There’s a new news company in town, and they want to fight back against clickbait. They want us to slow down and wise up. I was asked to photograph the founders of Tortoise Media for their Kickstarter campaign. And they are quite a group of people: James Harding – former editor of the Times and BBC News, Katie Vanneck-Smith – former President of the Wall Street Journal, and Matthew Barzun – former US ambassador to the UK. Needless to say it was fascinating meeting every one of them. Tortoise thinks we are being overwhelmed with information and that trying to follow the 24 hour news cycle can be confusing and exhausting. So James, Katie and Matthew (and Agatha the Tortoise) are on a mission to change that. You can find out more on their kickstarter: LINK
Join me for a lively and thought-provoking discussion and Q&A about everything from mental health issues to the ideas behind the Let’s Talk exhibition. I will be talking alongside project volunteers Emily Hartridge and Scott Shillum as well as Kenza Dairi from Mental Health UK. When? Thursday 25th October from 12.30pm -1.30pm Where? Broadgate, The Space | 3FA, ground floor of 3 Finsbury Avenue Square Get free tickets for the event here: LINK
We don’t talk about mental health enough. That’s why today a project I’ve been working on for over a year launches in the Observer Magazine and will be an outdoor exhibition from the 8th of October in Regent’s Place, London. Let’s Talk is a campaign that aims to spark millions of conversations about mental health. By literally drawing people’s most difficult thoughts on their faces, lettering artist Kate Forrester and I hope to inspire others to open up about their own mental health. Massive thanks to everyone involved, especially the volunteers to have agreed to let us photograph them for the campaign. Please spread the pictures far and wide and visit the outdoor exhibition to see these portraits printed 2 metres tall. Most importantly please talk about mental health. It’s ok not to feel ok. Speak up, let’s talk. www.letstalkcampaign.com
I’ve asked many people to dance in front of my camera, and politicians have always said “No”, until now… I was in Edinburgh to photograph the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson. I’d done all my research and come with many ideas, but ultimately I didn’t know what Ruth would be like, plus I was very aware that she was rather pregnant. The last thing I expected to happen was for her to shake her stuff in front of my lens like she was in a nightclub. Even Ed Balls who is famed for his appearances on Strictly Come Dancing refused to do the cha cha cha when I photographed him. However, when I brought up Theresa May’s recent rhythmic movements on her African tour I discovered that Ruth does like a dance or two. A self confessed fan of cheesy pop she requested Pink’s “Raise your glass” and away...
When the person you’re photographing turns up with a pig’s head under their arm you know it’s going to be an interesting day. This was my first shoot for GQ but the second time I was photographing chef Tom Kerridge. Last time we blowtorched everything we laid our hands on and dressed up like pirates: LINK. This time was just as fun – Tom giggled throughout, weight lifted meat and risked his life on a rickety old table on the rooftop of the Corinthia Hotel. Thanks to Tom for being such a good sport and the wonderful team who made it come together. Tom is opening his debut restaurant in London soon at the Corinthia Hotel, definitely go check it out. Photo Director: Robin Key Prop Stylist: Mim Quin-Harkin Stylist: Angelo Mitakos MUA: Karen Wagner Assistant: Angela Dennis
Lynn Barber and her cat Tyger for the Sunday Times Magazine. True to Lynn’s warning the cat did not want to be photographed. We managed to get one appearance on set thanks to the cocaine like properties of Dreamies cat treats, but once Tyger had had her fill she then wouldn’t perform for us again – no treats, toys or cat herding would help.
‘Magnus, how would you feel if I put a rat on your head?’ I was asked to photograph personal trainer to the stars Magnus Lygdback for SvD Perfect Guide. He’s the man who gave Batman his biceps, Wonder Woman her wonder abs and turned Alicia Vikander into a Tomb Raider. Magnus self describes as a ‘gym rat’… and sometimes as a photographer you can’t help your brain coming up with ideas. Two days later I was in a cab with a space hopper, five bags of popcorn, and two live rats… Some people are up for collaborating and trying out ridiculous ideas and others aren’t – the former are a lot of fun. And you know, if you don’t ask you don’t get, which was how Magnus ended up with a rat on his head. Thank you to SvD for the commission and to Magnus for being awesome.
Portrait of Brixton is a new exhibition which celebrates Brixton’s community in a series of street portraits. From rushing commuters to reggae dancers, I stopped people for a moment on the street to capture the characters of the area. Grab a beer, enjoy the exhibition and indulge in some of London’s best street food. The exhibition is free to all and open until the end of September (9am-11pm everyday). Address: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ
I met Jessie when I photographed her for the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits and she told me to give her a shout if I had any fun shoot ideas… That’s how I ended up in a photo studio throwing paint at her. It was an incredibly fun and very messy day. Thank you to Jessie for being up for a laugh and make-up artist Karen Wagner for all her help.
It was a pleasure to photograph Clare Balding and Alice Arnold for The Sunday Times Magazine. Thank you to Chiswick House for the stunning location and to Archie the dog for not eating all the scones.