Tuesday, 4 September 2012

2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony – 'dancing with Darcey’




It would seem fair to say that the London 2012 Olympic Games did a pretty good job of invigoration the nation!  Even for an ‘armchair’ viewer, who didn’t attend any of the events, it was still easy to feel part of it with all of the media coverage; it still felt very much like ‘our’ Olympics.



There always appeared to be someone who knew someone who was a friend of a competitor or a ‘Games Maker’.  Just knowing someone who was directly involved seemed to make it even more interesting and exciting, so it was a very pleasant surprise to hear from Sita soon after the closing ceremony.  





Sita has been a student at Gilmour School of Dancing in Fleet for many years and now, having recently completed her degree, is back in a teaching capacity.  To top off what has been a momentous period of her life, she was selected to be part of the 'Corps de Ballet' for the closing ceremony of the Olympics and with that, an amazing opportunity to share the stage with Darcey Bussell.  



This 'dream turned reality' almost didn’t happen as shortly before the ceremony, Sita tore her hamstring in the penultimate rehearsal, putting the whole thing in doubt for her.  With the help of the physiotherapists, a healthy portion of grit and determination and some ‘Kinesio Tape’ which, after 2012 seems to have become a fashion accessory, she made it to the stage!



A once in a lifetime experience deserves to be commemorated and as well as having her well worn pointe shoes signed by former stars of the Royal Ballet, Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope, she also got to keep the costume from the show.  With this combination, we had all the ingredients for a great photo-shoot!    


                Click on the images to view them large!




Friday, 27 April 2012


Diva Behaviour...

Sometimes, when people talk of ‘Diva behaviour’ it can conjure up thoughts of tantrums and ‘hissy fits’ from overindulged celebrities.  When I told a friend that I recently had a ‘Diva’ in the studio to photograph, the reaction was one of concern...  ‘really, I bet that was a challenge?...’  ‘Actually, this is Catriona.  She is a Diva…that’s her job!'

Contrary to the colloquial use of the term diva, professional opera singer Catriona is an absolute pleasure to work with and a delight to photograph!

 












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Last year I had photographed a male opera quartet called 'Viva Voce', for Mark Halliday of Veritas Entertainment and following the success of ‘Viva Voce’, Mark has put together another extremely talented quartet called ‘Bella Voce’ (see what he did there?!) and here they are.  Sadly, I didn’t get to hear them sing although I have seen their showreel and they are superb!



Another act in the Veritas ‘stable’ is a Rat Pack tribute act and for our pictures I didn’t have to ask ‘Sammy, Frank and Dean’ to get into character, although after we had finished shooting, I did have to tell them several times that it was OK to get out of character!


www.drewtommonsphotographer.co.uk 

Finally, there was Mark himself, who as well as being 'Dean' in the Rat Pack tribute act, also has a one man show drawing on swing classics with a splash of charm and humour.  




All in all it was a great day photographing some talented and hardworking artists. A good day at the 'office'!

PS. Click on the images to view them large!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012



A few visits to Birmingham!


Grosse Fuge
by Hans Van Manen
Over the last couple of years it has been my great privilege to have been invited to photograph dress rehearsals at Birmingham Royal Ballet.  A ballet is a test for a photographer, often working at the extremes of the camera's parameters in order to capture movement, while continually looking for the moment where the composition of the scene and the technical aspects of the dancer's performance are synchronized to produce an image that is worthy of public view!

In The Upper Room 
by Twyla Tharp
In The Upper Room 
by Twyla Tharp
Slaughter On 10th Avenue
by George Ballanchine

www.drewtommonsphotographer.co.uk

drew@drewtommonsphotographer.co.uk
La Fille mal gardée
by Frederick Ashton

La Fille mal gardée
by Frederick Ashton
Birmingham Royal Ballet has an eclectic programme of productions which is constantly refreshed and this variety has provided an ongoing opportunity to create exciting images. If the pictures on display here can offer a hint of the magic of the actual performance then I feel as though I have done 'OK'.


The Nutcracker
by Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon




Each performance is a challenge; to capture the key elements of the story, to give a sense of the artistry and the quality of the costumes, sets and lighting, to convey the feel of the piece.  Then there are the dancers themselves; can I catch the movement and the elegance, the athleticism and character while also making sure that it is technically 'correct'?  The personal measure of success here is if I can produce an image that the dancers might be happy with!

The Nutcracker
by Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon

The Nutcracker
by Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon







If just one of these pictures makes you wonder what the rest of the performance would be like then I would strongly recommend that you take a trip and experience a ballet for yourself.  I doubt that you would be disappointed.  If you are already a ballet 'aficionado' then you will know what I'm talking about....I hope that the images don't disappoint!  Click on the image to view them enlarged.
Check Mate
by Ninette de Valois




Check Mate
by Ninette de Valois


Carmina Burana
by David Bintley

Carmina Burana
by David Bintley

It has been a real treat to be able to photograph some truly breathtaking performances and to witness some amazing dancers lighting up the stage in front of my lens.  Each of the images in this collection takes me right back to that particular performance and I hope they offer a sense of the drama, energy and flair that is evident in all of the performances that I have been fortunate enough to see and photograph.


Symphonic Variations
by Frederick Ashton
While this experience has helped me in my work photographing younger dancers for dance schools and festivals, I feel that I have barely scratched the surface of what I can achieve with dance photography.  


Watch this space!


Hobson's Choice
by David Bintley

Hobson's Choice
by David Bintley

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Who Is The Star Of The Show?

With the range of activities available for our children to participate in, it is not unusual for families to be involved in a variety of different disciplines.  This of course can create something of a challenge for us as parents when we need to be at the dance school at the same time as taking another child to football practice.  Still, I encounter more and more families for whom this is the norm and who wouldn’t give their child the opportunity to express themselves or develop their talent if they were able to?





One such family came to the Blue Chip Photography studio in Fleet and while capturing their personalities in the images is always a priority, capturing an important aspect of their lifestyle is an enjoyable and valuable endeavour.











In the case of Olivia, Will and Florence, we have the contrasting activities alluded to previously; Will is a keen football player enjoying success with the Fleet town Under 10 team, while Olivia attends the Italia Conti Arts Centre, pursuing her love of performance. 









As an aside, I have to say that I can’t complain when Mums bring their ballet dancing daughters to the studio as it gives me the opportunity to create images like this!






Clearly, Will is an Arsenal fan (although he may grow out of that!) and Olivia loves ballet above all things.  At one year old, Florence hasn’t really chosen a ‘direction’ although it’s fair to say that she has a particular talent for charming and entertaining all who meet her!


Saturday, 18 February 2012


 It's a Dog’s Life!

The proprietor of 'Room Ten' in Farnham, David Groves, is accustomed to delivering a bespoke service to clients at his stylish clothing boutique.  He has been providing made to measure sartorial styling solutions for men and ladies, offering an eclectic mix of formal and informal designs to an appreciative clientele.

When Prudence, his Mal-Shih (that’s part Maltese Terrier, part Shih-Tzu)  started accompanying him to work, it was obvious that something was missing in the styling department!  Thus, the Room Ten ‘Bespoke Dog Coat’ was born!  Clearly, nothing says ‘style’ for the canine in your life better than a luxurious tweed fabric dress coat!!
 
For our shoot, Prudence was accompanied by her friends 'Monty', a Bichon Frise and King Charles Spaniel, 'Toby', all looking resplendent in their tweed, country attire.  The picture of David and Prudence in matching jackets also shows the ‘pecking order’ in their relationship!

It does look like 'Otto' the Golden Retriever could be the poor relation, sitting there without his coat on…he’s just not a tweed kind of guy and it would be a shame to see such fine tailoring destroyed on it’s first outing!


In the meantime, 'Prudence', 'Toby' and 'Monty' all want the top spot on the big chair!

  

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

'Heads', you win....


There are 'headshots' and 'Headshots!' Everybody needs a good 'Headshot!' these days, whether for your company prospectus, website, 'Linked In' profile, 'facebook' or 'Twitter'.  Your headshot or profile picture is your first opportunity to tell the world something about yourself. What does your profile picture tell the world about you?  


The great thing is, that message can be whatever you want it to be! 


First we must dismiss the notion that the headshot is little more than a passport photo with better lighting!  Yes, MANY headshots ARE like that but they needn't be, nor should they be!  
Everybody has character and often, many sides or qualities that become evident with just a change of expression.  The gentleman here (click on the image to view large) came to the Blue Chip Photography studio get an updated profile picture.  What do you think he does for a living? 'Politician'? 'Advertising Executive'?  'Marketing Director'? How about 'Actor'?







Looking at the images here, I'm sure he could pass for any one of these.  As we can see, the subtle changes in our wardrobe (such as the simple change of tie) and a different expression can have a huge effect on how we are perceived at first glance.  We have these variations to ensure that our client has a picture which will suit their needs perfectly. The coaching from your photographer is what will add that 'spark', the crucial 'little bit extra' that makes a headshot into a 'Headshot!'




Whether it's a business 'Headshot!' or a family portrait, the image should convey the essence of who you are.  It should tell people something and while leaving the viewer wanting to know more! Just so you know, our man here is the founder and head of an international business consultancy. Really, he is!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shaw Speed & Custom



Harley - Davidson is the quintessentially American motorcycle, conjuring up visions of 'coast to coast' rides and dusty landscapes.  The legendary marque has been synonymous with freedom and adventure for many decades and it's popularity is still growing round the world.


The guys at Shaw Speed & Custome see the Harley - Davidson as the perfect basis for an art work and it's something that they do with a passion!  Such is their approach and their ability that they ventured to Sturgis, in South Dakota, USA to the Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is a veritable Harley convention.  


There they entered the AMD World Championship Of Bike Building and promptly won!  Following the shock of an English company being recognized as the best in the world at modifying Harley - Davidsons, they have continued to go from strength to strength


They wanted some images which illustrated their slightly unorthodox take on the marque and rather than adorning the bike with a bikini clad glamour girl, they chose fashion model Kasia to add a different slant to this one off machine.


Could it be Kasia's bike?  I don't know, but we think it's a cool combination. It's fair to say that we were pleased with the outcome!


www.bluechipphotography.co.uk