Here’s Bee Inspector Charles Millar disturbing a bee’s nest. Relax, he’s doing it for the good of bee colonies nationwide. Charles works for the The Food and Environment Research Agency as an inspector in the National Bee Unit and he’s inspecting this colony for signs of disease, which you’ll be pleased to hear there were none.
I’ve never photographed a bee colony before and it was a very strange and tricky experience. I was of course dressed in the same protective clothing as Charles but the sound of a few hundred bees buzzing around your head is totally unnerving and makes it very hard to concentrate. I guess it’s an inbuilt survival mechanism, much like the sound of crying babies, you just can’t ignore the noise. My brain switched between screaming ‘run for the hills’ and making me think one of the little buggers had gotten inside my suit, which made it difficult to focus on the photography. Luckily the cold weather meant that the majority of the bees did not take flight to defend the nest from the invading inspector and photographer. Call me a cream-puff but I would not like to try that on a warm and sunny day. Charles said I was very brave for my first time, so there.
portrait of the journalist Victoria Lambert
, photographed last month for Top Sante magazine. I’m not very good with horses, in most part due to not having spent much time around them. They’re lovely looking beasts but their size makes me a little nervous.
This horsey was exceptionally well behaved even when my light-stand blew over in the wind and gave him a bit of a fright. Victoria as you can see did an excellent job of looking happy despite the near freezing temperatures, if you look closely her hand has gone a little blue. The joy of shooting for spring editions when the weather is still in full winter mode.
spent a sunny afternoon shooting a feature on Bristol cyclists last week, specifically in relation to plans being drawn up by the Bristol mayor George Ferguson. The campaign hopes to ban cars from the city centre on Sundays, which hopefully might create some sort of city cycling Mecca. I’m proud to live in such a progressive city, I moved here six years ago not knowing much about the place and now would not want to live anywhere else. Saying that, Mrs Jones and I have just bought a house in the middle of the Wiltshire darklands, but it’s still close enough to the mighty Briz Broz to call it home when I’m trying to appear stylish.
Here’s a few portraits from my day out.
The guy above is called Kai Paulden. Kai rides a bendy bike, that’s as much as I know… Unfortunately our conversation got cut short, I never found out why he rides a bendy bike, maybe he just loves a bit of heavy pedalling (I thank you).
Caitlin Morgan (above) is a keen Bristol cyclist and coincidentally a member of the Bristol Roller Derby team whom my good friend and fellow photographer Adam (Wildman) Gasson has been photographing, take a look here.
The chappy below is Charlie Oboune, manager of Mud Dock cycles, which unbeknown to me has a fantastically positioned cafe overlooking the Bristol docks and serves great Spanish food.
A recent portrait of British actress Lesley Nicol who you might recognise from her recurring role in ITV’s hit drama Downton Abbey.
Lord of the Manor
This is Tim Shorland, or Lord of the Manor of Redwick and Northwick and of Hempton and Patchwick to you and I. Tim bought manorial titles in both South Gloucestershire and close to his home in Westbury-on-Trym — for less than £10,000 in 1990. Tim’s Manorial estate is 6000 acres large around the Bristol area, which is where I photographed him near Severn Beach for The Times this week.
The weekend before the Welsh rugby team beautifully upset both England’s grand slam and six nations victory plans, I spent the afternoon at the Millennium Stadium photographing the big chief of Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis. As a big Welsh rugby fan I was more than a little excited to be shooting inside the Millennium Stadium. I almost lost my ship when we went on an unofficial tour of the Wales team changing room.
A fun summery portrait shot for Lighter Life magazine.
y portrait of the comedian David Walliams. Shot in 3 minutes dead on, I’m pleased with it. David Walliams first ever TV appearance was on Games World which I used to love as a kid. If you played computer games in or around the early nineties you’ll probably remember the show. Presented by the enthusiastic Bob Mills, Bob’s career path has been slightly different from Davids. From what I can make out (Wiki) he seems to have peaked at Games World. It’s odd given the current popularity of computer games that there aren’t any TV shows dedicated to them. I for one would like to see Bob back on the TV.
Hide and Seek
My portrait of artist Charlotte Sorapure, shot for Artist and Illustrators magazine last month. I love the consistency in colour and tone across the image. I was also hugely inspired by the Sisal flooring in Charlotte’s studio, which I’m now determined to lay on any exposed area I can in the new house.
The First Time
portrait of Jarvis Cocker taken in 2011. Whilst driving to a shoot this week my assistant, Leon, asked if I had a favourite ever job. It’s a hard question to answer because much like a favourite song or movie there’s too many options to give a definitive answer.
I was however reminded of the portrait above, which I’ve dug out of the archives and I’m still extremely fond of. I’m a huge Pulp fan and having the opportunity to photograph Mr Jarvis will always be a career highlight. There are various achievements and milestones that every photographer reaches as they climb the career ladder and this shoot is for me certainly one of them.