Making the Leica M10 - film by Richard Seymour
17 September 2017
Richard explains how he came about making a film about Leica's new camera.
'Back In January I attended the global launch of the new Leica M10 camera at Leica’s HQ at Wetzlar in Germany.
Whilst there I talked to my friends at Leica to see if they would let me shoot a personal short 60 sec film project on a very specific part of the manufacturing process for the camera - two incredible ladies who apply the leather covering on the camera in about 90 seconds - its the most incredible spectacle of skilled precision.'
'Conversations expanded quite quickly and before we knew it we had been commissioned to shoot a film of the whole manufacturing process running to 4 minutes and with an original music score.
In April my camera operator Jack Webber and I returned for the shoot, by this time we had decided it would be cool to keep it entirely in the family so to speak by shooting 4K on the Leica SL Pro camera system and we cheekily asked if they would supply us with a set of Summilux cinema lenses (at a cost of € 50,000 per lense) Upon arrival we were presented on a factory work bench with €200,000 of the worlds best cinema optics.
My vision throughout was to work at a macro scale to really get a sense for the highly detailed work involved in hand assembling these cameras with no less than 1100 parts. We wanted a human counterpoint of the staff who are unsurprisingly extremely proud of what they create so everyone without exception agreed to be filmed.
We commissioned a music score written to edit by a very talented DJ/producer who saw the value in helping out for the fairly meagre fee I could offer him.
The film has been one of Leica’s most successful recent promotional videos with over 70,000 plays on social media in the first 4 days.'
Introducing AOP Associate membership
6 September 2017
The Associate membership is our new category for service providers, suppliers or non-AOP accredited photographers in the commercial & fine art industry (printers, make up artists, prop-designers, re-touchers, lighting assistants, stylists and CGI operators).
£149 (inc VAT) per year, benefits include:
· AOP website listing and profile page in our Find an Associate directory
· £100k Professional Indemnity insurance – cover per single claim is provided as part of the membership
· Access to Business and Legal advice through AOP’s Legal and Business Advisor for an additional charge
· Marketing opportunities to promote your services to AOP members
· Industry discounts
· Buy/sell adverts
· Discounted Awards entry
More details here
Lorentz Gullachsen's exhibition AQUA opens in Stratford Artshouse on 8th September
AQUA is a celebration of water, both around the UK and around the world.
Lorentz Gullachsen explains ‘Water has been a constant subject for me as a professional photographer and in my personal work, it has become the subject of many projects.
I find water fascinating maybe as I am a Piscean I am naturally drawn to it, as a child I was an obsessive swimmer and surfer.
I have I always found myself attracted to the element that is essential to life.'
'It has been a great privilege to work in many locations across the globe in the course of my career as an Advertising and Editorial photographer. I have literary tens of thousands of images of water in its many guises some including products or destinations for tourist boards but many are images I have taken just for my personal enjoyment.'
The exhibition comprises of a selection of large Archival Prints and a screen based display of images providing an insight into the AQUA world.
'I am grateful for the opportunity to exhibit a selection of images at the Stratford ArtsHouse which is a great venue and a place I have taken many portraits in collaboration with the Stratford Literary Festival where I had the privilege of photographing many Authors & celebrities.’
Lorentz Gullachsen is an Advertising & Editorial photographer and has lived in Stratford on Avon since the 80’s. He works in Birmingham, London, New York & Paris.
His career has taken him across the globe working for Tourist Boards, Airlines and for consumer products and international businesses. Lorentz is currently working for travel and hospitality clients and producing advertising campaigns for London & International Agencies.
AQUA exhibition is on at the Stratford ArtsHouse and runs from 8th September until 3rd October 2017.
See more from Lorentz Gullachsen here www.gullachsen.comRead More
Ron Bambridge's Detroit Abandoned nominated in 2017 Fine Art Photography Awards
Letting go of the camera - with Cherryduck's James Vellacott
Letting go of the camera
Nine years ago, James Vellacott was jumping out of army helicopters in Helmand Province, camera in hand, ready to capture wartime stills to fill the newspapers back home. A year later James, together with wife Michelle (an Actress by trade who also worked for a major news publisher at the time) created Cherryduck (we’ll get to the name later) - a video production and studio business just down the road from Shoreditch in Wapping, London.
Where it all began
The transition from shooting stills to moving image was prompted by both Michelle and James’ respective bosses requesting video - a request that many Photographers will be familiar with. With little-to-no previous video experience, James taught himself to edit and began to send short video blogs back from the front line. Similarly Michelle, with a couple of camera tutorials from James, began to shoot and edit behind-the-scenes videos for fashion, lifestyle and makeup shoots.
Since the first video upload to YouTube on 23 April 2005, the world has gone video crazy. Video is constantly heralded as the preferred format to consume content - and demand for more isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. However, back in recession-looming 2008, while there was demand for online video, traditional publishers still hadn’t figured out how to monetise it. But, as Cherryduck’s motto goes, when it seems impossible...
When it seems impossible
Determined to make the video business work, with the words of his Managing Editor ringing in his ears “...the newspaper is the cash cow James. We can’t make videos pay...” and the ongoing decline in newspaper circulation, James made the leap and dedicated himself to Cherryduck full-time; from the front-line to the front-room of his flat in Wapping. The combination of James’ entrepreneurial spirit and photography skills, together with Michelle’s addictive personality in any networking scenario, was enough to slowly grow the business from there. But as Michelle has commented “starting a company is fairly easy, it’s growing it that’s difficult.”
Letting go of the camera
As a Staff Press Photographer, James came across the fundamental issue that when shooting video and photography on assignment at the same time, one would always compromise one or the other. You may miss an important still image when shooting video and vice versa. And no matter what type of photography you do, you’ll need to rethink lighting, frame rates, shutter types and angles, you’ll need to add and control audio, and get to grips with your camera moving - handheld, stabilised, tilt, pan, zoom in/out, using different tripods, dolly grips, jibs...the list goes on. It’s more than just picking up a camera and pressing record. Yet, at the same time, clients want that same high visual quality that they expect from stills.
A natural progression?
It’s no surprise that Photographers would be the first port of call for any Brand or Marketing Manager looking to complement their collection of product or lifestyle stills and engage their target audience on a deeper level with video. Photographers are trusted for their visionary eyes, their professionalism and their ability for creative storytelling. However, what seems like a natural progression to the client, for a photographer the transition to video can be somewhat daunting.
Making it work
As James and Michelle soon discovered, with a little bit of confidence to get out from behind the camera, a photographer’s skills can easily transition to moving image. And what’s more, you’re not alone. Shooting video is a collaborative effort involving a range of professionals from Producers to Camera Assistants, Gaffers, Editors and crew. They are all there to support the photographer director.
Another hurdle to consider is cost. Shoot locations, cameras, film lighting and prop hire, paired with the high pressure digital demand for fast video turnaround, often outstripped marketing budgets. James and Michelle found that the solution was to keep everything in-house, to turn Cherryduck into a ‘one-stop shop for video content’, debunking the myth that you couldn’t get good, cheap and quick.
With 21,000ft2 of space comprising of 6 video and photography studios, all the lighting, camera, equipment and props you could need, production suites and office space for their in-house Creatives and Producers to manage projects from A to Z, Cherryduck truly is an agency for the digital age.
And it’s not stopping there. James and Michelle have recently purchased a further 8,000ft2 next door to expand their office (set to open later this year) and are in the process of inviting like-minded companies in the creative industry to collaborate and share it with them.
“Sometimes I miss my previous life as a Press Photographer, but suffice to say that it was a different era and the experience allowed me to develop the skills needed to start and run a creative business effectively. The newspaper industry equips you with many skills required to achieve success in your own media enterprise.
The trick is to apply these same skills to new challenges and trust your instincts.”
To find out more about Cherryduck:
Pop by: Cherryduck Studios, 12-18 Sampson Street, Wapping, London E1W 1NA
Call: 0207 480 5057
AOP tours Awards to City of Glasgow College
©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
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.