…. WORK

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Only into the second month of 2016 and there are some exciting projects underway. Just returned from a six week adventure in Canada filming a couple ethnographic observational documentaries for entry into Raindance. It was so cold. Our equipment had to survive -47C temps out on the frozen ice and it proved to be a technical challenge. The footage though is amazing and February will be Final Cut Pro month here in the studio. Tons of editing and sound mixing/ dubbing to be done as we construct our story from the hours of video.We also are working with a team building a pilot for a new television mocumentary. Met with the creative team last week and producers this week so we will see what unfolds. Having made the move now to include more filming instead of shooting only stills I am really excited about the journey which lies ahead. Looking forward to having more to write about soon.

 Out last week… not often I get asked to tell a story ABOUT a picture … This was a wonderful article to write for FLIP magazine.

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Purchase Flip at these fine spots of commerce and enjoyment:

Photographers Gallery Bookshop
16–18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
National Portrait Gallery Bookshop
St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE
Whitechapel Gallery Bookshop
77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Serpentine Gallery Bookshop
Queensborough Terrace, London W2 3XA
Wapping Project Bankside
65a Hopton Street, London SE1 9LR
Artwords Bookshop
65a Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QQ
20-22 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
Eastside Books
166 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
Koenig Books
80 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0BF
Photofusion
17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA

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In the days of Polaroid most photographers would have a collection of instant film ‘rejects’ that kinda represented the ‘soul’ of the shoot. These were the candids, the forced mistakes and happy accidents which could not be repeated. That single frame of instant film not only was a one off, but, because it was a positive, meant not even the hands of the alchemist magician in the darkroom, with his potions and shadow brushes, could tweak and alter perception. Nope, this was raw currency and within it, from time to time were those dynamite moments, or quiet beauty. Now with digital we can capture, well anything. Press and fire away during a set up and something will be there. The ‘outs’ process for me anyhow, is now in that which is left behind based on a list of judgements. Similar to the talk that would go around a room while looking at a contact sheet or a line up of bracketed slides, but for outs this is as good as it gets. I’ve been photographing the material for the MA Design class of 2013 and their website www.tilt-gold.co.uk. The images have been selected and are going up over the weeks, mine included, but I have found in the catalogue of headshots some gems that appeal to me. Some are loud, others energetic and others quiet in tone. But all have a hint of that Polaroid time that’s now gone for me and others. Our shoeboxes traded in for laptops and clouds.

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Shot and produced these little gems for our up and coming (stress test) presentations in front of an audience of industry guests. Much to do, much to do.

LiL Sample A

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Festrail

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 Holy toledo … here it is.

This summer my Photographers’ London at Central Saint Martin’s was sold out – twice. With the Olympic train running into town and the city never looking so fine plus our first summer school being run out of the swish new King’s Cross location — well it felt like the epicenter for learning.  Then one day I get an email letting me know that a groovy Russian travel mag is going to sit in on my course and experience , photograph and write about it. Fabulous!

This week the finished product came out. Written by Anna Prazhina and photographed by Ben Quinton with images in collage from the students well … here it is….

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But hey … why look at a jpegs of it when you can flip through this cool mag yourself by clicking on the cover below. We’re on page 50.

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Yeah, we made it.  In print. Book is all about setting up a business and working as a creative… from solo ops to forming a company – it’s all here. Good read and a MUST for anyone pursuing or engaged in a creative based business. Book is sold at Tate Modern, Serpentine Gallery and all the rest of those dandy online bookshops. Profile is on page 25.

New York Times

 Oh fab man…. we made it into The NYTimes…..

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One of my stock images turns up in Arts Council England.

Well this was completely unexpected.

If you remember Amy and Takie’s wedding we did this summer  —

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Well — it has recently surfaced in Hello! Magazine (hit page to get to link). We’ve been trying to locate the print form of it and know it’s out there so if you have one or know which one it is let us know. Hopefully Hello! gives a photo credit in the print. Way to go Julia and Vikki!

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Papermash.co.uk

Really cool paper product supplier I did the photography for. Check out her site.

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Still part of this book project I am working on —- the enterprising Biba Fox. What a name!

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I had the opportunity to meet Caroline for a book project I am working on. She is absolutely a delight to work with. The day was fantastic and light amazing.

Caroline Russell is a British artist based in London. She is an Associate Member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and has been a professional sculptor since 1993. You can view a selection of her sculpture at www.russellsculptures.com

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An excellent couple days photographing stock for CSM. Visiting a list of courses, my mouth was watering to get into some of them in the future. Silkscreen, Illustration and Oil Painting were the ones which stick in my mind.One forgets the experiences to be had in learning new crafts. I think this summer I will be in one or two of these myself to broaden my scope of design and aesthetic appreciation.

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Students of my Art of Photography course at SFX Autumn 2008 have now their own book of work. Visit Blurb for a view.

…. this li’l ditty of mine. Seems it made its way into Women’s Health.

It’s great finding traditional stock buyers still are out there.

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Lake Geneva

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A book I had the pleasure of designing which features the awesome work of the summer school TOY CAMERA students from Central Saint Martins. Click on the link to take a preview of the first 15 pages. Amazing what you can do with a bit of plastic and loads of enthusiasm and creative drive. Applause to the artists!

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FP 2

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Warsaw wedding

Well we are back from Poland. What an amazing place! And for you single guys out there, I HIGHLY recommend heading to the city to meet the women. The general population of ladies are so fit. It’s worth a trip back just to shoot street portraiture of the women. But that was not what we were there for. I had a multicultural wedding to shoot and what a day. 29c and humidity around 90% we were sweating just moving the gear down the steps of the apartment and the day had not even begun yet.

FYI: Here are some notes about the trip.

Flew with EasyJet. Airline was fine enough. No problems. Crew were nice and especially the flight deck I found very friendly and engaging with the travellers. One thing I didn’t find appealing is they do this charity raising thing where they come around with a plastic bag jingling with coins in it and asking for money — I just found it rather off — it’s probably a personal preference but there is something about being at 30,000 feet and being asked for spare change which tugs my strings. When I see the UK gov’t charging us a tax for leaving the country I think to myself – “Heck — I’d gladly give that to your charity instead” … but not likely. And we all know how the UK gov’t is spending our money these days don’t we?!

The new airport in Warsaw is spectacular. You enter the country in style. leaving the country on the other hand is another story — Etiuda Terminal is like taking off from some place in the middle of Nevada.

We had one bad cab experience while there, and we took many cabs , so not worth mentioning. Just make sure you take an accredited cab – otherwise – like taking a dodgy mini cab in London, you can pay double — which we did because we didn’t know.

Also don’t rely on the Euro. Yes Poland is now in the EU but they take pride in their Zloty as it’s inflating like a Olympic hopeful on steroids. Smalls shops and cabs won’t have Euro change. And shop around if you need to exchange your money. There is a huge difference in places and we got stuck in the tourist area and paid through the nose for our exchange.

The Polish language is tough – well it was for me – took me a week to learn to say “”dziekuje” or “thank you”. And do NOT assume everyone will know a bit of English – we were in large shopping centers and money exchange shops where they didn’t know any English. So I highly recommend carrying a phrase book.

Food yummy. Nuff said.

We stayed at this wonderful apartment in Old Town. Situated in the Old Town district with a view across the Vistual it was a real comfortable place to stay. Outside of the door we had wonderful outdoor restaurants in the square where we enjoyed Polish cuisine. And with the option to shop for our own meals and experience that aspect of “living” in the city with buying groceries and trying to figure out if what you are eating is what you think – I still think the butter we ate all week was really cooking lard and the bottle water was for contact lenses and not human consumption – then the apartment life is for you. The only think I would say is that if you are carrying heavy or many bags of luggage — think of getting an apartment on the periphery of Old Town. Cabs cannot drive into it and you end up walking your gear three blocks. The cobble stones are so rugged that wheeled luggage takes a beating. I really despised this rule, epsecially when we arrived at 10:30 at night and left at 7:00 am. And if it is a downpour you are stuck — there is no shelter to protect you. Also be prepared to pay a 15.00 Euro late arrival fee if you plan to arrive after 10:00 pm if you are staying with Old Town Apartments. But if you order a cab through them then they don’t charge that — which means a cab ride for 10 Euros from the airport which is cheap as borscht.

We didn’t get to see too much of the city as we were doing a bunch of reccees in the Old Town area and in the countryside for the wedding clients. But we did get caught in the Warsaw Uprising events and got to experience the sound of the air raid sirens in the center which ring out each year on August 1st from when the city was in the heat of the war. I get chills each time I speak of it because the sound of the sirens took us by surprise and then the city came to a stand still with people stopping their cars, getting out of them and standing with a hand to their heart and looking to the sky. Everyone just froze while the sirens rang out through the city. We were in the city center when it happened and it will be an experience never to be forgotten.

A photo to leave this blog with — shot by Julia — while we were working with the couple on the day of the shoot. Not the most flattering of me— think I was getting the light meter out of its pouch, but what a beautiful place to work in and a fabulous couple to work with. The shot that we should have here as well is the 150+ people gathered around on the square that stopped to watch us work the shoot. Complete theatre.

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FP Tests

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UPS shows up and I miss him. Instead I get my neighbor shouting across the drive “HEY!” as he waves the brown flat package. Heart starts racing. I know what it is. First impressions about Blurb – the packaging is great. My book is treated with respect.

(open package and sealed in plastic wrap is THE book….looks nice in plastic…..rip open plastic and there it is….hmph…turned out better than i thought).

What a fantastic exercise this was in creating this sort of product. I am very pleased with Blurbs service, product and result. I hope my students feel the same when they look at their work in print.

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We got signed on by a fabulous wedding consultancy in London – Tigerlily. Looking forward to doing some great projects with them in the near future. Our work dominates the site so if you want to take a peek click on the link and head on over for a visit.

Enjoy!

Kate and Gerard

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Tigerlily Comp 4

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Tigerlily Comp 3

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Tigerlily Comp 2

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Client: Joyce Ho

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Getty Test

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Behind the scenes

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One of my assistants took this one of a lovely wedding we did recently. As I sit here, looking at pricing out a few jobs, I am thinking about the competition that is corrupting the market. People who think they know photography just because they are armed with the awesome firepower of a Nikon D2x etc. Indeed, on automatic, or even with those that have a manual understanding, good results are there to be made. But shooting a job is so much more than simply shooting a job. There are the directorial roles, the liason and support roles, the vision, the ability to trouble shoot and not come undone when the demands are there – and at all times, looking for the creative, distinctive image.

Digital photography, in some ways, has also changed the shape of the client. A belief exists that somehow not only should it make photography cheaper but it makes it is faster. But 1/125 of a second is 1/125 of a second. And recording is the same amount of time between film and digital. It is in the set up and organisation and flow of the events where the time moves seamlessly or hits brick walls. And it is here that the professional far surpasses the amateur with his pro camera. The pro can dance and tick boxes off at concurring moments. Or at least he/ she should.

Finally it is this expertise that one pays for. Not just in making the photographs, but in contributing to the execution of time management with confidence and understanding. The professional must wear many hats on a job. I am glad that there are still clients around who see and recognise this. Like the job seen here in the photo, when everything I speak about here comes together, it makes it all worthwhile.

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Well, today was a very, very exciting time. Wye Ho, a wonderful artist – whose exhibition I have had the pleasure of curating- opened her delivered art works and we placed them. They look absolutely beautiful and I do hope those of you who know about the show do come — it’s spectacular work. Exhibition opens November 5th at the Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London, Uk, W1B 1NT. Visits by appointment – Please contact Jenny Hollock on tel: 020 7470 4871.

Foodshow 6

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