This past weekend has been one of the most tiring but equally most enjoyable of my photographic career to date.It was a mixture of very early mornings, extremely late evenings and non stop shooting with a legend of a photographer who, I’m so proud to say, has become a great friend to my business partner and brother from another mother, Hybrid Dave and I.
And so it was, that around 3 months ago, Dave and I received an email from none other than world renowned photographer, author and trainer Scott Kelby, stating that he’d be over in the UK in March, as he had been asked to speak on the Super Stage at The Photography Show at the NEC, and that he’d love to meet up with us beforehand in London to go shooting and was looking for locations to photograph. Knowing that Scott was trying to complete a new book about great architectural interiors, Dave and I immediately set about trying to secure access to some buildings we knew Scott would interested in.
A week before his arrival though, we were still hitting a lot of brick walls (and not even pretty ones we could photograph) with lots of unanswered emails and phone calls! Undeterred though, we met Scott early last Saturday afternoon in Central London and with only one secured location for the Sunday, we made a plan to set off across London chancing our arm at various locations.
But first, to drop Scott’s kit at the Air BnB flat he’d rented for the night. The place was amazing and so he just had to go live on Facebook with a video of it, to show what it was like. Of course, Dave and I got in on the shenanigans… in an unusual way! The video currently has 13,000 views on Scott’s FB page which, for us, is just crazy! Take a look for yourself…
So after leaving the apartment, the first stop that was always top of Scott’s shot list was St. Christopher’s Chapel, which was within the Great Ormond Street Hospital building. A quick Uber ride later and we arrived outside the hospital.
We had all seen photos of the inside of this beautiful church before and knew it would be stunning but what shocked us all was the size (or lack thereof, perhaps) of it. The wide angle shot above, and every shot we’d ever seen of it, doesn’t show it but the chapel had only 4 pews and was no more than 25 feet from the entrance door to the altar, with only space for around 30 people we guessed. It was a truly exquisite interior though, with amazing biblical depictions of childhood, such as the nativity displayed on the stained windows, owing to the fact that the chapel exists for the pastoral care of ill children and their parents staying at the world famous children’s hospital.
After some very quick shooting there, we jumped straight in to another Uber and were spirited off to Somerset House, where Scott was keen to shoot a very modern looking staircase within this very old building. Having arrived there and being pointed in the direction of Nelson’s stairs though, we discovered that this was not the staircase we were looking for. Being photographers though, we couldn’t just leave without taking at least a few photos!
Having discovered that the part of building which housed the stairs we WERE looking for was closed at the weekends (arghhhhh!), we quickly jumped in to another Uber and headed for St. Paul’s cathedral…. but not to shoot inside, unfortunately, as that was another venue that hadn’t responded to us and with their ultra strict ‘no photography’ policy, there was no way were going to get that one!
Instead, we made our way up to the 6th floor of One New Change, which has an amazing public rooftop terrace, with skyline views across London. We thought this made the perfect spot to grab a picture of ourselves!
And so it seemed did everyone else, as Scott was asked by a random foreign couple if he’d mind taking their photo with their iPhone… if only they knew though!
With light fading fast, we had one last thing to do, which Dave and I had arranged as treat for our Amercian friend in London…. A trip to Downing Street. But not just to stand outside the street and look through the heavy iron gates, no, we would be going down to No. 10 and having our picture taken outside!
We even got to meet the No. 10 cat, Larry!
(The photo credit for this one has to go to the armed Metropolitan Police Officer who took the shot with my camera…. thankfully, that’s the only shooting he had to do while we were there!)
So after a long day of criss-crossing London, there was only one thing left to do… Head to a pub and have a relaxing chat and drink.
We finally ended the night back at Scott’s apartment, making a plan to meet the next morning (which was only 9 hours later!) and start all over again on the Sunday.
To be continued……….