school in Moscow. Out of step with the guiding principles of Socialist Realism at the time most of his films were banned and he was imprisoned between 1973 and 1977. The Colour of Pomegranates (1968), is breathtakingly beautiful. Sergei Eisentein was a Soviet Russian film director and my next port of call. Although Ivan the Terrible was fascinating and an amazing piece of film making (1944, 1958) it was October: Ten Days that shook the World (1928) which cemented my hunger for Russian history and Culture.

Saint Petersburg in particular fascinated me with it’s long and rich history of violent political upheaval and promoting and supporting of the arts. It is of course home to the Hermitage museum.

Mary Katrantzou

This portrait was commissioned by the Observer Magazine. I have shot several of Mary’s shows so is was a great pleasure to finally meet her properly and see the studio which is just down the road from where I live in Hackney. Mary always uses extremely tall models in the shows so I was a bit nervous that the height difference may cause a few problems for the portrait but I feel it’s worked really well.. Refreshingly Mary was more concerned with which way around one of the dresses should go.

Vogue (US)

When Vogue emailed me asking for this shot I was only too happy to oblige. I love the buzz and excitement of shooting backstage and Mary Katrantzou is always one of my favourite shows. A special thanks to Helen Seamons at the Observer magazine for all her support.