A lot of the work I do can be quite hectic and fast paced so it was great to spend 10 hours yesterday with a single subject, that was going nowhere, and just photograph it throughout the day at Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock. Looking like some sort of totem pole structure, Liverpool Mountain, by NYC based artist Ugo Rondinone is10 metres of fluoro painted solid rock and it’s been installed to celebrate 10 years since Capital of Culture, 20 years of the Liverpool Biennial and 30 years of Liverpool Tate. A welcome new addition to the waterfront which by all accounts is going to be around for some time.
Just a little roundup of some more interiors I’ve been shooting for R2 Architecture with all three of these venues being in Liverpool and all very different. A coffee shop called Bean, Tiger Rock on North John Street (who I can verify do incredible lunches) and a private members club called Royal Institution. Sounds like a great day out.
Whilst predominantly working in Liverpool and the North West, I’m also starting to work more in North Wales where I shot this portrait of artist Mary Jane Ansell at her studio/home near Snowdonia. This was commissioned by Artists & Illustrators Magazine.
We’re about two thirds of the way through this year’s Liverpool Biennial and you’ve got until October 28th to see what’s out there. These photographs are from the opening weekend back in July and were taken in an unstaged fly on the wall kind of way which, for much of my work, is my preferred way of practise. Getting to see everything that’s going on (because I’m nosey) , having time to breathe a little and documenting the event for marketing and press purposes. This Biennial includes some exhibits referencing back to Liverpool’s history and I can highly recommend trying to catch one of the Audubon page turning events at Liverpool’s Central Library, a small but regular event in the city’s calendar which you’ve got to see at least once. Anyway , a lovely way to spend the opening weekend AND I got to take photographs of Agnès Varda. Serious proud moment.
An orchestra, a music festival in Wales and a setlist of Northern Soul classic. What’s not to like. Well the rain for starters but even Sonwdonia’s heaviest of Sunday morning downpours couldn’t stifle this and the sun came out just in time for the the first main stage set of the day and, within minutes, the crowd were dancing. This is my third gig with the Northern Soul Orchestra and I get the feeling there might be more. Out on the floor.
After being in festival mode for the last month or so, it was lovely to get back into shooting a few interiors for my long standing client R2 Architecture. They’re a collective, so I never know exactly what I’m going to be shooting next, but I like the surprise and a chippy on a retail park in Lancashire was certainly a surprise. Needless to say, it was no ordinary fish & chip shop and by far the most stylish I’ve ever seen with it’s fish scaled walls and deep sea diving helmet lampshades. Perfect.
It was also good to get into shooting some interiors with the Fuji GFX which, having bought it a year or so ago, has been mostly getting used for studio based portrait commissions. For interiors, though it’s incredible, especially on a shoot where there’s no time for bringing in any lighting. The venue was too sides glass, and contrast was a killer at times, but the exposure latitude on the files was perfect to work from. I’ve got a few more similar shoots coming up next month, so I’ll post them when finished and I might even look a bit further into the day to day advantages of working with the Fuji medium format system.
When I turned up onsight at the CBBC Summer Social, I though I was at a full on ‘gown up’ music festival judging by the noise but, nope, it was just kids! Thousand of them all going nuts to Mr Tumble or whoever it was whipping them into a frenzy on the main stage. Completely exciting, and not quite the summer social I was expecting, but I was quite happy working just around the corner on the more subdued and slightly more refined second stage where I was photographing a mini opera for Opera North. I was a bit unsure how a thirty minute opera was going to pan out for the under 16’s but it worked amazing and they were glued to it. Waving paper birds and loving the music. Wish I’d had that sort of introduction to opera when I was that age as I might have learnt something.
A little bit of a change for this year’s Liverpool International Music Festival as the site was enclosed and ticketed, to cover the costs of the added security, so it felt very different. But it worked! Two very different days with the Saturday being a big day for the younger audience (they were a little over excited having finished school the day before) and the Sunday being a bit more of a family affair. I’ve got to say the changes were a bit of a worry but, fear not, LIMF is still amazing and the Sunday was one of the best days I’ve had yet at the festival.
Bongo’s Bingo takes over a warehouse in the North Docks in Liverpool for a 6 night 3 year anniversary. Kelis is headlining, Jonny Bongo is calling out the numbers, they’re chanting dickhead at anybody who puts in a false claim and a woman just won 5k+ in cash whilst there’s others seemingly just as happy with a stuffed Unicorn or a couple of boxes of Coco Pops. Happy Birthday Bongo!
Dinner for two with a nice view? 69!
It’s 2018 and LightNight number 8 has happened. It’s Liverpool’s one night arts festival and it just keeps getting bigger and better. I love photographing it but it’s also a bit rubbish as I don’t get to see the rest of it and there’s a silly amount on across tons of venues. And if you missed out this year, make sure you put May 19th in your diary for 2019.
Ace to see that the Museum of Liverpool steps have now been finished/opened and we have a great new view of the waterfront. Also good to get out and do some photography with the Fuji GFX. I’ve had it for about a year now and I seem to have done a lot of portrait work with it but looking forward to using it more on some upcoming architecture and interiors based commissions.
There’s a new exhibition just opened in Liverpool called Double Fantasy - John & Yoko and it’s just a bit amazing as it tells the story of the couple from their meeting in 1966 right through to the tragic end in 1980. It’s on for nearly a year and packed with some fantastic pieces and enough words, music and film to keep you occupied for a long visit. Oh and I got photograph Yoko again which is always a pleasure.
I shoot a lot of staff portraits with either a pop-up studio setup or a more natural fly on the wall/documentary style in ambient light. This one, shot in a more formal style was part of some ongoing work for the Management School at University of Liverpool.
I do a lot of education based photography, from primary through to university level, and recently spent a few days at an incredible school called St.Christopher down in Letchworth. As well as the usual prospectus based photography across the full curriculum, I also covered the school’s amazing annual Recycled Fashion Show which raises money for Amnesty International. The show was judged by industry leaders from the likes of Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and pupils from six schools took part in this year’s event. With a popup studio setup in the dance studio, I took a quick photograph of each of the students before heading out to catch the end of the show and the announcement of the winner who you can see at the end of this gallery. Too many good outfits too choose from so I’ll just have to let you see them all.
April means a new season launch for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the new brochure features chief conductor Vasily Petrenko on the cover. The brochure also features lots of new work shot over the last year or so including this image of Ensemble 10/10 taken at St.George’s Hall.
At the start of the new year, like every other January ever, I thought I’d give my website a bit of an update. Maybe change a few things and add some new work. Then I noticed a thing or two I did’t like so, two months down the line, and I’m finally ready with a new one all together. I’ve been trying to bring my archive into my portfolio site and there’ll be a lot more to be added to that section over the coming months. Likewise, I’ve let my Rivercool blog grind to a halt and from now on I’ll be posting everything on here. Lots more to come. Hope you enjoy.
By the way, this photograph has nothing to do with anything yet, though it may appear in an archive gallery at some point. It’s just an old photograph taken in Liverpool one Sunday morning when I was waiting for a train at Lime Street.