snapshots and observations

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

hello mr breakfast ( iphone pics )

last week i had a shoot up north.

i stayed in a hotel.

that could mean only one thing.

hotel breakfast.
hmmm... that doesn't quite look right does it ?

a few seconds later...

oh hello mr breakfast
no ?
it's the bacon smile isn't it ?
it doesn't really work does it ?

well don't worry.

i stayed for two nights.

two mornings.

two breakfasts.

day two.
ok, let's sort this bad boy out...

hello mr breakfast !
oh come on...

that's not a bad effort.

i like his black pudding eyebrows. bacon ears seem good and the 
hash brown chin is a touch.

feel free to send me your mr breakfasts by the way.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

new footwear alert

three new pairs of glorias arrive in n7 during the past week.

i'll hopefully do some detailed blog posts about them soon, but in the meantime
here's a quick overview.

i don't exactly know the story with these af-1's but they are constructed from very nice soft leather, have amazing insoles and very interesting tongue tabs.

these bad boys are perfect for the summer.
70's converse chuck taylors.
can you see the differences between these and regular chucks ?
sure you can... the extra rubber, the stitching, the eyelets.
but almost as importantly it's the feel of these.
comfortable chucks !

these are going to need a serious post of their own.
they look nothing special like this do they ?
plain grey suede af-1's.


we'll see.

Monday, 29 July 2013

h.l.b and me

a week or so ago i met up for a coffee and a chat with fellow photographer h.l.b.

we had camera business to attend to but afterwards we did a quick couple of portraits 
of each other.

first off here's the first frame i did of h.l.b.
prada, moschino, nike and tattoos.
good stuff.

next a closer shot
she's not welsh by the way.
i did ask.

and finally, my favourite of the five frames i took
what do you reckon ?
is she laughing with me or at me ?

i took 5 frames and i think three of them are quite decent.
h.l.b. took three frames of me and i think two of them are very nice.
i use the word 'nice' quite incorrectly because the subject is me.
but i like photos of me... you know that.

here they are.

 i have no idea what's going on here.
i think she took it before i had the chance to settle into my signature
miserable look.

still, my hair was on point and i was debuting my shanghai exclusive bape 
polo shirt so it wasn't a total disaster.

once again i have no idea what my facial expression is all about.
do i look scared ? nervous ? concerned ? baffled ?
perhaps i was about to speak ?

who knows.

one thing is for certain, i won't be repeating either expression any time soon.

back to misery from now on.

thanks to h.l.b and i guess thanks to me too.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

sunday stuff

last saturday i was kicking around st.paul's on the way to the tate modern 
when i saw this scene
oh my word !
one of my favourite things... a wedding shoot

obviously i wasn't about to get in the way
because only a bad person would do that

so i kept my distance and left them to it
after a while.

what ?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

i like birds best

you're not the tearaway he thinks you are.
you also like books, music, cooking...

i like birds best.

er, where was i ?

does anybody out there know what i was talking about just then by the way ?

maybe i should offer some sort of prize to anybody who knows ?

hmmm... maybe i will.

anyway, here's a new addition to my aviary at whitfield towers
it's welsh, obviously.

it's supposed to be a sparrow
and it's made out of some sort of wood.

have you got one of these already m1 ?

oh, i'm in god's own country this weekend, so this was just a quickly cobbled together
post late on thursday night, which hopefully will publish on saturday morning.

Friday, 26 July 2013

more interiors and tales of coffee

ok, this is the last of my interior shots for a while.
i hope you've enjoyed seeing some of what i do for a living.
after today it's back to trainers, self-portraits and coffee i'm afraid.

or maybe i'll start showing you some of my food photography ?


anyway, here we go.

hmmm... this is the same place i showed you yesterday i think.
the place i photographed on the day of mrs thatcher's funeral.

i think this is the frame the magazine printed by the way.

this tiny little place not only gave me a coffee... they gave me two coffees
and a slice of lemon drizzle cake.

this place was in manchester, in a hotel.
it was a v. peaceful place and the chef whistled over a waitress straight 
away to satisfy my coffee-based needs.

this was kind of in manchester too. or on the outskirts.
this is the place where i was joined on my traditional self-portrait by 
one of the kitchen staff.
they also made me a flat-white here.

this was in the shard. it's hard to see from this pic just how high up it was.
but guess what ?
it was only half-way up.
ay carumba !
a very friendly pr lady asked me what i wanted to drink as soon as i walked 
through the door at this place. obviously i had a coffee.

oh... this is the same place.
it's also the place where i did the black and white shots of the staff...
remember ?

ok that's your lot.

maybe some food shots next week mixed in amongst the usual nonsense.

have a good weekend.

Thursday, 25 July 2013


just six interiors today as i hold a few back to show you over the weekend
when i will be in god's own country and probably unable to blog.

not as bad as the place that broke my camera, but my memories of this place
are not happy ones. i had to shoot there at maybe 6.30am one morning in january.
it was snowing outside and was freezing cold. i had to park my car almost a mile away
and walk to the place carrying my cameras and tripod in my gloveless hands.

when i arrived they'd forgotten i was coming and the place was a mess.
i had to set all the tables myself. every placemat, knife, fork, spoon, glass
salt and pepper pot. all while being freezing cold and keeping one eye on the bloke
standing next to the coffee machine making coffees for the staff who were too busy
to help set up the restaurant.
when i'd set up the place i did my photography and chatted to the barista and
the manager about the magazine i was shooting for and also about coffee.

did they offer me a coffee before i left for the long walk in the snow back to my jam jar ?

did they balls.

grrr !

this was the day of mrs thatcher's funeral.
i'd just been drinking coffee at the monocle cafe with m1 and tonytwentytwentyone
so when these people kindly offered me a drink i opted for water.
guess what ?
it was llanllyr.
( welsh water )

this was one of those places where i know i don't belong.
where they call you sir and i'm biting my tongue not to call them 'mate'
this was like being in downton abbey. the people here were so nice and polite.
before my shoot they showed me to a lounge area with the most wonderful view
of the countryside and brought me a pot of coffee and some freshly made biscuits.

golden times.

i will never forget this day as long as i live.
may 1st 2013.

i think this place has one of the longest waiting lists for a table in london right now.
they offered me a coffee straight away.
richard bacon came in as i was leaving. he was their first customer of the day.
i kind of like richard bacon.
but not as much as i like bacon.

when i took this pic in a tiny village in wiltshire, i kept thinking to myself
"24 hours ago i was in beijing"
i know it's not time travel but things like that always kind of impress me.
do you like the idea of time travel by the way ?

i do.

oh, i heard richard curtis is making a new film... a kind of time travel, love story.

that's going to be epic, right ?

* reaches for coat.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

trick or treat

it's like this...
i was supposed to be up north for one night but i had to stay over
for a second night. i had no blog post lined up.
i have nothing in my blog folder except for this one pic...

think of it as another treat
and find your strength in love.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


i promised you a break from interiors and a bit of a treat today.

well i'm keeping one of those promises.

what ?

Monday, 22 July 2013

and some more interiors

more interiors today, but tomorrow i'll give you a break with a photographic treat.

this was my first shoot this year.
possibly the tiniest restaurant i've ever photographed. just three tables.
though i think they put a couple of tables outside too.
sadly, they didn't offer me a coffee while i was shooting here.
it's in south london by the way.

this was in january too. in fact when i went to shoot this place i got snowed in
and had to stay the night here.
i liked it so much that i went back for a weekend break a few weeks ago.
( credit, this is the place i told you about yesterday )

also some of my mr. breakfast efforts from last week were made here.
( they gave me lots of coffees )

you get a great view eating in this place.
coincidentally i'm photographing food at this place at 1pm today

this used to be one of my favourite restaurants... design-wise i mean.
it used to look like something from the film 'barbarella'
now it's very different looking. i mean, it looks nice enough but personally
i preferred it when it looked groovy.
also when it was the previous place the staff didn't used to walk around drinking
coffee and not offer me one.

the chef at this place is a friend of mine.
not only did they give me a coffee when i shot here, but they offered me staff
breakfast too.
it's a peruvian restaurant by the way.

this restaurant was in a brand new hotel.
it looks like it doesn't it ?
the people here were very, very nice to me but sadly i think it didn't get
a good review. still... thumbs up for the coffee from me.

this is one of those restaurant above a pub efforts.
it's an absolute blinder too by all accounts.
obviously my restaurant reviews are limited to staff and beverages.
( the staff were very friendly and the coffee was good )

this was challenging.
it was a massive restaurant but they would only let me photograph this tiny section.
also there were mirrors everywhere.
still, they made me a very nice coffee and also if you could look through that window straight on, there was an absolutely cracking coffee shop there, which i went into
before and after this shoot.

this place gets outstanding reviews.
as you can see it has an open kitchen thing going on so you can see the lads working.
the head chef reminded me very much of david mitchell.
the lady who does the pr for this place knows me very well, so she had a coffee
made for me straight away and also stood aside while i did my self-portraits.

this is in the new forest somewhere.
it's one of those places that i walk into and i know i don't belong there.
do you know what i mean ? it seems like a really posh old manor house.
like bertie wooster lives there or the downton abbey family.
i get the feeling i should have entered through the staff door.
still, that's my problem really, the staff here were very friendly and didn't frown
on my trainers too much.
they also made me a coffee which was hotter than the surface of the sun.

funnily enough i'm going back to this place to stay for a weekend in september.
i'll try and overcome my feelings of not belonging before then.

it should be a great weekend anyway... nice and peaceful... no babies or anything...

what ( credit ) ?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

more interiors

today some more interiors of mine and a few more words of wisdom
to accompany them...

ok, mainly coffee-based memories

this is not at all the photo of this restaurant that the magazine wanted.
for one thing, it only shows one table.
mainly magazines that i shoot for want to see wide interiors showing as many tables
as possible and giving a great view of the room.

but i always try to take a few photos for myself ( and of myself )
and this is one that i liked.

this is another photo i did for myself, though i did include it in my edit for the magazine.
sometimes it's not just about the room for a restaurant review.
for certain places it's almost more about the view.
i don't think this place got a good write-up, but it did have cracking views.
( and they made me a coffee while i waited for the tables to be set )

i remember a couple of things about this place.
1. i photographed it the day after i got home from capri
2. they didn't offer me a coffee

a japanese place in the city.
i photographed this place a couple of times for different clients.
i don't think they did coffee here. i certainly remember going to a little
place a few minutes away to grab one though.
er, anyway... it's a nice looking joint, right ?

no lie but i have photographed this place maybe 6 or 7 times over the years.
i think the staff were mainly french.
they didn't offer me a coffee.

this was in the city.
the restaurant is on the left, the other side of the screen. the main bit of this pic 
is the chef's table. do you like a chef's table thing ?
isn't it tricky wondering if you should watch them working ?
trying to avoid eye contact and all that ?

just me then.

these people made me two coffees.

can i just say "grrrr !"
i have  story about this place.
it's not a good one.

i shot this place a week after the grrr ! episode at the previous place.
let's just say i was using a loan camera here with a new £750 viewfinder.

i think the chef at this place was 12 years old or something...
a young genius chef anyway.

they made me a coffee on arrival, plus i had lunch here afterwards.

this place had the best music playing out of any restaurant i can remember shooting.
i think i had to use shazam maybe 6 or 7 times during the hour or so i was working here.
the lady who looked after me was not only very, very friendly and helpful...
but she made me two coffees.
oh and i debuted my supreme camo af-1's on this shoot.

ok, last pic for today.
my main memory of this place is that i'd just met the boss for a coffee before i 
came here. then as soon as i walked in they offered me a coffee.
it was a good day.

i hope you like my interiors pics.
sorry for rattling on about coffee rather than the interiors themselves.
if you have any questions, please comment and i'll try to answer.

more tomorrow.