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.
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 commission for Country Life Magazine, accompanied an article in the issue on 22nd November 2017 about the Country House Foundation which offers grants to help the preservation of buildings of historical or architectural significance. Indeed, this charitable foundation has helped the Nick Ashley Cooper, the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury, restore the St Giles House Estate, Wimborne St Giles, back to its former glory. The earl explained: “During the restoration, we wanted to showcase one room in its unrestored state. The Great Dining room seemed the perfect space to do that, with its bare brick walls and layers of history.”
My aim was create an informal portrait from an angle which best displayed these ‘layers of history’, with particular focus on the juxtaposition between the bare brick and remaining plaster. What you can’t see are the two new layers of history on the carpet where Hettie (taking pride of place on the chair) was sick when she came in!