portrait photography

Live photography - comedian Phill Jupitus

Phill Jupitis

For the past four years or so I've had the privilege of photographing lots of comedians who take part in the annual Tringe Festival run by the Get Stuffed Comedy club in Tring.

As well as the festival, The Court Theatre in Tring also hosts plenty of touring comedians and in March the legendary comedian, musician and poet Phill Jupitus brought his show Juplicity to the stage.

Phill Jupitus

The theatre itself is a pleasure to shoot in. Apart from the audience's view you can also photograph along the sides and sometimes the back of the stage so it means you can get a lot of variety and different angles of the performer.

But it all amounts to nothing unless you can get *the* expression. Some comedians stand still, others charge about, ranting and raving and Phill Jupitus does both.

Phill Jupitus

I always shoot in manual when photographing live events - I've tried shutter and aperture priority but it never delivers the dramatic results as totally overriding the controls. I'm always fascinated by the black space and the isolation of the act, something the audience would never see.

Phill Jupitus

Sometimes, if I'm lucky and standing in the wings I'll get 'the look'. The 'you've been spotted' look. Sometimes I'll get a funny face, or a sticking out tongue, or sometimes, something else. Like this image above. Is he posing? Is he thinking? Have I distracted him? Who knows but it's a strong look.

Quite often I'll spend time backstage with the acts either before or after the show and I'm always intrigued by the difference between the act and the person. Some comedians pace up and down rehearsing the set, others just seem to step on stage and deliver themselves. Jupitus was on stage before the show started and both during the interval (where he handed out Tunnock's teacakes - don't ask - you'll have to see the show!) and at the end, he mingled with the audience, took selfies and chatted. No showbiz persona, no attitude - just a funny, bright and engaging comedian.

You can see more photos of comedians by clicking here.

Phill Jupitus

For the camera geeks amongst us these were shot on a Canon 5D MK3, 70-200mm f2.8, manual, spot metered, 125th f2.8 ISO 2000 and most importantly - using silent shooting.

Who are your photos for?

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New imagery for door manufacturers Urban Front

New imagery for door manufacturers Urban Front

This may strike you as an odd question. But it's always a stumbling block when I meet new clients to discuss their imagery. We regularly talk about what imagery reflects you as a business but can rarely identify who it is for.

Who is your demographic? Do we need to consider cultural differences? What are the implications of using stock imagery? Is black and white appropriate?
Your prospective customers may have already decided whether they want to use you before they've read a single word on your website - but only if your brand imagery is right.

New imagery for door manufacturers Urban Front

Towards the end of last year I was commissioned by door designers Urban Front to undertake a series of candid portraits of their workforce. The images were to be used on Instagram so needed to be a tad more punchy than you'd expect to see on the website.

At the same time, Elizabeth Assaf, co-founder of Urban Front was in need of a portrait for her new book Door Couture. She wanted to come across as relaxed and stylish - very much herself. 
We shot in the factory, the showroom and outside and ended up with way, way more than we needed but at least we had options!
Here's a few from that shoot and the one that ended up in print.

"Love your work – you put me at ease straightaway and it’s always a very fun experience. The pictures have surpassed any ideas I had and completely work for my book and for other press opportunities coming up. Thanks so much you are a star at what you do!"
Elizabeth Assaf - Urban Front