Here are some of my favourite shots taken in 2017. As many have already appeared - one of the drawbacks of blogging regularly - I'm including some background this time around.
I hope that was of interest. See you next near!
The Toyota Mobility Foundation has launched a $4 million dollar global challenge to change the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis, culminating in the unveiling of the winners in Tokyo in 2020.
The competition is is looking for teams around the world - including startups - to create game-changing technology that will help radically improve the mobility and independence of people with paralysis. The mobility solutions of the future could include anything from exoskeletons to artificial intelligence and machine learning, from cloud computing to batteries.
To raise awareness of the competition, volunteers from around the world (including athletes, presenters, scientists and artists) with lower-limb paralysis acted as spokespeople.
I was commissioned to source, commission and liaise with photographers from various countries and create a brief in order to produce a stylistically consistent set of portraits. I was also to photograph the two London representatives, Yinka Shonibare and Sophie Morgan.
Finding the photographers began with asking for recommendations and referrals, googling, searching agencies and skimming databases, and browsing scores of websites to find people with a roughly similar approach and portfolio. Narrowing them down based on their availability at short notice and, of course, budget, I presented these to the client for the final decision.
Dealing with my own, separate commissions alongside dealing with correspondence from various time zones meant late nights and early mornings, as well as lengthy, rather chaotic spreadsheets - something I've never had to deal with. And lots of coffee.
In a nutshell, the brief was to provide two portraits of each person: one full-length, wide shot to show their environment, locating them within their country or region, otherwise at a place which might suggest their profession or background; the other was to be a closer crop, with the emphasis on them and their expression (positive, challenging etc.) at, ideally, a different location. Lighting was to be simple, minimal to none where possible.
To maintain consistency, I did the basic retouch work on the selected RAW files myself which was extremely generous of the photographers to allow.
In the end, and despite best intentions and plans - as is often the case - some of it came down to what the photographers could do on the ground, what they could use to tell the story in the (usually short) time available from whatever relevant/photogenic locations they had in the vicinity. Mostly the time and location were dictated by the busy schedules of the volunteers and photographers, rather than by the best light or ideal spot. But you wouldn't know! - I think they did a superb job, and the launch was a great success.
So, happy with the results (and slightly baffled as to how I got it done), I have now have on file fifty or so photographers around the world I could contact should this come up again - a pretty comprehensive spreadsheet. If only I could remember where I filed it...
Here's a selection of business portraits and similar. Yes, they're nearly all corporate headshots against a light or white background. I'd normally not post these kinds of pictures but the first one I shot yesterday and felt it had a bit of personality to it which I quite liked. One headshot not being enough to justify a post, I found myself browsing others from the past year or so which stood out, and here they are.
Here's another selection of images taken over the past few months. There's something about taking commissioned work out of context and with less explanation than with a typical blog post, and putting them into these 'mixed bag' posts. Especially those shots may have come from larger series, but which would have been picked here as being the most interesting, the most representative of the set etc. as without some blog-type explanation, they could be anything, so you can see them on their own merits rather than as the usual, and rather boring-sounding, "examples of commissioned work".
Occasionally I'll send photos directly to a designer or retoucher straight from camera. Here are a couple of recent portraits to be used in an upcoming campaign.
They will likely be cropped to simple headshots and left on a white background, so while normally I wouldn't do any editing myself on these (especially as it wasn't required), I rather liked them and so had a play around with the background to make them presentable.
I shot a range of lifestyle & location images of Polish Wódka Wyborowa for use in their social media:
Vauxhall put together a stop-frame animation about the typical frustrations drivers experience for their new Mokka. (Above) I photographed our model running through the gamut of expressions. Then (below) from every angle:
(Below) We then covered dozens of gestures and reactions as sequences, both left-handed and right-handed, with different expressions.
My original image, and (below) another from the set.
I had the great privilege of running my own photography/Instagram stall at Facebook's first "Take your parents to work" day. I gave visitors pointers on photography, helped them understand the IG app, and edited a few pictures.
Questions ranged from, "What is Instagram?" to "Why don't I look nice in photos?" - as well as the ubiquitous, "How can I get more followers?" (which was my question). It was a lot of fun!
Here's a collection of (mostly) recent shots:
Mannequins, again. And for no particular reason. It's not a personal project, it's not a statement and I offer no commentary or explanation. I just find them interesting. Here are the ladies (the men are here).
Line of Duty actor Scott Reid
At the end of 2016, MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery and MA Industrial Design students at Central Saint Martin's College were tasked with a brief to create new accessories for the brand, based around the concept of "The New Aesthetic". The winner and runner-up designs were developed into models and showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to coincide with the launch of Huawei's P10 phone.
Two design masterclasses followed later from Mark Delaney, Head of Huawei London Design Centre, and Abi Brody - formerly of Apple, PayPal and eBay - who is Chief Designer + VP at Huawei Consumer.
Portraits of DJ Claudio Pettannice of S.H.O.K.K.
I came across one of these online the other day so dug out some more - they're from a dance competition a while back with a variety of styles for each battle, including Krump, Breakdance, Tutting, Boogaloo and House:
Staff portraits for Ashburton Investments:
Actress & writer Victoria Jeffrey, photographed at her home in Crouch End, London: