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5-9 Book feature

The West of England Design Forum produced a book called 9-5 / A collection of creativity from outside the 9-5. It documents what local designers create outside their day job, without the constraints of brand guidelines and demands of their pay cheques.

I decided to submit one of my photos and it made it in.

Side projects have always been really important to me. Being a creative has something compulsive about it. I’m lucky enough to be able to make a living out of it, but I would always do projects anyway. Doing projects outside of work hours is therapy, really. It keeps me sane, doing my own thing.

I launched this site to document my progress in trying to become a better photographer. I’ve always been interested in photography, looking at it, using it in my work and taking random pictures, but this year I wanted to dedicate to becoming better, investing a lot of energy and time into it. I watched videos, read books and articles, the manual of my camera, and studied the work of photographers I like the work of.

I thought I wanted to become a street photographer, but that was mainly because I didn’t have any other subjects and, to be honest, I found photographing strangers in the street quite daunting. I focused on architecture instead, “street landscape photography” if you will.

It wasn’t after I did a call out on Twitter that I got a shoot together that featured people posing for me other than my two daughters. This first shoot was a fashion style shoot. Not for anything in particular than that I wanted to have a go at it and the three models would end up with some nice pictures - hopefully.

I really enjoyed that shoot and so did the models, so we looked at doing something again, soon. Because of certain circumstances I ended up meeting with only one of the models; fashion blogger and owner of boutique Mint in Bath, Becky May, who you may have seen featured on this site a lot since.

As documented before we met up in Bath in Victoria Park on a beautiful summer day in July. Becky had styled a few looks and carried a big bag full of clothing and accessories.

We walked around for more than 4 hours. We started at 4.30 in the afternoon and had beautiful golden sunlight at a nice low angle. We produced eight sets. Everything just seemed to work. We hardly knew each other then, but somehow instinctively understood how to get what we wanted without using lots of directions.

We’ve since done lots of shoots, in part for Becky’s popular blog, featuring products from Karen Walker, Topshop, Annie Jurgenson, and in part just because we wanted to try something specific. When the weather changed and the long evenings were gone I set up a studio at Pixillion and we shot there.

That particular shoot in July was the one when it all fell into place for me. The collaboration with Becky has been nothing short of amazing since that shoot and we've been talking about taking this further. Watch this space for an update on that in the near future.

It was very hard picking one image to submit for consideration for the 5to9 book, but this has always been one of my favourites and I’m super chuffed it made it in.

I did a short talk at the book launch at the Big Chill Bar in Bristol last night. Good to see Becky there as well.

I was at Taylor Brothers Printers in Bristol last week documenting the printing of the book and here are some of the pictures I took.