Well... It's been a while, no scrap that it's been a ridiculously long time since I updated this blog. Head will be duly hung in some form of half mast shame position for at least thirty seconds.. scout's honour and all that.
" Hilarity" aside, a lot has been happening in Marc world of late, especially including having to find a new home, thanks to owner of " Fashion Towers Mk i" deciding they wanted to sell it.
So much looking later Fashion Towers Mk ii has been found and duly moved into.
Waking up in and walking home to Bath's Royal Crescent has much to be said for it. Beautiful views across the lawns and Autumn showing it's new leafy fashions off like some erstwhile designer intent on creating a splash. The endless peering in the windows by multiple tourists is somewhat challenging, but also has it's comedy potential, especially when you come out of the shower!
So that's home life in a nutshell so now what's been happening in the world of fashion and music snapping.
First up although not strictly chronologically accurate is London Fashion Week SS16. Once again yours truly was working with The Body Shop to photograph their latest catwalk make up looks, in the chaotic world that is Fashion Week Backstage. Safe to say that curling tongs and hairdryers and 200MM lenses do not happy bedfellows make. My partner and assistant was once again called upon to execute the impossible and try to raise a soft box above the heads of models who stand 6ft tall before they're wearing heels. tricky! but manage it she did and we managed to get some great shots.
I always tease The head of PR for The Body Shop that most people I talk to don't realise that The Body Shop does the make up for London Fashion Week, at least at Fashion Scout anyway. Their make and especially their chief make up artist Lan do an amazing job and the girls always look incredible. Ladies.. if you haven't checked out The Body Shop for make up you're missing a trick, trust me. In between covering backstage I managed to shoot a number of the shows in both the venues at Fashion Scout. The results will be up on the website soon,
Pam Hogg always draws a capacity crowd, dotted with the great and the good and the glam. It's a given that Pam's shows will always go up late, 30- 45 minutes even an hour isn't unusual. Us longer serving Fashion Week types are well used to this now and know better than to agree to shoot any shows after Pam's show has finished, but the look on the faces of the newer guys and gals when they realise they're going to have to get across London to their next show in about ohh.. 30 seconds or buy a time machine is priceless.
Marko Mitanovski hosts extremely elaborate shows, to describe it as facial jewelry doesn't even begin to describe it. It's very easy to shoot Marko's models backstage and assume they're finished only to look back 5 minutes later and discover some elaborate headpiece or extra facial decoration you had no idea they were due to wear and have to shoot them all over again!
London Fashion Week eventually finished on the Tues just in time for Sarah and I to hot foot it to North London's Alexandra Palace, home of the first BBC television broadcast as well as legendary 14 hour Summer Party in the swinging psychedelic 1960's amongst hundreds of other landmark gigs and happenings. The occasion this time was a date with Florence and The Machine supported by The Staves. I shot The Staves at WOMAD festival back in the summer and their management discovered one of my photographs on Twitter and asked to see more. One thing led to another and we were offered photo passes to come and shoot at Florence's Tuesday show.
The Staves were fab as always, although it frustrates me that the hoary old " Three Songs No Flash" rule is so embedded in the music industry these days that no one even knows why they're doing it... literally. That aside Sarah and I rushed around the photo pit like demented ninjas and managed to capture the girls in all their glory. The Staves over we turned to Miss Welch, a different vantage point this time, but that doesn't phase this old war dawg. She really is a force of nature that girl, I have to 'fess up to being one of the doubters when she replaced The Foo Fighters at Glastonbury this year, but both her performance at Glasters and at Ally Pally left firmly in the " I'm a fan" camp. A beautifully executed set with a great band and lit by the man who seems to light everyone these days Rob Sinclair, made for a night to remember.
I had one particularly serendipitous moment, after getting used to her swirling, twirling forays across the stage I raised the camera on instinct and took a series of what turned out to be rather amazing shots of Florence in full flight. Trust your gut I say.
Add to that my other fav rave of the moment Wolf Alice and it's been a fun Summer and Autumn
Oh and I also stumbled across the Supernova of talent that is Lucy Rose too. Dipping my toe into my older world of concert lighting last month I was initially aggrieved to be informed by her management that she doesn't like red...DOESN'T LIKE RED???!!! Doesn't she know who I am? Apparently not!. That bombshell ingested I set about creating some equally dramatic looks avoiding the R word and even a whole bunch using just white light. ( Aitken's been kidnapped by Aliens I hear my older friends cry). The set turned out to be a total joy to light. The girl is a genius and it's up there with my favourite gigs I've ever lit. Ironically earlier in the day Lucy had rather sheepishly handed me a bag of three "Redhead" ( 800W tungsten units that are the staple of interview lighting the world over) lights still in their wrapping. Informing me that some gigs have so few lights she had taken to carrying her own !
At the end of the night I was eager to catch up with her and tell her how fab I thought she was, I decided to use the " redheads" after all and put them behind her as a back light with lots of smoke ( ahh that's The Aitken we know, it's alright they've returned him) and it looked rather spiffy!. But I needn't have bothered looking for her, as she came into the auditorium after signing autographs at the merchandise stall out front and as soon as she spotted me, held out her arms and said " dude.. you totally nailed it" it followed by a high five and a big hug..
it's the little things folks..
Anyhoo, that's War and Peace Blog style completed, so I'll leave you with the main reason for my being in cyberspace,
Keep the faith Spooky Kids