The link between a llama and Provence rosé wine may not at first be obvious. But on a recent advertising photography commission, I was thrown into the world of social media influencers and discovered that they have a growing presence in the wine industry. On this occasion, llamas were brought to a wine-making chateau for some unusual lifestyle photography, and I was reminded of a portrait shoot that I’d done years ago…and would have preferred to forget.
I was delighted to be selected as the commercial photographer to take portraits for Tribune Côte d’Azur’s latest advertising campaign. Outstanding entrepreneurs from Nice and Sophia Antipolis were to be introduced to the public on social media and in advertisements across the French Riviera. A pioneering fungi specialist, manufacturer of 3D printers and a cookie café owner were among the individuals I was to capture in a set of dynamic, positive, workplace portraits.
It was a privilege to photograph Sara Hannig Nour, founder of a flagship organic food company, in Egypt recently. Corporate portraits (for PR & marketing) and lifestyle photography (to illustrate her upcoming cookery book) were the order of the day, and we prepared stacks of fresh, organic produce from the farm to turn her bright, white kitchen into a riot of colour. Swiss-born Sara’s dedication to caring for the planet, fair trade and healthy living – along with extraordinary work and determination – make her an inspiration. Indeed, Sara has not gone unnoticed: in 2017, she won Cartier’s prestigious Women’s Initiative Award.
Not all my portrait assignments are for editorial or corporate clients. From time to time, individuals commission me as photographer to help build their own professional identity: a strong profile picture will support their social media presence and PR goals. The traditional industry term of what’s required might be a headshot, but I approach a profile picture as a portrait. For me it is an opportunity to make an image that represents various aspects of who my subject is and what they do – not simply a shot of of their head. Here’s how…
Monaco Grand Prix: the name alone conjures images of champagne, speedy cars, big money and dashing, daring drivers. This May, under the bright French Riviera sunshine, I captured all this and more, on an unusual and privileged event photographer commission. However, most of the exclusive photos that I took behind the scenes of the race can never be shown.
A glass of champagne or two while you browse? A changing room big enough for you and ten friends to chill out in? A beautiful, trilingual personal shopper, effortlessly juggling your favourite designers’ shoes, outfits and sunglasses? Forget shopping malls, queues and fights during the sales: Monaco knows how to shop.
“Fantastic!!! Fabulous!!!” cried my client, as she caught sight of me. Its not often that I am greeted with quite as much gusto, but I’d just arrived at the ITV Studios stand in Cannes, where bubbly smiles, enthusiasm and exclamation marks abound. ITV, the UK’s biggest and most popular commercial television channel, has a big presence at MIPCOM (the entertainment version of a series of annual Cannes-hosted global trade fairs), and I provide their corporate event photography. Today, my first stop was a rendez-vous on Love Island.
When I was young, I once overheard the term ‘floating gin palace’ in conversation. My imagination conjured up a thing of wonder, and so I was disappointed later to learn that the term simply refers to the kind of luxury motor yacht plentiful in Antibes, Cannes and other South of France marinas. Last week, I was asked as corporate event photographer to spend the evening in Cannes on a vessel that could have been fairly accurately described as a floating whisky palace.
Last month I headed back to England on a corporate photography commission. My client, a leading national insurance company, was re-designing its brand and wanted to put its employees at the heart of a new marketing campaign. I was chosen as photographer to take over 60 portraits of insurance personnel. The intro to the brief was simple: “we want to make the idea of insurance fun, to capture our lovely employees laughing and smiling, at their natural best”. There were certainly some amusing outtakes along the way…
Senior figures from all over the world have business (and perhaps pleasure) reasons to visit the French Riviera, especially Monaco. One of the things I love about being an editorial photographer here is the chance to meet some of the interesting characters who come and go. 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.