At long last, Almost Famous and their decadent burgers have returned to Manchester, now at The Great Northern. A beautiful large new restaurant, and I was immensely proud to get to the opening last night to find that my photos of the lovely Beth (that I shot months ago - originally for the Liverpool restaurant) have been used, on a massive scale, throughout the place - even the staff wear t-shirts with the photos emblazoned on the front. I'm not going to rattle on - I'm still dealing with the hangover from 24 hours ago. But it was a fantastic night, with some good people. Here's the photos...
So today Nikon have announced the launch of the new Df DSLR, and what a pretty retro beauty it is.
I confess, I am a Nikon user. I have no real bias towards one brand over another, and I'm as comfortable with a Canon, Mamiya, Fuji, and Hasselblad, as I am with digital, 35mm Medium Format, and 5x4/10x8 film. But when I first started out with photography, in a pre-digital era (which wasn't that long ago, this isn't one of those 'Eeee, I remember when this was all fields, y'know...' posts), my first SLR camera was a Nikon, and when the time came to switch to digital, as all my lens stock, flashguns and accessories were compatible with the Nikon and Fuji DSLR systems, well, it made sense to stick with it...
But whilst I have never really been a gear obsessed photographer, I was always in love with the beauty and nostalgia associated with my own personal photographic heroes, Phillip Jones-Griffiths and Don McCullin, Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon to name a few. The completely manual Nikon FM cameras were mythical objects of desire, I always lusted after a FM2 or a FM3a.
Today my email inboxes have been filling up with marketing emails from Calumet and WEX Photographic with news of the new Nikon Df, it's glorious retro styling, instantly taking me back to pouring over books of photojournalism from the 1960s and 70s, seeing the actual Nikon that stopped a bullet that would have killed Don McCullin at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
Alas, I haven't got £2750 knocking around to replace my trusty but ageing Nikon DSLR, but much like the Fuji X-series of cameras, I am fully approving the return to a bit of retro design. The full details of the Nikon Df can be found here.
Just a quick blog entry, but I now have a food photography portfolio page to view.
I am available to shoot your creations and menus. Please email me for more information.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I'd been doing some photography for The Blue Pig Bar in Manchester's bohemian Northern Quarter. Thursday (last) night was their 1st birthday, and as a culmination of many hour of hard work put in by the staff, and some of my friends at the bar, there was a grand party, cocktails, live music by The Gypsies Of Bohemia, a DJ, food, a fire breather, and all in all, a damn fine time of alcohol and decadence. I was there to capture select moments for posterity...
The Blue Pig is a weird and wonderful bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter, for whom I recently did some photography. To celebrate their 1st birthday, and promote their upcoming party on the 3rd October, Maxine from Purple Riot and myself took a large blue pig roaming around Manchester....
There's more details here
I had the pleasure to work again with Abbie Mac this weekend, she had requested to be part of my Grey Sessions project, once she had had her current batch of tattoos finished. I've worked with Abbie on various occasions over the past couple of years, mostly on commercial/fashion shoots.
She's always a laugh, and always a professional, and it was good to catch up with her. Here's a few previews, and there's more on the Grey Sessions micro-site.
Grey Sessions shoots are still available to book as well, still just £50 until the end of September, or if booked (with a £20 deposit) during September. Do email me for more information.
I mentioned I'd been revisiting some older photography, having a bit of a re-edit, in an earlier blog. I decided to have another look at some photos I did with a young lady called Taheerah back in 2011. We experimented with a 'painting with light' technique, where basically, we shoot in a dark room, camera on long exposure and 'paint' the light in to the photograph with a torch. The original versions were all in colour, but I think I might now prefer these black & white conversions.
I'm going to have a special offer on shoots. I need to raise some cash, being a starving artist can be hard work!
So, from now until the end of September, I will be doing £50 photoshoots, for an hour's shoot at my home studio, possibly on location (outdoors, or a venue of you choice), but that might be extra depending on expenses (travel, venue hire, etc), plus 20+ high quality digital images.
Also, any bookings made during September with a £20 deposit can take benefit of the same offer. And this also includes shoots for The Grey Sessions (http://grey.chriswparker.co.uk) and Abstract Projections (http://www.behance.net/gallery/Abstract-Projections-Redux/5421359), and any other portrait session you may need.
If you're interested, please do email me to have a chat and book! email@example.com
I'm in between shoots and projects at the moment, plenty of things in the pipeline, as well as looking for more commercial freelance work, so I've been going through my archive and picking some maybe unseen photos from old photoshoots to give a new lease of life. Remix and recycle. Depending on how many I finally re-edit I might set up a proper gallery, but here's a few for now!
So last night was the grand opening party of Almost Famous Liverpool. If you're not aware of Almost Famous, it was a burger restaurant in Manchester - a decadent, hedonistic meat and alcohol lovers paradise. Sadly the Manchester restaurant is currently closed due to a tragic fire. But with pop up joints else where in Manchester, and further plans for expansion, the dream lives on. Including the now open Liverpool restaurant, on Parr Street.
I did some photos for them a few weeks ago, I posted some previews back then, a pretty girl with a burger, I'm sure you will have seen them if you've visited my blog regularly. One plan for them was to be part of an installation in the new place, blown up rather big (around 3x3 metres), which for any photographer is quite exciting to see your own work used on a large scale.
I originally couldn't make the opening night (lack of funds, damn it), but I was invited along on the promise of free transport, food, and most importantly, alcohol, ha ha! And indeed the dream does live on, hedonistic meaty, boozy excess, and a damn good atmosphere. I can only heartily recommend the River Pheonix burger, and the Popcorn Whiskey Old Fashioned cocktails...
Here are a few photos from last night... (click on image to see more...)
More projects and work in progress.
Almost Famous Liverpool opens tonight, and while I can't be there, I will be visiting soon, to see my artwork, it'll be very interesting to see it, assuming that the original plan was still going ahead. I shall post photos as soon as I get some!
I'm working on a lifestyle shoot for another client, TabLites, an e-cigarette retailer in Manchester - I usually provide all their product photography, but we are going to be working on a marketing campaign, some interesting location work maybe.
Finally, for this week, closer to the final edits on the images I am sorting out for Manchester band Silverclub, to be used for promotional material and upcoming releases, and here's a preview....
Almost Famous are to open their new Liverpool restaurant next weekend, and some of my photography from the shoot we did the other week is going to be knocking around in one form or another....
A bit of something I'm working on that could end up being something exciting. For now it's a work in progress!
A bit of a tongue in cheek commercial shoot today. I can't say much more about it just yet, but can share the below photo. I'll be sure to give more details when I can!
I finished the Abstract Projections project late last year, and the completed series can be seen here
I am still offering portrait sessions in that style, which are available for £100. The original project was exhibited in Edinburgh last year, as well as being published internationally.
Please email me for more details firstname.lastname@example.org
I've had a cancellation for a days shooting tomorrow, just one of those things unfortunately.
But if there is anyone in the NW UK/Manchester who is free tomorrow and would like to shoot, please do email me - email@example.com or text me 07595374436
I'm open to any/all ideas (original shoot plan was for art nude on location/outside), and please link me to your current portfolio/images.
And if you're not free tomorrow, but you would like to shoot with me at some point, then also get in touch.
This month will see me complete the Grey Sessions project. But I am now going to open it up to anyone who would like to have their portrait taken in the same style, but without being added to the general project. This will be £50 for an hours shoot, including as many changes of outfit as you want to try and fit in. You'll get edited digital images on a disc, and prints will be available (unframed) starting from £35. I will only be doing this at £50 for July as a trial run. So if you're in/near Manchester, and are interested, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and to book yourselves in.
The Grey Sessions project can be viewed here http://grey.chriswparker.co.uk
Please do share with your friends!
I set myself a little project for Instagram recently. There are a lot of fashion bloggers on there, and a lot of people who like to post photos of their 'Outfit Of The Day' and hashtag it #ootd.
So, whilst being a photographer who does keep keen eye on fashion (even if it is with a 'that's fashion? Pfft!' type attitude at times), I am quite a sartorially challenged chap myself - I basically have a uniform of black t-shirt and jeans and converse. Not an OCD thing at all. Nope. In denial about that.
So I set about creating a weeks worth of photos for a daily sarcastic #ootd, tagged with #chrisdoesfashiontips. Of course it's the same outfit everyday, maybe a change of prop or hat.
I'm not sure everyone quite 'got' it, least not straight away...
I'm not a chef. But I love to cook. And ok, maybe it's with living close to Manchester's Northern Quarter, or maybe I actually am a hipster, but I do love to take photos of my dishes.
I did need some food based photos for the home page on my site, and fancied making something different, so I cobbled together some Whiskey & Chilli Glazed Prawns. I'm not gonna post a recipe, email me if you want it tho. Maybe if anyone's interested I may write a blog post on tips and techniques for instagramming your own food. Then you can be a hipster too!