How old are we when we stop skipping down the road, or jumping on street walls? Some may say never, but in essence there is definitely a time when we become too self conscious, when we are suddenly too grown up, too rushed, too stressed… One of the many joys of photographing children is that they remind me to stop and enjoy the little things again, hold hands, skip down the street, even try a bit of jumping. And wow, the thrill comes straight back – along with a few strange looks admittedly!
When I moved out of London over 10 years ago, I craved rural backdrops for portraiture, but I fear I was simply unaware of quite how fantastic urban backdrops are for children portraiture – especially in black and white. Every street offers something unique, graphic, dynamic, quirky, but equally, every street invites the imagination of a child by offering games, adventures, magic, fun, play…
This image captures Ben enjoying a little alley way just around the corner from his home – he apparently does this wall jumping each time they walk along there. I hope one day that this image will remind him of a whole chapter of his childhood.
I captured this portrait of Sabine Getty with her husband Joseph and daughter Gene, at home in London for the Country Life’s frontispiece in their Special Christmas issue. The image released can be seen on my publications page, but this was another favourite from our shoot.
Country Life Magazine commissioning me to photograph Dame Judi Dench, was a lifetime and career highlight. My portrait accompanies a wonderful interview by Michael Billington in the special issue, edited by the Prince of Wales in celebration of his 70th birthday.
Dame Judi is every bit as wonderful in person as I had imagined – warm, friendly, charming, interested, humble and very funny. I love how this portrait captures her sparkle and spirit – the essence of our much loved National Icon.
Capturing the spirit of school life and providing schools with compelling images to use for advertising, prospectus, website, PR and social media is one of the areas of my work that I most enjoy. Indeed I photograph regularly for schools across South West England, from Perrott Hill School (as per the above image) in Somerset, Sandroyd & Pinewood in Wiltshire, Leweston, Hanford and Castle Court School in Dorset, Cheam and Twyford in Hampshire, Horris Hill in Berkshire and the Westminster Choir School in central London.
I love the colours, light and composition in this image, but it’s the way that the boy is looking cheekily up at the little girl that brings the image to life – reflecting the most important qualities we, as parents, look for in a school – the happiness factor – and the same reason that Country Life Magazine chose this for the front cover of their annual supplement School Life.
Country Life Magazine’s frontispiece, often referred to as the ‘Girls in pearl’, ‘babe of the week’ or ‘English rose’, is arguably one of the first pages people reach for when opening the magazine. Originally this was a means of introducing young women into Society, portraying members of the aristocracy, but it has developed to celebrate engagements, achievements, new career choices, charity endeavours and so on.
It is the variety of styles, not just in the photography, but the clothing & composition that interests me so much the frontispiece. One day you will find a beautifully lit close up portrait, another you’ll find a girl in green leaning out of a yellow digger, or as in this issue’s case, in gold standing in a round ball on a large lawn in Hampshire! My preference lies with the more quirky shots and this is one of my recent favourites.
Thank you to the stunning Victoria Gibbs for making the shoot such fun, Avington Park for providing a spectacular location and Mach Management for their wonderful make up.
I so enjoyed photographing Emma Weymouth at home, Longleat, earlier this year for The Times T2 feature: ‘How posh are your cakes?’.
My shoot was split between Longleat’s original Victorian kitchen ‘Emma’s Kitchen’ where I captured her preparing meringues, and a state room used for entertaining, shown in the above image. Charismatic, vibrant, charming and beautiful, Emma is also a fantastic cook and is now planning a recipe book and a TV series. Watch out Mary Berry!
They say ‘never work with animals or children’ and yet I spend most of my working life doing exactly that… and LOVE it. Especially when the impossible all comes together, which it did in this image. We probably had 4 seconds before bedlam broke loose, but that was long enough, just!
Such a happy morning, just wish I could have smuggled one home.
A real honour to photograph Norman Scott for the Times article, 12th April 2018. The full story, beautifully penned by Helen Rumbelow, is available on the Times website.
Norman’s incredible story about his then scandalous affair with Jeremy Thorpe in 1970’s, and his attempted assassination has been made into a BBC series, A Very English Scandal, due out shortly. It boasts Ben Whishaw as Norman and Hugh Grant as Jeremy and promises to as moving as it is gripping. Having heard so much of Norman’s story first hand, I can’t wait to see it.
Dogs and horses play a strong part in Norman’s life in Devon – indeed it was his dog Rinka who took the bullet instead of Norman on the chilling night of his attempted assassination on Exmoor. So it seemed only fitting to photograph Norman with one of his many dogs for this portrait, in this case Pugsy, a rescue dog from a holiday in Cyprus.
This portrait of Trudie Styler for Country Life Magazine’s feature on Irish Wolfhounds, was taken at Trudie and Sting’s residence in Wiltshire on a filthy winter’s day in December.
Portrait photography in the rain is always a challenge. Standing in a fast running river with water flowing in over the brim of my wellies, Lucy precariously holding my lighting in strong gusts of wind, 6 irish wolfounds on a bridge eyeing up potential fun in the water below, all whilst being overlooked by Sting – made it all the more exciting! Trudie also had her hands full with these enormous hounds so I’m not sure who was more relieved when all the elements came together within a few minutes and we captured the shot without any of the wolfhounds joining Lucy and I for a splash!
This was a truly memorable evening in aid of www.childbereavementuk.org, with performances & contributions from musicians, actors and authors including: Sir Tom Jones and Jools Holland, Bill Nighy, Ben and Marina Fogle, Brendan Cox, Michael Morpurgo, the Taplow Youth Choir and The African Gospel Choir. As a portrait photographer specialising in children photography, a mother of three gorgeous girls and wife to a wonderful husband, I am aware of how lucky I am. It is a wonderful to give back to a charity providing a lifeline to bereaved families.