I am delighted to have hit the front page, literally, of the Independent Schools Guide with my photograph of pupils from Walhampton School in Hampshire. I ripped up the ‘never work with children (or animals)’ rule book when I worked with a model of 7 who had more star quality than many of the adults around her. My intuition for being able to think ahead to what is coming next is either down to having young children myself or perhaps my slightly mischievous nature!
Cuddles Nursery has recently undergone a huge transformation, invested a significant sum in new equipment and my brief was to capture the children as they navigated the lights and sounds around them.
Living on the south coast in the seaside village of Milford on Sea means that our local children get the opportunity to share time in a beautiful school garden. It’s a focal point where pupils relax and engage in new responsibilities It’s noticeable how their energy and unit recharges when they move outside from the classroom.
I have been photographing the students at Walhampton for quite sometime. It’s a school bursting with vigor, opportunities reflected from both staff and pupils. I am always confident of catching something or someone that shines through the lens back at me.
Prom is a big deal. A really big deal! I know this now having photographed the Ballard School Year 11’s celebrating their achievements over an evening filled with great laughter and camaraderie For me, this celebration is the epitome of the phrase ‘they are growing up in front of our eyes.’
Working with a child model is very different to being in an educational environment. Asking a small child to comply with a formal brief can have it’s challenges even in the most magnificent 5* surroundings however I have been extremely fortunate to date. So far, so good!
The link below will take you to one of the videos I have produced for a school. Video is so all encompassing and inclusive for pupils and a successful marketing device, not to mention being something memorable for the parents.
As we head into the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ I’ve come over all reflective and thought I’d share some of my thoughts about this most sensational summer.
The Lynk diary has once again taken me to exciting locations from the scorching coastlines to some balmy rural retreats meeting new clients and catching up with some familiar faces. With the weather playing such a blinder I have been able to indulge in my passion of capturing the local landscape. Living in a traditional seaside town has its benefits. I can’t make any calls from my mobile but I can watch the sunrise or set most days!
Talking of sand, (see what I did there?) I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with PGA Coach Colin Murray, creating images for his up and coming new website. Colin can actually ‘hear’ when a player hits their shot incorrectly from thousands of metres away and then tell the golfer what they should try next time they are faced with the same shot. It’s hard not to try and get a few tips when you are alongside man who successfully applies a method of ‘marginal gains’ to his coaching students. A few people on my team would be thrilled if I improved on certain aspects of my job by 1%!
As ever, while most of the UK has been applying Piz Buin, I’ve spent a lot of time spraying festive glitter and fake snow around beautiful homes and in luxury hotels. Our usual round of #christmasinjuly expanded into August and September and we have exterior shoots on ‘hold’ as we really do need some ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ or we’ll lose the tone. Interiors are all good to go even if it’s a tad warm for the guys putting up and decorating the Christmas trees!
My quest for the ultimate kit continues with same fervent approach as Mrs L looking for the ever elusive ‘perfect shoe (boot, flip flop, handbag – you catch my drift?) and I have made some long awaited purchases over the summer. I have taken to spreading my kit out army style on a Sunday night, much to frustration of the aforementioned. I like to envisage what I’ll be using on which shoot during the week ahead. As a photographer I can always see another image whether it’s something for a client, or for personal work, which is why I am always on the move or plunged deep into thought.
The Indian summer has been exceptional, I’ve enjoyed it immensely and now I am looking ahead to the freshness and vibrancy of the colour that comes with the cooler temperatures. I don’t think I have ever gone into the autumn schedule with so much to achieve and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
In the words of the inimitable Alice Cooper ‘School’s Out!’ Amongst the joy, excitement and enviable optimism that summer is just around the corner there have been heartfelt tears (some of them mine) as the summer term at Walhampton draws to a close and the leavers bid the school farewell.
I have put together a 13 minute film Walhampton Founders Day Film 2016 hit the link to view that captures the essence of the school, teachers, day pupils and the boarders. I am extremely proud of this piece of work and hope to be allowed a quiet fist pump in the style of Andy Murray by the back office.
What next I hear you cry? Well for the rest of July and into August I am going to be up to my baubles (too racy?) in Festive shoots. Yes, that’s right we are back to the infamous #christmasinjuly and luckily it looks like the weather has opted to join me. Joke!
This year I have bookings from July to September predominantly with hotels, also stylists, house builders and product designers. I’m always excited to see what the season’s trends are and what the palettes are going to be like to capture through a lens.
While some clients favour ‘opulence’ and go all out to pile on the rich deep colours everywhere, others take the Nordic approach, which is neutral, clean and in recent years has featured stars in all shapes and sizes.
There is something magical about turning up on the school run with glitter in your hair and over your glasses, especially when it’s the last day of the summer term!
This year I will not eat a single mince pie… This year I will not eat a single mince pie…This year I will not eat a single mince pie – repeat as necessary!
At the risk of sounding a bit 80s, (a golden era even if I say so myself) a lot of my life is spent looking through a lens and I am thrilled with my new Zeiss lenses, made with the highest quality glass in the world, and they will help me produce images of extreme clarity.
While I was in the ‘shopping zone’ at The Photography Show at the NEC last week I also managed to source some of the Pro Video equipment I have been after for a while which includes an ice white constant lighting system for video and still imagery, a playback monitor and pro-gimbals. There was also a cheeky purchase of Pro lapel and boom microphones for higher quality audio capturing as we have some video and audio contracts to deliver later this year.
It’s at this stage that Mrs L glazed over!
The last few weeks have seem me darting to and from Cliveden House in Berkshire working with Andre Garrett on his latest creations, in and out of Walhampton School to capture World Book Day, the school play a 14 school X-country championship event, to an evening function at the Law Society, not to mention a night shoot in the Chewton Glen Spa.
I have also been lucky enough to get out and take pictures of some stunning sunrises and sunsets for my Lynk Landscape portfolio. For me, there is nowhere else where I could be treated to such magnificent scenery and colour.
Glancing ahead to the next few months, I am looking forward to sticking my bright and shiny lenses into some new contracts and continuing my march along the learning curve.
I may not have hit the gym like the rest of the nation during the opening weeks of 2106, but I have definitely hit the ground running! And while the international kale mountain was being diminished by the masses, I was surrounded by sensational chef glitterati!
I kid you not. I was blessed to have the opportunity to meet and film Luke Matthews, Pierre Chevillard, James Martin, Jean-Christophe Novelli all in the name of work having been commissioned to make the Chewton Glen 50th Anniversary celebration video. I might just throw in Robin Hutson, Martin and Brigitte Skan, Peter Crome, Andrew Stembridge, oh and Sir Ben Ainslie. And did I mention Jody Scheckter?
As you may be aware, I love a landscape and being based in Milford on Sea I have access to both coast and country vistas. Sales of this work have rocketed recently so I have launched a separate site – lynklandscapes.com where all my latest pieces are available to purchase.
With my corporate hat on, I have been working with a lot of clients who are busy refreshing their websites and social media platforms and have required ‘head shots’. To some this may sound like small fry, but never underestimate the power of a good clean set of images displaying your highly qualified and results driven team.
Time is March’ing on (see what I did there?) and next month will be a lot about hotels, business leaders in action, food imagery and a substantial amount of interior property shots for a new client.
In the meantime, I have been ‘instructed’ to join the exercise bandwagon and so having escaped the gym in January, I am now plodding, like a slow plodding thing, my way from my extremely comfy couch to 5 very hot and sweaty K. I’ll leave you with that thought 🙂
At home I am indulging my girls with advent calendars, the Christmas tree and decorations are up and there is a lot of what we affectionately refer to as ‘Santa chat’ during the school run.
At work, I am packaging and posting the exclusive Pre A Porsche 356 Calendars to send all over Europe, the United States and as far afield as Australia, while considering how to lay up and frame the Easter shoots I have booked in for the next week or two and again directly after the New Year celebrations.
Talking of celebrations, I was privileged to be joining the 50th Anniversary event at the Chewton Glen last week. They have produced a magnificent book detailing the rise and rise of the hotel over the last 50 years and it just happens to include a fair few of my images. I have been grinning like a Cheshire cat since my first glance at it! I had my camera with me on the night with a view to being included in the 75th anniversary edition.
It seems odd, with the weather being so un-seasonally warm, to be in the process of compiling a list of which clients require ‘snow’ shots (it’s a technical term!) should the temperature drop and a few flakes make it this far South. With several requests for independent business calendars for January 2017 already in, these images will be imperative for inclusion. Photography tends to make you think a couple of months in advance, a skill set I am yet to master at home much to the disappointment of Mrs L.
After thousands of views of the ‘behind the scenes at Cliveden’ video (insert link) I produced in October, demand is high and I have to concede that this is a piece of work I am particularly proud of, and I am already excited about the contracts I have for 2016 in this genre.
Two weeks ago I was with an old friend, the comedian and satirist, Henning Wehn in London shooting for his new tour poster. Much as I love working with Henning, it is always something of a relief to capture the right image so that I can fully engage with his ingenious wit and humour rather than trying to stay focused. And people think I’m distracted!
There is a general consensus amongst my friends that September marks ‘new beginnings’ and a ‘fresh outlook’, and is streaks ahead of January in the ‘invigoration’ stakes.
This is an overhang from the start of the new school term from all our childhoods I am sure, and the irony of my heading off to shoot at Walhampton School on the 1st September was not lost on me! I almost felt the need to arrive with a pencil case and a new notebook, however I did take lots of new gadgets and camera lenses ☺
The grounds at Walhampton are looking magnificent and after a summer sorely lacking in beach location shoots I am looking forward to be able to capture autumn in the majestic 80 acres in the coming weeks!
While it may not have been perfect ice cream weather, (for which my waistline is eternally grateful) the last few weeks have been action packed in Lynk world. The pictures I took for BH live are now man sized and adorning the walls of the site and I have had some exceptional feedback on them. I found this project particularly captivating – the human form is quite fascinating.
Male Yoga pose
Fortuitously the sun did manage to shine when I was shooting the very lovely Debbie Lister for her new modelling and TV portfolio. We were able to use the pool and the beach to give her revitalised portfolio real breadth and try some new styling, which proved to be hugely successful!
That same sunshine graced us with it’s presence a couple of days later on the day that the Chris Evans and his Dirty Dozen rolled in to the Chewton Glen. It was thrilling to hear the roar of the car engines and an absolute privilege to able to photograph such an awe-inspiring selection of motors. It brought out the real Arthur Daley in me!
As well as shooting the cars I got to meet James Martin who returned to the hotel to deliver the Dirty Dozen evening banquet. He was a lot of fun to work with, generous with his time, and his with his desserts #bangwentmywaistline
I think all the Christmas work is now complete, however I have become very adept with a fairy light should anyone feel the need!