Blog

Category: Editorial

Optimism on the Algarve

Working conditions were unusually plush (by an editorial photographer’s standards) on a magazine assignment I had in southern Portugal recently. Commissioned to make portraits of Swiss businessman Freddy Burger and take pictures of the beautiful hotel he’d just purchased on the Algarve, I not only enjoyed a warm welcome at Hotel Vivenda Miranda, but was also happy to be involved in an upbeat feature focusing on the return of a long-awaited optimism to the travel industry.

Testing the Water

Heston Blumenthal is Britain’s most acclaimed chef. The photographer chosen by GQ magazine to shoot his portrait this summer, I drove west through Provence to Heston’s experimental laboratory, where I was to photograph him. The inventor of snail porridge and bacon & egg ice cream, celebrity chef Heston is known for original cuisine that brings science and art together, and the research that his team is currently carrying out in the South of France has the potential to take gastronomy to a place it has never been before.

In Napoleon’s Footsteps

Thanks to Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, I recently found myself on the trail of Napoleon. As photographer, I travelled with the editor and writer to Grasse, high above the French Riviera, to make the portrait of Lucas Albers, a Swiss citizen who’s just purchased a piece of Napoleonic France. The remote Plateau de Napoleon, soon destined to host Albers’s contemporary arts centre, was the spot that Napoleon chose to camp and gather his troops in 1815 after escaping from exile.

Donkey Defenders

The Baudet de Poitou is the oldest race of donkey in France, yet only 300 are left worldwide. I was assigned as photographer to make the portrait of a Provence-based British couple who are doing their bit to save the breed from extinction. Back in the 18th century, tens of thousands of Baudet de Poitou were sold annually. Yet it wasn’t for their skills at farm work or cart-pulling that these donkeys were in great demand. No, they were bred, quite simply, to breed.

Green Jersey Cover

Le Tour de France has begun! Sam Bennett held the coveted title of top sprinter last year, and I was the photographer chosen to shoot a cover portrait of him in Monaco for magazine Procycling recently. Le Tour’s top sprinter wears a green vest, and, as Sam is from the Emerald Isle, the editor wasn’t going to miss out on a strong green theme for the cover design. Victory green smoke bombs? Why not…

Electric Racing Driver

Monaco is known for its prestigious Grand Prix, but the principality also hosts Formula E events. I was commissioned as photographer recently by Belgian magazine Sabato to make a portrait of Stoffel Vandoorne, a leading driver in Formula E, the clean energy motorsport that’s hot on the heels of Formula One. Stoffel races electric cars that go at breathtaking speeds of up to 280 km/hour, but when he’s not working, he prefers to ride a bike.

Fastest Female on Two Wheels

I last photographed Lizzie Deignan in 2017, a cover portrait for the Guardian Weekend magazine. This spring, I returned to Monaco, where she lives, this time as photographer for Cyclist magazine. A racing cyclist, Lizzie is currently the top ranked rider in the world and is a prominent figure pushing forward professional women’s cycling. We both rose to the challenge of doing an environmental portrait shoot during the Covid lockdown and, so doing, fittingly celebrated another International Women’s Day together.

Svalbard

Svalbard, 1000 km north of Norway, could not be any more different from the South of France. As photographer and writer, I was privileged, a few years ago, to be invited to join a polar expedition cruise along its western coast. The landscapes were unfamiliar, harsh and striking, and I witnessed, under an eerie sun that never sets, the beauty of glaciers and the incredible adaptability of people and nature to extreme conditions. I also learned that while melting ice leads to catastrophe, it can also lead to hidden treasures – and inspire an extraordinary use of flags.

To Die for an Ecofeminist

The South of France was particularly bleak and wintry when Die Zeit sent their journalist and me, photographer, on a journey across Provence to make a portrait of France’s leading ecofeminist researcher, Émilie Hache. Our destination was the small town of Die, a 4 ½ hour drive from Nice, and my preparation for this assignment involved, besides photography, finding out what ecofeminism meant.

Wolf of Wall Street

French magazine Le Point assigned me as photographer to make a portrait of the CEO of H2O Asset Management at his office in Monaco last month. Bruno Crastes’s reputation in the finance world precedes him: 5 years ago he was named the best bond manager in the world. Yet since this summer, Bruno and his high-risk hedge fund firm have been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.