Next up we have the amazing Anjuli Jones. Anjuli is a child psychologist who specialises in helping children with autism. She’s also from Mauritius and has an award winning smile. As we got chatting I learned that she was trying to gain her doctorate, but because she was born and raised in Mauritius, it was going to cost her £35,000 a year in order to gain her qualification in the UK, because there is no bursary for international students here. That kind of pissed me off, and also inspired me to create this photo. I wanted to create something heroic with this shot, but also very earthy as she was so warm and lovely to speak to. So I picked this awesome mix of colours and tones and added some texture to the wall behind to give this intensity to the image. I wanted to portray Anjuli as someone bravely struggling to make a difference, despite the odds. A stoic. But happy, too. I really love this image that I made. Oh, and that lovely mustard coloured blanket? Yeah, that’s Roux’s, and it was red.
Next up we have Karl William Lund, who is a singer, songwriter and one man band. Amazingly, Karl entered the Eurovision Song Contest via the public entry system and got all the way to the final two before he was beaten out by a One Direction rip-off. But despite the loss, he’s kickstarted his music career and he’s off touring round Europe thanks to his almost success. However, being a one-man group is a tough, tough business when you have no one around you to give support. Plus he makes stadium-sized pop music, so he has to do all that work himself. So for this photo I wanted to recreate a stage-like setting for Karl to sit in, alone. He’s turning away from the table and chairs, that are also empty and looking up to yep, you guessed it a lime coloured light. Karl was great to work with and I had a lot of fun with this shoot.
Next up we have Glykeria, a chemistry student from Greece but studying at UCL. Glykeria was another subject supplied by Social Concierge. As I got chatting I learned that she’s studying how to invent medicine, from scratch – I had no idea that was a thing you could choose as a career. But for Glykeria, it’s something she said she had her heart set on when she graduated. I was so inspired by that I decided I wanted to depict her looking up at this beam of light, with that light representing not only the future but also her work in helping people directly through her work. There’s almost something saintly about it. Like those dioramas you’d see in massive churches. There was this lovely sense of hope and optimism about her.
Next up we have Peter Meyer, an actor and director. Peter was another subject from my work with @dateconcierge @social_concierge. Peter grew up on a huge ranch in South Africa that his father turned into an amazing hotel – seven stars no less. His father sadly passed and Peter hasn’t returned to his family home in 17 years. But this year he’s going back and he’s making a documentary about his experience. So for this photo I wanted to use a sandy colour palette that was indicative of the ranch he’s from, but also to create something that has a lot of shadow – as if to suggest there’s a lot of Peter still to discover about himself.
Next up we have the lovely Regina De Almeida. Regina is a model and actress from Brazil. She grew up in Sao Paolo but wanted to see the world so headed to Ireland, of all places before settling in London. She was another subject for my work with Nana and @social_concierge While all my work has been black and white with Nana, I was crying out for a bit of colour. Plus, Regina was from Brazil and I’m teaching myself colour theory so I took inspiration from the colours of her home flag to add a healthy dose of brightness to this image.
Next up we have the lovely Georgina Terry, an actress and yes, you guessed it, another participant from my ongoing photography marathon with Social Concierge. As always with these shoots I never have as long as I’d like to spend with someone as there’s four other people sat waiting to have their photo taken. But spending a bit of time with Georgina and the struggles with trying to be an actress in London, she still managed to maintain a smile. So for this photo I wanted to capture her optimism for a life under the limelight – I even added just the slightest amount of green to the main light for a not so subtle nod to that idea.
Next up we have the lovely Dina Rims, who very gladly came along to help me and the people at Social Concierge. Dina is an actress, model, musician, film-maker, the whole nine yards. I guess you could call her a bit of a Renaissance woman. Nina has one of those great faces that I wanted to try and sculpt with light to highlight her eyes and jawline. What I didn’t realise was that she had a lovely smile too so instead of the serious, moody shot that I was aiming for, this one forced its way to the front of the my editing queue.
Next up we have Beau, a professional dancer from Australia whose work in the theatre has taken him all over the world. He was another lovely subject for Social Concierge – I wanted to try and capture some of his physicality by having him almost curled up in a ball perched on some old crates. I’m pretty pleased with the result.
Next up we have Syirin – another model who kindly came along to help out with the photo shoot I did for Nana Wereko-Brobby. Again, this was a challenge to get to know Syirin in the little time we had. But what I did find out – she was from Malaysia, she runs a coffee shop off Broadway Market, she’s married – and the subject that seemed to interest us both was seeing old school friends and what school was like for both of us. I didn’t find school all that great, where as Syirin found school amazing – she was successful, popular and a straight-A student. That got me thinking about how school influences us long after we’ve left. For me school left me low in confidence and unsure about what I was supposed to do with my life. With Syirin, I imagine, it was the opposite. But afterwards things for me certainly changed – and the impression I got about Syirin, they changed too. Now I have no idea what happened from school to the point I took this photo, but I saw something when I looked at her through my lens when we spoke about school and afterwards, that lead me to choose this.