Blog

Category: Editorial

Sebastian Coe

Who remembers Seb Coe? I was commissioned to make an editorial portrait of this ex-Olympic-record-holding runner in Monaco. Forewarned of his dislike of photographers and detecting his impatience during the long interview with my magazine journalist colleagues beforehand, I shook things up when we finally started the shoot with a warm-up relay run, up and down the corridor. Seb may no longer be an athlete today, having moved into politics and the presidency of World Athletics, but he is still happy in trainers, and he turned out to be a great subject to photograph.

Fig Trees: Climate Change Heroes?

Last spring, I travelled south, across the Mediterranean to Tunisia. Photographer and writer both on this occasion, I made a reportage for a magazine cover feature on the subject of an unlikely hero in the face of climate change: the Common Fig. Figs seem to resist drought better than almost any other fruit tree, not only providing hope to farmers whose other crops are failing, but also boosting biodiversity in arid lands with their ‘supertree powers’. In addition to words and photography, both analogue and digital, I turned to an alternative printing process to show the range of varieties of this tree, making anthotypes out of fig juice.

Patagonian Fire Chef

Francis Mallmann is widely regarded as the most influential chef in Latin America, and he boasts restaurants worldwide – the South of France included. I was invited as photographer to make the portrait of the ‘king of live-fire cooking’ at Château La Coste, home to his eatery in Provence. On this cover shoot, assigned by luxury lifestyle magazine Club Oenologique, I discovered for myself that Mallmann not only makes a mean sorbet, but wears his favourite tree and sews dresses for fun.

Corsican Charcuterie

As autumn draws into winter, plumes of smoke rise all over the island: above slow fires, special preparations of pork are cured. I was commissioned as photographer to travel to Corsica for a reportage about the artisanal production of the island’s famous charcuterie delicacies -figatellu, coppa, lonzu- and the native, semi-wild, ‘Porcu Nustrale’ pigs from which they are made. The assignment, for a German magazine devoted to meat, was not exactly vegan-friendly.

Paula Radcliffe

British long distance runner Paula Radcliffe held the record of fastest marathoner in the world for 16 years. Today, she lives near Monaco, where I made her portrait for the cover of People Health magazine. Incredibly, she achieved her long and successful career as an athlete, despite being a lifelong sufferer of asthma.

Equine Gold in Azerbaijan

The Karabakh is one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world, and the national animal of Azerbaijan. I travelled there as photographer on assignment for Aramco World magazine for a cover feature this spring about these breathtakingly beautiful, golden horses – who were at risk of extinction only 30 years ago.

De Gaulle’s Grandson

A convoluted journey took me to Barcelona recently, on a magazine assignment to make portraits of an unlikely pariah. His grandfather was once voted the greatest Frenchman ever, yet Pierre de Gaulle has, in publicly voicing his controversial opinion of the conflict in Ukraine, incurred the displeasure of both the mainstream French press and the government.

Cannes Film Festival Portraits

Being commissioned as photographer to make portraits of actors or directors during the the Cannes Film Festival is a unique experience. This year, Telegraph Luxury magazine assigned me to photograph Natalie Portman, as well as two young actors who were awarded the 2023 Chopard Trophy for rising movie stars.

The Last Violet Growers

Tourettes-Sur-Loup, above the French Riviera, was once known as the home of violets. 70 families grew and sent their flowers as far afield as Paris – yet today, only 3 producers remain. I photographed the picking, bunching and crystallisation of these unusual little blooms, whose scent is there one minute – and gone the next.

Home Spa with Helena

Just before Christmas, I was assigned to travel 400 km across Provence, to make a portrait of author Helena Frith Powell – and to do a better job of it than her last photographer. Based in the South of France, Helena is known in the UK for her books on French living, as well as a DIY guide to creating a luxury spa at home. A portrait of her in spa gear was needed for the cover of the Daily Mail’s Inspire magazine, and the Mail’s previous photographer was not welcome back.