Thursday, 30 September 2010

London Tattoo Convention 2010

I spent Saturday and Sunday this week down at this years London Tattoo Convention at the Tobacco Docks thanks to the very kind Fuel Girls.

I've been pretty excited about this for a while as they were going to be performing more than the fire routine I'd seen/photographed before. I've been to the tattoo convention before and knew that it's fairly well lit as most of it's roof is glass. When I got down there on Saturday, I found out they were going to be doing a fashion show for Jane Doe which I was pretty excited about but unfortunatly the crowds were too big and I couldn't quite manage to get close enough to get a lot of decent shots. I managed to get a few which I was happy with. I decided as I was going to be there for two days that I would just stick to the stage and make sure I got their performances covered so that I was a bit less restricted the following day.

I decided to shoot a lot in colour as it was quite bright and during most of the routines they were in very bold Jane Doe latex. The fire show itself was great, as it wasn't part of a club night they had a lot longer on stage which meant that Teta did a much longer solo dance to start with. The stage was square and had crowds on all four sides which meant that the girls were quite spaced out in terms of positioning so it wasn't easy to cover them all.

As well as the fire show they also had Colette Morrow and The Amazing Ari doing aerial shows on ropes/silks. It's the first time I've properly photographer anything like this. I really enjoyed it, I think I was lucky with the glass roof and all the beams across it as it made for some really nice line work on the photos and contrasted nicely against the flowing silk/rope and their body positions. Vanessa and Teta also did aerial work alongside Ari (Teta and Ari also did a Tango/aerial routine).

The Sunday I shot some people tattooing and grabbed a couple of shots of Craig Burton being tattooed by Oliver Peck but I found it quite hard to make the photos varied and interesting. The rest of Sunday was spent catching the Fuel Girl shows again and try to catch it from different angles and get better coverage of some of the other girls.

I think the highlight of my weekend was the fact Nina Kate performed with them on the Sunday. I've been a fan of Nina Kate for a while and I think I met her once when I did a photoshoot for Rockworld TV about 3 or 4 years ago and I still regret not really knowing about Jane Doe or Nina Kate at the time. I would have loved to have done more stuff with them before they got massive.

As I covered so many performances over the two days, there are shit loads more photos on the links at the bottom.

Amanda Toy - London Tattoo Convention

Oliver Peck - London Tattoo Convention

Colette Morrow - London Tattoo Convention

Fuel Girls - Fashion Show (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Tango Routine (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Fire Show (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Fire Show (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Fire Show (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Fire Show (London Tattoo Convention)

The Amazing Ari - London Tattoo Convention

Fuel Girls - Aerial Show (London Tattoo Convention)

Fuel Girls - Aerial Show (London Tattoo Convention)

The general shots of the convention are here.

The other Fuel Girls photos are here.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Burlesque Idol - September

After what I thought was a pretty successful night at the Shipwrecked! show I went down to see the Burlesque Idol show at Madame Jojos.

This show was another one to highlight the inconsistances I notice in my photos. I'm not really sure why but something didn't click, whether it was the lighting or my positioning I'm not sure but I just felt like the photos were no way near as good as the previous show despite being in the same venue.

The show itself was good, the performers were trying to win a place in the Burlesque Idol final. There was a nice mix of performers at various stages of their burlesque careers. The judges kept their comments constructive and positive choosing to highlight the strong parts of the acts and things they can do more of rather than where they may or may not have gone wrong. One of the highlights though was that they had a comedian performing called Dan Wright, who I didn't realise until he mentioned it in his set that he was 'Little Cook' from 'Big Cook Little Cook' which took me back and made me smile.

One thing I've been happier about over this show and the last one is that I'm actually talking to people and making myself a little bit more known or putting a face to a name. This may seem like something small but it's a big step for me personnally. I find the burlesque scene to be far more welcoming and less intimidating (as a photographer) than the music scene.

Barnaby - Burlesque Idol

Burlesque Idol

Lolita Du Nuit - Burlesque Idol

The other photos I took from the show can be seen here.

All in all, it's been a busy 3 days over the weekend. There should be another update in a couple of days from the London Tattoo Convention.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Shipwrecked! - A Tropical Burlesque Extravaganza

I haven't shot a burlesque show since June and shooting things like the Fuel Girls and looking back through old photos made me really want to get back out and starting shooting shows again.

I still really want to work on my burlesque book and I was planning on starting work on it in October but I got a message from Temptest Rose. She invited me to come down and shoot her new show at Madame Jojos. I've known Tempest for a while and written about her before as she hosted most of the Glitter Room shows.

She said I could come down early and shoot some backstage stuff beforehand (I've been dying to do this for a while). They had set Madame Jojos up with tables and chairs which was unusal for me as I've only ever seen it when it's just standing so I decided to shoot from the small walkway besides the stage as there was noone DJing up there like they normally have.

The show itself was called Shipwrecked and something I noticed and really loved about it was that it was a proper show. It had a theme that carried through most of it and with an opening performance (with Tempest Rose, Lola La Belle and Miss Betsy Rose) and one to close all of the performers joined in on stage (instead of calling them up for a bow) really helped bring everything together. I know it sounds obvious and other shows have themes but most burlesque shows I've been to feel like it's a selection of people performing one after another rather than performing together as part of an act. I hope that makes sense.

Madame Jojos is a weird place to shoot at, they normally just stick to having a bland red light for the whole performances and while they moved slightly away from this to start with by the end of the show the lighting was really stunning. Shooting from beside the stage was something new and I really liked some of the angles I was able to get (with the group performances).

I really loved the show and really enjoyed being back shooting burlesque again.

Thank you to Tempest Rose and Lola La Belle for a great evening.

Backstage - Shipwrecked!

Opening  - Shipwrecked!

Miss Betsy Rose - Shipwrecked!

Lola La Belle - Shipwrecked!

The other photos I took from the show can be seen here.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Protest The Pope

Living in London I always see or here about things like protests, marches and other public events happening and always want to go down to take photos and never get round to it. After shooting Pride it really made me want to take photos are more things like that.

Recently it's been hard to escape the fact that the Pope is on a state visit to London and there's been a lot of people objecting to the fact he's come over. The reasons why people are against his visit have been well publicised and there was a 'Protest The Pope' march to try and get the point across.

I went down to grab some photos but I wasn't really sure beforehand how big the event would be or if there would be restrictions on taking photos like there were for Pride (I had to get a press pass for that). Thankfully they allowed anyone to come down and take photos and I managed to get to the front to take photos of the people leading the parade as well as some of the speeches that were being given. From what was said/what I've read since being home was that there was about 10000 people taking part. I'm really glad I went and am pretty happy with the photos. I definitely want to try and get down and cover more things like this.

Protest The Pope - London

Protest The Pope - London

Protest The Pope - London

There's plenty more photos from the protest here.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

My 'dream' list of people to photograph

OK so I always see people who I think I'd love to photograph / do a documentary series of photos on. I've been adding them to an imaginary list and have finally gotten round to writing it down.

I know some of these are slightly more achievable than others and some will never in a million years happen but that doesn't really matter. It's my dream list right?

So here it is...

Zak Smith
Mandy Morbid
Steve Prue
Fearne Cotton
Tara Mcpherson
Jim Mahfood
Miss Led
Brian Ewing
Courtney Love
Davina Mccall
James Woodford
Frank & Steph Carter
Hearts Under Fire
Paloma Faith
Jamie Tworkowski (TWLOHA)
Banbury Cross
Kelly Osbourne
Lindsay Lohan
Audrey Kitching
Demi Moore
Steph Carter & Eva Spence
The Bangkok Five
Stan Lee
Marino Lambrix
Juliette Lewis
Fuel Girls
Jared & Shannon Leto
30 Seconds To Mars
To Write Love On Her Arms
Vans Warped Tour
Travis Barker
Lauren Conrad
Dita Von Teese
Gerard Way
Craig Burton

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Craig Burton & El Wood - Comic Readers

Last Saturday I was hoping to take some photos of Craig Burton and El Wood for the 'Read Comics In Public Day' but didn't manage to do it on the day.

Thankfully I managed to rearrange it with them. Craig is a photographer and has been very helpful and extremely supportive this year and El is a model but they both help out at Frith Street Tattoo shop and I managed to grab 20 minutes with them on my lunch break to grab some shots for my comic readers project.

I was pretty nervous because of what they do but I guess because I didn't have a lot of time and I've known Craig for a while the nerves went pretty quickly.

We shot outside the tattoo shop and while shooting Craig the lighting was pretty nice but the sun really came out during the last few shots. It made shooting El a bit more tricky as there were a hell of a lot more shadows which I probably could have sorted out with a reflector (which I don't own but probably should) or flash (which I didn't really want to use). El was a trooper for doing this despite feeling really ill.

I think I'm finding that I'm far more comfortable shooting if I don't really have to give people directions. Just being able to just concentrate on shooting away relaxes me and I like to think it gets more natural looking shots.

I'm really happy to have gotten another two people done for this. I've got a few more people I have in mind to shoot I just need to sort it out. I don't really know where I'm going or what I'm going to do with all these photos in the end but it's really nice to be working on something.

Thank you very much to Craig and El for letting me do this!

Craig Burton - Comic Reader

El Wood - Comic Reader

The rest of the photos of Craig are here.

There's a few more of El you can see here.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

New York - Black & White

This is going to be a quick update. I used two rolls of film in my Lomo Fisheye while I was in New York in July, one was colour and one was black and white. I haven't scanned the colour shots in yet but I've only just got the black and white ones developed (and scanned at the same time).

This is the first black and white film in my Fisheye and I like how the shots have come out despite them being more grainy than I expected. I really want to start using the Fisheye more, there's loads of experimenting with double exposures and film swapping I want to try out. Using the camera is pretty fun as you don't have to worry too much about the shots being perfect but I find it makes me think more about lighting and conditions (hopefully it helps with judging conditions for my SLR too).

Thinking about New York makes me feel a bit better but I fucking miss that place.

New York 2010

New York 2010

There's a few more from the roll you can see here.