Kill It Kid

29 September 11

Posted at 2:50

It's been a few days since I blogged. That's due to induction at uni, I've just started a BA(Hons) Photography at University of Westminster. It's a part time course over four years, so you'll no doubt hear more about it. The bottom line is the only shooting I've done over the past week or so is for projects that are in the making. I've also been busy printing as I am involved in three upcoming exhibitions. But today I have an excuse to do a photoblog. Earlier in the month I shot Lodestar festival . I saw and shot Kill It Kid for the first time there. Really enjoyed their set. This week I was contacted by them as they wish to use some of my images. Whoop whoop! That's caused me to revisit what I shot and process a few more. So Kill It Kid are the subject for today.

If you get a chance to see them live I suggest you take it. Their latest album Feet Fall Heavy was released on September 19th. The release was impacted by most of the stock being destroyed in the arson attack on Sony in the Enfield riots . However in true show business style 'the show must go on' the album was released on time and of course is available for download. Get it!

Kill It Kid at Sundown

KIK played as the sun went down which provided some interesting light

Chris Turpin

Chris Turpin in action


Stephanie Ward nicely lit by the setting sun

Marc Jones

Marc Jones

Dom Kozubik

Dom Kozubik

Chris Turpin Lodestar

and finally another shot of Chris Turpin.


Mud, Proposal of Marriage and FlatDog

21 September 11

Posted at 8:51

A couple of weeks ago I did a job at the Land Rover Owners International Show at the East of England Showground. It was my first assignment for a new publishing client. As I know (knew) nothing about Land Rovers, Range Rovers and their fanatical owners, I approached the job with just a little trepidation. I'm pleased to say my clients feedback on downloading my output was...

 " Thanks for the images, they are excellent. Just what we wanted.Some crackin' images."


It was a most enjoyable day and opened my eyes, as my photography activity always does, to a whole new world I was unaware of. I'll share just a few pics with you today.

First of all I went to an off road course where Land Rover Owners pay £15 for the privilege of taking their vehicles round a mud and hill course and usually letting testosterone overtake common sense and then face the embarrassment of having to be towed out of a mudhole or even blowing their engine up!

In At The Deep End

You can no doubt see this driver's partners hands over her face as he plummeted all too slowly into this puddle. She had something to say about 'boys and their toys' when they had to be towed out a few minutes later!

Mud Spin

The driver of this 'Defender'(a term I learnt on the day) was more competent, cocky even, as he covered the marshall with mud - not sure that was advisable!

Meanwhile back at the show there is all sorts of excitement. Land Rover Owners display their vehicles, promote every kind of add on and customised version imaginable and even buy and sell second had bits and pieces. They take their vehicles into the show ring and talk about them with a passion I did not believe possible. And for the non petrol head families and friends who have been dragged along there are trick cyclists, sheep dog trials and even sheep steeplechasing - The Lamb National! - for entertainment. But the piece de resistance was the Twist Off. The idea is, I assume, specially adapted vehicles compete to drive one wheel up a FlatDog ramp. The vehicle that gets the highest without tipping over wins. Tricks like deflating tyres, disconnecting suspension and going either forwards or in reverse all appear allowed.

Twist Off

Well here is a meaty looking motor which was an 'also ran' but the photo shows a good example of what I learnt is called 'articulation' (something which appeared to excite the LROs and means all the wheels facing different directions at the same time)

Up The Ramp

Next up is one of the masters - and this one managed not to turn over - in fact only one vehicle did and I'll spare their blushes by not publishing the photo - well not today anyway!

Game Over

Here's the rear view - a bit premature in saying 'Game Over' but none the less a very good effort.

Well as you can see a lot of macho stuff going on at the LRO but earlier in the show ring as owners showed off their Rovers a certain Kev, owner of a rather old beige Range Rover asked the compare for a few moments with his microphone. His wish was granted and no sooner was he down on one knee...

The Proposal

..and proposing, publically to Anne, owner of an equally ancient light blue Range Rover (that may well have had a bed in the back). I was privileged in finding myself right next to them on this special occasion and able to capture the event. At this point I, along with the crowd, paused to wonder what the answer might be...

I Will

'I will' declared Anne to our relief and the happy couple embraced. Ahh!


Well, with that we will say congratulations to the happy couple and leave them to plan the marriage, which I can only believe will be shared with Range Rovers in one way or another. Contact me Kev/Anne if you are looking for a wedding photographer who now has a certain empathy with Land Rover Owners. x



15 September 11

Posted at 9:52

Yesterday I had some time to kill while the local enterprising Eastern Europeans gave my car the onceover. I wondered around Hitchin with Nikon in hand. I've lived within ten miles of Hitchin for most of my life and actually lived in the town for a while. Yesterday on a bright, late summers day I stopped taking Hitchin for granted and took a closer look through my viewfinder. I now feel a project coming on! So today I'd like to share just a few images of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK.

St Marys from the River

This I guess is the iconic image of Hitchin, St Mary's church viewed across the river Hiz.

St Marys Church

This is St Mary's viewed from the main entrance.


A view with St Mary's in the background and on the right a famous Hitchin shop, Halseys. Halseys still retains some of its traditional fayre as a pork butchers and delicatessan and it's famous pasties.

Legislation and the impact of supermarkets have changed Halseys but I'm pleased to say it has diversified and survived.

Market Place Hitchin

The Market Place

Sun Street

Sun Street viewed from the south. On the right La Bella Vita a long established Hitchin restauarant - in fact I can't remember it not being there.

The Red Hart

The Red Hart in Bucklersbury. One of Hichin's most infamous watering holes still going strong.

Corn Exchange

Back to the Market Place and the Old Corn Exchange. It's use has changed but the building is still dominant.

The Cock

Now down the high street to another of the old pubs, The Cock.

Well I hope those few images have given an insight to the market town of Hitchin. I'm sure it will feature again, as I said earlier I feel a project commencing. As I walked out of town down Bancroft yesterday I took a closer look at a mural I have noticed often when driving past. It's on the wall of what was the public toilets at Bancroft Rec.

With Love Liz x

Whlist standing here a girl approached me and asked what I was photographing for. She then introduced herself as Liz ( the one top left). Liz was the mastermind behind tarting up the old building which was something of a eyesore. Liz did the background and the centre circle and had a competition for children to design the rest. Liz oversaw and helped with the painting. Below I've taken a closer look at some of the words on the images. I think they sum up Hitchin very well.

All About Hitchin


Lodestar Festival

05 September 11

Posted at 2:50

Just when I thought my summer festival shoots were completed I noticed The Travelling Band were appearing at Lodestar Festival . Lode is just outside Cambridge so not a million miles from me. I guessed it was too late to secure a photopass but on the off chance I contacted the Lodestar PR and, to my surprise, got the OK. It was a last minute thing so I was unable to attend the full three days, in fact all I could manage was a few hours on Saturday (which was when The Travelling Band were playing).

When I checked out the Lodestar website I saw the venue was described as 'a two hunderd acre lawn'. I was pleasently surprised on arriving on Saturday morning to find that is exactly what it is - an enormous, flat, grassed area. It's on a farm but unless the area is used for growing turf I've no idea what it's purpose is. There was certainly no evidence that livestock are usually there.

I was told the festival has been going for around three years but was far bigger this year than previously. Still a small festival (around 3000 tickets were sold) but from my experience last weekend I can see it both surviving, in what is a competitive market, and also growing. I saw and photographed seven out of the nine bands appearing on the Saturday (was double booked in the evening so had to leave). An eclectic mix of signed and unsigned artists, all well worth seeing and good or very good in their chosen genre. If the whole three days line up was of this quality then Lodestar is really a festival to look out for next year. There was second stage, which I did not have time to visit with theatre and comedy. The only downside whilst I was there is that at times the majority of people there were  missing the bands on the main stage. There seemed to be many people picniking and sunning themselves in the spacious camping area. I felt it was a shame that they missed out on some brilliant live music and that the bands had a smaller audience than perhaps they deserved. The atmosphere was laid back and at tmes it was a cross between a country fete and a music festival. If there is a Lodestar 2012 I can thoroughly recommend it - I'll certainly be there.

Here are a few shots from Lodestar on Saturday

Auction For The Promise Club - Zoe White-Chambers

Zoe White-Chambers Auction For The Promise Club

The Jude

The Jude

I was interested to see that The Jude are playing at the freshers fair at University of Westminster on 21st September - interested as I'll be there as a fresher that day :)

The Jude - Lodestar

Royal Treatment Plant

Royal Treatment Plant - Lodestar


Sketches - Lodestar

Jo Dudderidge - The Travelling Band


Adam Gorman - The Travelling Band

Adam Gorman - The Travelling Band - Lodestar

The Traveling Band

The Travelling Band - Lodestar

Tribes of the City

Tribes of the City - Lodestar

Kill It Kid - Stephanie Ward

Stephanie Ward - Kill It Kid

Dom Kozubik - Kill It Kid

Dom Kozubik - Kill It Kid

Chris Turpin - Kill It Kid

Kill It Kid - Chris Turpin

Kill It Kid

Kill It Kid - Lodestar


Kill It Kid

Kill It Kid

You can see more images here  and here


Foundations UK

01 September 11

Posted at 8:13

I made the decision to dedicate myself to photography just over a year ago having toyed with the idea for ages. The decision involved me giving up what had been a long and successful career in the communications industry in order to pursue a passion. An exciting but is some ways daunting path and a big life change. I applied to take a BA Photography course at the University of Westminster, that commences at the end of this month. It's a four year course giving me time for photography projects alongside 'learning'. It quickly became clear to me that making my way as a photographer presented a chicken and egg situation. To get access to opportunity one needs credibility and to gain credibility 'access' helps a lot. In exploring ways to establish myself, a network, and to gain opportunity I came across the Media Trust and the Media Matching Programme . In a nutshell the scheme offers charities access to support from individuals with specific media skills by matching their needs to such individuals registered on the scheme. I volunteered my services as a photographer. Since then I have worked with six varied charities across the country. The experience has been awesome both in terms of taking me out of my comfort zone photographically, and therefore improving my skills/experience, and also in opening my eyes to a whole range of people and problems that frankly I had no idea about. The experience is therefore fulfilling broader than just the photography benefits.

Each project I have undertaken has been different - from shooting the opening night of Interfaith's exhibition in Islington to running workshops and producing twelve massive portraits for a Womens Group in Oxford formed by Ugandan refugees thirty years ago. In this blog I want to share some photos and information about a charity called Foundations UK . I've now been working with Foundations since March so it's not been just a single shoot. In fact I'm begining to feel as though I'm part of the Foundations team and I have to say that's a good feeling! Foundations founder and CEO, Mary Wood, is passionate about prevention and proactive projects that educate young people, their families and a far broader church. Foundations is all about educating young people about nutrition and exercise, in particular to address eating disorder problems. Eating disorder's causes are far reaching and complex and that is reflected in the breadth of projects that Foundations supports. 

The project portayed below is Adventures in Eating. Volunteers spend an afternoon each week working with youngsters with learning difficulties in West London. The youngsters have the option to join in an afternoon of food preparation, cookery and then the opportunity to consume what they have prepared. As you can see the kids take the activity seriously. It became clear to me just spending one afternoon there that without the volunteers doing this these children are unlikely to ever be exposed to fresh food and cookery.

Adventures in Eating

In total contrast another project is centered around martial arts/self defence. Volunteers run a prgramme in a West London school for teenage girls. Again it's an option. For those who choose to join there are so many benefits. Of course the self defence ability but also the by product of enjoyment through exercise, self esteem and self confidence. Again I found this an eye opening experience, spending an afternoon in a massive school and seeing first hand the benefits the kids can get plus the difficulty of initially gaining their interest. I also learnt a lot about using flash in a gym with a polished floor!

Martial Arts

Staying in West London but this time on an estate in the school holidays. Vigor boarding is what's on offer through this project. Two 'cool' looking volunteer coaches, a representative from  the estate community association along with Mary and I were on hand at 1100 on the first day of the programme during this summer holiday break. Again, as with all of the programmes, participation is voluntary so I'm sure I'm not the only one who was nervous that there would be no prospective 'boarders' show up. Gradually kids arrived, some returning from having attended the same scheme at Easter others having a look for the first time.

Vigour Board

A Vigor board is like a skate board based on a bendy bus design. You can therefore propel yourself  by sort of wiggling and generating energy through the board to the wheels. Boards have either two or three sets of wheels, I never got to the bottom of which was hardest or why (I was there to take photos) but it became clear to me that this was 'exercise' for sure.

Below are some more boarders, the coaches oh, and a lad who insisted his Dad came along and joined in - they both appeared to really enjoy the day.

Vigour Boarders

Last week I shot another project, Countryside Breaks. Austistic children from London spend a day in the countryside with an organisation called Hope Thru Horses . Jo Corfield runs this organisation in Taston near Chipping Norton. I think it's commonly known that spending time with horses can be marvellous therapy. I had heard that horses can positively influence people suffering from autism by breaking down some emotional and communication barriers. To witness it was simply amazing. I of course am no specialist, and have little undersanding about autism, so can only comment on what I saw. The lad below, I'll call him Bill, was on his second visit to Taston. He loved the ability to run in the open spaces and immediatly spent time with one of the four dogs also taking part in the day. I tried communicating with Bill but as is usual with autism there was little if any eye contact and words were little more than grunts which may or may not have been affirmative. The wonderful carers there could read him and his two friends more than I could. Yet after we had a picnic lunch and the horses and ponies were brought over, Bill was quick to take charge of Comet, one of the larger horses.


When with Comet Bill was transformed. His facial expression changed and he gave the horse clear, assertive, vocal instructions. I have no idea how or why this bond appears but it was such a pleasure to see the impact spending time with horses had on these kids.

Below a lad plucks up courage to stroke a pony. I guess we had been at Taston for around three hours before he got to this point. Earlier on he had stroked dogs and Shetland ponies. Soon he was leading this pony over hazards and around the vast open fields. Not yet as confident as Bill but obviously making progress and deriving much pleasure.

Horse Harmony

A third lad didn't get this far on his first visit but by the end of the day progressed to brushing a pony. It may look like slow and small progress but it's massive for these children. I was told of a lad who took a whole afternoon just to pluck up courage to get out of the minibus - but the fact that he did, and of his own accord, was a really big step forward. 

This and the other projects that Foundations support are of immense value to a whole range of disadvantaged and at risk people. It is only through the help of volunteers and the charities beneficieries that Foundation UK can continue it's tremendous work.

Info on Foundations UK click here

Info on Media Trust click here

A blog from earlier this year on the charity I'm a Person Too click here