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...
Tag Archives: italy
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!
A couple of years back I was lucky enough to be asked to help shoot the food and lifestyle images for a book about places to stay that were in tune with the Slow movement which originated in Italy. It was commissioned by Alastair Sawday’s, a small travel publishing and media company based near Bristol as part of their Go Slow series. I took off for Italy, travelling mainly by train from Lombardy to Sicily and stopping off at some stunning places along the way whose owners had chosen to opt for a less frenetic way of life – growing their own fruit and vegetables, producing olive oil and wine from their land and respecting the seasons. The book is available here on their web site…
Anyone whose visions of Tuscan countryside revolve solely around the undeniably romantic idea of hilltop villas with cypress lined driveways snaking up through the vines, poppies or sunflowers has probably not made it up north to the Garfagnana. The region proper starts about half an hour north of Lucca, its main centre being Castelnuovo di Garfagana with the Apennines and the Apuan Alps rising dramatically to either side and it’s absolutely worth a trip if you have a few days spare.
I’ve just got back from one of my frequent visits – a photographer’s treat to go in autumn when the chestnut and oak trees that blanket the hillsides are are starting to turn, the whiff of woodsmoke is everywhere while each morning, low, single clouds hang over the valley. I wish I was an expert in fungi as there were mushrooms everywhere – our friend Giovanna told me that her children are already experts having learnt from their grandfather but I ended up buying my porcini from a roadside stall. One highlight this time was visiting the tiny village of Sillico where a lovely man insisted we go and see his museum – a crazy mix of scenes from yesteryear complete with spooky models and a dazzling display of – alarm clocks! I should have taken some pics but really, you had to be there….
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…
Oh my, what a beautiful little Tuscan town, shot last year when the roses were out… with a plastic Holga camera… £15 on Ebay…I come from Lomo-land! am printing this LARGE through Photobox… never tried them before and will let you know what it looks like! Castiglione is little town I know well and is perched at the top of a hill and has a fortified wall around it… Porcini and chestnut country, wonderful in the autumn when the wood smoke fills the air and the restaurants are all serving Zuppa di Farro…. buono…
Evening walk with the family in Tuscany. An ancient Italian tradition, in one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. The evening sunlight and the dramatic location make travel photography delightfully easy…
I have just returned from Lucca in Tuscany (part work, mostly play!) and, as ever, loved it. It’s an elegant and sophisticated city (one of the guidebooks calls it the ‘Switzerland of the South’!)… it has a fascinating history and the medieval walls are still standing, encircling the walls and providing an excellent bike-ride all the way round. The streets are a maze of expensive jewellers, busy cafes and well-stocked grocers. No signs of Starbucks or Aldi; just good local shops and a lot of bikes! Mary Portas would thoroughly admire the high streets (!) of Lucca…. One of the noticable features about the streets are the signs above many of the shops… they have kept the old signs and the affect is fantastic… The citizens also seem to have a real pride for the street.. as in most of Italy, they seem to spend a lot of time washing down the pavement directly outside their shops… a lesson to be learned!
Shopping in Lucca, Tuscany this morning – always a joy. Might take Mary Portas with me next time so that she can be even more enthused about turning our drab, identikit Tesco filled high streets around. I don’t know whether it’s low rents or what, but the variety is astonishing – nip down a side alley and pass a higgledy-piggledy veg shop overflowing with seasonal produce standing next door to a place that only seems to sell door knockers, then an elegant chocolate shop that’s been in business since 1840 before stopping at a miniature four-tabled cafe for the best coffee going. Also, everyone seems to be supporting these places, from the old man balancing a box of 24 beers on his rusty old shopper to the fashionable twenty something managing dry cleaning, a bicycle and an animated conversation on her mobile.
This image, shot on an iPhone with ‘Pano‘ app has been chosen to be exhibited in the prestigious Royal West of England Academy 2011 photography show…. not bad for a mobile phone pic? just goes to show that the best camera is ‘the one you have with you’… this is my daughter standing and (not) appreciating the beauty of old Tuscany…!