Mollie Makes Magazine
Nice coverage for Mollie Makes of Shevie Moyles work down in Cornwall...
17 04 13
Wow, its all gone mad now! off to Cornwall for a hotel shoot tomorrow, back to Bath for a hotel shoot on tuesday, then to East Sussex for two days shoots for magazines, then back to Bristol to prepare for four days in Italy... see you on the other side...
20 03 13
Ongoing work with Chateau Impney in Worcestershire see here... and many other jobs too.. Homes and Gardens shoot last week in Devon, and some rather smart new architectural clients based in London this coming week... watch this space!
17 01 13
Well, the year's turned and I'm mooching around in the office trying to reorganise/springclean and generally do nothing! It was a good year (2012) and you can read a review here... At the moment its snowing here in Bristol, so any excuse to discuss 'not snowing' weather would be gratefully received!
15 7 12
Well its 'here we go again' time!... off to Cornwall again shooting for 25BH magazine, then straight back and up the M4 to shoot for a day with Esti Barnes of 'Top Floor Rugs' in London on wednesday. Then another shoot for Route One in the next couple of weeks, and a final shoot for the wonderful National Trust at Powis Castle Gardens ... Blimey...
Category Archives: Mark Bolton Photography
It’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone now and again. So this week I spent a day working with Belle & Boo, which for those of you who aren’t the parents of little people, is a charming and successful children’s brand based around the characters Belle, a little girl and Boo, a rabbit. Think Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton, The Velveteen Rabbit, Mabel Lucie Attwell, smock frocks all rolled into one. The shoot involved two little gals, afternoon tea all laid out on proper (tot sized) china, the icing of cup cakes and a toy bunny – as my teenage daughter might say, ‘sweeeeeeeeeet!’. This sort of Lifestyle and product photography requires a light touch and informality so we used natural light mixed with a little fill in flash, and the models were shot quickly and with as little fuss as possible… hope it shows! the company is based in Bristol and the excellent Nicky Owen of White Rabbit Media was stylist supreme…
Lillian Delevoryas is a wise and wonderful octogenarian artist and just happens to be our neighbour. In exchange for some photography, she offered us one of her paintings. So hard to choose when she has such a prolific output, much of which lines the walls of her flat. There are nudes in various poses, works of religious iconography influenced by her Greek Orthodox faith, vivid interiors and wildly colourful flower paintings one of which we finally ended up selecting. It’s called Hypnos and depicts passion flowers in a pot that was made by Lydia Corbett once a famous ponytailed muse of Picasso and now an artist who Lillian has exhibited with. Surrounded by various pieces of Poole pottery, some dead birds and my favourite Eric Leaper horse which admittedly has a vague My Little Pony feel (!), the painting seems to have settled in nicely. You can see more of Lillian’s work here.
We had an interesting and frantic shoot at the Naval Club in Central London last week… a days shoot in which we needed to get food, staff, rooms and atmosphere in one of Londons most ‘elegant and comfortable’ town houses. The staff were a great help, the weather wasn’t (!) and I think we distilled the ‘feel’ of the place quite well. These images are of the dining room and the food… a grand but relaxing room in which the chef served excellent modern food. Food Photography in these circumstances can be a tricky affair… there usually isn’t much time, so we need to work quickly, but the staff were a great help, and the chef was brilliant…
Great start to the year for interior photography with some lovely pieces being published… Homes and Gardens have just done two of my features, both houses shot in London towards the end of last year… The cover image is part of a feature we did about Lord David Herbert’s house… a lovely townhouse owned by the proprietor of David Seyfried Furniture, who make beautiful upholstered furniture and are based at Chelsea Design Centre…. and the bottom row of images are part of a second feature about a house in North London owned by Mette Hardie… lovely use of Crittall windows….
Both of the above houses were quite different from another recently published piece, all about the wonderful Silvana De Soisson’s house in Wiltshire, covered for Country Living magazine. We spent a great day there, while Silvana cooked lovely Pistachio biscuits and made us coffee… The house is cluttered and eccentric, and I’m sure you’ll agree, a picture-perfect home, cosy and inviting…. Silvana is the brains behind the ‘Foodie Bugle‘, an online food magazine thats fast becoming a ‘must read’ for those who know their pistachios….As you can see, all three houses involved different ways of working…. interior photography can involve lots of styling… taking ‘stuff’ out or adding carefully chosen bits to other shots. A good interior stylist is worth his (actually, more often than not ‘her’!) weight in gold…. In the case of both the Homes and Gardens shoots, Alice Ridley did the honours, whilst Country Living’s own Caroline Reeves styled Silvana’s house…
After spending a lovely new year at Fingals, it’s time to get back to the grindstone, but not before I have a brief look back at the work I did last year. It reall was a mixed bag of assignments, from following NT gardens through the seasons to shooting a top hotel in Tuscany, Il Borro. My work is varied (that’s how I like it!) and I feel as ‘at home’ in a vibrant spring garden as I do in a Midlands ‘Spa Resort’ with four swimming pools and a 5 star chef!
Hotels wise it was a good year, and I shot a range of places, from small ‘bed and breakfast’ businesses (Bolotho Barns for example), to huge, multi-restaurant and spa resorts with hundreds of bedrooms (Hoar Cross Hall). Somewhere in the middle are the small hotel operations, with 10-15 bedrooms, owner operated, and with , more often than not, very good kitchens serving locally sourced food. These are enjoyable jobs as the owners know every room, the staff are their friends and they are able to put their own stamp on the places (Gliffaes Hotel, Boskerris Hotel, Tasty Ski Company). I have often said it but I love shooting these sorts of hotels as I get to do a bit of each of my favourite types of photography – gardens, interiors, food and lifestyle.
It was a busy year too, shooting for my commercial clients: Mandarin Stone are one of my favourites… we shoot lovely houses, finished with wonderful ‘products’, and the client really enjoys, and more importantly, understands the value of careful styling and propping. Another valued client is Top Floor Rugs, with whom I did a fantastic shoot at an amazing house in North London. Again, the client understands the importance of photography and the way that the products are shown (apart from the fact that she is also a world class rug designer!). I also had a good year doing editorial for interiors magazines and shooting major features for Country Living, Homes and Gardens and Saga.
Out into the rarified world of the internationally important garden, and I spent another year shooting, through the seasons, with the National Trust. I worked at three gardens, The Courts, Lacock Abbey and Powis Castle, and spent many happy hours watching the way the gardens changed through the year… frosty views at Powis, early spring shoots at the Courts and fullblown summer borders at Lacock. It’s hard to think of a job I prefer more…
All in all then, an excellent year… even if the weather wasn’t amazing!
It’s freezing here in the office and I’ve got my long-johns on, but Ive just been editing pics from a recent autumnal shoot at Bristol University Botanic Gardens, and the warmth of the colours is helping keep the frost out of this room! Its going to be a while before we see these colours again in the gardens of England, but one of the joys of this job is reminding yourself what you did earlier in the year!
Just back from the autumnal delights of the Bordeaux region where every other house is a château and even the most minute pocket of land is given over to the vine. We were staying at the wonderful Château Rigaud, owned and run by dream team Anna and Aib and where you feel as though you’re a guest at an intimate house party rather than an impersonal hotel; there are no numbers on doors or reception staff – you just help yourself to drinks at the bar, stroll about checking out what the brilliant chef Steve is planning for dinner, eat way too much and generally have a fabulous time.
There was a purpose though you understand – it’s not all play – we were the first guests to try out their Bread and Wine Weekend. We learnt to make fougasse, sour dough and pizza which we cooked in the wood-fired oven in the vegetable garden surrounded by just-turning vines and ate with new best mates – our fellow guests. The ‘slap and tickle’ is a method for kneading the dough by the way, taught to us by Steve and fellow chef, Peter – highly recommended as a form of strenuous exercise or a way of getting rid of pent-up aggression! Afternoons were spent visiting St Emilion or Sauternes (apparently they’re quite famous for wine…) before we came back for truly memorable feasts which were matched with wines from Bordeaux. Back to earth with a bump last night though when we came home to a bare fridge and ended up eating fish fingers and peas…
I Shoot Horses Don’t I?
I’ve just returned from a few days hotel photography at ‘Il Borro‘, near Arezzo in Tuscany owned by the Ferragamo family – designers of very beautiful footwear and bags worn by proper Hollywood royalty over the years – Marilyn, Audrey and Angelina amongst others. The estate is vast with its own medieval ‘borgo’ where we stayed, a spa, stables and huge winery. They’ve managed to pull off the trick of respecting their traditional Tuscan roots while introducing super slick, up-to-the-minute design elements particularly around the spa with its infinity pool and Vincafé. I spent my time racing around photographing interiors, charming staff, atmospheric vistas and even the horses!
The next day we drove into Chianti where classic Tuscan views of ancient hilltop estates flanked by cypress trees and surrounded by dusty olive groves forced me to leap out of the car, camera in hand around virtually every bend. Volpaia is a tiny village which sits high above Radda in Chianti where the restaurant La Bottega and bar are both owned by the same friendly family – there can’t be too many better places in the world to have lunch.
All this bucolic bliss can get a bit much so it was time to head into the hubbub of Florence – 92 degrees, many shops and restaurants closed for holidays, swarms of tourists (like me), coffees at 5 euros – but still utterly amazing. Best bits were midnight photography of Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria and an early morning trip to the food market at Sant’ Ambrogio to stock up on pecorino and tasty tomatoes.
Hotel Photography in Italy is a tough job, but someone has to do it…. so, if you have a hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Spa or restaurant , and you need some marketing images, please do get in touch…. I’m photographing a ‘Gourmet’ ski chalet in the French Alps next month, and back to do more at the slightly bonkers Hoar Cross Hall in Staffordshire after that… come on, catch me while you can…
I have had the privilege in the last year of photographing at Powis Castle in Wales. I have been taking pictures through the seasons for the National Trust guidebook, and its been a joy revisiting the garden every few weeks… the structure of the garden shines through and the lovely planting ‘dresses’ up those terraces, borders and vistas. The actual castle is an imposing building, full of history, collections of antiquities, and a supposedly good collection of ghosts! The gardeners, led by David Swanton, do a great job, and as with all the N.T gardens, its always a picture (literally!)
A perfect day for the ‘President’s Match’ at East Prawle; there was sun, there were fours galore and there was a barbeque… everything seems well with the world when watching village cricket from the boundary…
“Personally, I have always looked upon cricket as organised loafing”. (William Temple)