I like a bit of casual religion. I find more and more that I am increasing getting into this position of kneeling and looking up at the sky and sending a quick tweet prayer to yonder…. Places of worship are conventionally churches however I want to deconstruct this notion and maybe bold enough to say that it is the air, light, space, food, nature…. it is everywhere if you choose to see it and feel it. Anyhow I digress, I feel it is relevant to post this set of images today, of course it kicks off with an image of a grave and some plastic flowers which I shot in full sun with a flash…. never has an image resonated so much as today! I am not going to mention it, you will get the context and the meaning of the metaphor. I am posting this and heading to my other place of worship the ground AKA the allotment to try and clear my head; let us pray.
5 days in Normandy. 1 editorial shoot. 1 Parisian model. 1 family shoot. 1 designer. 1 stylist & photography assistant. 1 heatwave. 1 thunder storm. 1 toad. 1 guitar. 1 record player. 1 hell of a journey.
An inordinate amount of cameras, patience, wine and cheese, trust, cigarettes, nerves, singing, excitement, making mistakes, joy, fun and adventure… not to mention on arrival finding a body in the road (she was alive but sheesh…..)
The new campaign shot in France for Bonbride is coming soon….
Designer -Pippa at Bonbride
Location - Normandy
Stylist, photography assistant, super 8 film- Zackary Cain
Model - Ingvild at Contact Agency
It’s August and the sun is beating down most days from dawn to dusk, the sea is warm and inviting beckoning me down there most days. I love the ritual of dipping in and out of the water, getting too hot so dipping and then drying off and repeat. As I dry I shut my eyes and start to drift off, listening to the giggles of children, squeals of delight and random pieces of conversation. My hair and skin is becoming more crispy as the summer evolves. Days and nights are spent on the beach with Fox and friends, breakfast, lunch and tea takes place amongst sand and pebbles; it feels like an endless summer. I have been shooting all the while of lockdown and I am feeling ready to shoot human beings again. For a while there it didn’t feel appropriate and safer in a way to concentrate on objects however it really is now time to get back to what I love. Organically an idea has emerged to shoot couples on the beach. I want to create some pictures that feel very raw and energetic, often we see couples posing and static; frozon on the spot fearing what the picture might look like. The sea cannot be tamed or controlled; to swim with another is like to dance together. The waves pick you up and swirl you around and bodies become intertwined and this pushes for me the element of energy between people. I am interested in ‘connection’ and ‘creating space’ as the foundation of creating pictures; this seems like the ultimate conditions for me. I want the images to feel like they are taken in the sea, with the sun splitting through the images and the sea filling the frame. I shoot these sessions on 1 disposable water proof camera! The sessions are simple, 1 roll per couple, you get a whole roll of film shots. I am currently offering these sessions, I just need you and the sea and I will give you images like these. For rates and dates just mail me and let’s create some pictures for you.
July has come and gone in a flash and with the passing of time these familiar words which punctuate and usually structure our lives are becoming more and more redundant. Ha, this is becoming a word association game. Redundancy I feel like Covid-19 handed me my very own P45 back in March and I am still looking for a job! Life is still fragmented for many and my heart goes out to my fellow colleagues who work in either the wedding industry, beauty, music, theatre, events….. it is a time of treading water and regulating the breathing slowly. I continue to shoot, create in the shadows of this time, breathing life and hope into the cracks as they appear. Some days I feel miserable as hell as I miss my work and worry about the future, others I feel liberated and on some kind of endless holiday and whilst the sunshines this can be kept up. Here is another roll of film that I shot in July, you can’t take away from this beautiful weather we have had! Thank god for that hey otherwise where would we all be. Beauty is still in abundance.
I am a cliche, I live in Brighton and I have a strong liking for Nick Cave he lives round the corner. I have bumped into him a few time, he is other worldly yet warm,I would say magnetic. I want to go down the pub with him to the ‘Hand in Hand’ with him and Susie and eat pork scratchings and drink ale until the sunrises. Music is my second love after photography, singing and dancing is one of life’s pleasures ; every minute of my day has a soundtrack running to it. Anyhow I am losing my thread, the thing is I subscribe to Nick Cave’s ‘The Red Hand Files’ which is a newsletter. He is a deep thinker and feeler; vulnerable and generous with sharing with his audience in a weekly letter form. I feel compelled to share his letter/responses this week as it is wonderfully articulate on the subject of ‘love’, over to Nick ;
The Red Hand FilesISSUE #103 / JULY 2020
If you feel that he is beside you… and within you, why would you need to look for him? (This is not a challenge, there is no aggression in this question; I simply want you to think about it and elucidate).
TOM, MANCHESTER, UK
What is love for you?
PABLO, GUARDAMA DEL SEGURA, SPAIN
Dear Tom and Pablo,
The voice in ‘Ghosteen Speaks’ is not my own. It is the emergent expression of an invisible, migratory spirit — the Ghosteen. It is the spirit of love and mercy. Throughout the song, the Ghosteen announces its presence — I am beside you. Look for me.
It says — I am invisible, but I am here. Search for me, and you will find me.
It calls to the compassionate act of witnessing — of seeing.
Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.
To pay witness to another, in an alert and loving manner, is essentially an act of forgiveness for it is to acknowledge with compassion our mutual human capacity for all things, both good and evil.
When we reduce each other to symbols or representations, rather than see each other as the complex, flawed human beings that we are, we engage in the very antithesis of mercy — heartlessness, condemnation and sanctimoniousness. Within this baleful clamour the luminous spirits of compassion retreat.
I am beside you. Look for me — call the windswept voices of love, to all that have the forbearance to hear.