Guinness World Records


The most fun shoot - bar none. Guinness World Records commissioned me to photograph Taekwondo black-belts Lisa and Chris Pitman. Among many other achievements, they’d broken records including the most pine boards broken in one minute with one hand (Lisa), the most roof tiles broken in one minute (Lisa), and the fastest time to break 1,000 roof tiles (Chris).


We weren’t photographing the record attempts, of course, but shooting what are known as ‘show pictures’ - lively, quirky, often silly illustrations. As they’re married, the logical angle was to have them smashing bricks in a chapel while in their wedding attire. Obviously.


Suresh Joachim holds more than 60 Guinness World Records (mainly endurance-based) to help underprivileged children across the world.

They include: the longest time balancing on one leg (76 hours and 40 minutes), the longest radio broadcast (120 hours), the longest dance marathon by an individual, the longest ten-pin bowling marathon, the record for basketball-dribbling distance in 24 hours, the longest drumming marathon (84 hours), and the longest continuous crawl of (56.62 km).

I photographed him to illustrate his record of watching films back-to-back (121 hours and 18 minutes). The rules are strict - let alone nodding off, you’re not even permitted to rest your head in your hand:


We knew roughly how to shoot it - from the viewpoint of a cinema screen. How best to bring the record to life? We tried a number of options, including him ‘reacting’ to horror films, comedies, and dramas. Popcorn seemed to work as a prop, and worked best when it was thrown around:


We also photographed him for his record of the longest time going up and down on an escalator (225.44 km). The shot itself took a number of attempts as we raced around, shooting during the quiet periods of commuters on the DLR. The record - I understand - took days:


Suresh also holds the record for the quickest time to reach 100 miles on a treadmill (13 hours, 42 minutes and 33 seconds):


And here he is with the ‘Peace Torch’. He ran the World Peace Marathon, running marathons in 72 countries across 6 continents: