England's Lionesses for Nike

Asking athletes who train for living to train for the camera can sometimes be difficult and not all of them want to play ball.

These ladies however were all in good spirits having just been chosen for the England squad so we had a jolly ol' day producing a lovely set of images for Nike.

Izzy Christiansen of Manchester City

Izzy Christiansen of Manchester City

Karen Carney of Chelsea

Karen Carney of Chelsea

Fran Kirby of Chelsea

Fran Kirby of Chelsea

Lucy Bronze of Manchester City

Lucy Bronze of Manchester City

Toni Duggan of Manchester City

Toni Duggan of Manchester City

Steph Houghton MBE of Manchester City

Steph Houghton MBE of Manchester City

Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal

Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal

Jill Scott of Manchester City

Jill Scott of Manchester City

Ellen White of Birmingham

Ellen White of Birmingham

WR250 for Nike

I've heard people criticising Wayne Rooney but gladly there are more praising him for reaching the 250 goal mark for Manchester United. 

Alan Shearer said on Match of the Day how he thought Wayne would play with the same intensity and drive even if he was being paid £50 per game and that's exactly what I like about him.

A premier League footballer earns a lot. We all know that. But he just wants to play football. Which is handy because he's bloody good at it. So thanks to everyone at Nike for asking me to help with the release of their new boot and to celebrate this amazing milestone. Thanks also to the team who helped with the production and turnaround on this campaign - Dan Rowley, Dave Thompson, Tom Shaw and Mark Robinson.  

I'd have him

I'm not going to mention what a bloody nice bloke Anthony Joshua is because I'm pretty sure everyone already knows. So I'm afraid this post might be a bit boring for some of you with more technical chat than kissing the arse of the Heavyweight Champion.

My only brief when Matchroom commissioned me was to capture the concentration and focus before his Box Office bout against Eric Molina tomorrow night. This screamed for close ups of his eyes which meant a lot of missed frames as catching such a big man with his speed through the ropes with a 400mm is harder than it sounds!

I imagine the amount of times Anthony has been asked to put a fist up for a picture would be in the thousands now so I'm glad the brief didn't include that little beauty. Using nothing natural light can always be a risk but I got lucky with a crisp, sunny afternoon and the beautifully positioned windows with random stained glass meant I had light bouncing everywhere and it was almost like having a room full of reflectors!

They might not be pictures of a table being thrown or a dust up after a press conference but I hope I fulfilled the brief and my images reflect the professionalism of a man who is a great ambassador for all sport and will undoubtedly fill the now vacant title of 'The Greatest'.....Dammit, I said I wouldn't do that ; )

Wendy-Ball

As a couple of my very good (rugby supporting) friends refer to football as Wendy-Ball I'm writing this post in their honour. I make no secret that over the past few years I've fallen out of love with football. Not just in the photography industry but as a whole and my reasons were perfectly summed up when I was listening to the annoyance of a caller to BBC Radio 5 Live who didn't like the fact that the Manchester derby was all about the managers instead of the teams. He said he'd go to the theatre if he wanted to see 'that sort of thing'.

Unfortunately for him theatre is exactly what football has become. The hype, build up and (brilliant) montages which are designed to sell each match thrive on the drama football creates. You only have to look at the face on the referee after he's shown a multi millionaire teenager a yellow card to see they love playing the villain.

Therefore my selected images for this post aim to show more than just two men who don't get on and the moment they might shake hands. 

Tennis

Forehand, backhand, serve.....repeat. I've sat next to many photographers at major tennis events who shoot just that. But tennis can be one of the most creative and impactful sports to photograph. It doesn't always happen how you think it might but mixing shadows, light, emotion and colour it's often hard to go wrong.......unless you live by the first four words of this blog.

Busy Start to 2016

I usually look forward to January as for the past 3 years it's been a bit of a rest month as most companies tighten their budgets and leave the poor ol freelancers scratching around. But I'll have to wait for my rest as the diary has been full since Christmas and doesn't look like slowing up as we fly in to February!

The year started well when Playstation announced they were launching their "Every Gamers Adventure" campaign and yet again I got to stand this close to the greatest trophy on Earth, The Emirates FA Cup.

Nike ran a Women's Week all over London in some amazing venues including Barry's Bootcamp where I did all I could to convince their master trainers that I was just too busy snapping to take part.......then I went to Costa coffee and had some cake.

I was commissioned by Bidvest 3663 to cover their annual awards ceremony and don't they all look very professional? Luckily for them, the images of the after show party with Scott Mills are safely hidden behind a password in my client area!

I've spent many night's in the Ministry of Sound but never quite like this where the girls were calming down at the end of the day with smooth house beats and a yoga class. Plus, being as I was working for Nike they couldn't tell me to bog off like in the old days!

My weekends were once again filled up covering editorial football for The Press Association

Heung Min Son was genuinely pleased to have beaten Tottenham Hotspur teammate Tom Carroll in a smoothie making competition during a project to promote healthy living in the Haringey area. Imagine how happy he would be if they ever actually won a trophy!? (sorry, couldn't help myself)

Nike's Women's Week ended at The Royal Horticulture Halls in Pimlico and many athletes attended including Perri Shakes-Drayton shown here encouraging a participant with Master Trainer Faisal

Is a selfie healthy? Or does this ginge make you cringe?

A few years ago I heard that a photographer who shall remain nameless (because I've never heard of him) approached Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium just before kick off and asked him to sign a couple of prints he had brought along in his camera bag.

I've only ever done this once with Frank Lampard when I had him in the studio for a portrait session and we'd spent all afternoon together and I felt comfortable asking him during a break, but still had a feeling it was frowned upon and deemed unprofessional by my peers.

Three years ago when I started as a freelance I have to admit that social media, my website and this blog didn't really interest me as I stupidly took self promotion for showing off.

Since then I've come to realise that it's important to show current and potential clients that I'm busy and working alongside big names for big brands and a quick selfie on my phone is the best way to publish what I've been up to.

Much of my current work is embargoed so it's hard to post the images I've taken straight away and my ugly mug seems to keep people interested. 

I'm almost certain that there are still some of my colleagues who think this sort of thing is shameless and part of some unwritten rule that we shouldn't break, but there are plenty of people I've worked with who I haven't asked for a quick snap. Sometimes because there's just not enough time and sometimes because we simply didn't hit it off and I wasn't comfortable asking. But the majority are happy and used to posing for selfies pretty much everyday.

Personally, I'd like to think that it not only works as an update of what I'm up to but also that my subjects and I have enjoyed working together.

It also helps me to realise when the barnet could do with a trim and the Just For Men ginger edition needs a little outing!

 

Upwards and Onwards

This month is something a little different from what you're all used to on my blog. After long days of shooting sliding tackles and left hooks I've turned my lenses skywards and am in the process of creating a gallery of astrophotography.

 

Venus and Jupiter

Seeing these two planets together in the early night sky was a rare occurrence and a nice end to each day.

Although these two beauty's were closer at some point in the country this was as close as I managed from my position on Planet Earth. You can just about make out 3 of the Jupiter's moons.

The Old Egg and Spoon

Only four years in the making. I've seen better images of a plane crossing the path of the moon but I was like a kid at christmas when I caught this.

 

This is my first attempt at capturing Saturn. I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to stacking images and bringing out the detail, but watch this.....erm.... space!