It’s that time of the week and that time of the year. Rather than a look back over my last week of Press Photography at The Telegraph, which would be somewhat disappointing since I’ve been on holiday, I thought (as nearly everyone does at this time of year) that a quick look back over the year might be more appropriate. I’ve covered the Olympics and Paralympics elsewhere on here as I have the momentous British Press Photographer’s Association (BPPA) appearance in front of Lord Leveson. These were major major chunks of my year but rather than retread old ground and repeat photographs I’ll draw a veil over them here and prompt you to have a look in the archive if you feel the need. The other ‘biggie’ was of course The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but that too deserves an entire blog of it’s own.
So, what I have for you here is a bit of an “Unseen” collection. I decided against the traditional review of photographs ‘used’ and have opted for some of my personal favourites. It doesn’t say a lot for my ability as an editor that it was only after I chose the photographs that it became apparent that they were mostly ‘unpublished’. I did tweak it a little and I have excluded some of my favourites which got in ‘the Linen’ on purpose, but this is balanced by the fact that I’ve also omitted the many ‘Olympic’ and ‘Paralympic’ shots that evaded publication too.
There are 24 photographs . They are not evenly spread out over the year as in, two from each month, but they do cover most of 2012 reasonably well. Only two published, see if you can work the winners out.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband gives a speech on the economy. Followed by a Q&A session at The Oxo Tower, London in January . The press ‘minders’ were unusually helpful and for once gave us the freedom to move pretty much where we wanted. Consequently a very boring presser/speech actually made something worth sending….and yes I did try and try to get it right on the end of his finger ‘ET’ like, it just never happened.
Before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations started The Queen was still working the usual rounds of royal engagements. This picture was taken during the opening of the refurbished Somerset House East-Wing. It does look a bit like a formal portrait but the eye-line is more to do with her getting a bit fed up with me rather than anything else.
March and the annual need to drag one of the children down to Dulwich Park and get them to ‘frolic’ near the blossom. When working with your own children you have to weigh up the advantage of being able to tell them what to do with their ability to just refuse point blank. It always ends up in tears…mine.
‘Gorgeous’ George Osborne, Chancellor, on Budget Day. Apparently his first name is actually Gideon. This is one frame from many I shot on a remote camera with a Tilt and Shift lens which formed part of a ‘time-lapse’ slideshow for the Telegraph i.Pad and website. I used an MP3 recorder to capture the sounds of cameras and shouting journalists and put it altogether in i.Photo.
Difficult to imagine now but the South-East was under a hose-pipe ban during spring. This was one of many ‘drought’ pictures I did. North end of Tower Bridge shot from the North bank near The Tower of London.
In May, a month before the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations kicked off Labour Party leader Ed Miliband was visiting his constituency in Doncaster and dropped into Castle Hills Primary School to celebrate the school’s 60th anniversary, featuring a street party with children in 1950s dress. I was ‘shadowing’ Ed for the day having traveled up on the train with him and followed all day as he took care of constituency business in Doncaster. It was a refreshingly different day to the one I’d imagined. He is a very nice fella and his ‘handlers’ just left me alone to take whatever I wanted. It was an approach from a different era and as such it made a great set of photographs.
Meet George a 10 month old Alpaca. The Horniman Museum was to re-open it’s gardens after a £2.3m development with as the PR put it “spectacular London Skyline bandstand and terrace with new animal walk featuring Alpacas” just like George. Before you ask the answer is ‘no’ I didn’t put food on the ‘skyline’ map…he was just a little shortsighted…
Two from the first day of The Diamond Jubilee weekend which kicked off at The Epsom Derby. The flag picture is one frame from a great many of the same picture. It’s not easy getting blowing flags in exactly the right place. The picture of the girls laughing is quite interesting because it’s a cross between spontaneity and set up. I’d approached them with another two photographers and explained who we were and that we wanted a picture of them interacting. The idea was to go back and shoot it long but they immediately started overacting so I shot it . It’s really believable…all things considered.
The last day of The Jubilee weekend started with The Royal family visiting St Paul’s Cathedral. There would be a fly-past later as the family waved from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. After I’d shot the Queen walking out I shot this . I think it’s a really nice family group. Everyone leaning in and sharing a joke.
Royal Ascot, a hardy annual that sees the upper echelons of British society don their finery and take to the racecourse. Carol Middleton joined Prince Phillip in the royal box and a great deal of champagne was quaffed in the car parks during lunch.
Ascot is the week before Wimbledon and this year was a Wimbledon like no other I’d covered. Andy Murray, the British Number One made it to the final. This picture was when he won his semi-final. There were a lot of pictures taken but I always feel with these events that it is about the small detail, the moment. It is the little creases on the bridge of his nose and his brow the moment of realisation that he’s made it.
The Duke of Westminster in his office near Grosvenor Square. It was pouring with rain or I would’ve asked him to step onto the balcony . If I had I could’ve photographed him against a backdrop all of which he actually owns… Very nice chap.
Back with Ed again. The Labour Party was in Manchester this year, a great town. On day one myself and Andrew Winning from Reuters had spotted the ‘Tory Blue’ lighting as Ed walked onstage. We both sat and watched, waiting for him to leave then on tenterhooks as we waited for him to walk back in. We knew there would be very little warning so it became a bit of a Labour of love, but it paid off eventually.
On the day of his keynote speech we were stood in the freezing rain for 30 minutes waiting for an arrival picture . 5 minutes before he was due the press ‘handlers’ who had returned to characteristic form (useless and obstructive) rushed us inside for this picture. I like to think of it as ‘The Edscalator’…
The last two days of Labour conference which followed the Leader’s Speech were essentially ignored. Two Manchester Police officers had been brutally murdered two weeks before and their funerals were taking place. Very sad two days and not an easy task to photograph. Photography is by it’s nature intrusive but sometime the intrusion is justified. Sometimes you need to show others the effects of certain actions on those that remain.
A ‘bread and butter’ job, Investitures at Buckingham Palace, where the great and the good get their ‘gongs’ from the Queen or Prince Charles. Today was Mary Archer’s (wife of Jeffrey) turn. There was one photographer there who admitted to not knowing who the Archers were..they were 7 years old when Jeffrey had been in the news…
Remembrance day was actually on a Sunday this year which meant the annual ritual at Lloyds of London where all the staff observe two minutes silence was brought forward two days. It’s an emotional time wherever you are and one of those situations where you have to choose your time for pictures very carefully so as not to cause offence. I normally shoot during ‘The Last Post’ and keep the camera down for the silence.
November brought news that quite a few people hoped they would never hear. Abu Qatada had won his battle against deportation. We knew where he was being held and we knew his bail address so it was ‘doorstep’ time. The police were out in force and a very sensible officer took on our advice and we arranged a few terms of engagement that served us all very well. No bun-fight and everyone got a picture.
My last effort. A Gurkha outside The High Court in The Strand. I’d had a late call on an Education story but these fellas were still around as part of their ongoing appeal for equal rights so it wasn’t an entire waste of time.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my (mostly) ‘Unseen’ year… If you didn’t work it out, the two that published were the Royal family group and the Alpaca…
Happy New Year. I hope 2013 is kind to us all.