Friday, January 27, 2012

Jill Greenberg's new exhibit 'Commentary And Dissent'

Renowned and amazing US photographer Jill Greenberg has a new and particularly challenging exhibit at the Katherine Cone Gallery in LA.

I worked on some of these shoots with Jill whilst I lived in LA, images below, and was at the same time surprised and not surprised to see the images exhibited.

It is worth noting that these events happened and were not created in post production (although the images have been heavily worked on in post).

I was disturbed by some of the goings on and people on the shoot day. The lengths that some people will go to (for what and why? to be funny? because they are unstable? is it a fetish?- why is the unanswered question) pushed my boundaries too far and I was uneasy helping with the job.
But I guess that is what Jill wanted to do and now she is challenging an audience to look at these images and pass comment on what she says is 'people behaving like animals'.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holly Johnson: from the archive

Today whilst going through my archives, I came across this image of Holly Johnson.

I thought I would share it since I like it a lot.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Attitude Feature on Exes

Last year I shot a feature for Attitude about Ex boyfriends who remain friends and here is the finished article......this feature involved a daytrip to Harrogate, a day out in Brighton, a shoot at a dog show in Highgate and hi-jacking a table in a restaurant in Tower was lovely to meet all the boys and hear their stories, some of them were quite moving.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Luchador Negro Casas

Negro Casas is an important figure within the Lucha Libre as he comes from a wrestling family and has traveled all over the world during his wrestling career, including stints in Japan and the USA.
Negro Casas has been wrestling now for 30 years and has always wrestled without a mask, something unusual within the Lucha Libre.

I have been struggling to edit these photos down from the chosen 3 below and am also wondering whether the shots work better in black and white or colour.
I have discovered lately that blogging my edits often helps me make a final selection down the line so hopefully all will become clear in a few days......

Friday, January 20, 2012

Luchador Ultimo Dragoncito

I have been working on a project based on the Lucha Libre in Mexico City.

'Lucha Libre' means free wrestling in Spanish although now the term refers exclusively to professional wrestling. The wrestlers are known as Luchadores (or a luchador).

Mexican wrestling is characterized by the colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as high flying manouevers. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached.
As luchadores normally hide their identity behind the mask, it is the ultimate humiliation if a luchador has his masked ripped off to reveal his true identity after or during a fight.

Tag team wrestling is especially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.

I love the theatre of the wrestling, it's such a performance and so fun to watch. Historically Mexican wrestling dates back to regional matches of the early 1900's and it's common to encounter families of luchadores.

I am currently trawling through my portraits and below are 2 favorites from my shoot with Ultimo Dragoncito. At the moment, I can't decide on my preferred shot so I thought I would blog both of them........

Ultimo Dragoncito (real name unrevealed; born August 8, 1972) is a part of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre's (CMLL), or "Mini", division and is the only wrestler to hold the CMLL World Mini-Estrella Championship two times. Ultimo Dragoncito is Spanish for "Little Ultimo Dragon", alluding to the fact that he wrestles as a mini version of Ultimo Dragon.

Ultimo Dragoncito's real name is not a matter of public record, as is often the case with masked wrestlers in Mexico where their private lives are kept a secret from the wrestling fans.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mariachi's in Mexico City

Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind, and percussion instruments. Mariachi is important to the study of Mexican music because, as an ensemble created during the colonial period, it found its essence during the postcolonial era, blossomed during the nationalist era, and has made a global impact in contemporary times. Throughout this development, particularly since the nationalist era, mariachi music has become emblematic of Mexican music by appropriating various Mexican regional song forms, experimenting in popular radio programs, appearing in the earliest Mexican films, and performing during presidential campaigns (Loza 1993, Turino 2003, Sheehy 2005, de la Mora 2006, J√°uregui 2007).

"The consensus of modern scholars is that the word mariachi is indigenous to Mexico. The now-extinct Coca language of central Jalisco is the most frequently cited as its probable source. Legend erroneously attributes the word to the French Intervention of the 1860s, explaining it as a corruption of the French word mariage, and citing a similarity between mariachi (or its archaic variant, mariache) and the French word for wedding. Historical documents prove that both the word mariachi and the ensemble it designates pre-date the French occupation of Mexico, making any similarity with the French word a phonetic coincidence" (Clark, 1996).

The mariachi ensemble generally consists of violins, trumpets a classical guitar a vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar), a guitaron (a large acoustic bass guitar) and, on occasion, a harp. The musicians dress in silver-studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats. The original Mariachis were Mexican street musicians orbuskers but many today are professional entertainers making paid appearances in the entertainment industry. Professionals can usually play more than one instrument, and all can sing. Mariachi music, as well as other forms of traditional Mexican music, is also noted for the grito mexicano a yell done at musical interludes within a song, either by the musicians or the audience.

Below are some portraits I shot of the Mariachi's at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City in December.....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Music men in Mexico......

In Mexico City I began a little portraiture project based upon the 'music men' of Mexico, below are 2 of my favourites.
Mariachi portraits to follow......

Monday, January 9, 2012


Hot off the press this month is my latest shoot for Attitude Magazine, which is a great feature on adoption/ fostering.

This shoot was a challenging one as I couldn't show any of the children's face's. It's quite tricky trying to create engaging photography using the backs of heads!

Anyway, we got there eventually and I'm pleased with the way it all looks, especially when combined with illustration.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lucha Libre fans

Here are a family of Lucha Libre fans.....this is after a wresting match at Arena Mexico in Mexico City....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mini Lucha Libre fan!

Here is a mini Lucha Libre fan I shot in Mexico City......I love all these shots.....i can't decide which is my favourite!

I shot this in Mexico Arena after a wrestling match.

Happy New Year! Help........

HAPPY 2012!! And the first blog post of the year is a photo of me being strangled by a female luchadore!

The Lucha libre are Mexican Wrestlers who fight wearing masks, it is very theatrical. When in the ring, they are like super hero's/ fantasy characters. Fascinating! Well, it is to me anyway.

I spent December in Mexico and began a project on the Lucha Libre so there is some new work to follow which is a great way to bring in the New Year.

Lucky I survived the strangling hey?!