Friday, 28 August 2009

No Sleep

Saturday night, and my first job for new clients Slutty Fringe: to this end I found myself heading down to Village Underground to cover a Vice event with live bands. I started the night not really looking forward to it; I wasn't in the mood for a warehouse filled with a thousand scenesters, and, having been told Torn Apart By Horses were a good live act (not knowing any of the bands playing) I was a bit annoyed to find I'd missed them, and nearly left. However, a job's a job. First up was a mariachi band, Mariachi El Bronx.

They were nice, and all seemed to be really enjoying what they were playing a lot, although it seemed a little out of place. Next up were Crystal Fighters, who opened with technical difficulties leading to some interesting latin-ish vocal dance music.

Then, the main event. The mariachis reappeared, dressed all of a sudden as a hardcore band, and the crowd went slightly crazy; the organisers clearly missed a trick, because the lone security guard in front of the barrier was instantly overwhelmed and the barrier went down, most of the snappers got squashed, and people flooded the stage. Luckily I'm quite big and have hard elbows.

This band is called The Bronx, and if you like wild, loud, sweaty music of any sort, I suggest you go see them.

I went home with my ears ringing and my blood racing. It was a good night. The next morning I had to be up early to take pictures of a video shoot for a reggae singer called Nereus.

Then in the evening I was off to my second Slutty Fringe job, Boom Boom Club at the Bath House. Cabaret and burlesque; it's been done before, plenty of times, to the extent that I can see in the not-too-distant future it becoming less mainstream again, just through oversaturation; then we'll see who keeps doing it, who keeps going. This lot put on a fairly good show, although they managed to break their only stage light towards the end of the night.

Then home to bed. Monday was relatively quiet; editing the pictures from the weekend, meetings, and then a portrait for this week's le cool interview, James from Urban Nerds.

He was a nice guy, and I got an offer of possible work - shooting the DMC finals at the O2 in a couple of weeks. Very exciting.

Tuesday - flowers shoot with my friend Natalie.

Wednesday, a shoot with my friend Tamara, primarily to try to expand my beauty portfolio a little, and perhaps develop a style I find myself comfortable with. I'm not a big fan of shooting in the low key style that seems to be getting prevalent; although I appreciate that people like Terry Richardson, who is a real photographic hero of mine, can shoot like that well, I am more interested in using light to tell stories.

There was, of course, time to take a flower shot of her in the grounds of her flat.

Also on Wednesday, a photoshoot for a campaign being organised by Miriam Elia to free Hengameh Shahidi; the pictures were to be used for press and as part of this Amnesty International campaign. Here is Miriam with Jessica Hynes, both of whom will be performing at a benefit gig later this year.

Thursday started with assisting my mentor Takashi Kamei on a fashion video shoot for Glass magazine. Afterwards, I was supposedly going to do a beauty shoot, and a band shoot, and hoped to squeeze in time to do a flowers shoot with a friend of a friend. As it turned out, they mostly got cancelled at the last moment, but for the flowers shoot. It came out nice though.

I'm not entirely sure what the purpose is of this series; I started it thinking it would be a good way to develop my skills at shooting set-up shots, but the mood that I have managed to pick up from these shots goes beyond that, and now it seems like the collection of shots as a whole is developing a certain overall quality that I can't quite put my finger on, but I think I like it. Once I've got maybe 10 or 15 pictures I'm pleased with, I'll go through them all and process them in a certain way; for now the shots are strictly works-in-progress.

Friday started with a trip West again, to South Kensington and Hyde Park, for a shoot with Syban V. Manticore from Lucha, to both work on my portfolio and get some nice pictures she could use for her website. Syban's act revolves around piercing, mad costumes and ballet, so I kept an open mind as to what we might do. Here's Syban.

Approach with caution.

We had planned to do some shots in the ponds in Hyde Park, but just as we were setting up for them the heavens opened and we ducked for cover and then called it a day. On the way home I swung by Tamara's birthday party, where Park Lane Girls were playing.

I need more sleep in my life.

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