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Floating Whisky Palace in Cannes

During the international duty-free trade fair that comes to Cannes every autumn, movers and shakers in the perfume, cigarette and hard liquor businesses get together to buy, to sell and to party. A leading Scottish whisky brewery commissioned me as a Cannes event photographer to capture a rather special evening aboard a superyacht. I was told that “being a photographer is like being a fine malt whisky distiller” and warmly welcomed into the world of fine whisky by a man whose nose is insured for €2.6 million. Continue reading…

countdown to Cannes

Summer is just around the corner in the South of France and the Cannes Film Festival is but weeks away. As a freelance photographer, Cannes generally offers me some interesting commissions. Editorial portraits and corporate event shoots during the festival open doors to places and people that I would be unlikely to stumble across otherwise, although conditions are sometimes challenging. From dealing with a stroppy Palme d’Or winner to battling seasickness in a powerboat, I’ve found Cannes to be anything but dull. Continue reading…

Photography of man stepping off a powerboat onto a jetty in Cannes harbour

corporate portraits: insurance is fun

I packed my bags and traded the South of France for England last month, the chosen photographer for a leading British insurance provider’s new marketing campaign. Portraits were to be taken of over 60 genuine insurance agents ‘being themselves’ – and also being fun, friendly and professional. It was a challenging commission, realised with the cunning use of mood cards – and flapjacks. Continue reading…

Portrait of a woman dressed in black with glasses, raising her fists in a triumphant manner to the camera

portrait of a silver fox in Monaco

Senior figures from all over the world have business reasons (and perhaps pleasure too) to visit the French Riviera, in particular Monaco and festivals in Cannes. One of the interesting aspects about being an editorial photographer in the South of France is meeting some of the noteworthy characters that pop in and out. A few weeks ago, I was asked to take a portrait of a businessman in a hotel room. But not just any businessman, and not just any hotel. Continue reading…

Portrait of Jim Clifton, seated in a wood-pannelled room

All the fun of the (trade) fair in Cannes

Cannes may be grabbing the headlines this month, as it rolls out its red carpet for the stars, but the film festival is only one of many annual international events held in town. Earlier this spring, I got the measure of MIPIM.

MIPIM is the trade show for the property sector, and no place for humble estate agents. Inside giant exhibition stands, companies, cities and entire countries amaze delegates with their intricately-crafted scale models of redevelopments. On yachts and sunny terraces, architects, planners and investors do big business, and enjoy the pleasures of the South of France. I was hired as both editorial photographer for Monocle and corporate photographer for a banking client: full MIPIM immersion….
Continue reading…

Close-up detail of building model on display at MIPIM 2013, Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France

Ovarian Cancer

Life as a South of France photographer is varied, mostly interesting and, now that the long wet winter seems to be finally behind us, it also has distinct warmth and sunshine benefits. But I travel regularly elsewhere in Europe for rather different kinds of assignments, and I appreciate these opportunities; not least when they take me back to my (definitely more rainy) homeland.

A few weeks ago, I headed from Nice to London on commission for a UK-based ovarian cancer charity. Making portraits of women in remission from this little-known cancer for a new awareness campaign was a sensitive and intense experience. Continue reading…

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