Following a bit of end of year self-reflection, I decided to share my favourite photos I took in 2016. It’s quite exciting to see your style and skills evolve. I didn’t do a round-up of my favourite photos in 2015, but I can see a marked difference in the work I produced that year, compared to this year. On that subject, I recently stumbled across the photos I put into my application for my MA in Goldsmith’s over 8 years ago. I wept with laughter at how appalling they were. But it felt great to see evidence of the huge difference practise, grind and putting in the hours make. I can’t wait to see where I am in another 8 years…hopefully at the start of 2025 I’ll look back at my 2016 work and laugh too.
So without further ado.
My favourite photo taken in January 2016 is from a personal project I’m working on where I photograph legs and shoes. This one was particularly memorable because the legs in question belong to my little sister and the photo could not have happened without the help of my other sister and my mum. The matching shoes, weights and gym shorts were provided by my family and my little sister could only balance on the Swedish ball because my mum and sister held her in position until I was ready to shoot. I would take a couple of frames and then she’d fall off the ball. It’s one of my favourite photos and it was just taken in my parents house with help from my family - I love that!
In March, I shot this beauty editorial of summer looks for 2016. The make up trends were interpreted and created by super star make up artist, Gemma Tyler, who I love working with. With looks called ‘Desert Rave Glossy Eye’ - who wouldn’t be intoxicated by that?
An unseasonably hot April meant shooting against a brilliant blue sky on the roof of the Bussey Building was an option - huzzah! I get asked a lot if this editorial, for Sukeban Magazine, was shot against a painted background. Nope, it’s all real baby. Sukeban Magazine runs a section called ‘Girls by Girls’ which only publishes photos of girls taken by girls (or women, in my case). I like this idea. The majority of fashion photographers are male so it’s interesting to see more focus from a female perspective. Incidentally, if you haven’t already checked out Amanda de Cadenet’s initiative #girlgaze, which champions young female photographers and their perspectives, then get on it post haste.
In May, I was thrilled to shoot the look book for incredibly cool, modern, Scandi jewellery brand Coco's Liberty. It was one of the best shoots of the year, we all got on so well, ate cinnamon buns, drank coffee, had lunch in the sunshine and sang ‘Formation’ approximately 1,000 times. It’s a wonder we got any work done. Happy days! (I made a BTS YouTube video about this shoot, check it our here)
June brought another opportunity to shoot some more personal work, so I sought out another pair of legs and another pair of shoes. This shot was my favourite.
I shot an editorial for Dreamingless Magazine in July and wrote a blog post about it at the time, here’s the link. In the post I talk about the paradox within fashion, shooting summer clothes in winter and vice versa. This shoot was no different. On the hottest day of the year, I think I did a fine job of making this shoot seem a bit darker and more autumnal than it was!
Speaking of the fashion paradox, another beauty editorial I shot in August was finally published in Xiox Magazine in November! I loved working with Jesse from M&P, she was great fun and has a wicked laugh. My wonderful assistant Charlotte developed biceps of steel (or perhaps she had them already) by fanning a reflector to get the right kind of movement in the hair. We had tried a fan and hairdryer and neither gave the desired effect. I didn’t inflict the pain without checking it was absolutely necessary first!
In September, I did something a little different. I was invited to take part in a TV pilot called ‘Glam Squad’, a competition based programme about the fashion industry. It reminded a bit of the Britain’s Next Top Model format, challenges are set and a winner is declared. Except instead of models, the contestants are stylists, hair stylists, and make up artists. I was asked to be involved to give opinions and to take photos of the challenges. (See one of my interviews here!) It was really exciting to do something so different. Styling the band ‘Running with Wolves’ was one of the challenges and this photo of the lead singer is my favourite (probably because it involves a leg and a shoe).
I shot the main fashion editorial for the December issue of Debut Magazine in October. The magazine’s theme was Celebration and we shot a Christmas party style editorial at the fabulously kitsch Bodo’s Schloss in Kensington. This was my favourite shot. It looks exactly like the kind of night out you should be having at Christmas.
In November, I was chuffed to be booked again to shoot the look book for Coco’s Liberty. We had just as much fun and just as many cinnamon buns as the last time. I can’t wait to work on the next one!
And finally, in December, it was my privilege to shoot for Dreamingless Magazine again, this time the cover! Myself and the team shot Zara Martin at Smashbox Studio. There were glitter cannons (that made a LOT of noise), a wind machine, metallic trousers and sequinned dresses. What could be a better cover for a December issue? And what could be a better way to end 2016?!