New work

Some new commercial work I photographed recently for the UNICEF UK website, for their new campaign about air quality and the rights of children to have fresh air! It was great fun photographing this, the children enjoyed getting stuck into bubbles and wind musical instruments, and using various concepts to illustrate air and breathing. Great fun taking the pictures and nice to see them used so well by the client on such a worthy cause.

 

And one below, from a previous campaign for Rights Respecting Schools. This one photographed in Wales.

 

Bellahouston Harriers – Nil Desperandum

Over the past year or two as I’ve ran for pleasure with the Glasgow-based Bellahouston Harriers club, I’ve been photographing the running club meets, the training, some portraits, made a little movie of track nights in winter…basically merging my two loves, that of running and photography, and giving back to the club along the way with photography.

Very nicely an edit of this work has now been made into book form by the club, and has finally been printed for the club members and a few extra copies. The book, ‘Nil Desperandum’, documents the runners in the 125th year of the historic Glasgow club, and includes quotes by the club runners on why they run, what it brings them and why they run with the club. A little snapshot of running club life.

During my recent photography assignment through 40 countries of the Commonwealth for with the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the running club published on their site a little profile of myself and how my running fits in with my work. Stuart Miller, the author of the profile has given me permission to reprint it below.

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From Bellahouston Harriers website. –

‘Commonwealth journey ends for Bella snapper’

The opening ceremony in the Gold Coast on Wednesday will signal the start of competition for some of the world’s top athletes, but it will mark the end of remarkable Commonwealth Games journey for one Bellahouston Harrier.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert has spent much of the past year travelling the world, documenting the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. As one of the official Baton Relay photographers, Jeremy has captured images of the Baton’s passage across the Commonwealth, through major cities like Lagos and Auckland, remote areas of the South Sea Islands, and tribal communities in Africa.

Jeremy often spends weeks or months away from home at any one time. He has spent the last three months following the baton across Australia as part of the final 100 days countdown to the Games – when the baton is opened and the Queen’s message inside is read out by Prince Charles at the opening ceremony, it will signify the start of the 21st edition of the Games.

“My job as photo journalist is to document the passage of the Queen’s Baton Relay – this is the largest relay in the history of the Games, spanning 388 days, and covering 230,000 kilometres,” Jeremy said. “My days are full-on taking stills and shooting video, before editing the images and sending them to the Gold Coast media team for distribution to media around the world, and upload onto the official Games social media accounts.”

Jeremy said that his average day following the baton will start at 7am. He’ll track runners carrying the baton for miles on end through the countryside on some legs, while on others the baton will be passed from person to person every few hundred metres.

He described visits to schools, where the baton is carried around sports fields by pupils, and the showcasing of the baton at tourist hotspots. Top athletes will often carry the baton, and Jeremy recalled capturing David Rudisha and Lynsey Sharp in action, while he will also follow the baton on visits to local TV stations and to evening receptions hosted by the Australian High Commissioner or Governor General. Typically, at the end of the day, Jeremy will edit between 800 and 1,000 photos to select the best 20 to send back to Australia.

Despite long days working, and plenty of travelling, Jeremy has managed to find time for running in his hectic schedule.

“You make the most of free time when you get it,” he said. “If we have a later start such as 9am I can get out a run before work. On the Africa leg of my trip early in 2017 one of my colleagues was very into keeping fit and he and I set ourselves a challenge of doing a run in each country outside of the hotel grounds – I tried to keep that going through the whole year. In the end I think I managed to run in about 35 of the 40 countries I visited.”

“It was a great challenge to do because it plays into my love for travel and adventure. I combine running with photography. I love getting up and out while the light is really beautiful. You get to see a different side to where we are staying and it is great to look back and say ‘I had a good run there’, even if I manage out for only 5k. Photography is a young man’s game. I know running keeps me healthy and sharp and that is a big thing for me,” he said.

Of all the runs he has done while away, and all the places he has been, there are a couple of particular highlights.

Jeremy said: “Last December, in Vanuatu, the schedule that week was not quite as intense so I got out running four times. The hotel was next to a lagoon. I went out very early in the morning because of the heat. One morning I went out at 5am and I found myself running in a place that was so lush and beautiful. The environment was so beautiful I found myself laughing out loud. I was thinking to myself how lucky I was to be there, have the health to run, and how happy I was.”

 

 

“During the Africa leg we visited Iten in Kenya, the home of great distance running. We did not have a lot of time there, but a colleague and I wanted to squeeze a quick run in to say we ran in Iten so we ran up to under where the iconic sign of ‘Welcome to Iten Home of Champions’ stands. It was really pleasing to be there and see the town, and a nice little moment,” he said.

Jeremy’s links to the Commonwealth Games began back in 2012 when he successfully tendered for one of the photographer jobs for the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, his love of running developed before then while he was living in Japan and training for the Tokyo marathon. It was during a rare trip back home that Jeremy’s association with Bellahouston Harriers began.

“I chose Bellahouston Harriers because I saw the distinctive vest,” Jeremy said. “I saw someone wearing the vest at Parkrun and I thought ‘wow that just looks amazing’. I came down to the club for a few weeks and really enjoyed mixing with like-minded people.”

After returning permanently from Japan, Jeremy joined the club in October 2016. His love of the club vest led him to organise a photo shoot for members where they had the opportunity to have portraits taken in their vests.

“I have been a professional photographer for 28 years and I am a believer in doing personal jobs,” Jeremy said. “It helps you to keep sharp and polish up aspects of your work that you need to work on. I wanted to portray the cross section of the people who run for the club and ‘run for the vest’, from the fast guys to the slower members.”

During his time as member, Jeremy has also beautifully documented the club’s 125 year anniversary celebrations and captured the atmosphere at a winter track session. He harbours longer term ambitions in movie-making.

“I am trying to write screenplay for a movie,” Jeremy said. “It will be set on a boat in the North Sea and was inspired years ago by the time I spent photographing on fishing trawlers. I am excited by the imagery I could put to it.”

 

Hello Paul Smith

All photographers have lists – lists of places they wish to travel and photograph, festivals or events they’d like to witness and photograph, places in their home town they want to record or document, or if you shoot portraits, a list of people you’d like to photograph.

For some time now Sir Paul Smith, of of Britain’s most well known and well respected fashion designers has been on my ‘Portrait wish list’. And yesterday I managed to shoot a few portraits of him, not in ideal circumstances, and not quite as I’d have liked, but sometimes you take your opportunity, and some opportunities are better than no opportunity.

 

World-renowned designer Paul Smith opens the 'Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith', exhibition at The Lighthouse, in Glasgow, Scotland, on 20 January 2016.  The exhibition, drawing from Paul Smith's career and personal archives and collections, runs at The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, from January 21st until 20th March 2016. The exhibition invites you into Paul Smith's world; a world of fashion, creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty. (J. Sutton-Hibbert/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert)

Sir Paul was in Glasgow, Scotland, to open his new exhibition ‘Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith’ at The Lighthouse design centre. There was to be a press viewing and photo opportunity, and I availed myself of that opportunity. Alas it was a busy occasion, and the possibility of a one-to-one portrait session, with time, was not available.

But I do what I do. I’d adept at making the most of these situations. I work fast, I work around the obstacles, step past hurdles and still deliver, still bring back an image of use. Just like on many assignments, life throws hurdles at you, rugs are pulled from under your feet, but I keep calm, keep shooting, work around things and ultimately deliver. That, sometimes, is what clients are paying you for.

 

‘Klondykers in Shetland’

*** New just in! There’s going to be a second edition of the book printed. Another 150 are being printed to meet demands! You can order them here. ***

My fourth Café Royal Book was released last Thursday, and very nicely sold out overnight! Thank you everyone for your interest and support.

Klondykers in Shetland 1994‘ is the last collaboration from myself and Craig Atkinson at Café Royal for this year. If you do wish to try and get your hands on one then Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow, the shop at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, and possibly Foyles in London, have limited numbers still I believe.

Klondykers, Shetland 1994
Release Date 18.11.15
28 pages
14cm x 20cm
b/w digital
Edition of 150

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“There’s blue on red, red on red, green on black, and that one over there is just rust on rust”, chortled the Coast Guard helicopter pilot as we flew over the waters of the Shetland isles and looked down on the fleet of East European ‘Klondyker’ fish factory ships all moored, all awaiting the arrival of the silver fish.

It was the early 1990’s, Communism had collapsed and new economies were struggling in Eastern Europe. Ships had been sent to Scottish waters to buy up the mackerel and herring catches, and take them back frozen or tinned to feed Bulgaria, Romania and the countries of the former Soviet bloc.

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But the arrival of the Klondykers as they were known was gaining unwanted attention, ships were running aground all too frequently on the rocks of Shetland, and on visits into port others were detained, deemed as being unseaworthy. With ships impounded, and without work, crews went unpaid, and the men speaking no English drifted to the garbage dumps to look for items which could be salvaged, recycled, and taken back to Eastern Europe.

I went to the Shetland twice, around 1994, to photograph, both times on assignment, badgering fish merchant agents to take me out to the ships on their speedboats when they visited to cut deals with Bulgarian skippers. Or another time I agreed with the Coast Guard to be used as ‘live practice’, to be lowered by harness and winch onto a moving ship in exchange for getting up in their helicopter to shoot aerial shots of the Klondyker fleet. I readily agreed, for the excitement, for the adventure, and for the access knowing that Colin Jacobson, then picture editor at the Independent Saturday Magazine, would never hire me a helicopter.

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Cyrillic signs hung in Lerwick town centre, telling the men of the Klondykers where they could find the Fisherman’s Mission, where they could find God, cups of tea and some help, and you could spot the men as they walked the town, in their Eastern European fashions of leather jackets and jeans. Up at the garbage dump I photographed as islanders drove up to offer the Klondyker men old televisions and electronics, or just to stop by and bring them cigarettes and gifts.

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Out on the ships I got lucky and found myself on a ship crewed by Romanians, and I managed to use the little Romanian language skills I’d learned while working on another project outside of Bucharest. I chatted with the ship’s doctor, and he played his accordion for me, we toured the ship, and I photographed as men and women worked, cleaning the mackerel which had just arrived, or played table tennis as they awaited more fish.

The ships have gone now, but the word Klondyker still holds resonance in the Shetland, and of course upon the rocks are the ships which never left.

 

Visit Café Royal Books website.

A small article about ‘Klondykers in Shetland’ ran in the Shetland News last week when the book was released, with a few comments from myself.

Portrait shoot with Johanna Basford.

How do you fancy being an artist, a creator, who has sold more than 7 million copies of books of your black and white drawings? Nice huh? Average photobook is printed in runs of 1,000. But black and white drawings for adults to colour? Seven Million. Count them.

Scottish artist Johanna Basford has done just that. Since leaving her art studies she’s has gone on to become a hugely successful artist and creator of books such as ‘Lost Ocean’ and ‘Secret Garden’.

I recently paid a visit to her studio, north of Aberdeen, Scotland, for a portrait shoot for The Times (who have run the resulting image today). The photography brief for the shoot was to get a  nice portrait, lit, from in Johanna Basford’s studio, something which could work on a cover and inside. And also to get an alternate shot.

The studio was clean, bright, nice, a bit of a god-send really. Trouble was the ceiling was angled and very low, made putting up a softbox on a stand a little tricky, but not the end of the world. I shot a few portraits, a few variations, making sure to get the studio feel and some of Johanna’s drawings.

Johanna Basford in her artist studio, in today's The Times.
Johanna Basford in her artist studio, in today’s The Times.

Then we nipped outside, into the glorious landscape which inspires a lot of the details in Johanna’s work and books. This shot was pretty much the last I shot, as we walked back towards her farmhouse studio, something more candid, something a little more loose to give the picture editor options of feel and style.

 

See the full set of photographs of Johanna Basford, artist and illustrator.