This is my main blog and it will continue as normal, however, please CLICK HERE if you wish to view my new Transition Blog too.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing actor John Middleton who plays Ashley the vicar in Emmerdale.
John Middleton was visiting Kiwi House Care Home in Derby to officially open it and to talk to the residents. Kiwi House is a superb luxury care home run by Adept Care Group. I have done lots of care home videos and photography for Adept Care Group and I have found their homes to be exceptionally well run with very caring staff. Kiwi House has its own pub – aptly called “The Woolpack” (the same name as the pub in Emmerdale), so John just had to pop in there for a pint!
It was a great idea to get John to visit Kiwi House as in his role as Emmerdale vicar Ashley he has been in a storyline about dementia for the last 18 months which has left fans of the TV soap heartbroken. As part of his research for the plot, John visited many care homes to find out more about the illness. The story reaches its climax on Friday’s 7pm episode when Ashley dies surrounded by his family and friends.
John has been Emmerdale vicar Ashley for the last 20 years and has proved to be a firm favourite with fans. The Derby care home was packed with visitors who were all keen to talk to John and have selfies taken with him. It was quite amusing watching so many women throwing themselves at him!
I have worked with many celebrities over years and some of them can be be quite difficult (understatement!). However, I found John to be an absolute pleasure to work with. He was so amenable and friendly to me, the staff, residents and visitors. Thoroughly nice bloke. He deserves the holiday he is planning after such a long stint on Emmerdale. I look forward to seeing what roles he plays in the future. I’m sure he won’t be short of offers.
Here are some of my photos of John:
Even if you are not a famous actor, if you want photography or videography that will ensure that your business stands out from the crowd, then call me now on 07973 638591 or CONTACT ME.
As I regularly do food photography in Leicester, I recently had the pleasure of photographing some amazing food at Sapori Italian Restaurant in Anstey, Leicestershire. The restaurant has only been in existence for five years, but it has picked up many national awards along the way (including Italian Restaurant of the Year) so I knew I would be photographing some pretty special food. It’s co-owned by chef Andrea Scarpati who has been a chef for 25 years – and you can tell! I love working with people who do their job really well and Andrea didn’t disappoint. His attention to detail was a credit to him and he produced the most colourful and and intricate dishes that anyone could wish for.
My brief was to take some photos which would initially be published in an Italian magazine and subsequently published on the restaurant’s website and in other marketing material. I was asked to take some shots of the outside of the restaurant and also some interiors of both the restaurant and bar areas. I then had to take some portraits of Andrea – both posed and at work in the kitchen. However, the main part of my brief was to photograph the food. We decided to photograph it in the restaurant in order to get some of the atmosphere of the restaurant in the background of some of the shots as we didn’t want it to have a studio feel to it. I still used my studio lighting equipment to show the food at it’s best, but I had to work fast and not cause too much disruption to the diners even though we had chosen a quiet time and a quiet day for the photo shoot.
I have done quite a lot of food photography over the years. It all started over 30 years ago. While I was still at school, as well as volunteering in the photographic department at my local newspaper, I was an assistant to an excellent food photographer in Kent called Mick Duff. Mick is married to cookery writer Gail Duff and he produced the photos for many of her books as well as taking food photos for many national magazines. I learnt a lot from Mick and gained a lot of experience with him. I then went of to be a staff press photographer, but since starting my freelance photography and video business 21 years ago, food photography is one of the many things I have been lucky enough to do. One of the most prestigious food shoots I did was a series of shots for a leading UK supermarket’s website, working alongside a food stylist who employed many tricks to make the food look amazing.
If you are a restaurant owner or designer and you need some excellent food photography in Leicester (or anywhere in the Midlands), then please call Martin Neeves on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849.
I have just undertaken a very challenging photographic assignment: Canal boats in the fog at night.
I was booked by the Canal and River Trust to photograph the Foxton Locks Illuminated Boat Festival in Leicestershire which is an annual event where narrowboat owners decorate their boats with Christmas lights and take them on a parade in front of a pyrotechnic display. This year’s event was so well attended that the organisers had to close the car parks and turn people away. They estimated that 10,000 people came to watch the spectacle. My brief was to photograph the boats, lights, pyrotechnics and people and to produce image that could be used in the press, on websites, on leaflets and other merchandise such as calendars etc.
With most night photography, very slow shutter speeds are used while the camera is on a tripod, however, that becomes problematic if the subject is moving (such as a narrowboat) as the movement would record a s blur. To counteract this, some flash can be used in conjunction with the slow shutter speed to record a combination of frozen and blurred motion. Well that’s what I would normally do, however, Mother Nature had different plans as it was extremely foggy last Saturday night and while the fog added to the eery atmosphere, as soon as I put even the smallest amount of fill-in flash, it hit the fog and bounced straight back at the camera, just like the headlights of a car bounce back in fog. All very challenging indeed. I certainly needed to draw on my 29 years of experience as a professional photographer that night. Here are some of my photos from this assignment:
If you want to hire a highly experienced professional photographer who knows how to get the best images from any situation, then call Martin Neeves on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849.
I have just had the pleasure of being interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester presenter Jim Davies on the subject of the increased use of drones in aerial photography.
Jim contacted me as I have been doing aerial photography for many years (mainly from helicopters), but more recently using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), AKA drones. As “drones” have got cheaper, there are more and more unlicenced people operating these things illegally and unsafely on their own. I always use them as part of a two-person team as not only is the safest method, you get far better results. I only use fully-qualified, licenced and insured UAV pilots to fly the “drones” and to keep them safely in the air without hitting anyone or anything, while I operate the camera and gimbal as well as direct the pilot to place the “drone” exactly where I need it. I can keep my eyes on the screen to get the best aerial photos and videos, while the pilots eyes are kept firmly in the air.
Jim came down to the beautiful Catthorpe Manor Hotel near Lutterworth where UAV pilot John Shelton (of mi360 Virtual Tours) and I demonstrated how we use a “drone” to shoot both still photos and video. Please CLICK HERE to hear the interview.
Here’s a video that Jim put together (using some of our footage) of John and I at work:
Here’s a video that I made during the interview, which demonstrates the capabilities of using drones for aerial photography and videos:
Here are a few of the still aerial photos I took of Catthorpe Manor using the “drone”:
My thanks to Jim, John and also to Helen Morgan-Parra (from Catthorpe Manor) for making this interview happen.
If you want to know more about drone aerial photography or video, please call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME for an estimate or to discuss how I can help you.