Posts Tagged ‘London’

Carpe Diem for Alvarez Kings

October 8, 2013

Alvarez Kings

Alvarez Kings

Over the years I’ve got to know Sheffield indie rockers Alvarez Kings pretty well but since I moved to Leeds I’ve been pretty busy and, perhaps more significantly, they’ve been touring here, there and everywhere in their quest for world domination.  OK maybe not world domination but at least making a dent in a decent part of it.  They’re currently in the midst of the Vans Warped Tour which has taken them all over the US and now the UK so when I heard they were making a pit stop in Leeds I thought I’d best make time to see them, especially as the venue they were playing in is called Carpe Diem.

Come Saturday night a decent crowd of followers had found their way down into the cellar bar and on the face of it the band haven’t changed much in the way they perform. Still loads of energy and enthusiasm, great sound but keeping things interesting with the addition of backing tracks to a couple of the newer songs.

Alvarez Kings

I hopped onto the side of the stage to get in there with the action – when they’re all drumming its great to see – but got a bit more action than I bargained for. Paul does have a habit of swinging around  and as I looked up from the camera my face found out what slap bass actually feels like.  I thought it was hilarious but Paul was mortified and hugely apologetic.  Such are the risks of being a stage invader.

Alvarez Kings

It was great to have a proper catch-up in the pub and needless to say I stayed for the whole gig. With our Facebook connections sorted they were on their way again.  Next stop London and the ever so slightly grander Ally Pally.  Here’s hoping they get a warm welcome. Carpe Diem London!!

Alvarez Kings

Alvarez Kings

 

 

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The other Tour!

July 4, 2013

WNT

WNTWhile Chris Froome and Team Sky were larging it in Corsica last weekend I was on the outskirts of London having le mini Tour moment of my own.Roger Shelton of Lokomotive had asked me to join one of his clients WNT, at the start of their London to Paris, 2-wheel, team challenge.  Unlike the Tour de France this bike ride was off-road (how that works on the ferry I have no idea) on mountain bikes and in a very good cause – the British Heart Foundation.

So it was that I came to be reccying a Kempton Park location in the early hours of Saturday morning, waiting for WNT staff to arrive from literally all over Europe.  Apparently once word on the ride got around everyone wanted in on the action and in the end we had 41 riders assembling on the start line looking suitably fit and sporty.  Sadly there was only one woWNTman but she looked like she could hold her own in the peloton.  [Yes I know they don’t have those in off-roading but I’m angling for a job on the actual Tour when it comes to Yorkshire next year so just work with me OK?!]

For my part I ran around getting as many contextual shots as possible in the flurry of maps, water bottles and MTBs and then we went for the big one, all 41 riders ready to go.  Have I managed to get everyone facing forward, eyes wide open looking suitably enthusiastic? WNT

Against the odds I think I have.  Did they look equally enthusiastic at the end?  I have no idea – sadly they didn’t fly me out to Paris for the final leg.  However, as far as I know they did all make it in one piece (discounting the odd puncture here and there) and made a goodly sum of money in the process.   Thanks to Roger for a great gig.  On yer bike now…

IMG_9102

About face..

March 7, 2013

Emily Ireland

This week we’re all about portraits and I’ve assembled a variety here to demonstrate that there’s more to it than just point, ‘say cheese’ and shoot.  Over the years I’ve delivered hundreds of portraits, directly to business clients and for creative agencies with a very specific brief.

High-Point Rendel Limited

In the context of marketing a portrait  has to work hard communicating that marvellous thing called brand essence – whether we’re talking about a product, a company, an individual or a  service it’s all about quality, integrity, character.  The portrait is a route to building a relationship with the ‘consumer’ be that Jo Public, a specific buyer, or another business.

Josie Walker;LokomotiveBlack and white shots are classic, creative, great for flexibility and if you want to be taken seriously then monochrome is always a winner. Colour brings warmth and approachability.

Marc Burton

Studio shots can deliver high impact and where you’re looking for a controlled environment with all the lighting you can chuck a stick at that’s always a safe bet.

Chris P Hudson

But in many instanBill Ruslingces the portrait is as much about the context as it is about the face and including elements of the workplace can really add to the marketing narrative.

In short, a good portrait can sell anything and always represents a good investment.

To finish – two shots of my favourite designer Steve Edge.  More to come on Steve this year (as he’s launched onto our TV screens!) but this gives a decent comparison of what you can accomplish in the studio or ‘en plein air’.

Steve Edge

Steve Edge

And the winner is…everyone with dyslexia!

December 4, 2012

Dyslexia Action

It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by but here we are again at the London Savoy for the Dyslexia Action Diamond Night Awards Dinner 2012.  Cue lights, trumpet fanfares and for me the purchase of an infeasibly gorgeous and essentially frivolous pair of heels.

Of course this being my second time covering the awards I felt almost like one of the gang and rather a glamorous gang at that.

Dyslexia Action

On the right here, Stephen King.  No not that one – this is Stephen and Sue King mum and dad of Mollie King (The Saturdays) who was voted Most Inspirational Dyslexic celebrity for the second year.  Mollie recognised me from previous DA events, which was nice, as did fellow dyslexics, rugby star Kenny Logan – hosting with wife Gabby…

Dyslexia Action

….and Charley Boorman, actor, adventurer and President of DA.

Dyslexia Action

Throughout the evening I fed images through to the DA team to support all their social networking feeds.  This year I was also allowed a professional plus one. Jonathan Wright from the Awakening Agency came along so we could capture some video alongside the images. It really helped to know a few people and just having an informal catch-up with the likes of Charley translated into some decent mini interviews.

Dyslexia Action

We did have some competition – OK magazine sent their own photographer but he was restricted to the champagne reception whereas we were access all areas.  Do I sound smug?? Possibly yes, but then I do actually think having dyslexia myself gives me a bit of an edge over your average paparazzi.

Adding some racing driver kudos to the event, Damon Hill son of Graham – the only father and son to have both been World Champions of Formula One.

And entertainment came from the swinging Joe Stilgoe band.

Dyslexia Action

But as always, beyond the celebs and the show, the evening was all about recognising achievement and raising some cash for Dyslexia Action.

This year’s Young Persons Award went to Angelina Bateman…

Dyslexia Action

And the Lady Radnor event went to Professor Margaret Snowling for her academic work in the field of dyslexia.

Dyslexia Action

Nick Stewart did an amazing job with the auctions which offered the usual array of prizes, from Strictly dance lessons to luxury travel and raised over £100k including a winning bid of £22k for a team GB flag signed by Olympic athletes.

So, another year done and dusted. And just so you know the shoes were a big hit.  Especially with Ms King when she spotted me strolling bare foot into the Ladies carrying them. You know what they say – the uglier the sofa the comfier it is??  Same goes for shoes.  I make no apologies.  And remember this was the Savoy Powder Room not any old Ladies.  Roll on the DA Awards 2013!

Dyslexia Action

Thinking Bigger at the Liverpool O2

November 8, 2012

Think Big (in case you weren’t paying attention last time I mentioned it) is an O2 initiative supporting all kinds of projects involving young people all over the UK – everything from Morris Dancing to Mascots to Supermums but all geared to “breaking down social barriers and creating positive change”.  I’ve been out and photographed some of the projects before and they’re chock full of inspiring individuals.

To celebrate and showcase some of the talent involved around the country O2 is running a concert tour at four venues – Glasgow. Liverpool, Birmingham and London.  The gigs are headlined by some of our brightest young bands with support from the O2 Think Big Band and some of the regional Think Big projects.

Last weekend I nipped over to be official photographer at the Liverpool leg of the tour with host Jay Hynd of Radio City and headliners Mystery Jets.  Like a lot of the audience I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but at just £5 a ticket the enthusiastic crowd more than got its money’s worth.

The Think Big Band is a kind of experiment to see what happens when you bring ten talented young musicians together and see how they work as a collective.

Mentored by radio 1’s Huw Stephens the band is clearly making the most of the opportunity and the sound they produce from one song, and one combination, to another really demonstrates the individual quality in there.

Completing the Liverpool line-up was a really diverse range of performers including Rebecca Angel…

The E-Laborators…

Vocal Chords…

and Be Cool Ca You Express Yourself…

But while the styles were vastly different the quality was consistently high and there was a genuine feelgood factor ready to welcome Mystery Jets when they finally arrived, kicking off their own tour of latest album Radlands.

I would have stayed over in lovely Liverpool but sadly for me it was a school night…almost literally.  I was photographing a graduation in London the following day.  So many bright young hopefuls in one weekend….if you’re waiting for me to be cynical, move on.  I’m still young enough and hopeful enough to remember what it was like.

Barbican bliss

September 13, 2012

Now as you know I don’t do a lot of weddings but when someone says, “We’re throwing a wedding party in the Barbican.  We’d really like you to come and take some fashionista style shots,” that’s the kind of RSVP where you generally say “I Will”.

Mark and Charlotte actually did the deed in Italy so the Barbican bash was their chance to celebrate the matrimonials with folks back home who didn’t make it to the Dolce Vita do….OK I’ll stop with the tedious alliteration now especially as this was a way cool party and I don’t want to take the designer edge off. M&C both work in fashion and as you’d expect, every aspect of the party design was perfect, right down to the last tea light.

Behind the concrete post modern walls of the Barbican, the garden rooms are a complete contrast of tropical greenery, which made the perfect backdrop for some high flash, fashion shots to fit the style Charlotte was after.

The tropical theme extended in a sea of brightly coloured decorations – a huge flock of origami birds (hand made by Charlotte), balloons (blown up here by her granny’s mate!)…

…and jelly bean jars all round.   Guests were invited to leave their gifts in a properly well-travelled suitcase, there was a dressing up area frequented by kids and grown-ups alike and even the food looked the part.

With a fabulous house band and international DJ Gareth Kenward (who did London fashion week!)…

…everyone was soon on their feet and there was a brilliant party atmosphere.

It was fab to be a part of it and really nice to have been asked bearing in mind between them Mark and Charlotte have a list of photography contacts as long as your arm.

 

 

 

 

 

A week later I was doing my brother’s wedding back in Yorkshire.  Also a good do.  But that’s it now.. no more weddings for a while.  Unless there’s another royal one obviously.  Harry’s should be fun!

A slice of London Life

March 8, 2012

London – always inspiring and generally fun, despite the fact that I’m usually there for work.  I’d had an invitation to spend some time with artist and brand guru Steve Edge so once a date was in the diary I decided to head down for  a couple of days and catch up with a few other folk, for work and for fun.

I photographed Steve Edge at last year’s Dyslexia Action Awards and we just really got on.

As an artist he designed sets for high profile productions including Indiana Jones and the Muppets.  Now he heads up Edge Design Ltd http://www.steve-edge.com and can pick and choose who he works with.  Clearly any advice from Steve is worth having and after four hours I came away with some good ideas and a potential review of my branding..so watch this space!!

From Shoreditch it was over to Farringdon to see my London agency.  They supply me with regular music and PR commissions and after seven years we’ve built up a really productive relationship but it’s always good to stop by and see how we can keep things moving forward.

Going down on a Friday meant I also got to spend time with my old friend Amanda Lane, another graduate from Sheffield’s Hallam Uni, class of 2004.  She lives in a lovely green bit of south London and it was fab hanging out and photographing anything and everything including this Victorian view of dinosaur life.

We also popped into the V&A to have a look at Queen Elizabeth II through the eyes of one of my favourite photographers, Cecil Beaton.

Next London blog stop this amazing stall on Portobello Road…but no, I resisted the temptation.  This year’s Focus exhibition at the NEC was beckoning, with the prospect of some shiny new kit…

En route to the station I had time for  a final stop with one of my oldest clients (or should that be longest standing?) Mark Lench and then it was back on the train and back up North.  Thanks one and all for a good weekend in the big smoke.

Capital relocation for Dyslexia Action

November 10, 2011

So, here I am with my ‘New Best Friend’, Scottish rugby star Kenny Logan.  I know what you’re thinking, it’s a tough job! And it’s not often I venture out from behind the camera but this was kind of a special occasion.

Kenny has been helping to launch Dyslexia Action London’s new learner facility.  Funded by Capital FM, the centre has relocated to new premises just around the corner from St Pancras and last week the Help a Capital Child Learning Room opened its doors for the first time.

In my youth I got to know what was then the Dyslexia Institute quite well. Mainstream education was still struggling to handle a diagnosis of dyslexia and at the time I was enormously grateful for the specialist support the Institute offered. It’s brilliant now to be photographing for Dyslexia Action on a regular basis and being involved with this latest launch was particularly inspiring. The new centre is like a whole other world of learning opportunities for children and young people, involving all the new technology available to create an interactive context that’s fun and exciting.

Joining Kenny at the launch were Capital FM DJs, Roberto and Margherita, and Mollie from the Saturdays, who spent time with some of the kids getting stuck into the new learning programmes.  This was also Dyslexia Awareness week so the launch was perfectly positioned to generate maximum publicity. I managed to get the post-production done on site and by the end of the day all the images were on their way out to press.

I’m now looking forward to my second date with Kenny, this time at the Savoy but don’t worry Gabby (or Steve!) it’s perfectly above board…the Dyslexia Action awards are happening later this month….of course there’s always the after show party….

Now there’s a thought

June 9, 2011

Yesterday I had a meeting with the marketing manager from Barclays in London to discuss the possibility of some exciting projects, which meant that I was able to jump on the train and head down to the part of the capital that resembles Manhattan Island. I headed to the 30th floor of the skyscraper dedicated to Barclays (where I had the meeting) – I also took some cheeky snaps from the window using my favourite lens called ‘Lensbaby’.

Using Lensbaby you are able to distort the image you are taking by manually moving the lens to different angles using its concertinaed design. By positioning it in various places you are able to blur areas of the frame.

Once I had started with the Lensbaby, I was hooked. I headed across London capturing numerous shots, from the wheel to simple deckchairs by the river.

Later in the afternoon I jumped on the tube and headed over to Farringdon to the new offices of One Trick Pony. I have known the guys at the agency for a number of years and have always been an admirer of their work. Rather than the steel and glass of the financial district, their offices were in an old industrial unit – perfect for creative minds!

Below are the pictures I took in London using Lensbaby:

 

 

Light your Firebrand

March 28, 2011

Last week I popped down to London for the launch of the book ‘Light your Firebrand’, written by Mike Symes of Strand Financial.

To keep everyone entertained the event organisers had enlisted the services of various acts related to the theme of the book; wowing guests, various performers played with fire – literally.

The fire eaters and jugglers stood on the road to welcome the guests as they arrived at the event; now you may think that having people performing circus tricks would be pretty easy to organise, but Westminster City Council weren’t too keen on the idea and it took a fair bit of persuading to get the green light.

With a few flaming shots to get you ready after you had witnessed the performers the book signing began, followed by a singer giving a rendition of…Light my Fire (remaining true to the theme).

Using my new camera, a Nikon D700 (full frame), I got to some amazing shots. I did take along my Nikon D300s, as I needed different lenses for shots that were in high light to those in low light. If you are wondering why didn’t I simply change lenses on the one camera, the truth is you simply don’t have time (plus it means if anything happens to one, you always have a backup).

As I mingled with the guests I bumped into a someone who I had not seen for three years, who informed me that she knew exactly what I was up to. Intrigued I asked her how, to which she told me that she read my blog. I was thrilled that not only is my blog keeping my followers interested, but also keeping me in touch with people I’ve not seen for a while (even if I’m not aware!).

Overall it was a fantastic night, well done to everyone at Strand Financial!

If you are subscribed to my e-newsletter then expect to see a little more on this in the next edition; but for now I’ve included a selection of shots from the night, I hope you enjoy them.