Friday, 25 September 2009

No Pain No Gain

Saturday found me celebrating the end of summer at the Summer Sunset festival, on the site of what was once the Glade festival until the landowner got fed up with 5000 ravers getting wasted in his woods and decided he'd rather have 500 of his nearest-and-dearest dance the Autumn in around a tiny stage amongst the trees by his lake. It was fun, with everything laid on. I loved Festismall. Good ideas don't have to cost a lot of money.

Those guys at the end are the Badger Badger crew, who had taken me along with them to document the event. They're an excellent bunch.

Tuesday took me to something a little different: an online art performance by Justin Allen of Switch Performance, whose body-based performance was to suture his mouth shut and observe an hour of silence in an Arts Council-funded project. Although I was mostly in charge of holding the video camera which was streaming it live (a slightly daunting experience, as I'm not used to working with moving image - the main difference I found was having to think about framing one step ahead of things happening).

Wednesday I shot some promo pix for a band called Speak And The Spells. They're regulars at Dice Club, which is where I first met them, and it seemed like a good chance to do a no-stress shoot for a bunch of nice guys. So down to Richmond it was, to try to catch deer and make some dudes look neat.

Afterwards a friend had use of a car for the evening so it was off to Kent to take photographs of industry around Gravesend.

I'd been speaking about my photography to one of the few people who's opinion I take seriously the day before; they'd suggested landscapes were one of my stronger suits, and although I'm not sure how I could ever make that style into something I could earn a living from, it always leaves me satisfied, to take pictures of something that is there for anyone to see, but still put my own style onto it.

Thursday I was on assignment for Slutty Fringe again - this time at Legion, where French Horn Rebellion, Drums Of Death and We Have Band were playing. I was fairly exhausted - my schedule has been slightly overwhelming the past few weeks, and people keep wanting their shots asap for press etc. (something I suspect I'll just have to learn to deal with) and I wasn't on my best form.

Friday - I'd been asked to shoot a birthday party, and a tattoo convention, but I spent the evening in front of the computer, waiting to hear from people and trying to catch my breath. An afternoon trip to Kew Gardens, to walk on the treetop walkway, certainly helped.

Tomorrow - Cargo. Tuesday - Miriam Elia's comedy gig. Thursday - Emily Grive then Skill Wizard. No doubt a ton of other things will come up at last minute as well..

Friday, 18 September 2009

Direction, and other impossibilities.

Saturday saw me heading to the O2 for a a night of scratchin', hip-hoppin', and duckin' under and around tv crews filming the 25th DMC Championships. I would not say that I am the biggest hip hop fan in the world, but there was a time when I relentlessly collected Mo' Wax releases, knew all the words to every song on Step In Da Arena and wore particularly baggy jeans. It was a good feeling to do the job; I got it on recommendation, it was a prestege event (particularly because it was their silver anniversary) and I was the only snapper given a stage pass. I tried to make best use of it, but there is a certain limit to how much you can do with pictures of guys touching records. It was great to see up close though - I don't know if any video in the world would truly show just how fast Q-Bert can make his hands move.

That last one is DJ Shiftee, winner on the night. Not a controversial decision, but in my opinion, DJ Coma (2nd shot down) gave a more entertaining performance. But what do I know..

Monday saw me heading to Tesco HQ for a shoot with Ken Hom, for their packaging, PR and press divisions. He said I was one of the best photographers (on set) that he'd worked with. Oh boy. Maybe he'd disagree if he saw this picture.

He was a real nice guy. His favourite Chinese dish is Peking Duck.

What was going to be a busy busy week turned into a slightly quieter week, as shoot after shoot was rebooked or cancelled - of course, I always get that call when I'm halfway to them. These things happen; at the moment I have three books in my camera bag for such eventualities. Luckily Syban came over to save me from going camera-crazy and taking pictures of blank walls, ants, rubbish in the street..

She's still crazy.

Friday was time for Fangtasia at Resistance Gallery, a theme night based on True Blood. There was a spectacular performance from Santa Gasolina and I was well pleased to see some faces I hadn't seen for a while. It was a good end to a good week.

Perhaps the best thing that happened this week was being contacted by the ICA; I'm to be their official photographer for a 9-day festival they're holding in November. I'm massively excited and can't wait. First things first though; tomorrow I'm off to the Summer Sunset festival. I'd promised myself "no more festivals!" but then they mentioned 20 people salsa dancing while dressed as badgers, how could I say no?

Friday, 11 September 2009

Immoderate Consequences Of An Ego-Driven Lifestyle.

The weekend: Offset festival.

Tuesday: shoot with Miss Miranda.

Wednesday: portrait of Rodney Clarke for lecool.

Thursday: shoot with three ladies for femme fidels.

Friday: portait of Laura who is organising the Bike Film Festival, for lecool.

Then off to Cargo to shoot their Free Friday night, with Crystal Fighters, Joanna And The Wolf, and others.

Next week: more, more, more.