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Love Island, Cannes

I’ve been a photographer in France for 12 years now and, although British, I confess to being entirely out-of-date with English television. So when asked to photograph some stars of a current reality TV show for a UK-based corporate client of mine, ITV Studios, at the international entertainment industry trade fair ‘MIPCOM’ in Cannes, I had to look closely at the reference pictures beforehand. ‘Love Island’ had come to this annual South of France event as part of a considerable PR initiative, and success was not hard to find, and photograph. Continue reading…

Close-up photograph of a cocktail glass and champagne glass

Cannes: an ‘impossible’ photographer brief

Sometimes, the gap between a picture editor’s vision of how to approach the photography for a feature (dreamed up in doodles on a desk in London) and the reality of what a photographer can actually achieve on location (at a giant trade fair in the South of France, for example) can be rather large. At the latest MIPIM, an annual real estate event held in Cannes, my magazine client’s photographer brief for a portrait-led feature verged on impossible to realise. However, “impossible n’est pas français”. Continue reading…

Sketch of a building with "I am a momument" written above it

a sea of stars at Cannes Film Festival party

Photographers don’t usually get anywhere near the Vanity Fair party during the Cannes Film Festival. It is considered THE social event of the festival calendar, and is held near Antibes, in one of the most luxurious hotels on the French Riviera. On assignment for New York Times Style, I was one of very few privileged photographers invited to take reportage pictures of the A-listers at play. Continue reading…

Photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a friend lighting cigars

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

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