Extreme Harping

Early evening, December, and I’m on a Birmingham rooftop photographing mega-talented harpist/tutor/entrepreneur Fran Barsby (of PoppyHarp) for a CD with a working title of (I think) “At the edge”. There’s a cold breeze and occasional spots of wintry rain. And it’s freezing!!!! Myself and my glamorous assistant Alastair Barnsley are wrapped up in thick coats, scarves, and wherever possible, gloves. Fran, however, is wearing what you can see in these images apart from brief moments in a coat as we walk between locations. I’m shivering just typing this. So just to make Fran REALLY uncomfortable, I persuaded her to climb onto various barriers and fences with her harp and try to balance. Easypeasy.

 

Winter Sunshine

Please forgive a bit of self-indulgent nostalgia. One of the highlights of the year, in so many ways, was the second FOTO-CLUB Spain trip. Same villa, a couple of the same models and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t posted any of these here before. Funny how being snowed-in for two days makes you pine for Spanish sunshine. Here’s the stunning Lauren, who despite insisting she was not a model, turned out to be one of the best models I’ve ever worked with…

Lights, Camera, Nigel…

Although this shot was taken about a year and a half ago, I noticed that film-maker Nigel is still using a shot from this photo-shoot for his social media and promo material which is always a lovely thing to see. This is my personal favourite from the shoot and a portrait that I feel captured some of the warmth of this charming fella.

Henrietta Street: Fixtures & Fittings

One look at me is enough to realise that I’m not a person who voluntarily spends much time in the gym. However, when a regular client (Fighting Fit City Gym) re-brands as Henrietta Street Gym and moves to a specially-designed new premises and needs photos, I’m there.

Owner Neil Perkins had been keeping me up to date with the re-fit of this former industrial building in Brum’s Jewellery Quarter but I was still hugely impressed when I finally set foot in the gym a week or so after it’s launch. Neil and his architects have cut no corners and have managed to retain the building’s “heritage” feel while making it an inspiring and comfortably modern place to train.

Retaining and re-using some of the building’s character features (like old machinery, exposed brickwork and parts from the goods lift) and augmenting those with well-sourced suitably period furniture (like old theatre/cinema seating and historic pugilist artwork)  gives the gym the feeling of a film set.

Even the changing rooms and showers have been carefully planned and laid out with exposed pipework, reclaimed ceramic sinks but state-of-the-art shower fittings.

Even I, whose motto is “no pain…” (that’s it, just “no pain”) can feel a little inspired in a gym like this. Neil and his team have created what must be the most stylish boxing gym in the Midlands (at least!).

Sunshine Sasha

I’ve been working with the wondrous Sasha quite a bit of late, mainly shooting fashion for a clothing brand. Once the “white background” studio shots are in the can we grab a few more “natural” semi-editorial shots either inside the building (when the weather is iffy) or in the surrounding streets of Birmingham‘s Jewellery Quarter (when the weather is good). This little sample were shot using a mixture of daylight and a little splash of fill from my trusty (& cheap) Yong Nuo speedlites.

And finally, as the sun started to get lower in the sky, I chanced my arm with some contre-jour shots with the flash again popping some light into the shadows (mainly on Sasha’s face).

Physical Novel at BOM

This week I photographed more outfits by designer Ricky of Physical Novel. I’ve worked with Ricky many times before but this was the first shoot at my new studio at BOM (Birmingham Open Media). After the usual “white background” shots we had planned to head outside to get some more interesting location images to be headers for his website. Predictably though, the weather was awful and so we made use of the room next to my studio room within the BOM complex. Here are some of my favourite results…

I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember the model’s name but you can see more of Ricky’s designs (and my photographs of them) here.