2016 was perhaps my busiest year to date on a number of fronts but I didn’t make a single international trip (if you don’t include England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland) although I did almost do 3 months elapsed time away from home again this year. Its the first year since 2004 that I didn’t need my passport (using it on an easyjet flight to Liverpool whilst my driving licence was being renewed doesn’t count).
The reasons are multiple but mainly down to workload here at home, rebuilding my house, waiting on builders to start on the garage and Liverpool FCs run in the Europa League in early 2016 and run in the EFL cup and Premier League in late 2016.
Enough excuses, Ive a number of first time places on my to do list for 2017 and hope to revisit some old favourites as well. Ive a couple of awesome road trips planned but as ever they can be done now at a weeks notice depending on my local commercial and corporate photography workload.
January started as it pretty much ended with my house in a right state. Id decided back in November to completely strip it down to its plasterwork including skirting boards, doors etc and embark on a 6 week project to revamp it entirely. 6 months later I had just about finished.
I decided to do most of the work myself, just to see if I could although 3 months in with only a microwave to cook on and having just cut a huge hole in the office ceiling to insert a new loft ladder to my new loft room storage space I did think I had just gone ever so slightly mad.
Still, sitting here in Jan 2017 looking back it was all worth it….
fixing dodgy wiring
stripping paint and paper off walls
Once again I was honoured to work with the fabulous people at the Allianz Arts and Business Awards at their annual awards night.
February was mostly taken up with house renovations (again) and mid to late February is usually very busy with corporate and commercial photography. Particularly in the run up to the end of the financial year, it can be hectic. Now if you have read my frequently ask questions I normally don’t talk about the commercial side of the business in this blog and that’s for a number of reasons.
Primarily though its for corporate and commercial confidence. As with the Arts and Business photos above, they are all now in the public domain and a year on I’m preparing for this years event (tomorrow) so it is safe to release these images as part of my blog. With other photos in the set supplied to that particular client, they have never been made public and so I wont publish them or use them here or on my main site in the portfolio sections. To me that’s just being professional. Ive heard so many stories about how images and now particularly video being used by the authors on their sites and social media before the client has got to use them, sometimes with devastating effect. One story I heard recently was of a corporate gift manufacturer putting some of their commissioned work on twitter before their client had a chance to present them to the recipient. Coincidentally the recipient just happened to be a follower of the gift manufacturer on twitter… …and well you can guess the rest.
All my work in February (other than my stock photos) was of a confidential nature or used editorially in a way to a closed audience (such and internal corporate communications, photographs of a conference that had a non disclosure agreement and other photos which are part of a new brochure to be launched in a couple of weeks (at time of writing this)).
I cant not put a photo up, I am a photographer after all so here’s a photo of the Jodrell Bank telescope. It was my brothers 40th birthday and that coincided with one of the home legs of Liverpool’s Europa League campaign. As he lives in Liverpool, had always wanted to go to Jodrell Bank and had never been, we headed off there for the afternoon one day.
The Lowell radio telescope Jodrell Bank
Being the big child that I am, I came home and purchased some equipment to enable me to take some dark night sky photos so keep an eye out for that blog post, coming soon!
March is usually sandwich and soup time in the Joe Fox Photography household as there is often little time to make anything else. To say it is usually busy is an understatement, hectic is the best word for it.
Once again I got to work with the fabulous Maiden Voyage Dance company with their latest Pause and Effect production. I do both their production stills and their advance publicity stills. The advance publicity photos will be in my next blog as they have gone to press last week for next months production (Feb 2017). Here are a few of the production stills taken at the Mac for Pause and Effect. All these photos are not posed but taken at full speed in full production. I love this type of photo because it is so technically challenging. To pose these photos would lose the form, shape and energy of the dancers and often after the session I feel as though Ive been out there with them. To be fair I do cover a lot of ground during the production shoots as Ive scouted out locations and spots watching the rehearsals beforehand.
This wasn’t the only dance photography during March but they are the only ones I can show without restrictions. Some of my other work this month was some of the best photos I have taken all year but between corporate client confidentiality and child and other protection policies I’ll just have to leave you with this photo of a pint of guinness from my first ever trip to the Brewery down in Dublin when the 2nd day of a commercial photography shoot had to be postponed due to bad weather. Cheers!
pints of guinness in the gravity bar at the guinness storehouse
Perhaps cheesiest photo of the year belongs to one I took back in April for Tesco UK. We were doing some promotional photography to highlight Tescos partnership with the FareShare charity where excess food is give to charity to help supply the vulnerable and needy. Quite a heavy concept but with all PR and promotional photography the weirder and wackier the better. I tied a set of the images in with one of the television dance programmes reaching its conclusion on network TV here in the UK and got all the participants to do a chorus line in front of the fruit and veg aisle in the middle of the supermarket. Needless to say we gathered a small crowd of followers!
Forgetting the rest of the photography jobs for the moment, I also managed to fit in a quick flight to Liverpool to watch the Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund Europa league match 2nd leg at Anfield…
…apparently Ive won a FIFA award for the best fans in the world. (well me and 44 thousand other people) My medal must be lost in the post…
I flew out that afternoon and back on the 7am flight the next morning. Apparently I was all vision no sound for about 3 days. Good job most of the times in photography its a non-speaking part. It did take the best part of a week for my voice to recover… just in time to do it all again for the semi-final…
Unfortunately despite being at every round I didn’t get tickets for the Europa League final or there would be lots of photos of Switzerland in this space. Probably a good job I didn’t go in the end.. Still I did see Liverpool win one Semi Final having watched them lose the FA Cup semi final at Wembley last year. At the time of writing Im off to the league cup semi final second leg against Southampton next week, lets see how that goes.
May is also one of my regular clients big days of the year with the MayDay festival down in Holywood, county down. This can be very hit and miss with the weather but this year we hit really lucky with the sun splitting the trees for most of the days. Who would have known you’d need sun cream out photographing all day in May in Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately as with most events this time of year it also coincided with a general election so difficult getting crowd shots with a forest of election posters, a lot in stupid day glo yellow and orange peppering the background. Of course at the time of writing we are about 6 weeks away from another election so thats probably going to be a lot of late Feb/early March backgrounds ruined as well!
Still it was a stunning day with a huge turnout so here’s a few of the publicly released shots.
Some of the more spectacular images from June came from dancer Helen Hall. We produced some images covering her latest production and some experimental images for future productions. Obviously I cant share all the images here but Ive attached a few of the ones already released on social media and review websites/publications.
June was also a very busy time in the studio with a lot of headshots for both commercial companies and for actors/performers/small businesses. The unseasonably good weather also meant I could get a lot of outdoor environmental portraiture done without rain in the background or soaked equipment, factories, yards and farm buildings! It really does make a huge difference when the sun shines and gives a lot more scope for headshots and portraiture when you can take advantage of all the range of business a company does.
A lot of the headshot work is embargoed for publication and others I will add to my website headshot section when I revamp the site in early 2017.