Dull jobs and surprise guests.

Last night I was on part two of a conference job, and feeling that there may not be too many pictures in it which I’d be happy with, nothing too interesting to photograph other than business men with glasses of champagne. But then the doors opened, the security men swept in and Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, entered the room…..

That’s the beauty of this job, sometimes you just don’t know what is going to happen. Abe-san arriving unexpected to me was a good bonus on the job, it’s always good to get the chance to photograph the Prime Minister, all good pics for stock and the archive. But what i particularly enjoyed was that he stood in front of a very clean background and he was well lit. An easy pic, nice and clean. It turned my assignment from a relatively dull one to a more interesting one.

Another similar experience was 2 years or so ago when I went on a job to photograph the Taoiseach of Ireland Bertie Ahern meeting business men, again a relatively dull shoot. But it perked up when I got told he was going to the Japanese Imperial House to meet with the Emperor of Japan and would I like to go with him to record the event. It also made for quite a dull picture, but just the experience of it all was great. It’s not every day you leave home and 2 hours later are in a room with an Emperor. Not in my line of work anyway.

Shooting the Boss

So yesterday I had part one of a two day assignment, shooting for one of my editorial clients as they participate in a business conference, and I had the chance to photograph Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp, and owner of The Times and Sunday Times- newspapers I’ve worked for on and off for many years. It’s always nice to see, and photograph, the man who ultimately pays your invoices….

Last night I had to take pics of lots of corporate bosses sitting around having dinner (and it looked tasty, not that I got any), swapping business cards. It wasn’t a glamourous job for me, but interesting none the less, and a good chance to shoot some image of some of these corporate types. One thing which was hard though was to know who was who, all middle age men in dark suits tend to look the same after a while. But one look at the dinner seating plan had me fixed, names sprung out to me from the page, and I could go and find them and photograph. It made me think, and reinforced the quite obvious belief, that in this game it is important to keep abreast of all types of news, whether it be politcal, economic or entertainment. One name I noticed last night at this dinner I recognised from reading about in a recent Top 100 Fat Cats American business people type article. I could never have recognised the guy, but his name I knew imediately as someone worth photographing. It’s important to keep abreast of things in this job.

In the pic above, taken yesterday after Rupert Murdoch’s speech, I like the attitude of the woman on the left who has decided to go for a different type of pic from everyone else….


Digital Journalist website has upload the November newsletter (link is on the right of this page). I had a look this morning as I had my bran flakes. One article which was good to read was ‘Compton, California: Gangster for Life’ by Mark Allen Johnson. I enjoyed the story of how he accessed the gangs of Compton, the notorious gun slinging area infamous for its gang life and culture. Mark talks about trying to photograph people who are wary of the camera, and not keen to be photographed. I understood what he was talking about, it reminded me of life in the roma gypsy camp where I’ve photographed, trying to hang out with people, trying to get them to accept you, to allow you to photograph them. It can be hard, but in Mark’s case, it sounded dangerous as well as difficult. Although I did wonder about the wisdom of asking people as soon as he’d met them to show him their guns…..perhaps get to know them a bit better first? But then perhaps that wasn’t an option here.

There are some other photographers who have photographed gang life in USA, best work I’ve seen on the subject is by Joseph Rodriguez. I remember seeing it printed about 10 years ago, if not more, in The Observer magazine I think. All gritty black and white, a great photo story. It’s obvious that he has spent time on the story, really got into it. It isn’t some sort of drive-by story, if you’ll excuse the pun. A great piece of work.

Welcome to TokyoLand

Welcome to TokyoLand….some of you may have been in TokyoLand before, but on another blog url address, but I’ve decided to relocate. I’ve upped sticks and moved….

I found my i-web software useful and easy to use, but limited, so I’ve decided to try this blogger one out for size.

Anyway, this is just to start things off. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think, or if you have any requests on photo topics, or any questions about my work please ask.

If you know of any good links you feel should be added on the right then let me know. Can’t promise I’ll add it though. Cheers for now.