Archives: portrait

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cover girl power

For its tiny size, Monaco is home to a disproportionate number of professional athletes. As a photographer based nearby in the South of France, I am often commissioned to make portraits of sportspeople for press clients. But I had never, until recently, photographed a female cyclist. Guardian Weekend magazine sent me to Monaco on assignment to make a cover portrait of road racing champion Lizzie Deignan. It was International Women’s Day. Continue reading…

Portrait photograph of Lizzie Deignan, in pink on a blue background

provence: far right country

France is holding its breath. The first round of the presidential election is a few short days away, and it is arguably the most unpredictable political event for some time. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s unprecedented popularity is in the press spotlight, both in France and abroad. A Swiss Sunday newspaper recently asked me as photographer to travel to western Provence and join their reporter in the traditional South of France heartland of the Front National. Our mission? To find, interview and take editorial portraits of FN voters. It wasn’t an easy assignment. Continue reading…

The face of Marine LePen on a tatty campaign poster

Behind the Veil in Nice

Promenading under the sun, showing off bronzed limbs and checking out fellow seafront strollers is a popular French Riviera pastime, from Cannes to Monaco. However, strolling is not a pleasant experience for everyone in the South of France. My recent photographer assignment to make an editorial portrait of a niqab-wearing Nice resident – and the Algerian benefactor who pays her fines for doing so – was an eye-opener. Nice looks rather different through a veil. Continue reading…

Close-up photograph of woman in a burqa talking

King of the Cannes Jungle

A magazine assignment recently led me to Cannes, to photograph none other than the King of Bling. Hot young fashion designer Philipp Plein may be German but he is utterly at home in his sumptuous villa in the South of France. As a property photographer, I couldn’t dream of a better subject that the self-styled ‘King’s Jungle’ that consitutes his workplace, home and playground. As a portrait photographer, I would have liked my audience with the king to begin a little earlier and last a little longer. But in any case, my experience was memorable. Continue reading…

Portrait of Philipp Plein

the man who made me see

It is no small deal for a photographer to have their eyes cut open. A month ago, at his clinic in Nice, Dr Charles Ghenassia made incisions into the surface of my eyes, removed the cause of my shortsightedness with forceps and presented these lenticules to me in a jar. Later, to mark the event, I took my view camera to his French Riviera villa and made a portrait of him. Creating this portrait in black & white on my large format, analogue camera, with all the precision, patience and darkroom chemistry that the process entails, seemed an appropriate gift for a photographer to make to an eye surgeon. Continue reading…

Black and white portrait of Charles Ghenassia

french riviera lunch with a finnish economist

Björn Wahlroos is considered to be Finland’s top businessman. An arch-capitalist economist, he has very little time for poets, and not much for photographers either. In fact he has precious little time at all, even when holidaying in his South of France villa. Commissioned by an editorial client to go to Nice and take ‘a quick portrait’ of Björn before the writer conducted his interview, I was thus suprised to find myself leaving over 3 hours later than expected, with a full stomach and plenty of food for thought. Continue reading…

Photographic portrait of Bjorn Wahlroos, seated