I’ve moved!

Its been rather quiet here hasn’t it! Sorry about that!

There has been lots going on and I found that I just didn’t really have the time or even the inclination to update the blog. You see, I’ve been hankering after a new website and blog for quite a while and, over the last few weeks I have actually managed to do that!

I thought it was going to take me forever, but one day whilst feeling rather uder-the-weather, I decided to see if I could throw together a new site. 24 hours later and something new and shiny had emerged! I still can’t quite believe I managed to put it together so quickly, but the website is now a lot simpler, and much better for it in my opinion!

Anyway, I’ve also created a new blog to fit in with the new site so please come on over and join me (and don’t forget to update your rss feeds and subscriptions).

I’ve already blogged one wedding and am in the process of blogging about recent music events with Fleet Foxes, The Feeling, Chase and Status, The Streets and more! So what are you waiting for…

…..TAKE A LOOK!

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Her Name is Calla @ Bristol Leftbank

Quite a few weeks ago, I agreed to photograph a band called Her Name is Calla who were coming to Bristol to perform for the first time. I have to admit that it snuck up on me and I found myself wondering whether I was actually going to make it along after all.

One of my main worries was carrying all my expensive camera equipment around Stokes Croft by myself. As it turned out, my worries weren’t unfounded – the recent riot that occurred in Bristol happened mere metres from the venue and I definitely would have panicked if I had been in the area by myself at the time! Luckily, a friend agreed to come with me so we headed off for a few drinks at the Social (which is definitely worth a visit, the food sounded great!) before making our way into the venue.

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As I had expected, the venue was really dark and I had to push the camera iso to its limit in order to get a decent shutter speed. After playing around with the resulting images though, I have decided that I really like the grainy and gritty look of the photos.

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You can see the rest of the images here.

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Rumer & Friends at Abbey Road Studios

At various points throughout Abbey Road studios, you will find strict notices saying the photography is forbidden. And you can understand why. The hallways are plastered with huge autographed posters of films who’s soundtracks were recorded here. The stairways are decorated with large, black-and-white photos of musical legends who have recorded in the studios.

Luckily for me, I have a pass and so I am allowed to roam the studios with my camera hanging from my shoulder without being challenged. I know the rules, and they are that I can only photograph the acts performing – photographs of the rest of the studios is prohibited.

I can’t help but be influenced by my surroundings, however, and so whilst processing these shots of Rumer (who performed for In Concert a couple of weeks ago) I decided that the classic black and white look was best. Not only did I get the chance to photograph Rumer, but she was also joined onstage by Lemar (of Fame Academy fame), Sandie Shaw (of Eurovision fame) and Rick Astley (of.. errr….well come on, he’s Rick Astley, no other information is required, surely!).

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It was such a fun and relaxed evening. Even Jeremy Vine turned up to enjoy the concert!

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Taylor Swift @ Abbey Road Studios

It’s been a little while since I was asked to photograph Taylor Swift at Abbey Road Studios for the BBC. Quite excitingly, I was once again charged with taking photos for BBC Press and, hence, all copyright on these images belongs to them. Here is a taster of the images I managed to grab.

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You can find these images and more on the BBC In Concert website. Many of my pictures were used across the BBC Radio 2 website to promote the concert – still puts a huge grin on my face when that happens!

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Java Coffee House

Yesterday I took a few photos for my friends Kev and Maya who run the Java Coffee House on Kingsmead Square in Bath. They’re only been open 8 months but they have already done so much with the place! Maya’s homemade cakes seem to be going down a storm and Kev’s coffee is amazing! If you’re in the area, you should definitely pop in!

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You can find the full set of photos over on Pixie.

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Katie Melua @ BBC Radio Theatre

My latest job for the BBC was photographing Katie Melua. She performed for In Concert last week in front of an invited audience but the concert is only just going out on air this evening. As it was being pre-recorded, it was all rather laid back and the soundcheck seemed to go pretty smoothly. I didn’t realise how amazing Katie’s voice was so I was quite happy to sit back and listen whilst figuring out the best place for me to stand to take photos later on in the evening!

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After a brief break for food, it was on with the main event. The Radio Theatre was packed to bursting with ticket winners – apparently 18,000 people had applied for tickets! During the evening, Katie was joined onstage by a number of special guests including William Orbit who helped produce her latest album.

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Beth Rowley joined Katie later on in the set. Beth also has an amazing voice and came onstage to duet with Katie for “What a Wonderful World” which Katie had initially recorded as a duet with the late Eva Cassidy.

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Katie’s final guest was Jack Savoretti who duetted with Katie on “Nine Million Bicycles”.

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Because of the multitude of special guests, I had a bit more freedom when taking photographs as I had been given permission to cover each of the songs for which the guests were appearing. Also, because the concert was a little more subdued than many of the others, I was able to grab quite a few photos which I was happy with! Instead of posting them all, however, I will limit myself to just two more! The full set can be seen over on Flickr.

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The Feeling @ Bath Komedia

Another blog post, another gig! I really must try and diversify as, at the moment, I feel as if my photography is becoming very one dimensional! Anyway, the gig in question happened to be The Feeling who played at Bath Komedia last week.

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The band and management were kind enough to allow me access to take photos during the soundcheck where I was able to get some more obscure shots as they were finalising the lighting set-up.

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With a sold out show and no photo pit, I was expecting to have some trouble getting any decent shots during the actual gig, but the Komedia staff were really accomodating and the security staff allowed me to shoot from the side of the stage with the one proviso that I got out of the way when the official Komedia photographer needed access.

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Dan, the lead singer of The Feeling, moves around the stage A LOT and I found that I was constantly stepping back out into the audience in order to get a good enough angle to shoot him. This meant, however, that I got some more unusual shots.

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I adhered to the normal rule of “3 songs, no flash”… for the most part! However, you can get away with a lot when you have a triple A pass! Although I didn’t want to take too much advantage of it, I did grab a few more shots, this time from the back of the room, of events which I just couldn’t miss! Dan’s jump at the end, for example, was a “must have”!

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Part of the agreement for allowing me access to the gig was that I would provide the band with a few images for their website. I wasn’t expecting too much. I perhaps thought that a couple might make it into the gallery on their website. So imagine my surprise when I logged on to see that they had included my photos in a news article on the front page of the website! I sent them 11 photos in the end and they posted them all! Even better than that, they were kind enough to include a link back to my website from which I am already seeing the benefits!

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So thank you very much to The Feeling, their management and Lynne for being the go between! I had a really great night and can’t wait until I can photograph them again!

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Valentines Day

I was inspired today to take a photo of something heart shaped so I grabbed a wicker heart that I have hanging in my hallway and spent a few minutes basically flinging it around the garden! I’m quite pleased with the results and so might try and do a few more shots like this – perhaps I should turn them into Valentines cards to see next year!!!

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OMD @ The Mermaid Theatre

Last Thursday, I headed into London to photograph OMD (or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) who were playing at the Mermaid Theatre for In Concert.

The support act was Jonathan Jeremiah who was backed by a string quartet. He was very good and his interview with Jo Whiley was both funny and interesting. It was just a shame that the lighting in the studio was so overwhelmingly pink!

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The main auditorium of the Mermaid is great for concerts with tiered seating all the way down to the stage which is only raised by a few inches. But this is rather problematic from a photographic point of view because you can’t loiter by the stage without getting in the way of the audience! Consequently I ended up shooting the concert from the side aisles and, if I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t manage to get too many photos which I was happy with.

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The BBC seemed quite happy with the photos I had taken though which is the most important thing. This image was used on the homepage to promote the concert:

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And then this image, which was actually my favourite from the night (and possibly my favourites from the last few gigs!) was even used on the BBC iPlayer! Very exciting!

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Louise Marshall

I had totally forgotten about this, but a few weeks ago I was asked whether Louise Marshall (talented singer and member of the Jools Holland band) could have some photos of when she performed the support slot for KT Tunstall last year.

I stumbled back across her website today and there on the homepage staring back at me were a couple of my own photos (complete with credit!).

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