Photographic regrets – The Dogs series.

I’ve always had a list of projects to fulfil either to start creating or to complete. Sometimes they are ‘on the long finger’ for numerous reasons , permissions, logistics, costs, time etc. Many years ago I photographed in this amazing characterful hairdressers with a view to organising a shoot of the customers particularly under the old fashioned hairdryers as soon as. I returned to give him some prints and to talk about my project but to my aghast it had been renovated into a modern chain type hairdressers. There are more, including a few shop fronts particularly in Georges St Dublin . This week my local Greyhound stadium in Harold’s Cross unexpedly closed down. I did some shots of the book makers at track side (see below) . But always had intentions of completing this series with shots of the owners / breeders with the dogs. So as its amalgamating with a track a few kilometres away………the-dogs-bcopythe-dogs_6-copythe-dogs_2-copymaamthe-dogs_8-copy

Aviva!

In 2010 I did a shoot for a BBC publication featuring the ex Ireland and Lions rugby player Fergus Slattery. One of the shots was to feature him at the building of the new Lansdowne Rd stadium, that was soon to be renamed The Aviva Stadium. Once it was officially opened in May of that year I returned on numerous occasions to photograph it from the various locations. This contemporary piece of architecture set amongst the residential surroundings in the capital city proved to be visually inspiring for me to create this series. It is solely owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the current stadium is controlled by the IRFU and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) through a 50:50 joint venture known as the Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company (LRSDC). The joint venture has a 60-year lease on the stadium; on expiry the stadium will return to the exclusive ownership of the IRFU. The stadium’s roof is designed to undulate in a wave-like manner so as to avoid blocking light to local residences.12535b5c-copy5d5d15e5f-copy5g67a8a9a10a16a-copy17-copy

The Ghost of Christmas past

My first advertising  commission was for the children’s charity  N.S.P.C.C. The national society for the prevention of cruelty to children. Saatchi and Saatchi London liked my portfolio so much they wanted me on board . Alan Midgley the creative head gave me an open brief as long as the photograph portrayed the neglect and despair that so many children in the UK were experiencing. This was a fantastic brief as it was relevant to my personal work and therefore I was comfortable. I felt the need to not only produce a hard hitting documentary style image but to be part in helping these children with their individual heartbreaking stories, unlike most briefs which require selling a product. Very sad that these charities have too exist.

Due to logistical and legal difficulties I cast children from an agency and then found an appropriate location to shoot. Alan was not present at the shoot. once he was informed of the exact location. By a derelict wall halfway up the notorious Railton Rd in Brixton, often referred to as ‘the frontline’ in the 70’s and 80’s by the predominant West Indian community. With its recent history of the Brixton riots along with its rough reputation, many white people finding the road intimidating. So our ‘model’ and Mum, Paolo- assistant and Dexi Garman the make up artist all met at my place just a short walk from the location in Spenser Road off Railton Rd. Dexi’s make up was to look like the boy had been battered, bruised, unkept and unloved. The boy who was probably no more than 6yrs burst into tears when his new look was shown in the mirror and took us time to convince him it’ll be removed straight after . My initial security concern with passing people while shooting had changed to embarrassment as we walked  down the road, the boy crying with people looking out of the bus looking understandably concerned, thinking I’d just beaten him up!  Once he was in front of the camera I wanted to be kind and humour him but thats exactly not what we needed in order to achieve the depressing look.

I then continued to work with Saatchi’s on various paid campaigns and the following year I photographed a girl in a room, to look lonely and abandoned,  based on a recent true story, shot in my agents house before the wallpapering . The atmosphere was somewhat chilling as the girl lay still, silent and looking so sad.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas. Especially the children.