Granville Park

Granville Park was a huge, 18-month-long project for the interior designers 2 Lovely Gays. What was once four flats is now a beautiful four bedroom house. And what a house! I love it. It's elegant and stylish and at the same time, a fun and playful home for a young family.

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In all of the 2 Lovely Gays' projects they champion their favourite independent artists and craftsmen. The artwork in the photo behind them is by the brilliant Forest Hill based artist and illustrator Supermundane. The wonderful bright fabric of the cushions in the lounge and master bedroom is by textile designer Amelia Graham and the frankly awesome murals in the kid's bedrooms are Giles and Cecilie.

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Jackdaw via erm, Via

Jackdaw Studio are an interior design studio who specialise in designing environments for creative people. They've worked for the likes of MTV and international Ad agency Wieden and Kennedy but this was their first venture into the world of Youth Hostels. Thanks to Jackdaw and Via things have changed since I was last in a hostel. For one thing there are far less bongos and dreadlocked young men from Surrey.

Just look at this latest project in Lewisham. So bold and imaginative. Check out this wonderful dining room constructed without touching any of the lovely cornicing...

They've managed to keep all the beautiful original features in tact by building structures within the rooms that function brilliantly as well as looking great. Clever!

And the disco Reception area built within the grand old entrance hall...

If you've got friends who need a place to stay in the South East London area they should definitely check out Via Lewisham!

Smash Hits

I love this house.  The abundance of daylight, the beautiful colours, the gorgeous lighting in every room. It's been designed by the brilliant 2 Lovely Gays. I work with Russell and Jordan a lot and its always a total pleasure. Their combination of being thoughtful and really imaginative results in wonderful projects like this one in Balham.


Ian Dejardin

Firstly, great name. You can't be dull with such a good surname surely? Well Mr Dejardin did not disappoint. Ian is the Director of the fantastic Dulwich Picture Gallery and has been for a decade. Ian was the ideal subject; not in a rush, up for trying anything and came armed with a selection of vintage tie options.

Clark Carmody

A few weeks ago I did a hair shoot (more of that later) and one of the hairdressers was Clark Carmody of The Voice fame. Granted, if you go out on Saturday nights you might not know him but trust me you're missing out. He's cool, he can actually sing and he's got good swagger. He's also a stylish man, describing his own on stage look last week as 'Amish Pimp'. Not easy to pull off. Clark's out of the competition now but I'm sure its not the last we'll see of him. Good luck Clark!

To see what Clark's up to now check out his twitter page, https://twitter.com/clarkcarmody

The many faces of Arthur Irving

Introducing Arthur! A few weeks ago Arthur and I legged it around various parts of East London with Arthur doing impromptu costume changes as we went. Arthur needed a few different portraits for different types of work. His day job is as Creative Director of Skylark Creative but he also dabbles in public speaking and sports coaching. I think we've covered it. We also appeared to have covered Malcolm X lookalike but you never know when that could come in handy. 

Jewish Care

This was my first job for Jewish Care, the largest charity for Jewish people in the UK. They do a huge amount for the community. In total Jewish Care support 7,000 people a week with a wide range of needs including dementia, mental health problems and physical disabilities.

We spent our shoot day at a home for the elderly in Essex. After doing some personal work with the older Jewish people at Stepney Jewish Centre I was really looking forward to it. It was nothing like the old people's home I'd worked in as a student that's for sure! This was just like Stepney, bright and very lively. In the afternoon an old crooner style singer came to entertain the residents and you couldn't keep them down! Singing, dancing, laughing, shouting and that was just the 101 year old. 101. Yowser.

To find out more about the work Jewish Care do have a look at http://www.jewishcare.org

Saltram

Leaving London for a National Trust job is always a treat but going to Saltram near Plymouth in Devon was especially appealing. The sea! The rolling countryside! The house is perched high on a hill with lovely views of the river Plym and beautiful grounds. The interior is interesting too, full of Chinese wallpaper and curios found on the family's travels. 

As with most jobs though its the people you remember. First we had the little twins and their family who patiently let us follow them around and encourage (force) them to dress up, use binoculars, have cookery lessons. Then there were the celebs. The original women from Gareth Malone's Military Wives Choir kindly lent us their children. My mother wouldn't have been able to contain herself. Last but not least were Plymouth's finest taxi drivers who ferried me about. All of whom were ex-Navy, covered in tattoos and had unbelievably strong Devonian accents. I was sorry to leave.

Zero

Earlier on this year my friend Joel rang me up saying he's got some work for me to photograph. Even though he'd explained what they were I wasn't expecting them to be so big or so beautiful. They're huge hand carved wooden sculptures/ urns/ tbc. We photographed them at my flat first, all of which are on Joel's site www.parkesdesign.co and then a couple of weeks ago I went to Dorset where Joel lives and works to take some pictures there. Aren't they lovely? Now I just need a grand piano, sweeping staircase to put one on/ under!

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Sal Idriss

This was my first job after loafing about on holiday and it was such a nice way to ease back in to work. I was asked to photograph the NPG photographer Sal Idriss doing a street photography workshop with a group of young South Londoners in Trafalgar Square. The project was organised by the brilliant education team at Dulwich Picture Gallery

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The idea was for the boys to approach people, introduce themselves, explain what they were doing and ask if they could take their portrait. Sounded straightforward but I'd forgotten how years of being a photographer had made me really comfortable chatting to strangers (my boyfriend would probably say too comfortable!). For about half an hour there was a lot of shuffling about, a fair bit of mumbling and a then definite lean towards young Italian girls in skintight jeans. Half an hour later after more tips and encouragement from Sal ("Be nice. Nicer than that") they were off and no one was safe. Elderly couples, tourists, policemen, street performers, 'Chinese Harry Potter'. It was amazing to see the difference in them in just a few hours. I haven't laughed so much on a job for years. It was also a good reminder that being a portrait photographer is roughly 90% being able to talk to people and 10% technical skill. I'm sticking to that anyway! 

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Paris France

Last month I went to Paris Photo with my friends and fellow photographers Charlie and Janie. Me and Janie have both assisted Charlie and I also used to assist Janie. I was generally really lucky and assisted nice photographers but these two also became good friends. We're an odd bunch in a way, you can see people in restaurants trying to suss us out but I like that. We haven't got much in common I suppose other than photography, all being bolshy and enjoying buggering about. That's more than enough though surely.

 




 



Paris Photo itself was great. There's a lot to see and it is pretty overwhelming but there are real gems that make the slog worth it. Check out Julian GermainStephen Shore and Johanna Diehl








Nat

I met Nat ten years ago when I was an assistant in a freezing cold studio under some railway arches in Birmingham and she was the glamorous client. We stayed in touch and she really helped me when I moved to London, introducing me to some of my best clients and taking me to places they'd never have otherwise let me in.


Nat is a DJ and these shots were for her new website. If you need a DJ, hire Nat. She has an unbelievable record collection and knows a lot about music but is not a snob. She plays the the best dancing around, screaming along in your car songs. In a good way.

The Lone Twins


During the Summer, journalist Ros Anderson and I drove around the country interviewing and photographing people who had lost their twin. Whilst their stories were all very different the link seemed to be the pervasive feeling of something missing, of not quite being complete.  One thing that has brought comfort though is the Lone Twin Network, a support network that organises meetings where people can talk and share their experiences with others who understand, lonetwinnetwork.org.uk

Thank you to David, Karen, Jill and Tony for sharing their incredibly personal stories. According to our contact at the Lone Twin Network the article led to a big increase in enquiries and that can only be a good thing.

You can read the full article here, http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jul/20/my-twin-died-i-survived. 

Little M, slightly bigger

Back in August, me, Martha's Mum Helen and Martha went camping. She was on fine form, referring to her little chair to eat in as her throne, chasing Shetland ponies around and generally asking everyone what they were doing; "Meg's trying to sleep but you keep asking what she's doing". Martha is such an alert, happy little girl and I loved spending time her. Even if she did try and steal my sunglasses. Nice try little M, nice try.










National Trust- 50 Things

I was really excited to be asked by the agency 18Feet to shoot some of the National Trust 50 Things campaign photos. The agency chose lots of different people; some young, up and coming photographers, some experienced advertising boys and me and another chap who already shoot for the National Trust picture library. I haven't laughed so much on a shoot for years. The tone was set when a very glamorous older lady burst out laughing at the sight of my jazzy harem style trousers when we checked in to our hotel the first night. They're actually very on trend lady.





We shot at Mottisfont in Hampshire and Birling Gap in East Sussex. Both were gorgeous settings and all our models were great but I think the highlight for me was photographing an Indian family playing in the sea. They had moved to the UK about 6 months before for the Dad's job. They were good natured and smiley all day and when we were leaving I thanked them and asked if they'd enjoyed themselves to which the young lad replied that he had, then added, "isn't Mother Nature a beautiful thing". Such a lovely thing for an 11 year old to say.









Stepney Jewish Centre

I first went to Stepney Jewish Centre to photograph a project that Dulwich Picture Gallery were doing there. I've photographed lots of art classes with older people and I always really enjoy these jobs but this was different. It was clear immediately how comfortable they were with each other. Everyone got involved in the project; laughing, arguing, heckling, reminiscing. There was even impromptu singing- something to do with the price of a banana. I guess you had to be there. Anyway, I asked Paul Jarvis the brilliant co-ordinator for the centre if I could come back to photograph them and here are the results. 








Mexico

I spent February travelling around Mexico on heavily air conditioned buses listening to terrible pop music with Adam (pictured hanging out a a Taco stand). 

It's a brilliant country to potter about in. For one thing all food comes slathered in chilli, salt and lime. Even fruit. The people are welcoming and funny. It has deserts and mountains and brilliant cities where you can guarantee there'll be live music in the local square, teenagers dry humping and old people slow dancing. Ole!