2015 – What. A. Year!
Before we start….grab a cup of tea, some chocolate biscuits, and get comfortable….this might be a long, but enjoyable, read!
2015, where to even begin? 2015 was one of the most exciting years in my photographic journey. A lot, perhaps ALL, of this is down to a change made at the end of 2014. At the end of 2014 I realised that while I had yearly goals and ambitions, they were never very solid or well thought out goals. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a “business person” and always had a plan going into each year. It’s just that for my own business, the plan was always a little too fluid and not concrete enough. I also realised that I was trying to focus on too many different areas at the same time. At the end of 2014 I had listed the following as my target markets… Editorial, Bands, Advertising, Portraiture, Fashion. That may not seem a lot, but the list of target clients was ever larger. After sitting down with my wife (who is a brand manager by trade), we set up a 2015 Brand Plan. As a result of that brand plan, my target market reduced to Editorial and Advertising. The list of target clients massively shrunk and became much more focused. I also set SMART goals and targets not only for the year, but for each and every month. This made a massive change in how I approached getting new clients and customers. As a result of these efforts, 2015 led to me shooting my first magazine cover and shooting regularly for one of my biggest and most long term targets Kerrang Magazine. Enough of this, let’s get into wrapping the year up and showing you the resulting images!!
2015 couldn’t have started out any better that it did. Every January I attend and speak at The Societies annual convention in London. Part of this convention is the yearly awards dinner for the previous years images. At this awards dinner in January, I was fortunate to have been nominated for Advertising Photographer of the Year…. and I won!! This was something I was truly not expecting as I was up against a truly amazing photographer and was convinced the he would win. However, they announced my name as the winner of Adverting Photographer of the Year 2014 and the year was off to a perfect start. Here is the image that won….
I think it’s fitting to talk about what happened with my editorial photography in 2015 as editorial became the biggest source of work for me, and this was always the aim heading into 2015. I can’t say that 2015 started off with a bang in the editorial market. Anyone that has broken into the editorial market will know that it takes time, and this time is something I had been putting in for a couple of years at this point. If you are familiar with my work, or my blog, you will know that over the previous 2 years I had done a couple of shoots for Rocksound magazine. When I had initially started contacting the magazines I wanted to shoot for, I met with all of them initially around the same time. Rocksound gave me a shoot photographing Rob Damiani fairly quickly after my initial meeting. This is not normal, and over the next year and a half or so I would have one more shoot for Rocksound, again of Don Broco. Throughout this time though, I continued to maintain and build my relationships. As a result of familiarising Rocksound with my style and personality over such a long period of time, Rocksound came to me with a cover shoot photographing Twenty One Pilots. To say that I was pleased to have not only shot a cover for a major music magazine, but for it to be of such a huge band is an understatement. This alone probably would have made my year. Here are some tear sheet images from that Twenty One Pilots shoot.
After the Twenty One Pilots shoot, it wasn’t long before Rocksound contacted me again to photograph Don Broco. This time the shoot was at an awesome club in London called The Sway Bar and the images were used across a 6 page feature. Here is the main image from that shoot.
I think it’s important at this point to explain what happened next. Throughout the time that I had been shooting for Rocksound, I was always still talking with and meeting with other music magazines as well. One of those magazine that I continued to talk with was Kerrang, with which I was building a great relationship with. It was again as a result of this relationship and letting Kerrang see new work as I produced it, that Kerrang contacted me one day to ask if I was able to create fake snow in a photo. This was something I had actually done a few times prior and I quickly sent over a few examples of what I had done. I was then asked to go and photograph Matt Heafy of Trivium for what turned out to be an epic snowy, frozen photo! From there, Kerrang started commissioning me regularly for their Fresh Blood feature. This has been a bit of a dream come true shooting for Kerrang, and shooting for Kerrang on a pretty regular basis. The Fresh Blood shoots have been absolutely amazing and has given me a chance to be very creative in the image that I create…and Kerrang have been very happy with the results. Below are the images I shot for Kerrang that featured in magazine that came out in 2015…there are others shot in 2015, but didn’t appear in print till 2016. Some of the bands I have had the privilege of shooting for Kerrang that appeared in 2015 issues are Trivium, Press to Meco, Muncie Girls, Counting Days, Counterfeit, and Good Tiger (blog post coming soon!). At the end of the year, Rocksound ran an end of the year special that featured two of my Twenty One Pilots images on the cover as well as a poster of Rob Damiani I shot during the previous Don Broco shoot as well.
At the same time I was just starting to shoot for Kerrang, I was also starting to shoot for Future Publishing. I had met with Future Publishing at their studio in Bath in the summer and they were pretty quick to give me a shoot for Total Guitar. Future magazines include Total Guitar, Guitarist, Rhythm, and Future Music. Because their magazines are monthly, and planned out fairly far in advance, the amount that I have shot for them and the amount that have appeared in 2015 magazines is massively different! But, below I will share with you the images that have appeared in Future Publishing magazines in 2015. Some of the artists that I had the privilege of photographing in 2015 are Frank Turner, Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria, Andy Bell of Ride and Oasis, and Slaves. There were many more, but you will have to keep checking back to see when those come out! 😀
That just about covers the published, commissioned editorial work for 2015. There was a lot more shot in 2015, but I can’t show you those yet, so they will find their way into the 2016 blog post I am sure. 😀
As I mentioned near the beginning, the two areas I focused on in 2015 was Editorial and Advertising. You’ve seen the editorial work, now it’s time to see the Advertising work! At the beginning of 2015 I had a really fun and different advertising shoot for a yoga company in Cambridge called Camyoga. The images were used across the city on bus stops and advertising boards. It was a really cool shoot because it was something a little different for me, but something that I was still able to put my stamp on.
Not long after that, I was contacted by the amazing breast cancer charity Coppafeel to photograph their Uni-Boob campaign featuring Greg James of Radio 1. This was one of the most fun shoots of 2015 as it involved Greg James who himself has an infectious personality and is a bit of a practical joker, but the shoot was also in a launderette and featured lots of bubbles….what more fun could you want?
I also did a really cool image for a company called Reliance Protect who provide lone worker protection services. Beyond that I also did my annual cyw by Urbanz shoot, but you can’t see those images yet. 😀
Along with these, I did two shoots for an amazing nail artist called Hazel Dixon. Both shoots produced some awesome images, but there are only a few I can share just yet…and I really need to blog one of them! 😀
I also did a few shoots for a start up sports fashion company called Sofit. They make amazing workout clothing, and as they were starting up this year we had a few different shoots to get everything in order for them.
There are a lot of images to come from the Urbanz shoot still and the second Hazel Dixon shoot…so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Personal and Other –
I had planned on a lot more personal projects this year, but I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would. I still did manage to shoot a couple of personal projects, but not as much as I would like. Personal projects really give me a chance to try out new things and create images that I wouldn’t have done before. So, here are a couple of images I did manage to shoot this year….. I also did a couple of shoots for band directly and that included the awesome Deadly Circus Fire and The Manic Shine (twice actually…need to blog the second shoot still.), and the awesome Hello Bear.
So there you have it. My 2015! It’s been tremendous and there are so many more images shot in 2015 that I can’t wait to share with everyone. But, of the images I can share from 2015 these are my favourites.
Which of the above is your favourite? Leave it in the comments below!