Here’s my latest showreel from some of the photo shoots and adventures over the past year or so. It’s always a team effort so thanks to all the art directors, models, assistants and friends. You’re the best!
Turner - the story
Trying to get the vision out of the head of an author is a surprisingly difficult thing to do, especially when you consider that they describe scenes in their writing that are designed to make you sink into their characters and explore other worlds and possibilities. I think one of the reasons for this is that reading a story is a singularly personal thing. The way the characters form in your head, exactly how the suit fits or the style of the chess piece.
The planning for this series of photographs and short films was intense. Lots of back and forth, a few trial runs, last minute deliveries of what felt like the heaviest chess set in the world and the interesting side glances as an extremely large and weighty sword was carried into the studio.
It was clear from the very beginning we’d need a green screen studio because the cost of actually finding the real locations and flying Jonathan, the model and my team out would have been prohibitive and with the timelines also being fairly tight, it seemed the most sensible option.
The way forward then was to create a series of images based on the main themes of the book, the dark and the light and for all the other scenarios to create composite images. These are however much more tricky to shoot as there are multiple issues at play, the main one being making sure that the lighting on every element of the picture matches, otherwise the whole thing looks fake. This includes the shadows too, which are often the big giveaway in these scenarios. The first thing we did was to select the background images with Jonathan as we didn’t have a working copy of the book at that stage, therefore the scenarios were all in his head. Secondly could we reproduce the lighting and the feel when I photographed the people in the studio and what did we need to make that happen.
Having booked the studio, hired the model, bought all the props, sweated up the stairs with the heaviest chess board I’ve ever seen, we had our sets and scenarios. Now all we had to do was make it happen in front of the camera…
As part of the project I also shot a series of promotional films for the book launch. Here is one of my favourites…
Staff portraits for the industrial portable building company, Thurstons Group.
A film I produced and directed for Speechwrite. Filmed on location in St Pauls Square, Birmingham in late 2017.
How do you get across the excitement and thrill of the theatre. Everybody who's ever been knows about the 5 minute call, ordering drinks for the interval and the curtain going up, but what goes on to really make that all happen? Here's your chance to take a peak behind the curtain... Agency: BHD Creative
Back in 2011 Fuji launched a series of cameras that changed our view of smaller sensor cameras. The X line up changed everything. Bloggers from all over the word had their opinions from real world usage to the technical analysis usually only needed for global communication systems...
Anyway back in 2012 I was looking for a new camera, one I could keep in my pocket and could carry with me everywhere and not feel as though I needed to be taking a load of extra lenses or flash just in case and definitely something that wouldn't feel like I was carting round a brick.
I looked at many different cameras from the Leica X1 to the Canon G5, but their was just something about the X100 that really attracted me. It just felt right in my hand, it was vastly different in design to my work cameras, but it was the fixed lens that really caught my attention, a 35mm full frame equivalent, no decisions to make, just one lens, one focal length and that, along with how it feels, is why I love this camera so much - it's simplicity.
There is something very wonderful about simple, you can only shoot at 35mm, this eliminates many further questions, many further choices and leaves you with a very simple choice shall I move my feet forward or back and if I can't, what's the best picture I can take from here? Is this a perfect camera, errr no. Is it slow to focus - yes, does it just not turn on sometimes - yes. Is this enormously frustrating sometimes - yes, but that in itself makes it brilliant. There has been enough written over the years of this beautiful camera about the technicals and the aesthetics and it's more recent additions.
So all I'd like to add is this, when I go on a shoot with all my other gear, this camera is always in the bag, when I go out for a walk or for a meeting, this is the camera I reach for, when I go on holiday with the family, it's always with us.
I bought it because I was going to the Olympic Games in London and didn't want the distraction of having tonnes of gear with me, little did I know that the x100 and I would still be on a journey of discovery together and it would still be making me smile every time I turn it on. Who really needs perfect...
My good friend John at Freax Adventures runs team building activities across the UK and he was looking for something that would convey the excitement and sophistication of his courses which involve target and live fire shooting. John kept talking about looking "suave" which meant jeans and t shirts were not required! I put the coffee on, cracked open the biscuits and a few hours later we had a plan. Phone calls were made, things begged, borrowed and hired, timings agreed and co-ordinated. Suited and glamorous assassins, very real looking guns, fast cars, a beautiful location and plenty of signs to say the guns were fake and please don't call the police! A great day with great friends, loved it.
Full time social media expert and trainer. Part time real ale drinker. From my personal project "A Portrait Of Birmingham".
This is Mike Gates. Full time printer and rebel, part time musician. From my personal project, "A Portrait Of A City".