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Turnmills… Where I got my break.

I had sat down this week to write about the evolution of my work over the last 5 years. A brief discussion on my fanpage had put me deep into thought about my style and how I have pushed myself in a certain direction of late, but suddenly it struck me that if it wasn’t for this one weekend all of this would be irrelevant.

The closing party of an icon 21-23 march 2008. Now many people ask me how I got started in the industry, and I personally feel this is the key weekend in being where I am now. I learned a lot about professionalism and networking but ultimately got lucky. I had shot the Friday night in the venue for someone and managed to get chatting backstage to someone who has been instrumental in my career – A mr Paul Stix. Now ill be honest I have no idea what the discussions may have been about but come Sunday Paul knew my face and as luck would have it, the photographer he had hired to cover the event was a no show. Following on from this weekend Paul approached me about moving over to Ministry with the flagship brand ‘The gallery’ and coming up 5 years on I have been lucky to spend many a happy night shooting the shows.

So that’s really how I got my big break, but the thing that has struck me today going through the photos is just how many other people I met that night not realising just how important they would be to me over the next 5 years on both a professional level and a personal level. I guess it shows just how small this industry is in reality and that there really are some incredible people who have been involved with it for a number of years. Turnmills you have a special place in many peoples hearts, there were memories for me as a punter but it also means much much more….


Now we have all seen the pics of how the building now stands and it saddens us all. But lets remember it for what it was, not bricks and mortar but memories, the foundations of friendships and to some of us our working lives.

So less talking and more pics…

Alex Anderson and Paul stix in the background


Mr Anderson again and Nik Wilson (who I had the pleasure of working with for a number of years before he went onto huge things in America)

Ed Coward (on right) – The crazy guy who has over the years turned my photos into art


The people of the moment, we went on till much longer than planned. It really was a special night. (Bernard 5 years on and you still dance the same way! HAHA)

The line up for all 3 nights, I still have posters in my collection.

Danny rampling + some swirly nonsense which to this day I hate.....

Last weekend saw me down a venue which I really love shooting – Electric Brixton. Now this was my first trip to the venue in 2013 after shooting a number of shows there last year for a long term client who puts events on there. It’s always nice to take a step back from venues I cover on a weekly basis just to keep the mind fresh, add to the portfolio work which has slightly different sight lines and just generally try something a bit different.

Anyway enough blabbering on about that – the show was one I was looking forward to, with the theme being ‘super you & me’ I expected lots of people in daft outfits ready to party the night away and I wasn’t disappointed there. One thing which I did find slightly annoying was that I felt the incredible production was let down a touch by a massive over use of the smoke machine, smoke machines and events come hand in hand but sometimes I feel on a personal level ‘less is more’ and having a venue filled with the stuff im not the biggest fan of.

Now as photographers we all love to show the killer shots, you know those moments when we nailed it and want to make other photographers weep with envy, whilst fueling our own fragile/inflated egos. But I think that sometimes its important to show when it goes wrong, like here with luke when he jumped back a long way swinging his arm nearly taking my face off. Personally I always try to make sure the artist has space, the dj booth/stage is their work area and this is something as photographers we must respect. However on this occasion the big void in space I had left proved not to be enough and luke managed to clip me in the head by accident. No major harm done but it just shows that no matter how we prepare accidents can still happen.


So now we have a whoops moment on the table we can go back to the ego shots of a mixture of pyro, lasers, hands, strobes and that whole heap of smoke I mentioned earlier. Fairly standard shots by now on my 1DX and sigma 15mm fisheye & canon 16-35 set ups but they're important to not neglect no matter how often we may have shot them.