Tuesday, 29 December 2009

2009 / 2010

I really can't believe that 2009 is pretty much done and dusted.

It's pretty much a year since I started taking photos again after a while off and making the leap to upgrade my camera. I stoped taking photos because I just wasn't enjoying it and was stressing way too much. It started to become a burden and I hated the photos I was taking.

Getting a new camera felt like a fresh start and was just what I needed, I stopped worrying about making it as a pro photographer and was doing it for myself because I enjoyed it. I'm happy with the photos i'm taking again and feel like i've improved (not by a massive amount) which means a lot to me.

There's been some quite interesting oppertunities open up and but the problem i'm having at the moment is I feel like i'm back to where I was a year. I'm feeling pressured and stale with what i'm doing.

I need to take some time to think things through and think about what i'm doing.

I know that i'll never do photography for a living, it's not in my make up to do some but I have ideas of things that i'd like to do and work on.

I'd like to do more documentary style photography. There are people I find intriguing and intresting and i'd like to do very candid photographs of them and their life.

One of my dream projects/ideas is i'd like to work with 'To Write Love On Her Arms', if you don't know who or what they are you should check them out. Having struggled quite badly with depression this year i'd like to do something to help the out and highlight/raise awareness for depression, suicide and self harming. I'd love to photograph the work they do and their talks, events, bands that endorse the charity as well as doing a series of portraits of people suffering with depression.

I don't know how much of this is possible or what next year holds but I like to hold onto these ideas and if I work towards anything it will be those.


(me taken almost exactly a year ago).

Every Time I Die - Borderline

The shows that always mean the most to me are the ones that are out of the ordinary, different or rare. Seeing ETID in the Borderline was definitely that. I was a bit anxious about shouting the show because I wasn't sure if it would be too busy to be close enough or whether i'd be allowed my camera in. Thankfully because of the snow there was pretty much know queue so I could grab a spot at the front.

The Borderline is a weird venue for shooting in, it's too dull to shoot without flash most of the time but it's almost too dull to do anything interesting with flash so it's a real catch 22.

Maylene and the sons of disaster supported and they were superb. It wasn't till a song or two in that I realised the singer was Schuylar from He Is Legend so that added a little extra to make this band great.

More Maylene photos can be seen here.

Taking photos at a show like this is what I imagine being on the front lines in a war to be like (but obviously not as extreme). Having to take photos while bodys are coming at you from all angles, being kicked, whacked and fallen on is not easy. I split my lip open thanks to a stage diver but it was so worth it. The photos aren't great but any photos of this band mean a lot to me. Despite being battered and bruised coming out it reminded me of why I enjoy taking pictures and how much recently i'd stopped enjoying it again which really needs to change. Without a doubt music and photography have helped keep me alive this year and that's not an understatement.

More ETID photos can be seen here.

Tassel Club & Glitter Room

Feels like it's been ages since I updated this. Been a very strange month and a very strange end to the year. some ups and some downs. My laptop hard drive died so I lost even more of the few photos I have left since the death of my external hard drive, Gallows postponed the dates I was going to due to illness and blessthefall was just too crazy and busy to shoot.

This will probably be the first of 3 blogs over the next dayish.

I got to shoot another show which is part of the Tassel Club at a venue called Pigalle. Lighting in venues is something that is really starting to frustrate me, the place was lit with nothing but orange light on the stage which just looked horrible and because of how the venue is laid out there's not really a decent point for me to duck down and get my shots.

More photos from the night can be seen here.

I also shot Decembers Glitter Room which had a really packed line up. Some of my friends/favourite performers were there and I took my parents along to see their first burlesque show. After shooting in places like the Proud and Pigalle venue's I was so glad to be somewhere that had better lighting. It's gotten so much better in the black sheep bar from when I started and I would like to think it shows in the photos.

More photos from the Glitter Room here.

I know I don't shoot all that regularly but I'm glad for a bit of a break. Need to have a bit of a think about what i'm doing (some of which I want to write about soon).

What a year.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Tassel Club

I've been a bit quiet on here and flickr, I have been doing stuff but some of it is stuff I can't post photos of yet. I got to shoot Poison the well / Thursday / Rise against at Brixton Academy and Escape the fate / Hollywood undead at Shepards bush empire. Will update about those when I can put stuff online.

I got the chance to go down and shoot a burlesque show called The Tassle Club at a relatively new venue (Proud Cabaret). The venue is stunning and it had some really good performers. Missy Polly Rae and Banbury cross were just superb and Scales of the unexpected were really fun.

The lighting was a bit hit and miss at times but I like how some of the shots came out.

Considering how much I struggle with approaching people for photos I managed to take a few and hopefully if I shoot it again i'll get a bit more confident and shoot more.

Please check out The Tassel Club here!

More photos from the night can be seen here.

I've got some bits coming up which should be good. Should hopefully be shooting Blessthefall on Thursday, Gallows 3 times in a week (starting Saturday) and maybe (if i'm a very lucky boy and am on Santa's nice list) shooting Every time i die at the Borderline, which may just be the show of the year.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Dr Sketchy

Dr Sketchy is something i've been interested in for a while, i've heard about the New York version and seen photos and it sounded great. Thankfully I recently heard about a London version and really wanted to go and take some photos.

If you haven't heard of Dr Sketchy, it's a life drawing event mixed with burlesque. I had such a good time taking photos and watching everyone drawing that it made me really wish I was drawing and taking part. I'd quite like to get a group together and go down to this.

I'd like to thank Clare who runs the London Dr Sketchy for letting me come down.

Please check out Dr Sketchy here!

More photos from the event can be seen here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


A while ago I ventured into the world of Lomography when I bought a Lomo fisheye camera. Since then i'd always had my eye on the actionsampler cameras and on a whim not that long ago I bought one. I love it, it takes four photos (with flash) on a single 35mm frame. It's been fun experimenting a bit with it and i've certainly learnt some do's and dont's. It seems to work best if you move the camera when taking photos to get the 4 images as different as possible. I would like to try and use this more at gigs but the flash isn't that strong and as the shutter speed is quite fast, the gig shots I tried came out quite under exposed. I'm quite please with the ones I used without flash that have a nice blur and colouring to them.

More photos can be seen at the bottom of my Lomo/Holga set on flickr.

If you've never seen it before check out the Lomography site here.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Last monday I felt like I needed to get out and take some photos. I've noticed recently that as much as I hate winter, London looks more amazing at night at this time of year than any other.

I started when I left work and took photos along the route (through the Southbank) to Tottenham Court Road. It's something I want to do more of. Oxford street and the surrounding areas are probably my favourite bits of London and with Christmas coming up I want to make an attempt at caputring the atmosphere and what it's like in town at this time of year.

More photos from my brief walk are here.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Never Say Die tour

It's taken me a week to get the time to edit, upload and write about the Never say die tour. Finding out IWRESTLEDABEARONCE were touring made me a very happy lad, they were on a bill with 6 other bands playing at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. I really wasn't sure what to expect as I didn't know most of the bands and i've had mixed results when i've photographed their before.

Doors were mega early and due to the way they were making people queue I missed the first band. IWABO killed it, they were so good and made me glad I went but the highlight of the night was Horse the band, they were funny and the music sounded awesome.

I ended up with quite a mixed bag of photos, they allowed flash photography but at times the lighting was so good I opted not to use it for about half of the night, ended up coming away taking about 3500 photos of the 6 bands (Good/Bad depending on how you look at it).

Shot to show how crazy/busy it was in the pit that night.

More photos from the night are here.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Icing on the cake

For the most part this year really has been a shit year personally for me. I've really struggled and i'm really not back on my feet but I think i've had my best photography year to date and i'm pleased/proud of that.

The icing on the cake for this year (and the straw that broke the camels back/any other cliches you can think of) was my external hard drive dying last night. This may not seem like a big thing and I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not. What makes it a big thing is if I can't recover the data on it then i'll have lost pretty much every photo i've ever taken (only have a small amount of recent work on my laptop and all my documents were removed off my main computer which is a long story).

My photos really were the one thing that proved (to myself) that I wasn't a complete screw up and that I had some reason to be proud. My photos are my history and without them I feel like I have nothing to show for the last 4 or 5 years.

I know it's my fault, I should have had them backed up in multiple places and all that and thats part of the reason it's annoyed/upset me so much. This shouldn't have happened.

My flickr may end up being the only copys of a lot of my work. I'm just waiting for that to get deleted for no reason (like i've seen happen to friends).

Maybe this is a sign that 2010 should be a fresh start.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Solipsistic Pop Launch

Several of my friends have all contributed to a new comic anthology called Solipsistic Pop. It's been getting quite a bit of press and was released yesterday as part of the ICA's Comica festival during the Comiket (alternative comics market) and there was a launch party after.

Julia asked me to come along and take some pictures. I feel quite bad because as much as i'm happy with some of the shots I feel like it's not what they would have wanted as a documentation of the launch. This was because taking photos of people/strangers always/still freaks the shit out of me so I ended up shooting in my 'sneaky' style.

Something which I think was a nice touch was the fact they had some of the contributors drawing (with a camera set up projecting onto a wall what they were drawing.

More photos from the night are here.

More information on Solipsistic Pop (and where to buy it) can be seen here.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Glitter Room - November

This months Glitter Room was easily the best to date, everything about the night really clicked. The line up was great and had quite a lot of variety to it. Apart from the acts, the place was packed and the crowd were really vocal.

Highlights of the night were Tempest Rose (as usual), Sophia Rose (seeing her full routine was great), Major Suttle-tease (just brilliant, i'm really proud of the shot of him in this entry) and Mr B, the gentleman rhymer.

Well done Mr Suave. This all makes me really look forward to the Christmas show.

More photos from the night are here.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Crossfire Halloween Massacre

Halloween I decided to go to the Crossfire Halloween Massacre which was in an indoor carpark around Old Street, there were two rooms with DJs, a couple of bands playing and a skate ramp.

For the most part it was really hard to shoot as it was very dark with next to no lighting. The only decent place to shoot the skate ramp from was on it and as I wasn't shooting officially I didn't want to push my luck. I could shoot from the side but the side was covered by a net which meant shooting through holes and rips in it.

I'm quite pleased with how the photos turned out in it end, considering the lack of lighting i'm pleased with how my flash shots came out and I feel the skate shots are more expressive and i'm starting to realise how much my shots aren't 'commercial' which is a shame but i'm enjoying shooting how I want. All the skateboarders were in costume which made things quite amusing. Did spend the whole night panicing that I was going to end up with a skateboard to the face (or camera).

It was nice to be able to shoot bands, skateboarding and crowd shots all in one night. I'd really like to go to more things that Crossfire put on.

Looking forward to some of the things i've got coming up. I'm seeing IWRESTLEDABEARONCE tonight and hopefully shooting the launch of a comics anthology on Sunday which should be good. I've got shots from Sunday nights Glitter Room show which was amazing.

More photos from the night are here.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Relentless sessions

Last part of the good/bad/frustrating week or so for my photography was a night at the Relentless Garage for the Relentless sessions. I found out about it quite late but as The Computers and Outcry Collective were playing I wanted to go.

As I got there I found out that it was 8 bands across two floors. The set times overlapped so there was quite a bit of running up and down between the two and trying to shoot quickly.

The security at the Garage are proving to be the nicest security around apart from the fact that I was told that it would be no flash for all of the bands on both floors. Thats not too bad, it's pretty standard, lighting on the main stage was ok but lighting upstairs was terrible. The pit/barrier upstairs was impossible to get in front of unless you sat on the steps of the barrier like Gollum. As I went in for the headliners/the last band playing downstairs (The King Blues), the security guard tells me that flash is ok, which probably means it was ok all night and that i didn't need to struggle for 3/4 of the night. So annoy to find that out that late on. Managed to catch the end part of Outcry's set with flash which was good as they were the ones to sort me out with a pass.

The photos I got from the night were such a mixed bag. I seem to be the king of noise/grain on photos at the moment.

One thing i'm really not good at is going up to and talking to new people, it's why I shy away from doing promos. I Suffer quite badly from a social phobia/social anixety. It's really the main thing thats holding my photography back. I don't really talk about it much and a lot of people don't really get it but i'm trying to work on it. I get really flustered easily and it all snowballs from there.

Inside the venue (and outside beforehand) they had people dressed up and fire breathers to entertain people coming in and I was quite proud of the fact that I sucked it up and asked to take their pictures. It may not seem like much to most but it was a big step for me.

Photos from the night can be seen here.

The Outcry collective photos can be seen here.