HERE’S TO THE PORTRAIT SALON & THE BEST OF THE REST! 

So the Taylor Wessing winner was announced recently, but enough about that, the Portrait Salon selection was also revealed. This post is a salute to the competition who for want of a better phrase, celebrate ‘the best of the rest’. 

The Portrait Salon is a great option for those of us who have had made fruitless attempts at winning the Taylor Wessing. It’s such a good idea in fact that I’m thinking if you don’t get selected by the Taylor Wessing or the Portrait Salon next year, fear not as I will be launching the Portrait Shed (you heard it here first!) Enough of that for now though, my standout for this years Portrait Salon has to be the image below by Matt MacPake.

Check out this years lineup:

https://www.portraitsalon.co.uk

HOW MANY TIME’S HAVE YOU gone ‘I WISH I’D bloody THOUGHT OF THAT!’

I think that at one time or another we will all look at something and think ‘I was going to do that!’ or ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ The first time I can remember it happening was in a year 7 art class. I told my then friend of my idea for a project, only to find he used his cunning and initiative to do it before me, and take all the credit!! I had a ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ moment more recently when scrolling through Instagram.

I came across a series called ‘In Brutal Presence’ by Nicola Muirhead. The series documents residents of Trellick Tower, a tower block on Golborne Road in Notting Hill. It's an idea for a project I've always been excited by the prospect of. I don’t know about you, but just thinking of all the stories from the people living in Trellick Tower just starts my mind whirring!

This is a cool project, check it out:

http://www.nicolamuirhead.com

IF YOU LOVE IT, then LEARN TO TALK ABOUT IT…

I celebrated my 30th birthday recently, and as a present I was lucky enough to get a copy of ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ by Alec Soth. I was over the moon, but it was only when telling my mum about this book, that I realised she couldn’t for the life of her see what was so fascinating about this series.

So there I am, fruitlessly trying to explain why she should be inspired by this series, meanwhile she's struggling to look vaguely interested in what I’m waffling on about. I guess what I’m saying is, that being able to talk about photography, whether that is yours or the work of others is crucial, if you care about it, then learn to talk about it!

Check out 'Sleeping by the Mississippi' here:

http://alecsoth.com/photography/

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook what’s right in front of you…

As someone who spends their working day trawling through endless amounts of images of places, hit by natural disasters or of people fleeing their home due to ongoing conflict, it can become easy to overlook what you’re actually looking at. It’s only really when you dig down and read first hand accounts of the people in the images in front of you that you have a slice of understanding of the horrors they have faced. 

I came across work by Chris De Bode on the Guardian recently and as much as I was struck by the images, they wouldn't have had the same impact without the accompanying stories of the people Chris was photographing. The individual and community stories regarding conflict, climate change and political instability in the places they called home were, at times inspiring but largely harrowing.

I really recommend you checking out this body of work:

http://www.chrisdebode.com/stories#/food-in-a-fragile-world/

CHECK OUT 'SIGNS OF YOUR IDENTITY' BY DANIELLA ZALCMAN 

Sometimes I come across bodies of work where I read the introduction and think ‘where do you even begin in trying to photograph this?!?' The series that I am posting about today was one of those times…

‘Signs Of Your Identity’ is a body of work by Daniella Zalcman which explores a network of Indian Residential Schools setup by the Canadian government in the 1840’s. Children as young as two were taken from their homes and were sent to church-run boarding schools, where they were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions. This is a truly shocking story and one I wouldn’t even know where to begin with. I was totally surprised and sidetracked when I saw the approach Daniella took…

You need to check out this series:

http://www.dan.iella.net/#/signs-of-your-identity/

THE FULL PICTURE - SIMON ROBERTS

It's felt like a long week, so I thought I would put up another ‘ The Full Picture’ feature to help you over the line to the weekend. With this image we will be travelling back to the summer of 2012 with Simon Roberts as he photographed the Olympics in London…

PLAY-DOH + ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS = A BLOODY GENIUS IDEA! 

As a child who wasn’t really trusted to play with play-doh without causing absolute carnage around the house, I can only look at Eleanor Macnair’s work with huge slice of admiration but also a tiny slice of envy...

If you haven’t come across Eleanor’s work before, she describes it as her ‘strange tribute to photography’. Eleanor recreates iconic photographs in play-doh form. I admire anyone with a passion for photography, but I'm in total awe of someone who loves photography and wants to express that using play-doh! Personally I think this is a unique and completely genius way of expressing passion for a medium that I bloody love to! 

If you haven’t yet, you need to check out Eleanor’s website:

https://eleanormacnair.com

anything's possible if you've got enough nerve...right?

I was reading a feature online recently about William Lakin’s series ‘Good Times for Free’ and he mentioned that the images in the series were trying to emphasise the fact, that the young people he was documenting were at a crossroads in their lives. A lot of the people he was photographing were in their late teens and early 20’s, and they were looking for answers and trying out new things. 

The thing that really struck me was that no matter what your age, we all at one time or another stand at a crossroads looking for answers and opportunities. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and grab an opportunity, after all anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve… right?

You should check out ‘Good Times for Free’ on William’s website:

http://www.williamlakin.com

A ROSE TINTED VIEW ON the PHOTOGRAPHY OF YESTERYEAR…

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel as if I'm drowning in a sea of images. The sheer amount can be overwhelming yet at the same time the content itself can be a little underwhelming. I look at the work of photographers from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and a little piece of me is quite envious.

There weren't cameras on every appliance in the 60’s, so someone who said they were a photographer more than likely was one, rather than someone who claims to be a professional because they once photographed what they had for dinner. On the flip side to that would the greats of the photographic past stand out in the Instagram era, or would they sink unseen into the overpowering sea of images… It’s an interesting one to ponder, and something that will throw up many different rose tinted points of view… 

Here’s a rose tinted nod to the past with one of my favourite Martin Parr images:

https://www.martinparr.com

A LIFE AWAY FROM TECHNOLOGY, WHAT DO YOU RECKON??

So when your partner suggests to you ‘shall we have a black out evening?’ It turns out they don’t mean shall we switch the lights off and save on the electric bill. For anyone as oblivious as me out there, it means an evening without any technology, iPhones, tablets and a like.

This particular evening coincided with a post I was writing, about a series I came across that encompassed a technology free lifestyle. The series focuses on a young girl growing up in a rural place, away from the everyday distractions of technology. So put your ‘black out evening’ on hold momentarily and take some time to enjoy this beautifully refreshing series by Jessica Ashley-Stokes.

I highly recommend checking it out:

http://www.jessicaashleystokes.com

NIALL MCDIARMID CHATS TO US ABOUT HIS WORK & UPCOMING EXHIBITION 

From Dunfermline to Leeds to pretty much anywhere else you can think of in the UK, photographer Niall McDiarmid has been travelling up and down the country for the last six years, documenting towns and cities and the characters who live there…

WE CAUGHT UP WITH CLINT WOODSIDE TO TALK ALL THINGS DEADBEAT CLUB

Self publishing books is something that many people consider, but that not many venture into. Some people say it's time consuming and costly, whilst others will say it's a labour of love.  

We caught up with Clint Woodside, the founder of 'DeadBeat Club' a book publisher based in Los Angeles, to chat about the world of zines and photo book publishing...

‘BEHIND THE BEAT’ A MINICLICK EXHIBITION NOT TO BE MISSED!

I’m always on the lookout for what Miniclick are up to, and I bring you exciting news! The creative collective are putting on group exhibition called ‘Behind the Beat’ The exhibition will explore the movements and scenes over the last 50 years that have been defined by the fashion, music and stories associated with them. Hosted at Spectrum in Brighton ‘Behind the Beat’ will be part of the Brighton Fringe and will be open every weekend throughout May, from 10am to 6pm.

So if you enjoy photography that documents movements and scenes such as Teds, Punks, Mods, Skins or Rudeboys (to name but a few) then you need to get along to this!

For more details check out the link below:

https://miniclick.co.uk/2017/04/06/event-behind-the-beat-may-2017/

THE FULL PICTURE - CLARE HEWITT

It’s time for another instalment of ‘The Full Picture’ This time it’s the turn of Clare Hewitt to tell us the tale behind the image below. Put it this way, I think it’s one all photographers will be able to relate to…

CHECK OUT 'CORNISH AMERICANS' BY ROB HERRON

Being lucky enough to live in Cornwall, I’m often looking for the opportunity to share work with a Cornish connection. Today I’m going to share a series with you by photographer Rob Herron.

During the 1840’s, Cornwall’s booming mining industry began to crumble. As a result many mines closed down, forcing workers to seek employment elsewhere. By the turn of the 20th century, more than 250,000 people had left Cornwall during what was known as ‘The Great Migration’ Travelling to North America, Rob documented the influence generations of Cornish men & women have had on the mining regions of Michigan & Wisconsin.

I highly recommend checking out the rest of this series:

http://www.robertherron.co.uk

A PROJECT A BOND VILLAIN WOULD BE PROUD OF!

My mind works in strange ways sometimes, the most recent example of this was when I was looking through a series by Danila Tkachenko called ‘Restricted Area’ The series documents locations in Eastern Europe that used to have great importance for technological progress, but are now left deserted.

The idea and imagery fascinated me, but strangely the first thought that sprung to mind was that some of the buildings & structures looked like the prime place for a James Bond villain to setup home!

Definitely a cool project to check out: http://www.danilatkachenko.com/

THE PHOTOGRAPHY THAT INSPIRES YOU IS BEYOND DULL?!?

Chatting to a work colleague recently about what photography inspires me, I went off into a passionate speech about different photographers, images and series. It was only when I stopped for breath, that I noticed he was looking at me like I was talking Swahili.

It was clear his opinion on photography was a polar opposite to mine, to him I was talking complete rubbish. It was then he uttered the immortal line ‘Your idea of photography is pretty dull, next your going to tell me you are going to do a project around the bloody shipping forecast?!?’ I wish I had taken a picture of the look on his face when I explained that someone had beaten me to it on a project on the Shipping Forecast, and that he should take sometime to look at the series because it’s fascinating.

I thought it was only right to share it with you today. Here is the Shipping Forecast by Mark Power, enjoy! 

http://www.markpower.co.uk

A FASCINATING INSIGHT INTO THE WORLD OF FAKE NEWS…

During the recent US Presidential Election race it was hard to escape the outrageous comments and controversial stories circulating around Trump’s campaign. At times it felt like trying to swim against a tidal wave of bullshit! 

It all comes down to what you believe and who you trust. I came across a photo story yesterday on WIRED which delved into the World of ‘fake news’ Photographer Guy Martin was sent on an assignment to Veles in Macedonia, to document the teenagers who mastered the art of ‘fake news’

I highly recommend checking it out on WIRED:

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

‘THE BLACK CROWS OF BORTH’ BY MIRA ANDRES

Not too much to say about todays post, only that you should grab a brew and check out the amazing ‘The Black Crows of Borth’ by Mira Andres.

The series focuses on the prevailing matriarchal spirit of Borth, an isolated coastal village in Wales. Formerly a seafaring village in the early 20th Century, Borth is now a mecca for artistic self sufficient women. Mira explores the persisting landscape and draws a parallel between past and present to portray a new generation of strong women in the spirit of the matriarchal society of centuries ago.

I really recommend you delving further into this series:

http://www.miraandres.com/

THE FULL PICTURE - JON DENHAM

It’s that time again  where we delve into another fascinating story behind a photograph. The next photographer to take part in our ‘Full Picture’ feature is Jon Denham. Jon tells us the real story behind the photograph below that he shot in Soho in London…

CHECK OUT ‘WHAT LIGHT, WHAT DARKNESS’ BY DANIEL REGAN

I love it when you come across projects that combine a genuine collaboration between photographer and subject. I was looking through Daniel Regan’s series ‘What Light, What Darkness’ after recently listening to his ‘A Small Voice Podcast’ interview. 

The series is made up of images of Daniel’s mother and his childhood family home. Punctuated throughout the work are handwritten letters that were written by Daniel to his mother at a very dark and difficult time in his life. He found that writing his thoughts and feelings down, was the best way to communicate with her at that time. Unbeknown to Daniel, his mother kept the letters and views them as evidence of a unique bond between her and her son. The combination of photography and these very personal letters, helps to create an incredibly personal body of work.

You should definitely check out the rest of the series:

http://danielregan.com

THE FULL PICTURE - JACK LATHAM

 If you are in an inquisitive mood today, you are in luck! Todays post is one not to be missed. For the next instalment of our new feature ‘The Full Picture’ Jack Latham tells us the story behind the image below…

‘INTO OBLIVION’ BY MAJA DANIELS

Alzheimer’s is a disease that most of us would have encountered in one way or another in our life. I have a lot of admiration for photographers who choose to document the effects of the disease on both the sufferers and also the impact it can have on their families. As someone who has witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s on people close to me, the one aspect that I hadn't seen documented was repetition. That was until I came across Maja Daniel’s series ‘Into Oblivion’.

The series documents life within the ‘Protected Unit’ in a geriatric hospital in France. The protected unit is home to residents with Alzheimer’s disease. As you go through the series you can't miss the repetitive element . The locked door in the ward becomes the centre of attention for the patients, who question the obstruction and attempt to force it open, this is a regular daily struggle.

I really recommend checking out the rest of the series:

www.majadaniels.com

WHEN SUNDAYS WERE THE ONLY DAY THAT MATTERED...

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Chris Baker's photo book ‘Sunday Football’ for Christmas, another top offering from publisher Hoxton Mini Press. After a few minutes of looking through the book, I was transported back to a time when I played Sunday League football.. 

Turning out each week for New Milton Eagles in an offensively yellow kit, which was at one time sponsored by a company called ‘Lady Clean’ All that mattered each Sunday was football, football, football!

If Sunday League football played or still plays a big part in your life, then this book should to.

http://bakerworld.co.uk

FINDING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE AND APPROACH… 

Finding a way of working and a style within your own image making is something that many photographers strive for, searching for that something that makes your images stand out from the rest. 

Someone who currently springs to mind who has their own distinguishable style and approach is Adama Jalloh. I came across Adama’s work a couple of years ago, and I really admired her black & white images in particular. I regularly check back in with her blog excited to see what new stuff she's been shooting. Two years on from when I first saw her photography there is still a very consistent and considered approach, which for me makes her images recognisable and stand out.

You should really check out Adama’s work:

http://adamajallohphoto.tumblr.com

CIAN OBA SMITH TALKS TO US ABOUT HIS SERIES 'BIKE LIFE'

On industrial estates on the outskirts of London, groups of young men are gathering on mopeds, motorbikes and even quad bikes. These young men form part of a growing underground subculture known as 'Bike Life'.....

COLLABORATION MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND…

Collaboration in photography can happen in many different ways, photographer & subject, curator & photographer, the list goes on and on. When I think of photographers who have collaborated on a body of work together the first names that jump to mind are Broomberg & Chanarin.

Recently I came across a collaboration on a series called ‘For Birds Sake’ Photographers Cemre Yesil and Maria Sturm teamed up to document Turkish men in Istanbul who keep songbirds. Rooted in the Ottoman Empire, this tradition was adopted by Turkish men for centuries. This is an amazing collaborative project and I am definitely eyeing up the photo book from the series!

Check it out on Cemre & Maria's websites:

http://www.cemreyesil.com/www.mariasturm.com

BEN SMITH CHATS TO US ABOUT 'A SMALL VOICE' PODCAST

You would be forgiven for being slightly sceptical about the prospect of listening to a series of podcasts featuring an array of photographers, discussing all things visual. Oh how wrong could you be...

I AM FINALLY PUTTING DOWN THE TWIGLETS…

So after what seems like two solid weeks of eating and drinking, I have made the tough decision to put down the tub of twiglets and do my first post of 2017.

Aside from the food and constant repeats of Home Alone 2, the Christmas and New Year period is about family and friends for me. With that in mind my first post of 2017 will point you in the direction of Sian Davey and her ongoing series ‘Martha’. If you’ve ever considered picking up a camera and documenting the people closest to you, you need to check out Sian’s work for some serious inspiration!

You can find Sian's work on her website:

http://www.siandavey.com

THE FULL PICTURE - LAURA PANNACK

Are you someone who looks at a photo and wants to know more? You might describe it as curiosity, whereas others may describe it as just being nosey!

You should check out our new feature ‘The Full Picture’. This is how it works,  a photographer selects one of their own images and tells the story behind the chosen image. Its the perfect feature for the nosey ones of us out there…

First up it’s Laura Pannack!

'LONDON ENDS' BY PHILIPP EBELING

I’m normally someone who swerves away from series shot in London, unless I am seeing something unusual, fresh or mind blowingly different. ‘London Ends’ by Philipp Ebeling caught my eye quite recently however, a project that strays away from the landmark strewn city centre and focuses on where London ends.

Only problem I've got now is that the book that accompanies this project has now been added to an ever growing ‘wanted photo book list!’

You should check out the series on Philipps website:

http://www.philippebeling.com

THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY FOR CHRISTMAS…

At this time of year you tend to get asked one question more than any other, and that's ‘what do you want for Christmas’ My friends and family are so used to me saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘nothing’ that it must of come as quite a shock to my dad last week, when he asked ‘what would you like for Christmas? and I replied with ‘The Prospect of Immortality' I think the shocked silence on the other end of the phone said it all. 

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I will receive the photo book by Murray Ballard but I’m slightly anxious that I might get the concerned parent chat, with them wanting to know why I am planning for life after death! I will keep you posted...

Check out Murray's work on his website:

http://murrayballard.com

AMY ROMER CHATS TO US ABOUT HER SERIES 'THE DARK FIGURE'

Slavery is not an issue confined to history, or an issue that exists only in certain countries. It is a global problem that is still happening today. In 2015, there were 3266 recorded victims of modern slavery in the UK alone...

'SUNDAY SERVICE' BY CHLOE DEWE MATHEWS

I don’t know about you, but the thing that keeps me coming back to photography is the desire to learn and engage with subjects I may have little or no knowledge of. Whether it be a story about a small village in a far flung place or in the case of today's post a story on the African churches that are springing up in former office blocks, old bingo halls and many other places in the south London borough of Southwark.

You should definitely take a look at Chloe Dewe Mathews series ‘Sunday Service’. It’s opened my eyes to a community I was previously unaware of. You never know you may learn something too…

Check out the rest of the series on Chloe's website:

http://www.chloedewemathews.com

YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THE SHORT FILMS BY FULL BLEED

I’m loving the episodes of ‘Apocalypse Pictures’ by Full Bleed at the moment. If you’ve not heard of it before the concept is simple, the apocalypse is happening, you are running to the bunker, what photographs do you save? The only rules are: 1. Choose five images 2. One of your own and four by others.

This is a simple concept, and its fascinating to see what each photographer decides to go with in each of the episodes. I highly recommend checking out Full Bleed’s youtube channel, there are some brilliant short films on there.

I highly recommend checking out Full Bleed’s youtube channel, there are some brilliant short films on there:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/

AN EXHIBITION TO GET ALONG TO...

If like me you've been following the photography of Niall McDiarmid for some time, then you will be as delighted as I am about Niall's current exhibition!

Running until 14th October, the exhibition is taking place at the Oriel Corwyn Gallery. You still have a couple of weeks left to get along and see it.

If for some reason you need some persuading here's a link to Niall's work below:

http://www.niallmcdiarmid.com

'FOURTEEN' BY HANNAH BARR

I occasionally get the opportunity to go along to graduate photography shows, this year I was fortunate enough to attend the show at Falmouth Uni and there was some quality work on display. A body of work that really stood out of the crowd for me was Hannah Barr’s series ‘Fourteen’

Hannah spent time documenting the lives of 14 year old girls, showcasing the good and the bad of being a teenager in today's world . This is a fascinating insight and I highly recommend having a little look.

Check out the rest of the series on Hannah's website:

http://hannah-barr-5m2l.squarespace.com/bonn/

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