Latest Posts

  • Have A Good Weekend, I’ll See You Monday

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      Late March 2003, a Friday, I am living in New York City. Been here for almost three years, my trips back to London confined to Christmas and the two months in the summer when the concrete and glass serves only to exacerbate the fetid and oppressive humidity of the place, rat people darting from one air conditioned refuge to another.   All my life, The Beatles have been here. They saturate my earliest memories. A babysitter playing ‘Help’ on my dad’s stereo that lived inside a glass cabinet.  Just the sound of ‘The Night Before’, the reverb, colours my impression of the sixties as a time of space, light and opportunity. Young men bombing about a deserted late night London in Minis, with beautiful girls in mini skirts and knee high boots, before going back to Habitat flats with record players on the floor. Who cares if it was true. The records made me feel like it was.   I became obsessed with everything about them: their accents, their wit, their hair, especially their hair. Even today I can have deep conversations with like minded types on what defines peak hair for The Beatles. My thoughts on this can…

  • All The Way Down The Line

    Ray Winstone - Riflemaker, Dean Street, London. 17th March 2014

    When I was young and the world was wide open, I thought that  it would be enough to be able to tell people who asked, that I was a photographer, that I took or made pictures for a living. It seemed so perfectly succinct and circular. I am a…..photographer.  The word ‘photography’ is the joining together of two Greek words: ‘photos’ meaning light and ‘graphe’  meaning drawing. Going by these definitions  ’photography’ gives us ‘drawing with light.’   Then I got older and, fortunately, I got a career. What fell by the wayside though, was the idea that I could just be a photographer. So naive.  I’ve had all kinds of work in my portfolios. People, landscapes, still life, reportage. Never any watches though. I couldn’t think of anything I’d like to do less than spend a life photographing watches. Literally seeing your life tick by at work. I did once photograph the stopwatch that timed Roger Bannister’s sub-four minute mile but that was different. That was a watch with a unique history and a charisma of its own.   As the years have gone by I’ve slowly evolved and narrowed my field of expertise down to one singular element of practice…

  • Whitney Bromberg Hawkings

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    Whitney Bromberg Hawkings has been Tom Ford’s PA and right hand woman for over 15 years and is now senior vice president of communications for his eponymous label. On dressing for Tom and work: “It’s like being ready for your first date every day of your life — everything has to be perfect.”  Watch the video, below, of Whitney in her London house sprinkling her assured Texan insouciance across the domestic landscape as she prepares for another day at the high altar of style.

  • Beaten Up And Bashed Around: An Afternoon With Ralph Steadman

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    A call from Esquire creative director David McKendrick late in the afternoon of Wednesday 7th August. Pure hundred percent Scot. Calls everybody ‘Big Man’, regardless of gender. Big man, wee man, the last time I saw him he was wearing a tartan pashmina. “Big man, ah’ve got something nice I’d like ye to do. A wee film of Ralph Steadman but it’s quite complicated in terms of how we want ‘e do it. Can ye come in and meet the team for a wee chat.” Sounds great. How about Friday, two days from now? “Ach, no can do, Big Man. Friday is the day we need to actually shoot it.” Right then. Tomorrow morning it is then. Following morning, off I trundle to London. I live out in the country now. Trips to London aren’t difficult but they’re a day out. I need to take sandwiches. Well, not sandwiches per se, more like my phone charger and a book.   In the meeting it’s explained that Esquire is to launch a weekly iPad version of the magazine. Original content, top deck material. They want me to produce two films; one for the iPad edition and a separate one for the…

  • Five Books I Love

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    I wrote this last year for the website It’s Nice That and I thought it would also be nice to place it here too. So, these five, among many, many others are some books I love. Lee Friedlander: American Musicians My all time number one favourite book. A masterclass spanning 30 years, from the late 1950s to the late 1980s, in how to photograph not only musicians but the greatest musicians of the 20th Century at that. Apart from my children, it’s the first thing I’d save in a fire. Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Mahalia Jackson, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, in studios, on the road, in their homes, boarding houses, hotels, buses, cars, city streets, country juke joints, gospel, jazz, country, blues, it goes on and on and on. The intimacy of the work is astounding. It could only have been achieved by someone that was liked and trusted, as well as brilliant. Only Frank is missing. You like soul music? This is soul photography. Richard Avedon: Evidence The diametric opposite of Friedlander’s work – detached, aloof, deadly. See his portrait of Marilyn Monroe, lost to the world in her solipsism. Avedon is the…

  • Gwyneth Leech for Anthropologie

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    A lovely commission from Anthropologie to make a two minute film on Gwyneth Leech, a New York based artist who draws intricate and beautiful things on paper coffee cups.  Each day she reuses her morning coffee cup to draw or paint a scene. She then signs the bottom of the cup and writes the date and event that inspired it.  Gwyneth has now done over 1000 cups and Anthropologie curator Wendy Wurtzburger asked her to allow them to reproduce eight of these pieces on ceramic versions of the cups for sale throughout the brand.  As part of London Design Week the Regent Street store in London also asked Gwyneth to hang 365 of them in their window and all this week she has been sitting among them drawing on new cups, allowing passersby to watch her at work. This film, ’365: A Year In Cups’, was shot in the window of the Regent Street store on Monday 16th September 2013 and the music on the film is by Kevin Cormack who makes up fifty percent of Half Cousin

  • Ronald David Wood

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    We are in a prime piece of four storey Georgian Mayfair, on the first floor, the second floor if you are American.  The place attracts a multinational crowd.  It’s not an art gallery. It’s a fine art gallery. As I said, a multinational crowd.  Cultured people with good legs and fine watches. I am here to photograph Ronald David Wood. He is the artist in residence at the gallery.  Up on the top floor is his studio. It has all his paints, his brushes, his canvases, a snooker table, and although he’s not actually living here, a huge bed should he wish to take advantage of the resources and crash for a while.  Later on I make a joke about how handy this must be if he doesn’t have enough money in his pockets for a cab back to Holland Park, especially after a big night out in the West End.  It went right off the cliff.  Sometimes I worry that I get too subtle at the key moments. I’ve been doing it for years. Everybody who works here calls him Ronnie. They tell me what to expect. Ronnie likes to be involved in the creative process. Ronnie doesn’t like to…

  • The Principia Of Natalie Dormer

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    This was commissioned by Henny Manley at British Esquire and is the second time I’ve photographed Natalie Dormer.  The first was in 2007, just as her role in ‘The Tudors’ as Ann Boleyn was about to go out.  Now she is here to promote her role as Margaery Tyrell in HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’. She’s a dream to work with. Collaborative, funny, self aware, a fabulous actress and the kind of woman you would rather be in a room with than not be in a room with.  A week before the shoot, trawling location company websites for somewhere good to photograph her, I came across a huge house in Barnes, south west London that had a hammock in the garden. I’m not sure why but Issac Newton’s name popped into my head and I started to think about apples and gravity. It was an easy thought to have. The idea for a short 2 minute film took shape almost immediately and I called my friend Max Olesker, one half of the genuinely genius comedy duo Max and Ivan, to ask him if he could write me a short script on the theme of Issac Newton, gravity and Newton’s famous third…

  • The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

    My portrait of Charlie Brooker has been accepted into the Taylor Wessing portrait prize show at the National Portrait Gallery. 5410 photographs were submitted and 60 were accepted. The show will run from this Nov until Feb 2014.

      I’m thrilled to have had my portrait of writer Charlie Brooker selected for the 2013 Taylor Wessing portrait prize show at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Of 5,410 photographs entered only 60 were chosen by the judges. The show will run at the NPG from 14 November 2013 until 9 February 2014. If you’d like to read the wider story behind the picture then here is a blog post I wrote about it last year.

  • Good Things Take Time

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    From: jon rubin  Subject: Inquiry: Shoot in Oxford Circus tube Date: 2 July 2013 19:28:24 GMT+01:00 To: [email protected]   Hi Chris,   I am an American artist who is doing a project for The Thing Quarterly and Levis and I am looking to hire a photographer in London for a shoot.   I got your info from Geoff Chadsey who is a photo editor for Time Inc.   Basically, I need to have photos shot of one man waiting for a train in the Oxford Circus tube station. The photos from that shoot will go into ad spaces throughout the station (without any branding on them).  Each weekday during rush hour, for the duration of the images display (late August), the actual man depicted in the photo (in the same clothes as he wears in the photo) will be in the Oxford Circus underground waiting for a train that he never boards. As people arrive at the platform they will see the photos of the man in the ad space(s) and might recognize him waiting on the platform. As everyone boards the train and empties the platform, the man would be left standing there alone (much as in the picture).  By destabilizing the viewers…