On Location: Fathers’ Day

A PR agency I shoot for had this idea for a Father’s Day story: they surveyed children on “things dad does around the house which you want to thank him for“. To support the story they wanted images of children performing these tasks.

Time and budget were both tight so the agency looked after finding the location, children, model releases and a supervisor with police clearance (a necessity for shooting children in the UK). For me, as the photographer, that meant a lot less pre-shoot planning and organisation. It also meant walking into a location I had never seen needing to pull off 3 to 4 shots in around an hour. Continue reading

Thames Barrier Time Lapse

Time lapse: Thames Barrier

My wife Lindsey and I planned a while ago to see the Thames Barrier closing. Last night, we were discussing the morning’s closing which naturally led to what type of images we wanted to capture. Which got me thinking about LondonStreetLighter – I’m always on the look out for a new article!

The thing is, though, the Thames Barrier isn’t small. It’s a good 500m wide and easily 30m tall.  I own a fair amount of lighting kit but it wasn’t going to be enough to light the Thames Barrier. Heck, does anyone have enough lighting kit to illuminate the barrier? Joe McNally, maybe. So, off-camera lighting wasn’t going to feature heavily at all. Time for a new angle for LondonStreetLighter: time-lapse.

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graffitimuralmasters at work

Personal Project: Street Artists

While location scouting in the Leake Street Tunnel for an upcoming project, a pair of street artists working on a mural asked if I would take a few shots of them. Of course, I said yes. Leake Street Tunnel, also known as the “banksy” tunnel, runs under Waterloo station and is one of the locations in London where street art and graffiti is officially permitted. A permanent whiff of spray paint hangs in the air.

While opening the camera bag and setting up some gear, I was watching the two artists work. What struck me was the intent and care with which they  approached their work. The guys from clearly had a connection with what they were creating on the wall and that connection became my inspiration for the impromptu shoot. Continue reading


On Location: Paparazzi-style

The day before a recent shoot the PR agency asked if we could squeeze an extra shoot into the afternoon. Miley Cyrus had just done her MTV performance and there was an opportunity for a PR story. They needed a paparazzi-style shot of a Miley look-a-like leaving a night club to support the story. The PR agency was nervous whether the images would work. The shoot would be in the middle of the day: will it look like a night paparazzi shot? Continue reading

Welcome to LondonStreetLighter

This website is all about sharing the rationale and photographic process to meeting an artistic brief, whether it’s a personal project, art-directed ad campaign or a commercial assignment.

The goal is to start a conversation that is less focused on camera or lighting techniques and more focussed on how to apply them to deliver a brief or to convey something about the person or thing being photographed. One the front page you’ll see images from personal projects, commercial assignments and more. Click the image for a discussion on what the purpose of the image was and how the lighting and camera were used to help communicate that.

Technique and gear are key components to any photographer’s bag of tricks. It’s one thing to have a bag of tricks. It’s another to know which trick to pull out to deliver the brief. Whether there’s 1 or 100 tricks in your bag, being more aware of why you’re choosing to use the technique and gear to deliver an artistic result can only improve your photography. Continue reading