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This week sees the launch of #Mosmoments a twitter campaign where fans tweet their favourite moments inside the club. Its an interesting campaign and ties in with my thoughts on shooting venues.

As I have mentioned previously for me I want to shoot the vibe - not this posed in pretty dress nonsense, and this week I really wanted to look more into this. Now I am a huge fan of colour, for me I do find black and white can be used as a way of covering ones mistakes when it comes to colours and exposure compared to colour. However I have recently fallen in love with the look again, and so my current events will start to feature this more and more over the next few months.

So onto shooting moments – This weekend was a joy to shoot at Ministry, with a general mixture of the crowd just carrying on dancing. I felt at one with the vibe and could really focus on watching and waiting for something special to happen. It’s a wonderful feeling when you see something about to happen, an individual with a huge smile waiting for a beat to drop or a pretty girl being carried across the dance floor by her loving partner.

Most of my work is now all shot on my 1DX and 50mm 1.2 combo. I just love the isolation I get shooting wafer thin depth of field, combined with the contrast and clean look of black and white.

This is what is special……



So with May bank holiday weekend approaching I was in a strange position that my regular clients didn’t have a big show for me to shoot, and to be honest I am really pleased about that. If I was booked into one of my regular shows I would not have been able to shoot in such a little gem of a venue. Having shot XOYO a few times (a sister venue to the Nest) I knew that it would be a lot of fun, with a real underground vibe and lots of darkness.

Now those who read my random mumblings from time to time may be aware that I have been evolving my style in 2013, and been looking out for more underground shows to shoot, and this was a cracker.

With the venue being a much smaller capacity it was a really intimate vibe, and being on the dance floor was a great experience. Some people seem to think I am ‘just a dj photographer’ and albeit most of my work is heavily based around djs I do like being on the dance floor shooting people in the moment. The key thing here being in the moment – I know this might be offensive to some people but really I have no interest in taking photos of a group of 10 all lined up in pretty dresses pouting away with a generic fake orange tan. What I want to shoot is people having a bloody good night, and this is where the Nest crowd didn’t disappoint, I just loved moving around the room shooting people having the time of their lives, and I even got the occasional high five.

Aeroplanes set was utterly fantastic too, it was a real pleasure to work on such a night and I am looking forward to heading back to the Nest sometime soon.



See you on the dance floor.

And here we are – 5 Years. That’s how long I have been lucky enough to be working on events at Ministry of sound as of this weekend.

It’s amazing what can happen in 5 years, friends meet their life long partners and start a family whilst others lose everything. Ok so enough of the philosophical crap (for now anyway). For me this has been an incredible period in my life, I grew up with ministry. I bought the magazine religiously (RIP the best music magazine ever) the cds, heck I even managed to get myself into the album artwork in the 2002 annual. Some may like to try and slate the brand but in reality there is nothing bigger in club land as a global entity and with the way brands are being wiped out overnight in the current market I doubt there ever will be.

Over the years I have spent many an hour in the box, and when the place is going nuts it really is special. Now in my former career I was fortunate enough to compete in a couple of large athletics events, and you know what the buzz of the box on a weekend really did replace the hole in my life from losing the thrill of competing in front of thousands.

Through ministry I really have been lucky enough to evolve not only as an artist but as a person and I have made friends who I feel utterly honoured to have in my life now. Ok so those who know me may know I sometimes like to moan when things are not right but part of that is because to this day whenever I am in this place I want to keep pushing myself to create something that represents a brand that is so close to my heart.

This brings me onto my work. There might be some who don’t agree with how I shoot events, but I guess being around for 5 years in the same place says something right? My style has evolved massively in that time, and you know what it’s had to. When I first started I didn’t really have a clear vision like I do now, but in a short period of time I really understood certain things about what I wanted to achieve and how I could achieve it. Back then I was on a 30D and some cheap sigma glass, which I still have to this day. I love that camera it was my 21st birthday present from my family and it was a real workhorse for me. I am lucky now that I have been in the position to massively upgrade all of my kit but I still need to be able to read light with how I shoot.

Many thousands of pounds and many hours of studying the lighting, watching the crowds has really helped me push my look into something which I feel is clean, simple and elegant. Now im not saying people need to buy X/Y/Z kit but in reality some shots I have got in the last year or so were simply unobtainable on my old set up. Anyway im wandering off on a whole other tangent here when this is about achieving a goal I set for myself when I first started. I always wanted to make it 5 years here.

The funny thing about writing this and going through my old image libraries is I can really notice change, and sometimes cry/cringe at a shot that I used to think was cool…… I guess tastes change, but our focus shouldn’t.

Anyway enough waffle for now.

2008 - and my first few shows at the club.

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2009 - where a shot that to this day is still one of my best. Its featured on album artwork, event flyers and even is the base for the design of the Ministry of sound headphone range.

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A big beautiful smile, I don’t know why but this smile just makes me smile whenever I see this photo. It’s real and honest… No dodgy fake orange skin and ‘TOWIE’ style here…

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2010 – In 2010 I started to get addicted to low light non flash work, my kit struggled compared to these days but the Richie Hawtin shot to this day still lives on and features on the wall in the ministry of sound office.

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2011 – Looking into new looks 2011 saw me testing off camera flashes, now id still love to shoot more of this, but the sheer ferocity of the sound system caused flashes to vibrate all over the place, and not all djs are happy with flashes going off when they’re working.

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My angle… I never got tired of shooting the strobe and showing the club going off.

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2012 – When from the middle of the year and I had got my new shiny Canon 1DX I could start to do less and less flash work. For me it works, some might not agree but that’s the beauty of the world we live in.

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One of the last shots ever on the old VIP balcony (RIP)

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And so that brings us to 2013 – Now I’ve not made it a big secret that I have once again been trying to hone my look again. I was in a dark place in my life and managed to find something on a trip in Berlin that just seemed to work. Im more happy than ever with some of what I am creating, yet I have to be careful not to overuse it.

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So there it is… 5 years.

I would like to thank each and every person who has supported me, the friends I have made, the moments I have shared…. Its been amazing. Who knows what will happen over the next 5.

Following on from part 1. Days 3 and 4 were where I really got to kick things into gear. With Sasha having his album launch at ministry of sound and Loco Dice finishing off easter at Electric Brixton.

Now Sasha is a lot like John Digweed in terms of how he likes venues to be lit (yes - dark!) but I was more prepared than ever for this, renting another fast prime from the guys at lensesforhire for the weekend. This meant along with my 50 and 85 1.2 lenses I had a 35 1.4 to play with. Now the Dj booth at ministry is tight at the best of times, let alone when a dj and all his mates are in for the party, and if it wasn’t for the wideness of the 35 over even my 50mm I would have found the night a lot, lot, lot harder to deal with. Ministry is a club I obviously shoot often, but its not often that we have a night that’s quite like this in terms of darkness anymore and so I felt that it was perfect to really push the new look I had been working on recently and used to good effect at Bedrock a couple of days previously.


Early on in Sashas set I could see a lot of people using their phones with lights on to film, this along with a heavy presence of smoke instantly made me think about a shot with a lot more depth and atmosphere I could achieve, utilising the light from the mobile phones as a backdrop against a dark Silhouetted Sasha.  


One moment which I had never seen in the venue before, was when Nic Fanciulli was playing and a girl decided her heels were too much and that the DJ booth would make a nice place to ‘hang’ said items, much to the amusement of all of us around at the time. 


So with Sasha complete the finale was going to be a corker, with a sold out show at Electric. Having shot here many a time I know the lay out but I was absolutely amazed with the amount of stage production on show whilst on my pre doors walk about. I could tell from what was set up that this was going to be a real joy to work on, and you know what it was superb. The music and the vibe really got me into a zone with which I wanted to keep pushing the new look further and further, going darker and darker on what I felt I could achieve with each shot. After months of creative blocks I was free, I could just let loose and my camera was an extension of my thoughts.


Personally for me my stand out shot is one  below, one which has divided opinion on my fan page and with my friends. Its something many could argue is a poor photo in terms of ‘technical’ output, but the feel of it for me is what makes it so special. There are rules many think I should adhere to, but I have never had this mindset and have always wanted to create my way.


The response from this show has been phenomenal with shows being booked and requests from clients to keep pushing the new style I have evolved. I will keep on pushing it as far as I can go, and I am absolutely loving doing so right now.


Many thanks to - Personally their service is one of the best I have ever dealt with, with a personal touch many business seem to have ignored. I recommend them highly for anyone in need of rentals.   

Ok so Easter was a few weeks ago now. However I have been very busy with deadlines, which have to gain priority over any of my self obsessed mumblings that might be considered this blog.

Easter always is a crazy few days for me, usually chasing my own tail whilst getting from event to event with little or no sleep. This year wasn’t any different with the added pressure of the rearranged shoot with Oakenfold on the first day of the run. 
With Paul flying back into England from LA for a few days it of course made sense to fly him in a day early to reduce costs and fit a shoot in. The location was something myself and his management had put together in order to be able to create a number of different looks that can be used over the following 12 months press releases. Now many would say just rent a studio, but there’s something a lot more fun and potentially iconic in renting a strange location, lugging in several pelicases of lighting kit and just shooting solid for an afternoon.

For now I am having to hold back on releasing the images from the day due to how the staggered press campaign has been set up. But here’s a little behind the scenes shot of me looking as stupid as usual with the rest of the team.


So after I had loaded the kit into the car it was a short drive across London for some grub and prep for the second instalment of day 1 – Bedrock. Now bedrock is one of those events that has an incredible following, Mr Digweed really is a true gentleman and honestly I find him a true pleasure to work around. Now this might sound fantastic and easy, but even though John has brilliant people skills he likes one thing with his events and that is DARKNESS… I used to approach this differently, but now I am shooting on my Canon 1DX I really get excited about what I can create. This was the first real opportunity to push the evolution of my new darker black and white look, which I got hooked on whilst going through my images from Berlin. Now this was a big risk as Bedrock isn’t a small event to go changing things but I trusted my instinct on this one and produced something in my opinion that reflects the atmosphere of what went on that night. 


Overall after day 1 I was feeling like id hit it hard but was feeling incredible about what I had already achieved in 24hours.

Day two saw me back continuing my residency as the in house photographer for The gallery at ministry of sound. Now with this line up being a real vibrant trance affair the images I felt couldn’t be shot in a similar way to Bedrock, I needed to keep the shots bright and colourful but retain the elegance that I strive for with my look. Super 8 & Tab being the headliners I knew I could get away with not only getting in close but also generally just enjoy some really uplifting trance.


To be continued....

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