Exhibition – Shot in Soho (The Photographers’ Gallery)

Exhibition – The Photographers’ Gallery, London, 18th October 2019 – 9th February 2020
Shot in Soho 

(Header shot: The Colony Room Club, 1999-2000 © Clancy Gebler Davies, courtesy of the artist)

The corner of London’s west end filled by Soho has long been a colourful, creative and inclusive part of the capital. Sometimes painted as the seedier side of city life, Soho has remained a magnet for writers, actors and musicians and has welcomed in the LGBTQ+ community. The famous Berwick Street Market saw Marc Bolan working on his Mum’s stall in the 60s, became a haven for food lovers and record collectors and was the location for that cover from What’s the Story (Morning Glory). The writer Virginia Woolf described Soho as a space ‘filled with fierce light’ and ‘raw voices’. There are ongoing concerns about the redevelopment of the neighbourhood but, whatever happens, there will always be a vibrant history attached to the area and this has been channelled into a new exhibition, Shot in Soho, opening tomorrow.

Shoes Polisher, Rocky II, etc, Piccadilly, 1980 © William Klein, courtesy of the artist

Extracts from the press release:

Shot in Soho is an original exhibition presented at The Photographers’ Gallery celebrating Soho’s diverse culture, community and creativity at a time when the area is facing radical transformation. The imminent completion of Cross Rail (a major transport hub being built on Soho’s borders) in Autumn 2019, makes the area a prime target for development and threatens it existence as a place of unorthodoxy and independence…

From market-place to movie-set, sex shop to coffee bar, crime scene to cabaret, Soho has always been an unfolding and complex spectacle, central to the music, fashion, design, film and sex industries alongside being a vibrant hub for LGBTQ+ communities. It has also, across the centuries, been home to a variety of immigrant communities from the French Huguenots, through Italian, Maltese, Chinese, Hungarian, Jewish and Bengali cultures.

Shot in Soho offers a timely opportunity to see the area through the lens of renowned photographers, such as William Klein, through a rare presentation of his candid 1980s Sunday Times commissioned photo essay; Anders Petersen, through a selection of his 2011 Soho series, which capture the neighbourhood with his trademark lyrical melancholy; Corinne Day, whose images take us off the streets into her Brewer Street home where some of her most iconic editorial and personal work was shot; as well as work from less familiar figures such as Times photographer Kelvin Brodie’s night-time forays with police teams, John Goldblatt’s strip club dressing room scenes and Clancy Gebler Davies’s work in The Colony Room Club. The exhibition features a commission from artist, Daragh Soden who will present a new body of work focusing on Soho’s reputation as a place of connection, performance and the pursuit of love…’

Above: Untitled, from the series ‘The Undressing Room’, 1968 © John Goldblatt, courtesy of the artist’s estate

Below right: Men hiding their faces / 69 Sauna & Massage © William Klein, courtesy of the artist

Shot in Soho runs from 18th October 2019 – 9th February 2020

The Photographers’ Gallery
16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
Opening times: Mon – Sat 10 – 6, Thurs lates 5 – 8, Sun 11 – 6
Admission: £5 / £2.50, free after 5 daily, under 19s go free, members go free – please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

Images are copyright of the photographer credited

Words (excluding press release extracts) by Siobhan

17th October 2019

Live – A Year in Photos

As we hit our first anniversary this week, here’s a look back at just some of the amazing artists it’s been a pleasure to photograph playing live over the last year. From tiny venues and instore sets to festival main stages, there have been some truly memorable performances and we look forward to bringing you many more in the coming year. We’ll also be compiling another Best Music Shots of the Year feature; look out for details on social media soon…

Click on an individual photo for details, click again for full size picture.

Photos by Siobhan, Hannah and Alan

3rd October 2019

Photography – In Focus Anniversary Feature

It’s impossible to know how things will evolve when you start a project like this but here we are, a year to the day since launching, with Breaking Glass celebrating its first birthday already. The magazine has grown in a way that could never have been anticipated and much of that is down to our excellent contributors who all add something unique. Content has always had a strong leaning towards music and photography and our In Focus features introduce photographers from all genres and backgrounds. For this special anniversary piece, we’re delighted to catch up with five of the photographers who were involved in the early stages and helped us to get on our feet. Read on to find out what they’ve been up to since…  

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Tim Beavis

Since last catching up with Breaking Glass I’ve sought to continue to build my portfolio and develop my versatility as a photographer. Most pertinently would be my development into wedding photography, as this August saw me capturing the wedding of a close friend which led on to more bookings.

Whilst weddings was a goal I had stated in my feature last year that I wished to tackle, another personal goal was reached this year by booking my first couple of studio shoots. This was a huge step forward in my journey as it forced me to study and understand studio lighting and capture shots with a very different discipline to how I’d previously worked. Nonetheless I was incredibly pleased with the product of these and my shoot with Jay Rico was one of particular note.

Another particular highlight for me this year was being approached by Coffee Lab (a franchise of coffee houses operating across the south) for framed prints of my work to cover the walls of their Bargate, Southampton store. This led future clients to me as the prints worked as perfect exposure for my business. It also encouraged me to overhaul and relaunch my website (link below) and include a print store within the site that I’m currently developing.

Within the year I’ve also upgraded my kit, working with a Sony a7ii in combination with either my Sony 70-20mm or my Helios 44-2 58mm F.2 rather than the Canon 60D – 50mm combo that I had previously owned. This has led me to develop my portraiture skills by actively working with a range of focal lengths that work for the portrait I wish to capture. As of this week I have also purchased a Canon A1 along with a 50mm lens in order to explore the 35mm format and deepen my understanding and approach to photography.

I always like to make sure with any shoot I capture that I’m learning something new or I’m experimenting in ways that keep it fun and fresh and whilst I hit last year’s challenge of breaking into wedding photography, I’m really intrigued to see where my understanding of 35mm film takes me.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Tim Beavis October 2018

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Nigel King

Since being featured in Breaking Glass last November I’ve continued to try and cover as many types of events as possible in addition to live music. In December I went to see Stewart Coates of W Coates and Son, Nottingham’s last rope and twine maker, in his shop. Stewart is the last of his family to run the business which has been in existence since 1840. I had a lovely chat with him about the family history.

Other events I’ve covered in the last year include the National Clarion Track Cycling Championships at the Velodrome in Derby, the Nottingham St Patrick’s Day Parade, Nottingham ‘Sikhs In The Square’ Vaisakhi Celebrations, the Cricket World Cup and the ‘Millions Missing’ M.E. Awareness day. More recently in Nottingham I went to the annual ‘South Asian Heritage Festival’ which was a colourful mixture of music, dance and art. I’ve also managed a bit of landscape photography in the Isle of Man. 

I still spend most photographic time on live music photography though. Highlights this year have been the Splendour Festival which again had a great mixture of local bands and big headliners like The Specials and Manic Street Preachers. Other musical highlights have included the Beat The Streets, Dot To Dot and Indietracks Festivals and, back in April, The Zutons at Rock City, led by Dave McCabe.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Nigel King November 2018

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Derek Rickman

I’ve been engrossed with wild landscapes and the transient nature of thoughts since my last article ‘Visual Poetry in the Modern Age’. It’s a concept that’s been slowly forming in my mind since I first experienced the Lake District in 2015 and it’s all leading to a new Photo/Journal project. I’m returning to Cumbria this autumn with my brothers (my ninth visit) for additional photos and content for it. A hiking trip to Wales is also imminent and I’m much looking forward to exploring the Neolithic burial chambers of the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a writer this year. I travelled to Croatia in June with a plethora of ideas yet returned with barely nothing in my notebook except ‘Seagull at Bonnet Point’. As Keats so ably put it “Poetry must come naturally or not at all”. However, I’m hoping to enroll in creative writing courses next spring to sharpen my skills. I received a wonderful gift from a close friend (a book on Buddhism) which has brought clarity and fresh insight to my thinking and helped me to write more intuitively.

Music continues to be a passion and I’m deeply immersed in electronica and indie. Daniel Avery’s Song for Alpha album has been influential (especially Slow Fade) and I’m much enamoured with Art School Girlfriend’s languid soundscapes. I’ve not made it to any festivals but I’ve seen Foals, Yak and Drenge. Indie veterans Foals (dare I say it) impressed me with their hunger and Yak’s Bellyache must surely rank as one of the tracks of the year. It’s great that Breaking Glass continues to champion bands like IDLES, The Murder Capital and Working Men’s Club, long may it continue. Warmest congratulations to Siobhan and the team on the magazine’s first anniversary. 

Instagram    In Focus with Derek Rickman December 2018

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Juanita McKenzie

Since my feature in February 2019 there has been quite a lot going on and some significant changes happening but, throughout it all, photography has remained the constant. With every day that has passed, I’ve come to realise more and more that I feel most alive and creative when I have camera in hand and I’m out exploring my environment. Once again, change has served as a catalyst and has pushed me to deepen my photographic practice and to explore creative options I might not have considered previously.

Because of my emerging interest in documentary and street photography, I attended the St Paul’s Carnival 2019 and participated in a competition via Instagram. This was an opportunity to submit my best photographs from the event for a chance to be involved in a Carnival Pop-Up exhibition. The exhibition was hosted by the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, and in partnership with the Martin Parr Foundation. I was so excited to find out that some of my images were selected and displayed in the Pop-Up exhibition; see below for one of them.

Spectators at St Paul’s Carnival, Bristol – June 2019

I also made a decision this year to study my MA Photography and started the course in June. This has been challenging in a positive way, making me look deeper at my relationship with my photography and the context in which I locate my photographic practice. It has also got me thinking from the perspective of projects and has helped me focus my photography. I’m currently working on projects exploring the urban environment and our human relationship with it. My MA projects can be viewed here.

Candleriggs Square, Glasgow – July 2019

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Juanita McKenzie February 2019

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Joe McKillop

Happy anniversary! Since the last time Breaking Glass showed some of my shots, I have been trying different things like long exposures, slow shutter speeds and night time shots too.

I have also sold a few prints to different people around the world – that’s a good feeling that people would like to buy my work so I am still plugging away at photography. Thanks everyone for showing interest in my work.

Instagram    In Focus with Joe McKillop April 2019

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All words and photos are the copyright of the photographer named. Huge thanks to Tim, Nigel, Derek, Juanita and Joe for sharing their updates; we look forward to following their work moving forward. There are links to all our In Focus features on the Gallery page.

If you’re a photographer at any level and would be interested in sharing your projects through the magazine, send us a message with a link to your work via the Contact page.

1st October 2019

Photography – In Focus with Robert H King

Having worked with some of the most important musicians of the 80s, it’s perhaps not surprising that Robert H King takes inspiration from the world of music and record sleeve art. Viewing his beautifully intricate photos what may surprise you more is how they were created and that Robert is partially sighted. Here, he tells us about his fascinating back story and striking collection of images…

‘I’m a Photographer, Digital Artist and Mobile Photography Workshop Tutor working exclusively with an iPhone X as my camera of choice and an iPad Pro (with an Apple Pencil) as my digital darkroom, mobile office and social media hub.

In the 1980s I ran the Pleasantly Surprised cassette label followed by the Cathexis Recordings label in the latter half of the decade. Through these I released material by Cocteau Twins, Primal Scream, The Birthday Party, Sonic Youth, Mark Stewart and The Maffia, Fini Tribe, Pink Industry, Artery, Nico, Shock Headed Peters, Bauhaus and many, many others. At the end of the 80s Rough Trade and the distribution network that was The Cartel collapsed virtually overnight, bringing about the end of a substantial amount of record labels across the country including mine. Around this time I had issues with my sight and was blind for a number of years, essentially putting everything on hold. Following surgery I decided to go to college and study multimedia development. This led into taking up graphic design which was always a big interest for me, my reference library being the artwork that was my record collection. Inspiration came from many sources: Vaughan Oliver / 23 Envelope, Chris Bigg and Nigel Grierson, Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville, Neville Brody, Barney Bubbles, Brian Griffin, Anton Corbijn, too many to list… For over 16 years I was a freelance Graphic Designer working with arts organisations, record labels, education trusts, galleries, magazines and artists.

Photography, or rather, making photographs, was a source of frustration for me. I worked in a photography gallery for over 15 years and was continually inspired by many photographers and artists coming through the gallery doors. A lot of people were, and still are, fixated with gear and this was off-putting as I want to know about the images and the stories behind them and less about what settings and lenses were used. Having sight issues meant that it was difficult to operate a traditional camera so I tried a bridge camera that had less functions and that I hoped would allow me to get to grips with the thing. After a few months of not having any real amount of success I was about to give up when I was given an iPhone 4S for a significant birthday, followed closely by an iPad. This changed everything.

I could now capture photographs much more easily and create anywhere at anytime. No longer confined to the desktop and expensive software. Pinch to zoom is a wondrous thing! With just a few low cost Apps the ability to retouch an image moments after it was taken and to then create artwork and share it globally was a game changer. It still feels limitless. I had found a way to focus my need for self expression and with it the need to convey the ideas and imagery that fill my mind on a daily basis. The need to be doing something creative is a constant in my life, it can bring meaning and direction.

In 2014/15 my exhibition Seeing The Unseen was the first of its kind in Scotland to consist of work created entirely on mobile devices.

I currently have two main bodies of work that I am adding to on a regular basis. Invisible Soundtracks is a series of works that are inspired by, and a reaction to, song titles, lyrics and references. Equal parts visual soundtrack and imagined fiction. All artwork is presented in the square format in recognition and homage to the artwork, graphic design and photography of the 7” and 12” vinyl records that inspired me and were a major part of my visual education as I was growing up and that still influence my practice.

The second project is Shadowplay. With my background in music, cut-up and remix culture has always fascinated me with the skill of adding samples, layers and disparate elements to create completely new works. I have taken this method into my own visual style by curating imagery from the scenes and passing moments that I capture and combine these with processed sections from found photographs that have resonated with me on a graphic level. The end result is equal parts chance and intention where the story that is emerging suggests new threads as I add the disparate elements together.

Drawing inspiration from the photography of Richard Koci Hernandez, Giacomo Brunelli and Anton Corbijn, I have chosen to present the work in black and white, bringing attention to the textures, moods and tones and indeed the timelessness that monochrome work brings to it.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Robert. You can find more images, contact details and information about his exhibitions and workshops on his website. Robert is also on Instagram and Twitter.

16th September 2019

Photography – In Focus with Sam Ryan

Far from the genre of posed portraiture, photographer Sam Ryan captures the world around her in a series of authentic shots that draw the viewer in to share the moment. Here, she shares some favourite pictures and tells us how her interest and skills in photography have developed over the years…

‘My passion for photography goes back to childhood.  My grandfather took photos at every family get together, day out and on every holiday.  He’d make albums and write funny captions for each photo. I’d always ask my grandparents to drag the albums out of the cupboard so I could sit at their dining table and look through them.

After many years of experimenting with different styles and cameras, I homed in on street and live music photography.  They might seem very different styles or genres, but to me they work to the same principles.

Both, for me, are about the adrenaline rush and being able to react to the scene.  I try to focus on feel and action, shoot with intuition and not overthink. Shots might have a concept based on the available light and environment,  but nothing is posed. Similarly my music shots are not portraiture; if it’s a chaotic metal band with hair and sweat flying everywhere, that’s what I want you to feel when you look at the images.

I rarely shoot in colour.  I want my images to be classic.  With colour images there’s always a prevailing style or tonal trend – which if you’re good at it can be great to get you ‘going viral’, but I’d be concerned the images would age badly  – so I only use colour where I feel it’s essential to the photo.

My home is just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is a great city for all kinds of photography and has a thriving music scene, so it really is the perfect place for inspiring me to keep on photographing.’

Live Music Photography 

I’ve always been passionate about live music and a couple of years ago I got serious about wanting to shoot at gigs.  It’s hard to get started; with no press pass you can’t get a D-SLR camera in to venues. I started shooting gigs with a point-and-shoot camera, posted my photos on Instagram and was able to strike up a relationship with some bands. This led to being able to obtain photo passes to shoot from the photo pit  I’ve focussed here on bands that I love and that have given me my start in this area. It’s been an amazing journey so far; I’m very proud to say I’ve shot most of my favourite bands within just 18 months of starting out.

Bleed From Within

This band gave me my first ever photo pass, an opportunity for which I will always be grateful.  I’ve shot them a few times now, but nothing beats their hometown headline show at Saint Luke’s in Glasgow.  The band members have insane energy and can be an inch from your lens one second and at the opposite end of the stage the next. I’ve chosen some shots to tell the story of this show; the energy, the heat and frenzied crowd reaction.

Zeal & Ardor

I’ve shot this band many times in different types of venues, and believe me, shooting one of your favourite bands is an immense and powerful experience.  Their music has some very dark themes, and is performed with a ton of emotion. I want people to feel this in the images. I’ve chosen my favourite shots from different venues to illustrate the drama and intensity of the band’s performance.

Street Photography 

I’m a candid photographer, which means I don’t interact with the people I photograph.  I’m trying to capture everyday life, so it shouldn’t be contrived. Often when I’m shooting on the street I don’t even stop walking to press the shutter, because I think this will cause the person to move aside or make eye contact, which changes the scene entirely.  Sometimes I’m not sure what I’ve really seen until I look at the photos and then I realise it’s a fleeting expression, a shadow the person has cast, or maybe a little wave of the hand. 

Chasing Shadows

I recently completed a year long project shooting high-contrast images on the street created by light and shadow.  I noticed after returning several times to my favourite locations that there were unique scenes created by the light at certain times of day and people moving through the scene.  I got obsessed and since I was shooting almost every day, I thought it would make a great project. I’m really proud of this work and have curated my best images into a book.

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Sam. You can see more of her work or make contact via her website. Sam is also on Instagram – follow her street photography posts here and her music posts here.

30th August 2019

 

Photography – Pictures from the Past

Found in amongst a miscellaneous lot at auction, six boxes of black and white photos offer a glimpse into the past of one Mr AC Henwood. The story begins with the purchase of a fairly sophisticated, and expensive for the time, camera – a Petriflex V – bought from The Camera Shop in East Street, Chichester in 1965.

From the details noted, it looks as though Mr Henwood was stationed at the RAF base in Emsworth, Hampshire at the time, close to the Sussex border. The boxes are full of home developed shots; lots of portraits, family group shots and even a couple of weddings. The photos in the header shot sum up beautifully the new found freedom and style of the ‘60s; they’re fascinating to look through.

The two larger print photos below show a different street photography style; the first appears to be Amsterdam, the second with the punk couple is clearly taken much later and quite solitary and out of sync with the other captures. There is no indication of where any of the other pictures were taken.

Just one envelope of negatives and a handful of slides, everything else is photographs. A reference on this envelope to 324 London Road Photography but, given that there’s a London Road in almost every town, that doesn’t really narrow things down at all! 

Whoever the enigmatic AC Henwood is, he patently had a good eye for a picture, some decent photography skills and a plethora of family, friends and maybe even just acquaintances who posed happily for his camera. As well as the envelopes addressed to him, one of the boxes is marked ‘Simon Henwood Pre BA’. Despite all the clues, we’ve drawn a bit of a blank with researching the history of this collection. If anyone has any ideas about who the photographer or subjects are, or has links to the family, let us know and help solve the mystery… (*see edit at end of page)

Words by Siobhan

Auction lot courtesy of Ticking Along Antiques 

19th August 2019

* Edit 11th September 2019 – Delighted to say that the photos are now back with a family member who was unaware that they were still in existence. Huge thanks go to fellow photographer Nigel King for his help and the astute detective work that allowed this to happen. Photographers – print your pictures, put them in albums or boxes and leave at least a clue as to who took them; one day they might just end up back with someone who they will mean the world to.

Live – Shonen Knife at The Wedgewood Rooms

Shonen Knife / Thee Sopwith Camels / Paul Groovy & the Pop Art Experience, The Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, 25th July 2019

Last Thursday saw cult Japanese band Shonen Knife bring their Sweet Candy Power tour to The Wedgewood Rooms. Mixing 60s’ pop with pure punk, the trio are long established exponents of an energetic, infectious performance and have a great live reputation. It’s always good to see local acts on the bill and support on the night came from two favoured Portsmouth bands in the shape of Thee Sopwith Camels and Paul Groovy & the Pop Art Experience. Check out our gallery below…

Paul Groovy & the Pop Art Experience

Thee Sopwith Camels

Shonen Knife

You can find more from all 3 bands via the links here:
Shonen Knife    Thee Sopwith Camels    Paul Groovy & the Pop Art Experience

Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

30th July 2019

Photography – In Focus with Alan Campbell

In the midst of festival season it’s lovely to see some gig photos from smaller, more intimate venues. Photographer Alan Campbell has a knack for capturing the atmosphere of these events as well as shooting the striking Scottish countryside around his home…

(Header shot: Stock Manager)

I first got into photography around 10 years ago after attending a few workshops with an excellent photographer called Brian Sweeney. I’m fortunate that I live in Central Scotland, as there’s so much beautiful scenery, wildlife and culture nearby to photograph.

A local music and arts venue in Stirling called the Tolbooth is one of my favourite venues.  The venue hosts a diverse range of music, comedy, spoken word, art exhibitions and classes/workshops.  It’s well worth a visit and you can find their upcoming schedule of events here. 

Left: December 91  Right: Ross Fairweather & Annie Booth  Below: Withered Hand

Above: Emme Woods  Below: The Van T’s / CRPNTR

Kenny Bates from the Tolbooth, in particular, has been phenomenal by putting on so many cool gigs, either in the Tolbooth or in other unusual locations in the Stirling area.  I’ve included a few photos from some of those gigs here.

Left: Be Charlotte  Right: Constant Follower

A couple of other beautiful locations in my local area include the University of Stirling and the Ochil Hills. The views are simply stunning and no matter what time of year it is, there’s always a scenic view.

If you’re interested in viewing some more of my photos, please follow my Instagram page – I’m also on Twitter

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Alan. We’ll be featuring more of his gig photography on Breaking Glass soon – in the meantime, do follow his Instagram posts to see his latest work.

18th July 2019

Exhibition – Linda McCartney Retrospective (Kelvingrove)

Exhibition – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 5th July – 12th January 2020
The Linda McCartney Retrospective 

(Header shot: The Beatles at Brian Epstein’s home in Belgravia at the launch of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, London 1967)

Details from press release:

‘A major retrospective of photography by Linda McCartney will be shown in the UK for the first time at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow from 5 July 2019 to 12 January 2020. The Linda McCartney Retrospective, which is curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, features iconic names and moments in music from the 1960s along with more intimate and emotional later work by this acclaimed and prolific photographer.

The retrospective also includes one of Linda McCartney’s diaries from the 1960s, displayed in public for the first time and bringing new insight into the contemporary music scene of the era and the beginnings of her photographic career… (also included will be) her cameras, photographic equipment and vintage magazines that have been uncovered from her expansive archive. The range of material to be displayed reflects the McCartney family’s passion for Linda’s work and their desire for the extensive contents of her archives to be accessible to a wider audience.

Mary, Paul and Heather, Scotland 1970

Sir Paul McCartney said, ‘Linda would have been so proud of this exhibition being held in Scotland, a country she loved so much and spent so many happy days in.’

Stella McCartney said, ‘Through these images you meet the real mother I knew. You see her raw and deep talent and passion for her art, photography. Ahead of her time on every level this mother of four still held her camera close like a companion, she captures the world around her through her eyes and this can be seen on the walls around the exhibition. Her humour, her love of family and nature and her moments framed with a slight surreal edge… Scotland was one of her favourite places on earth, and so many images were taken there. Enjoy her passion and compassion…’

The exhibition was first shown at the Kunst Hausn Wien Museum, Vienna and subsequently at The Pavillon Populaire, Montpellier and Daelim Museum, Seoul.’

Left: Self portrait, Sussex 1992 Right: Linda McCartney taken by Eric Clapton, 1967

In so many ways, Linda McCartney was ahead of the curve. A respected musician, photographer, animal rights campaigner and pioneer of vegetarian food long before it held the lifestyle status it does today, her talent and ethos are to be admired for a multitude of reasons.

Aretha Franklin modelling for Mademoiselle, Los Angeles 1968

Photography may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you hear her name but this collection includes shots that display a real skill in capturing the spirit of the people and places around her. The images show a natural flair for catching a picture at exactly the right moment and suggest that the subjects were completely at ease with her behind the lens. Subjects encompass the 60s, family (including self portraits), animals and nature – particularly in the beautiful county of Argyll, home to the family farm and inspiration for Wings’ huge hit Mull of Kintyre. 

If you’re in the Glasgow area over the next 6 months, the exhibition looks to be a great place to visit and be sure to allow time to look round the permanent collection at Kelvingrove too; it’s full of great historical and contemporary pieces in a stunning environment.

The Beatles, Abbey Road, London 1969

The Linda McCartney Retrospective runs from 5th July – 12th January 2020

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG
Opening times: Mon – Thurs and Sat 10 – 5, Fri and Sun 11 – 5
Admission: Adult £7, Concession £5, Under 16 free entry – please check the
website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Glasgow Life; photos are copyright of Linda McCartney unless otherwise credited

Words (excluding press release extract) by Siobhan

5th July 2019

Photography – In Focus with Irena Siwiak Atamewan

Applying a diverse range of techniques and skills, photographer Irena Siwiak Atamewan creates images that are both captivating and thought provoking. Here, she shares an ongoing project that proves just how much can be captured and expressed in a photograph…

‘Photography has been a big part of my life for about 35 years; I’ve spent that time exploring different genres in photography resulting in an eclectic body of work. Alongside creating my own work, I have spent several years working as a medical photographer and I now teach photography.

I am currently working on a couple of projects:

One I shoot on film on a 6×6 Rolleicord. The film has been exposed several times; the film exposed, re-rolled and exposed again, in different places and at different times. This lends itself to fortuitous combinations and happy accidents, I have little control over the combinations, except for the places I choose to photograph. It can take up to 6 months to complete a roll of film, the images reflecting my journeys, my experiences, my narratives and the fleeting way memories are recalled. You can see more of this work here.

The second project ‘Sitting with Mother’ is featured on this page.

This work stems from my mother’s initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s 6 years ago and follows the time spent going for walks, sitting on benches and in tea-shops along the way. The work began as a casual document of the walks, revisiting and re-seeing the town where I grew up, then developed into a body of work documenting my mother’s journey through the disease. The images become more intimate as her condition progresses, my mother’s world becoming smaller, spending more time at home. I use the camera I have with me; it may be a DSLR, a Rolleicord or my iPhone. The iPhone being the most convenient camera helps me create the most intimate images, it is less intrusive and can be used quickly.

 

 

 

 

I have recently been experimenting with bringing the two projects together and using the double exposure method on my ‘Sitting with Mother’ project.

This is still in its early stages, giving me lots of room for experimentation. This work is in progress with plans to create a book.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Irena. If you’d like to find out more about her work and follow her new posts, you can contact Irena through her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.

28th May 2019

 

Exhibition – Iconic Bowie (Dimbola Museum & Galleries)

Exhibition, Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Isle of Wight, 7th June – 18th August 2019
Iconic Bowie

From the flame-haired glam and stacked platforms of Ziggy Stardust to the stark, dark persona of the Thin White Duke, David Bowie leaves an imprint of creativity, experiment and style that defies convention and comparison. A pioneer musically and visually, his imagery is instantly recognisable and has opened doors for future generations to have the confidence to be themselves, whatever that means and however it looks.

A new exhibition celebrating Bowie’s remarkable contribution to the world will be opening its doors at the Isle of Wight’s Dimbola Museum & Galleries just in time for this year’s festival-goers to drop in. The show includes photography, painting, vinyl art and sculpture and takes a look at some lesser known local connections as well as housing pieces from established industry contributors. It looks set to be a fascinating visit.

Bowie © Terry O’Neill

Details from the press release here:

Iconic Bowie is a major retrospective of the extraordinary life of David Bowie. A journey in which the Isle of Wight witnessed his first public musical performance at a Corf Scout Camp, Shalfleet in 1958 and Bowie’s last UK live show headlining at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2004.

Iconic Bowie showcases both stunning and intimate portraits of Bowie by some of the world’s greatest photographers. The photographs, from the extensive Iconic Images archive, were taken over his phenomenal 50 year career and draw into focus the remarkable contribution Bowie made to culture, music and art. These portraits contain rare moments, the force of Bowie’s unique nature and his personality on film. Each image is an illuminating artefact of one of the greatest artists that has ever lived.

‘Great portrait photographers do a rare thing through extraordinary alchemy that renders light, exposure, emotion, soul, sorrow, joy and beauty forever fixed in time. Iconic Bowie contains images that startle the world and provide an illuminating insight into the astonishing career of David Bowie.’ (Brian Hinton, Chairman of Dimbola Museum and Galleries)

There is a brilliance in capturing the sound, spirit, aesthetics and unearthly metamorphosis of Bowie. The Iconic Images archive is one of the biggest collections of David Bowie imagery under one house. Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Markus Klinko, Justin de Villenuve, Milton H Greene and Gerald Fearnley all had important roles throughout the visual life of this singular artist. Through the collective lens of these creative photographers, a true visual image of Bowie the artist was realised.

Kevin Cummins first photographed Bowie on his Aladdin Sane tour of 1972- 1973, went on to photograph and be influenced by him throughout his career and can remember the effect of seeing Bowie on stage… ‘I went to see David Bowie when I was in my teens. I had never seen anything like that on stage and I had seen various things which were all very flashy and very showy. Now, it may seem normal but at the time nobody really had that kind of theatricality in rock ‘n’ roll.’ (Kevin Cummins)

Bowie © Kevin Cummins

To celebrate Bowie’s influence on art and culture, Dimbola has invited contemporary British sculptor Guy Portelli to curate an artists’ response to Bowie in the Charles Hay Gallery. The collection, featuring artists Keith Haynes, Chris Myers and Guy Portelli, will show artworks inspired by the music and iconic imagery of David Bowie.

Exploring the Isle of Wight/Bowie connection there will be a rare display of ephemera tracing Bowie’s early footsteps on the island. These include copies of The Bowie Bureau (1977-1982), a magazine produced by two long-standing friends and sent from their Ventnor home to destinations throughout the world as well as adverts from Bowie’s three early appearances at Ventnor Winter Gardens with Davy Jones & the Lower Third in the summer of 1965.

The exhibition is kindly sponsored by Wightlink, Solo Agency, Style of Wight and The Seaview Hotel. All exhibition images are limited editions and available to purchase.’

Iconic Bowie runs from 7th June – 18th August 2019 

Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Terrace Lane, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9QE
Opening times: 7 days a week 10 – 5 – please check the website for admission prices and further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Dimbola Museum & Galleries and are copyrighted as credited

Words for introduction by Siobhan

21st May 2019

Photography – In Focus with Joe McKillop

Giving us a glimpse into his life and surroundings, photographer Joe McKillop’s evocative pictures show pride and affection for his heritage, family and environment. Here, he takes us through some of his favourite shots and the stories behind them…

‘My name is Joe McKillop, I’m an amateur photographer from a small town in the west of Scotland called Port Glasgow. I started taking pictures using my mobile phone documenting my son’s football games when he was younger and I then found myself taking odd pictures here and there while walking the dog – it was then I discovered an enjoyment for landscape and street photography.

I try to keep my homelands as centre focus for the majority of my work. My local city is often discounted as ‘rough’ and somewhere you’d rather drive through quickly but with my photos I like to challenge these assumptions and show that there is beauty and personality within this wee town. Also in the collection are some snaps from holidays and neighbouring cities.’

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To most folk this picture doesn’t say much but it is important to me as it reminds me of my roots. This was where I grew up, definitely not one of the posher areas of the Port. While it wasn’t perfect, it gave me warm memories of my family and childhood friends.

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I took this photo at night. During the day it just looks like your average tunnel but at night, with the lights on illuminating the graffiti, I felt it gave off more of an urban vibe. Still, I felt it needed something extra – so I set up the timer and put myself into the shot.

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This was taken outside a sports shop in Glasgow whilst out doing some street photography. The boldness of the sign struck me and I liked how it stood out.

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This is another street shot in Glasgow, the focus is on the lady’s coat. I had a lot of fun with the editing process of this one darkening the background and highlighting the redness of the coat.

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This is one of my favourite shots as I love the hustle and bustle shown which is typical of Glasgow city centre. Also the light of the sun reflecting down gives a good contrast to the silhouettes below.

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This was taken on our first family holiday with my grandson. I just liked the way the red sofa contrasted against his blue onesie and, to be honest, he is quite a poser. For anyone wondering, the reindeer toy was his favourite, it was singing the same song over and over… conveniently that toy was left behind.

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Again, this is from our family holiday. I just spotted this as a good shot as I saw how the light hit my son’s tattoo while he was reading. One of my better candid shots.

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This was taken from the top of Conic Hill in Loch Lomond. Walking has become another hobby of mine and it assists me well in capturing scenic shots like this. When people talk of Scotland, this is what I imagine they picture.

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I took this on a snowy, misty morning up the back roads of Port Glasgow. It was the way the mist hid the buildings at the end of the road that caught my eye; I thought it would make an eerie shot with the icy road seemingly leading to nowhere.

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This was a long exposure shot taken by the light house in Port Glasgow. I was quite pleased how this turned out – I had many friends and family comment on how they liked how the brightness of the light stood out and shone over the Clyde.

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This was taken on a family Holiday in Salou at the theme park Portaventura. It was the wettest, bleakest day of the holiday but the dark clouds made for a good atmospheric photo. Something about a rollercoaster about to tip over the edge added to the excitement of the clouds forming a storm in the background.

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This was a street shot down in Greenock. It was the old red door that initially stood out for me, I waited for the right time for someone to walk into shot to snap the photo. I particularly enjoyed playing around with the colours in this photo; matching moody black and whites with the vibrant red.

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This is another long exposure picture taken on the edge of the River Clyde. Not much to look at in the day time; however the street lights hitting off the water at night make this little part of the river look quite beautiful.

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This was in the windy waters of Lanzarote. My wife and I were on the beach watching the water sports and I started taking shots of the windsurfers. This was one of my favourites. I love the look of the choppy sea and the determination of the windsurfer to stay upright.

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I chose this as my final shot as I identified strongly with the symbolism behind it. The boy in the photo is my grandson. Having a baby in the family again reminded me once again how much children depend on us adults to make sense of the world for them. The picture of the child in my hand was to represent how our kids sometimes need us to give them a help up in the world now and then.

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All photos and words © Joe McKillop. If you would like to see more of Joe’s work and follow his posts, you can find him on Instagram.

29th April 2019

 

Photography – In Focus with Juanita McKenzie

Embracing city life, photographer Juanita McKenzie finds beauty in the metropolitan landscape around her to produce some powerful, eye-catching shots. Here, she tells us what drives her and shares some of her favourite photos…

‘I am a Bristol based amateur photographer but I’m originally from Cape Town in South Africa and moved to the UK about 6 years ago. It was a huge transition to make and in many ways was a process of starting over but I believe this was the catalyst to rediscovering my teenage dreams of pursuing photography. In high school I dreamed of becoming a photojournalist and telling the stories that I so passionately believed needed to be told. I saw the ability of an image to convey powerful emotive messages in a way that words could not, yet I also saw the synergy that could arise from combining image and word.

Looking back, I realise that the passion for photography has been there almost since the beginning – as a very young child I was fascinated by a set of encyclopaedias at home that had the most amazing colour pictures of the world and its people. I remember spending hours looking through them, planning how I would visit all these places one day, to take the photographs and tell the stories. So here I am now… a late starter perhaps and with a lot to learn… but I have a long-standing love of photography and a dream that demands I pursue it!

Having moved from the Cape Town environment of mountains and sea to living in a city in the UK has been a big adjustment and a major influence on my style of photography. I’ve had to adapt to not only being in a new country but also to city life and being part of an urban landscape. Cities can appear to be grey, oppressive concrete jungles but I have learned that if you really look, there is beauty to be found everywhere.

(Kings Cross Station, London)

Everything is about perception and your perspective at any given time. It fascinates me how we all look at the same things yet see something completely different. How we perceive the world is unique to each one of us and photography is a way to for me to show the viewer the world as I see it, through my particular perspective and through my lens. I hope that it creates a visual journey for the viewer that may inspire seeing the familiar or ordinary with new eyes.

For me photography is a narrative, each image tells a story and often has a story behind it too. Photography captures moments in a sea of constant change and this is particularly evident in the fast pace of city life. Photography is a way of slowing down and being present in the midst of all the rush and movement. It is a way of capturing the essence of a moment and documenting places, lives, people, the times we live in. These images are collections of moments that weave together to tell our stories.

I hope that I can inspire others to discover the world with new eyes every single day, starting right where they are. There is beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it!’

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour”

– William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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Colourful Exchanges

Paddington Central, Westway Bridge – city underpasses transformed by colour. This is a public artwork by Liz Weston, called Colour Transfer. The statue in the foreground is one of two very realistic figures by sculptor Sean Henry, portraying the narrative of everyday life and the potential of meeting up.

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Perceptions

New Bridewell Street Walkway, Bristol – large public artwork on the side of a building, showing a digital pattern that appears to change as you walk past. This artwork is called 14537/9431 and is by artist Lilah Fowler.

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Keeping an Eye on You

Candid shot of spectators at the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival 2018.  Some of the buildings along the streets are boarded up during the carnival weekend but these barriers are transformed into colourful and inviting artworks.

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Golden Hour Reflections in London

This is a city that has definitely stolen my heart with all its contrasts and contradictions. The modern architectural styles of glass fronted skyscrapers can provide perfect reflections and in both of these images I loved the combinations of old and new, reflection and form, cold and warm light.

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Walking in my Shoes

Bristol Wing – This was taken on a photoshoot and the model was posing outside the old fire station doors. While everyone was trying to capture her face in the last ray of sunlight, I noticed her shoes and how they expressed so much. I love DMs and pretty much live in them, so well-worn boots speak to me of character and roads travelled.

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Look Up

City buildings can tower over us, dominating the landscape and blocking out light. I see so many people walk around the city, hunched over, looking down, drawn into themselves. Looking up reveals beautiful building details, expansive skies and interesting skylines. It also creates a sense of spaciousness and light that can sometimes be forgotten in the concrete jungle.

(Left: Bristol Wing, old police headquarters – Top Right: Richmond Building, Bristol – Bottom Right: Rivington Place, Shoreditch)

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At the Feet of a Poet

St Pancras International – detail shot of the large statue of poet, Sir John Betjeman. Something a little different and purely because I could not seem to get a clear shot without people in it. I eventually sat down on the ground in despair to wait and that’s when I saw this shot. I never did get a shot of the entire statue.

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Painted Cities

Urban art has fascinated me for a long time and it is so much a part of city life as a means of social commentary, protest, expression and also transformation. I notice how areas that are decaying and forgotten often provide the canvas for some of the most beautiful and colourful street art. The art transforms and uplifts these neglected spaces and creates a sense of vibrant culture and optimism in these communities. In some cases street art has even become part of the identity of these areas.

(Top Left & Top Right: Stokes Croft, Bristol – Bottom: Brick Lane, London – Header Shot: Shoreditch, London)

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Juanita. If you would like to see more of her work or discuss a photography project, you can contact her via her website and see regular posts on Instagram.

25th February 2019

Photography – In Focus with Mik Connor

From behind the drum kit to behind the camera, photographer Mik Connor tells us how he made the switch and takes us through some of his favourite photos…

‘I’d just like to start off by stating I’m really not good at talking about myself or things that I’ve done so if I start waffling about nothing, please forgive me.

My name’s Mik, a music and portrait photographer based in Preston, Lancashire. Originally I was a drummer in a touring and recording self styled shitty pop punk band. We didn’t do too badly for ourselves (a few tours, a couple of festival appearances, radio and TV airplay) but we never hit the big time and as these things so often do, it came to an unfortunate end. I tried starting another band after that but it just wasn’t the same and I found myself struggling to have fun with the whole thing again so I decided it was time to walk away completely. Always felt that if you don’t enjoy doing something then there’s not much point in doing it.

When I’d stepped away from making music I knew I had to find another way of staying creative but I couldn’t draw a stick figure to save my life, I haven’t got the attention span to be able to sit down and write a book, I can make words rhyme but I couldn’t write poetry and it was at this point I remembered just how much I used to enjoy taking pictures on old family holidays.

I was always in control of the camera whenever me and my family went away somewhere. My Mum had a habit of cropping out people’s heads or having her finger across the lens, my Dad was always in charge of the video camera and providing his commentary of everything that was going on, so our little point and shoot or the old Kodak disposable was always handed down to me. I don’t know if it was because I made better pictures or it was just a way of keeping me quiet or entertained, either way, it worked.

While I was sat contemplating all of this a post from a friend popped up on Facebook offering her Mum’s camera for sale, without a second thought I messaged her saying I’d have it and later that evening I was round at hers to pick it up. I’d bought my first DSLR at 25 without a clue how to use it. In hindsight I probably should’ve thought it through a bit longer but too late for that now I suppose.

Anyway, a few years on from that now and here we are. I’ve had enough of talking about myself so now I’m just going to talk you through some of my favourite shots instead. I hope you like them and the stories around them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking (most of*) them.’

*story to follow

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The Picturebooks

This is from one of the first ‘proper’ gigs I ever shot in an official capacity with the relevant press pass, up until this point I’d just been shooting small pub/club gigs or sneaking a camera into slightly bigger gigs.

Being a fellow drummer this set up amazed me; all drums, no cymbals and a hell of a lot of sweat.

Such a great band to watch. There’s only two of them but they sound HUGE, highly recommended.

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Status Quo

Speaking of firsts, this was the first time I shot a ‘proper’ band and I probably couldn’t have picked a bigger one. This was one of those times I snuck my camera into the show and shot from the crowd. Don’t ask me how I got my 5DMKII with 70-200mm lens attached into the arena, I’ve still no idea how I actually managed it myself but I did and that’s all that matters.

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Portrait of my Mum

Now then, here’s a piece of advice. If someone you know is going on a 4×4 driving experience and asks you if you want to tag along to sit in the back and take photos as they go round, just say no. Also, don’t shoot a club night till 3am, make a hour and a half drive to a hotel for two hours sleep and get a McDonalds breakfast all before sitting in the back of a 4×4 taking photos.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so ill.

Portrait looks good though, all natural light.

*this was the one I didn’t really enjoy taking, I just wanted to go lie down in the fetal position until my stomach stopped spinning but nooooo, I had to get my Mum’s good side.  

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Save Me

This is another first, I’m starting to see a trend here. This was the first promo shoot I did with a band. Joe, the front man of Save Me, used to do about 99.9% of my old band’s photos so I thought it was only fair I returned the favour.

Handy tip though; if you’re shooting in the woods late at night when it’s dark, always make sure you know where you’re going just in case you take a step backwards to reframe a shot and accidentally end up with a tree branch where you shouldn’t.

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Alistair McGeorge

My good friend Alistair McGeorge. Part time singer songwriter, part time journalist. Known Alistair for years from him drinking in a pub I used to work in and while he was studying journalism he used to give the band some really great reviews back in the day so again, when I picked up the camera, I thought I’d offer something in return by giving him some promo photos. This was taken in my little studio space back at the beginning of 2018.

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Wheatus

Loved this shot as soon as I got it. When I shot Wheatus I was shooting for the venue and was given access to the sides of the stage after the traditional first three songs in the pit. Due to the way the band have their stage set up with the drummer at the front off to one side instead of banished to the rear of the stage, I managed to catch this great angle.

They’re also the first band I’ve seen go on stage without a set list and just ask those in attendance for requests.

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Carbomb

OK, so I wander into the photo pit for the first band of the night. “Drum kit is pushed right to the front of the stage, I’m shooting ultra wide with a 15mm lens, it’d be a crime to waste this opportunity as a fellow drummer; I’m getting some killer shots of this incredible kit.” That was my thought process until the relentless strobes started going off paired with harsh backlighting, managed to catch this through the mayhem though, loved it since. It’s been my desktop wallpaper for nearly 2 years now.

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Livewire (AC/DC Tribute)

Again I was shooting for the venue at this show (Guild Hall in Preston by the way, three great rooms in one venue) so I was just chilling at the side of the stage when the guitarist decides he’s going to climb on the shoulders of the lead singer and head off into the crowd for a change of scenery. I quickly ran to my camera bag, grabbed the flash gun I always carry in case of emergencies such as this one and decided to follow them into the baying sweaty masses. I like to think being covered in other people’s sweat and the odd bit of people’s pints was worth it for this shot.

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The DSM IV

Love this shot purely because it brought me out of a massive funk.

I hadn’t been shooting much and whatever I had shot I’d hated, I think everyone goes through something similar every now and again, then I got to shoot these guys. Guy McKnight is one hell of a front man with great energy and presence. I caught this just before I had to get out of the pit and I’m still so glad I did.

Another band you should most definitely check out if you get the chance.

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Pete Searle

Another old friend of mine, Mr Pete Searle. Pete got in contact with me at the back end of the summer 2018 and asked if I fancied taking some photos for his new music project as well as some for his own personal use (when a snapchat selfie just isn’t a good enough profile picture) so I said of course. Now I don’t know if this was a brave or stupid move on Pete’s part but he also told me I could have full creative control over the shots. He offered no direction other then he wanted some suited up and some casual. Quite proud of how they came out. Pete’s still speaking to me so he must’ve been happy too I guess.

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Patent Pending

Easily the most energy filled set I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. I don’t know how they kept it up, I was that knackered after shooting 3 songs I had to go for a lie down.

Getting this shot has now given me a new claim to fame though; Joe from Patent Pending dedicated a song to me for saving his life.

I didn’t really save his life, I just caught him as he came back over the barrier from his little venture, that story isn’t quite as cool though so I’m gonna stick to the original.

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Me

This last one is me.

I thought it’d be cool to set up a kind of ‘self employed/freelance christmas party’ for a bit of fun seen as all I was seeing on Facebook at the time was updates from everyone else’s regular works Christmas parties. First time I’d tried to dress a set properly like this and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Again, shot in my little studio space.

The shot is a result of me trying to look pretty and my Dad trying to throw the little paper streamers at the right time for about an hour because the party poppers I bought didn’t work.

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Well that’s all of them and I hope you’ve had fun. If you’re not sick of me by now feel free to give me a follow on Twitter (for more nonsensical ramblings and the odd photo) or Instagram (more photos than ramblings on there) and you can give me a like on Facebook (photo to rambling ratio is more or less equal on there) if you’re so inclined via Mik Connor Photography. You can also give my website a peek for full portfolios and the odd blog, that’s mikconnorphotography.com.

Anyway, I’ll see you around somewhere. Thanks for reading.

Peace
Mik

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Mik. If you’d like to see more of his work or book him for a gig or portrait shoot, please contact him via his website or the social media links above.

21st January 2019