AOP tours Awards to City of Glasgow College
17 July 2017
©Lulu Ash, part of the Awards on Tour at City of Glasgow College 18th-30th July
AOP are excited to take the winners from the 2016 AOP Awards to the City of Glasgow College for a special exhibition from 18th until 30th July. Do come and enjoy images that were judged by leading names in the photography world including: Andy Taylor - Iris Worldwide; Terrence Pepper - Photocurator and exhibition organiser; Laura Noble - Director at L A Noble Gallery; It’s Nice That creative arts blog; and Piers Morgan - Journalist. This collection of work showcases the amazing quality and diversity of AOP members as leading professional photographers in the creative industries.
About City of Glasgow College
There has been a photography course(s) at Glasgow for over 50 years, currently they are the largest provider of photographic courses in Scotland.
Their enormous range of courses means they have up to 270 full time photography students and almost as many on evening classes.
All courses are delivered at the brand new campus which opened in August 2016 and has brand new facilities including 8 large studios, a darkroom, processing room, mac lab, download and print/scanning room.
Students have access to a well equipped photographic store with traditional cameras including 5x4 and Canon Digital equipment for all courses with digital Hassleblad for our BA students.
They are a lively and active department with staff from a broad range of photographic industry bringing a wealth of experience.
We chatted to Aileen Campbell - City of Glasgow College's Curriculum Head Photography about all things photography
What does the AOP do for you?
We use Beyond the Lens as a key text for all aspects of photographic practise. We also work with the AOP to encourage our students to enter the AOP Student Awards, and build it into our planning.
We absolutely believe competitions are vital for emerging photographers; they create a deadline, an external eye, a commitment by students to print or pay a fee.
The exposure is of course hugely important and for students to see where they stand alongside others often for the first time is an important step in gaining some confidence about their own photographic work. We have had many students shortlisted for the AOP in the past, and I'm glad to say after a push this year we have seen more enter and be shortlisted too. Competitions allow students to step out of the college environment and pit themselves against others, it's a very healthy thing to do!
How do you think emerging photographers can get ahead in the industry nowadays?
It's important to understand that there are many different ways to carve a career in photography today. The industry is not the industry that many lecturers experienced and the job market as we now recognise it includes jobs which we could not have predicted, especially around online sales and social media. This presents new opportunities for photographers.
The traditional route for photographers as assistants is not the only way to get ahead in photography. Education plays a huge part and we have many successful students working as photographers, as picture editors, using moving image, working with agents.
The skills of photography are only part of the way to impress, being good communicators, resilience and problem solving are just as important skills in the current highly competitive job market.
What do you offer your students that’s different from other photography courses?
Other institutions are often horrified by the scale of what we do at City of Glasgow College, but we see our size as a real strength.
With a lot of students comes a lot of equipment and facilities which includes a lot of full time and part time lecturers, this means there is a lot for students to experience from the department and from each other - and of course we have an impressive Alumni.
We are in the centre of a culturally rich city where there's a lot going on and the students completely absorb this.
Our teaching approach has changed dramatically - we still teach photography, we still teach photographic skills - traditional and digital, but we do this through a very flexible project approach with a lot of industry input with live briefs often led by practising photographers. The project approach allows us to take up opportunities so that we will not be doing the same thing year in year out. We can be very proactive in adapting projects to meet new opportunities with many interesting partners.
We really work hard to try and cater to the range of our students especially at degree level where students can follow projects which direct them to their own photographic future, we do not stipulate courses as commercial, professional, fine art, but instead we do actually achieve all of this, because that's the range of what our students want to do and among our staff we have those skills.
Looking at the world differently - TED Talk by Anderson & Low
14 July 2017
Congratulations to Anderson & Low for the fascinating TED talk on being brave enough to see the magic and creativity in the most unlikely places. Using three completely distinct projects to illustrate their point, they explain the ideas and inspiration behind ‘Chrysalis’, ‘Manga Dreams’ and ‘Voyages’.
Dark Mandala (from the series Chrysalis) ©Anderson & Low. All rights reserved
‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’ Marcel Proust.
Photographers Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating as Anderson & Low since 1990, and are known for bringing drama and mythic qualities to their wide-ranging work. Recurrent concepts bring unity to their output as a whole, whilst stylistic shifts allow them the best expression for each new project. They were official artists for the London 2012 Olympiad, were invited to create an art project based around the James Bond film Spectre, and created images for Star Wars VII; their project Manga Dreams was exhibited in the Venice Biennale.
Untitled (The Girl in the Red Hat) ©Anderson & Low. All rights reserved
The Ted talk can be viewed here:
From the project Voyages. ©Anderson & Low. All rights reserved
A look at LPA Futures
LPA Futures is an initiative set up by photographers agent Lisa Pritchard Agency (LPA) to kickstart the careers of emerging commercial photography talent and raise their profiles in this competitive industry. Now in it’s 12th year, the programme is going strong. We caught up with Lisa to hear how LPA Futures came about.
© Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. The LPA team, from left to right; Cassie, Georgina, Lisa, Anna and Clio.
‘I initially set up LPA Futures in 2005 as a division of my agency to simply represent up and coming photography talent’ says Lisa, owner and founder of LPA. I thought a small group of 5 photographers would be a good number and sourced the first roster from assistants and also scouted around the relevant awards. There were a couple of flaws to the original plan however, one was that it wasn’t actually that easy to find new talent – this gave me the idea of turning it into an actual competition and also getting a panel of judges involved in the selection process. The second was that, at what point are the photographers not emerging talent anymore, how long should they stay in the division? The structure was a bit woolly. So I came up with the idea of running it as a 2 year programme and changing the line up every time.
© Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. Futures launch night 2017/2019
Since these early beginnings LPA Futures has developed into one of the industries most popular competitions for new photography blood. Lisa and her team at LPA hand-pick a panel of experts from the fields of advertising, design and photography to select the 5 photographers from all the entries.
Photographers are invited to submit 20 images that demonstrate the potential to be successful advertising photographers and the competition usually attracts around 150 entries. Lisa believes the standard has got stronger and stronger each year.
© Previous Futures winner 2015/2017 Tim Atkins
‘In the earlier years, we got a lot of entries that weren’t so relevant, very fashion editorial or perhaps from photographers who were still yet to find their niche or signature style. This is a competition for photographers just breaking into the industry and working on get noticed by commissioners. It is for those that have taken the time already to gather experience and who are forming realistic expectations of what it takes to make a career out of their photography. When faced with this year’s entries the initial reaction from most of the judges was ‘how can we just choose 5?!’. I guess the entries might have got stronger as it’s become more apparent what we are looking for, or maybe there are just lots of really talented, relevant photographers coming into the industry right now- maybe a bit of both! The debate between the judges was truly fascinating though, a real insight into what commissioners look for and who they would consider (and not consider!) working with, with no holds barred. Of course as agents we get a lot of feedback when we take our main photographers portfolios out, and are aware of industry trends, we know how to put a portfolio together to win jobs and what brands are looking for. But the judging evening is always extremely telling and confirms the zeitgeist of commercial photography. It’s priceless, and a great privilege to be able to listen to the opinions of such heavy weight influencers in such an environment.’
The work of the winning 5 were revealed at a launch party in May, attended by the who’s who of the industry, where their work was showcased together the first time.
©Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. Futures winners 2017, from left to right; Will Hartley, Steven Joyce, Katrina Lawson Johnston, River Thompson and Imogen Forte.
‘I love the whole process of LPA Futures, it’s so rewarding to discover new talent, see their work develop, and play an active part in accelerating the careers of emerging photographers’ enthuses Lisa. ‘Last year’s group were incredibly successful with lots of very high profile commissions from brands such as Peroni, M&S, Sony, Kleenex, Marie Curie, Deliveroo, Stella McCartney, White Stuff and Eat Natural to name but a few. We really have high hopes for this new roster with a couple of commissions in the bag already.’ She goes on to say ‘The idea of Futures isn’t necessarily to find photographers for LPA represent in their main stable after 2 years, and obviously as an agent we can only represent so many photographers. Some turn out to not be quite ready for the commercial arena and need to evolve a bit more, some aren’t ready for an agent quite yet still, some might want to explore different directions, but there is usually one that we like to keep hold of. This year, we are delighted to say that food and drink photographer Tim Atkins has been signed to our main roster. Tim is a great combination of a brilliant photographer with a very identifiable style that is really in demand, but he is also very proactive with his own marketing and output of work and has a realistic out look on the industry in terms of what needs to be done and the role of an agent.’
Here's a run down on the winners of LPA Futures 2017/2019
Born and bred in London, Imogen is a self-taught photographer who cut her teeth as an advertising art director and copywriter. She has created work for clients including Magners, Carlsberg, Gumtree and Ann Summers and has won a few pitches and awards along the way.
She was taught about photography from a young age by her father, a photography enthusiast, who bought Imogen her first camera when she was six. Since then Imogen has taken inspiration from photographers who seek out beautiful and captivating moments in everyday life, especially those who use colour in interesting ways; William Eggleston, David Alan Harvey, Joel
Meyerowitz, Saul Leiter, Olivia Bee, Ryan McGinley and Elsa Bleda are all firm favourites.
Imogen takes her camera with her everywhere she goes, looking for moments of beauty in amongst the mundane. She works mainly on film, but is equally comfortable shooting digital. Whether shooting on the street or taking portraits, she looks to capture moments that move her in the hope that they’ll move others too.
Will grew up in the countryside in North Devon with his brothers, building dams and tree houses. When he got to his teens he started skateboarding. Will watched a lot of skate movies, played Tony Hawks on the Playstation after school and went skating with his friends in their local spots. It was then that he decided he wanted to be a photographer or filmmaker so he started filming and taking pictures of his friends in action.
Since then he has moved to London, worked with photographers such as Olly Burn, Dan Burn-Forti, Spencer Murphy and Samuel Hicks and continues to win awards. Will has a studio in Limehouse Arts Foundation, Bow, which he shares with another photographer and a set designer. He is now becoming very much in demand from brands and agencies himself.
Steven studied at Filton College in Bristol which had a connection with Magnum Photos and he ended the course with a job at their offices in London.
It was around this time that Steven started to discover good food, living with a close friend who was very much into cooking. His friend introduced him to food writers such as Nigel Slater and Simon Hopkinson, took him to Fergus Henderson’s St John, and taught him to cook.
Whilst shooting a project about allotments Steven met his wife, Rebecca, who at the time worked for Observer Food Monthly. After showing him the Moro East cookbook (recipes by allotment holders in East London) he realised that he could bring all the things he loved together.
Steve has shot for numerous publications including The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Telegraph, Elle Deco, and ES Magazine. He has also been commissioned to shoot multiple cook books as well as for many restaurants.
Katrina Lawson Johnston
©Katrina Lawson Johnston
Katrina grew up on a farm in the south of England but now calls Hackney home and spends most of her time at her studio in Camberwell. She attributes her love of photography to her mother who would take her and her brothers hiking in the mountains to search for and photograph rare wild flowers.
Having quit competitive ice skating aged 20 she studied Photography at UAL under Itai Doron and got a job at Spring Studios after graduation. This led to assisting many well-known fashion photographers and working full time for Jacob Sutton. Since making the leap from assistant to photographer Katrina has been lucky enough to shoot for brands such as Stella McCartney, COS & Beefeater Gin.
Katrina is interested in the movement to pioneer British-made crafts, which has appeared in the last few years and she would love to work with craftsmen who are passionate about the products they produce.
River grew up spending his time between the South of France and South London before moving to Cornwall to study Fine Art Photography at University College Falmouth. He now lives on a boat in London and works from his studio in Hackney.
His passion for photography started alongside his passion for exploring in his teenage years, photographing friends and locals in and around Toulouse in France and Peckham in London. River first learnt to shoot film on his Dad’s old 35mm camera quite early on and still sometimes shoots film for both personal projects and commissions.
When discussing his photography River describes his style as sensitive and quiet, with an honesty and rawness in terms of colour, tones and texture. He enjoys using natural light and tones when possible, and is constantly changing his favourite time of day and season to shoot.
Publications and clients that he has worked with include The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Eurostar Magazine, Visit Norway, Thomas Cook, Dojo App, Kitchen Air, Origin Coffee and Snow and Rock.
2017/2019 LPA Futures was judged by:
Tanja Adams & Helen Parker, Founding Partners, Another
Sophie Chapman-Andrews, Head of Art Buying/Executive Producer, McCann London
Chris Coulson, Art Director, Seven Stones
Jaki-Jo Hannan, Senior Art Producer & Alicia Hart, Creative Picture Researcher, AMV BBDO
Michael Heffernan, Photographer & Director, LPA
Bel January, Senior Creative Producer, Mullenlowe London
Lisa Pritchard, Owner & Founder, LPA
Kieron Molloy, Associate Creative Director, Conran Design Group
If you are an emerging photographer, the next call for entries goes out in November 2018, details will be available on the LPA blog.
Winners of the AOP Student Awards 2017
Thanks to everyone who made Tuesday's Student Awards ceremony and party a roaring success. The standard of work was exceptional, the judges had a really tough time shortlisting the entries. All 60 finalist images were exhibited at leading creative agency Mother, in the spectacular space Downstairs at Mother, in Shoreditch. Thanks to Flow Photographic who printed the entire collection so beautifully.
The winners were announced by the AOP team in front of a 250 strong audience, which included the three Student Awards curators Rachell Smith, Howard Kingsnorth and Karl Taylor, many agents, tutors, photographers and press.
Huge congratulations to all finalists, and especially the winners:
Best in Show Hannah Fishwick, University of Hertfordshire
Best in Category, People, curated by Rachell Smith: Anna Baylis, City of Bristol College
Best in Category, Places, curated by Howard Kingsnorth: Andy Wasley, London College of Communication
Best in Category, Things, curated by Karl Taylor: Michael Duckworth’ University Centre Blackburn
AOP Course of the Year: BA (Hons) Photography at Cleveland College of Art & Design
AOP Lecturer of the Year: Jon Lee, BA (Hons) Professional Photography, Edinburgh College
©Anna Baylis, 2017 Student Awards Best in 'People' category
©Andy Wasley, 2017 Student Awards Best in 'Places' category
©Michael Duckworth, 2017 Student Awards Best in 'Things' category
©Hannah Fishwick, 2017 Student Awards Best in Show
Thanks to Plastic Sandwich for their generous prize of a bespoke portfolio for the Best in Show winner, (winner selects the size, leather colour, orientation & choice between 2 standard fonts for name deboss) and also for the 25% discount for all Best in Category winners.
Thanks also to Big Sky Studios for their brilliant prize; 5 day work experience and your own shoot at their studios. During the week you will work with the lighting department, shadow the studio assistants, and on the last day you will have a studio to make your own work.
Other prizes include days shadowing a curator, portfolio and career advice sessions, online workshops, work featured both in the Awards Book and online exhibitions, AOP Awards tickets, copies of Beyond the Lens and the Awards Book.
2017 Student Awards main sponsor is Fixation
2017 Student Awards print partner is Flow Photographic
2017 Student Awards party bar was sponsored by Williamson Carson
Starting Out Conference 2017
4th July 2017 10:30am - 5:00pm
Join us for a day of practical, informative talks to inform and inspire you on your own career in professional photography. This will take place at Direct Photographic 11am-5pm.
Cassie Gale from Lisa Pritchard Agency will talk about how photographer's agencies work, how to get an agent, and explain what LPA Futures is all about
Kelvin Murray on his staggering photography career
Emma Taylor (creative consultant) on practical advice for emerging photographers
Will Corder on his experiences as an assisting photographer and stories of starting out in his career
Nick Dunmur on copyright and how to protect yourself as a photographer
AOP Student, Junior Assistant & Assistant members: FREE (lunch included)
Non-members: £5 (lunch included)
Starting Out is sponsored by Direct Photographic
Franz Pagot: The Craft of Cinematography
We caught up with cinematographer Franz Pagot on lighting, winning at the National Film Awards and Jackie Chan.
Plus - Franz himself will run workshops on the Craft of Cinematography - details and booking below.
I trained early on traditionally as a cine camera assistant in movies and commercials. After directing few commercials during the 90s a client asked me to do the poster campaign for their product too. It was one off, I prefer images that move. I was very lucky in my career, assisting some incredible pros in Italy in the 80s, and then landing in London to assist famed steadicam operator John Ward on Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. It went warp speed from there and I am still trying to catch my breath.
How has your style developed over time?
The biggest criticism I received from the start was that as a cinematographer I did not have a defined style, and I never regretted that, I am extremely curious, I always loved trying all sorts of things in lighting and I cannot resist pushing boundaries, sometimes with insane consequences. When I work with people, such as a colourist or an editor, I always tell them "scare me". The best work always happens by beautiful accident though, I hate when people say that the "create" lighting, one only discovers it, we do not create anything. With time my visual memory bank of beautiful films has increased immensely, as a Bafta member I see a huge amount of films each year, and I am always in awe of how much talent there is out there. Eventually I settled for a rich chiaroscuro style, quite contrasty, and scary for most directors. If I flare an image, trust me it will be very...flary!
You won Best Drama at the National Film Awards last year, tell us about the winning film and if that award has changed things for you
" A Reason to Leave" was directed by Norman Gregory and produced by Carolyn Weldon. It is an independent British drama set between the UK and Tuscany. The main protagonist, played superbly by Mark Wingett of Quadrophenia fame, gets a second chance after a rough life, and lands a job as a farm hand in a Tuscan villa owned by a woman, played by the wonderful Claire King. However things turn quite dark and...well that’s enough plot. It was a fun production, a change from big studio films, and I enjoyed it tremendously. The film won an accolade of awards, and rightly so.
I won many awards in the past, and while it is always nice to have confirmation of one's effort in crafting images, I shy away from the glitz and glam. I have seen people, colleagues and friends, changing after receiving awards, and then slowly losing work because of their attitude. I surround myself with people who constantly remind me that my English is not perfect, otherwise one would not notice that I am from Italy, and that yes, I am a bit overweight.
What’s next for you?
Commercials aside, I am in preparation for an action film starring Jackie Chan, and I am really looking forward to working with him, he has been my hero since ever.
We’re very excited that you’re running some workshops on the Craft of Cinematography, what will participants take away from that course?
I am very flattered to be asked to do the course; the AOP represents the best there is out there when it comes to photography, it is very humbling indeed to be talking to AOP members, so much knowledge and talent presented with understatement only true to a professional artist.
I believe that cinematography is a craft, with few trade secrets that I am happy to share, in the same way other people did with me when I started. The transition from taking a still image to cinematography can be quite daunting, because the camera will be moving, performers will probably talk, music and sound become a fundamental part and everything is very dependant on editing.
People attending the course will receive no nonsense practical advice that will work straight out of the box. Cinematography, and filmmaking in general, is all about problem solving, where luck means preparation meeting opportunity. My aim is to give every participant tailored advice, hence why I don't accept more than twenty people. They will be working with a steadicam operator, setting up lights for movement and story, working with an actress and tackling editing problems. In other words participants will take away years of experience filming all sorts of situations, in the air, underwater and on land, with all sorts of equipment: sliders, dolly, fluid and geared head, drones, helicopters and especially handheld. The biggest compliment I can ever receive in the future would be "Franz suggested that, and it work wonderfully well, and had fun doing it".
See more from Franz here
The Craft of Cinematography with Franz Pagot
This hands-on one day course for experienced photographers approaches cinematography as a practical craft. There will be a strong emphasis on participants' preparations for the step from photographer to cinematographer or director. Participants can also bring along their cameras of choice
Saturday 1st July and again on Saturday 8th July, 9am - 5pm
Cherryduck, 12-18 Sampson Street, St Katherine's & Wapping, London E1W 1NA
Price: £100+VAT AOP members or £150+VAT non-members
Tutor: Franz Pagot AIC MBKS
Andrew Whittuck on Pink Floyd, The Beatles and the art of reinvention
We caught up with AOP member Andrew Whittuck about his incredible life in Photography
The early days
When I left school I worked for a portrait photographer, printing her black and white prints. I learnt a lot just being around the studio and I remember she said, “‘listen to this” it was Miles Davis ‘Kind of Blue’, only recently released in 1962.
I worked in a bank for 3 years and in my spare time did lots of friends’ portraits, weddings, shooting stills at my friend’s first attempts at Film, and wandering around London and developing and printing in my spare time.
I shot Helen Mirren being filmed in a clinch, on Hampstead Heath just as she was about to be attacked with a sword – heady stuff. She must have been 18, but I think we were already aware of her emerging stardom.
I had an exhibition in the foyer the Everyman cinema in Hampstead, followed by one at a camera shop in Kensington. There I met Hiroshi Yoda still at the LCP and realised I must go to college to proceed.
I was accepted and started in the first year. Later the next year, 1966 there was the tragic disaster at Abervan, where 88 children and teachers were killed in a coal slag mudslide, during school assembly. I went down with an American photojournalist shortly after the terrible tragedy and later for the burial 10 days later. We rushed back to London, processed and printed our pictures overnight and his agent took them to Life Magazine, but their photographers had shot, surprisingly in colour, some from helicopters above, and they had already sent them off to New York. The atmosphere in Abervan where they were historically used to some extent to mining deaths was horrendous - nearly a whole young generation was wiped out. We could only photograph at a distance.
I had an exhibition at the LCP that winter of my Abervan pictures. I was 22 then and realised that college wasn’t for me. I left and started shooting freelance photo stories.
Pink Floyd and The Beatles
I did five stories in that next six months with writer Farrukh Dhondy which included The Pink Floyd, The Maharishi and the Beatles, Kathakali Dancers from Kerala and “Dialects of Liberation“ at the Roundhouse with Allen Ginsberg, the beat poet, RD Laing (Scottish psychiatrist), Emmet Grogan, father of the hippy children from Haight Ashbury in California and Stokely Carmichael, the black power leader, after Malcolm X. I remember that at the end of this weeklong event Stokely Carmichael disappeared through curtains at the back of the stage surrounded by 10 huge bodyguards. A shocking thing to see in London in 1967, it was the end of Flower Power.
I had a friend who knew the Pink Floyd managers and they were keen for any publicity, since the Floyd had only been formed 18 months before. Before that they were called ‘The Tea Set “. They all came to my Studio/Bedroom in my parents’ house in Hampstead with all their instruments and most importantly for me, with their lighting guy. The only illumination I used was the lighting they used in their gigs, a 35mm Kodak projector with glass slides with a mixture of oil/water and coloured ink, heated by a hair dyer close up, so that the ever changing bubbles of colour floated over them.
I shot them against a white Colorama, individually and together mainly in colour but also in black and white using mainly a Hasselblad and also a Nikon on a tripod with high speed Ektachrome pushed to asa 320, and Trix pushed to asa 600. They were all quiet and studious waiting patiently in my brother’s bedroom or maybe it was the LSD, which was around at the time. My mother ever interested came up at one time, noticing Syd Barrett, particularly out of it, in the corner, brought him up a strong cup of sugary tea which we thought, brought him round a bit.
I shot all the Abbey Rd stuff in black and white and some colour, shot with my Hasselblad mainly so that they could use the Hasselblad shots for their forthcoming LP ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ being square format. Sadly it was not to be. My agent had asked too much for the use of the pictures so I sat on them for 25 years before finally putting them with Redferns Picture Library and now with Getty.
I also followed them around to the UFO club, Ally Pally and the Royal College of Art gigs and also to Abbey Rd, where they were finishing off ‘Piper‘.
The only one that paid out quickly was the “Maharishi and the Beatles.”
I went with my Indian friend and writer, Farrukh Dhondy to the Hilton Hotel, in Park Lane for our meeting with the great man. What a weird location, the Maharishi siting on what seemed like a hundred cushions with chandeliers above saying in a sing song voice ”More joyfulness, More joyful happiness “ again and again. The Beatles and their girlfriends, without Ringo were in the front row. We could not believe our luck we were about to make our names! We followed The Maharishi and the 3 Beatles back stage to a small room for the private initiation. I grabbed a quick picture of John Lennon in a white suit looking a bit like a prophet, people standing back a bit as they well they might with the other great man.
Farrukh was hoping to sell the story to the Listener, the BBC weekly magazine at the time, entitled “Beatles get off this trip its going nowhere “ which he subsequently did!
I think Farrukh must have chatted a bit with Paul, because the next day we went to Kings Cross station, where the Beatles and other followers were going to mountains of North Wales with his Holiness. Paul recognised us and said Hello. We were being touched with greatness! I managed to get a pic of the Maharishi on the platform before he disappeared onto the train plus his acolytes. I suddenly noticed Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful sitting quietly on the train and grabbed a quick shot through 2 lots of glass, what luck I thought.
I did not realise until 30 years later after listening to a radio programme that John Lennon was sitting opposite them. No wonder Mick was looking a bit fed up, with Lennon fancying his bird all the way up to north Wales! What a coup that would have been Lennon and Jagger in the same shot, with Marianne Faithful! It was time to get on with my career. The picture stories had not sold either quickly or well so I had run out of time and money. The snakes and ladders my photo career.
Food, Still Life and Portraiture
I went in search of a studio-assisting job, finally working for Len Fulford, at the time one of the very best food and still life photographers in London. He wanted me to run the studio so that he could gradually switch to shooting commercials, for which I was hopelessly unqualified. It was all shooting on 10x8 with studio flash and I lasted 5 months, I don’t know how.
Freelance assisting jobs came and went until I thought I could and should set up on my own making my flat into my studio too. Lots of hard lessons followed but gradually I became more competent shooting white pharmaceutical pills on white backgrounds, and occasionally shooting very spoilt child models and 6 babies at a time, you were lucky to get 5 mins to grab the shot. I did pack shots, industrial shots for Plessey Radar and Atomic Power stations, Textile factories, Ford at Halewood, where they had allegedly 22 football pitches in the factory for when things were slow. I gradually moved more and more into food photography doing lots of McCain chip shots, pies, and fruit tarts.
I still occasionally shot portraits for mainly publishers including Melvin Bragg and his writer wife, and Sidney Nolan and his writer wife. I was also asked to shoot for an American publisher for a stills film of writer Christie Brown in Dublin. One evening we were all singing, on St Patricks Night in the upstairs bar of a Pub in Clontarf, Dublin. On leaving we had to negotiate the spiral staircase to get Christie into his wheel chair. Something went wrong and Christie tumbled in free fall down the stairs. Somehow we him got into his wheelchair unhurt and we continued our sing-song at the family house until the early hours. I thought ‘this could only happen in Ireland!’ I also shot a murderer who was a writer who had been a marine, trained to kill, who had fought at Arnhem and after being found guilty spent 15 years in Brixton Prison.
In the early 80s food photography really got going and I jumped on the bandwagon shooting editorially for magazines, part works, cookery books and some advertising.
It was a good time and I moved to a very expensive Holborn studio with 2 parking spaces and a colour lab in the building. I even shared an agent with David Bailey. It was a great time until the next recession came in the late 80s /1990. I think I and my generation of photographers weathered at least 4 recessions in our careers.
Like some of my fellow photographers with heavy overheads it was a difficult time. I moved home and made a studio /office on the first floor and began shooting for Art Galleries artists including Damien Hurst, Donald Judd etc. I shot mostly sculpture, lugging my heavy location flash, balancing daylight with flash as the colour changed during the day and using a £600 colour temperature meter and filters, using 5x4 and 35mm too, using Fuji Provia Film to get faithful colour. It was taxing but good. The galleries quickly moved to digital and I missed the boat so it was reinvention time again.
I went to the City Lit for a year, to study as a teacher for 1 day a week getting my City and Guilds diploma and then started teaching photography at The City Lit in Covent Garden, my old college LCP and other colleges around the country.
Over the past years I have also covered performance art events including that of my wife the Performance Artist, Bobby Baker for 25 years, and that developed gradually as I documented various venues around the country. For 10 years I also had a one Sunday a month photo group. We shot all over London, some times by night, going to the seaside, portraits in the studio and with an exhibition at the end of each session.
Thus I continued over the next 10 years teaching and documenting Performance art events.
Landscape Photo Holidays
I had always thought it would be good to run some kind of photography courses, leaving London and setting up in the country. I soon realised that would be too expensive in the UK, but I managed to buy a simple bungalow in the Corbiere region of France near the Spanish Border, which could sleep 6/8 people. It took 2 years to sort out. I had a launch party where I was teaching in Islington and with a Journalist friend writing me up.
It slowly got going, running the Landscape Photo Holidays. I was just a few steps ahead of my students, having to develop my photo skills yet again in quick time. Luckily I had finally switched to digital and was slowly getting to grips with Photoshop, I was on my way. I would pick students up from the airport, drive them around to the wonderful locations and put them up and wine and dine them too.
Luckily the house is very close too the dramatic Cathar castles set in the amazing landscape of the Corbiere with fabulous colours during the spring and autumn.
I now also run short landscape photography courses, near the Seven Sisters and Birling Gap in East Sussex. That is the story pretty much up to date and I am looking forward to the next challenge. I think travelling the world, funds permitting, to photo waterfalls.
Five years ago I switched to Fuji X Series, which have been great especially now with the new X-pro and XT2, because my Nikon stuff was getting so heavy. My location kit now includes 3 camera bodies and 3 zooms, normally no tripod and just a few filters. Shooting by the sea and with wind it’s so easy to get dust on the sensor. Now what’s the next camera, completely waterproof I hope?
You can see Andrew's Pink Floyd photos at
‘Their Mortal Remains' exhibition at the V&A in London until September
and also at
'Captured in a Moment: 50 Years of Iconic Rock & Roll Photography' at The Royal Albert Hall, until 25th June, Saturdays and Sundays only.Read More