A Tale of Two Photo Salons

It’s always nice when photographs are selected for exhibition and doubly so when two of your images are picked for separate shows. One is from an assignment I did last year for Wired Italia and the other is a new image from my series, At Home With The Furries.

Portrait Salon 2015

At Home With Llamasoft
This image of Jeff Minter and Giles Zorzin from the independent video games company, Llamasoft has been selected for the Portrait Salon 2015 exhibition.

They left quite an impression when I met them in spring 2014, going down to their farm in West Wales and being given free rein to explore their working space, chockful as it was with old gaming and computer tech. An Aladdin’s Cave for the gamers among us. More here on a blog post about that particular shoot.

The private view is at 6.30pm on Thursday 19th November 2015 at The Embassy Tea Gallery in London and the exhibition will close on 22nd November 2015. It then continues to Tokyo in February 2016. All welcome!!

More information about the exhibition here: https://www.portraitsalon.co.uk/

Photofusion Salon 15

At Home With The Furries

This image of Sticks, a fox from Wimbledon from my series, At Home With The Furries has been selected for the Photofusion Salon exhibition.

Sticks is an explorer and what sort of explorer would he be if he left his house without a map and animal sidekick! As with so many of these furry portraits, when it comes to working with such a closely knit community, trust is paramount hence the gradual pace of getting to know furries who are interested in being photographed for the project. Sticks is a close friend of Edward Fuzzypaws, more on Edward here.  More on At Home With The Furries here.

The private view is at 6.30pm on the 9th December at the Photofusion gallery in London and the show continues until the 31st January 2016.  All welcome!!

For more information about the exhibition: http://www.photofusion.org/salon15/

Taking it back to the beginning #fursuitfriday

I’m sometimes asked how I started the furry project. Let me paint a picture: it’s 2008 and it’s a cold October day in Bloomsbury, I exit a cab under slate grey skies with a camera bag in one hand and a animal suit slung over my shoulder. Exit stage left into the foyer of a nondescript hotel that feels like every other corporate hotel in the world. Heartless, soulless and just look at that carpet. Three thousand square feet of the most nauseating red and blue fabric ever produced, memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I ask the receptionist about the convention, he doesn’t answer, just looks to his right and nods. I follow his lead and enter a modern ballroom and I’m greeted by a six foot fox who proceeds to give me a great big hug.


Galdor, the friendly fox

This is a shoot for Bizarre magazine, in the heydays of the magazine. Before it reached the end of the road. The shoot sees me dressing as some sort of mascot style cat, Alix Fox lent me the suit and yes that’s her real name!

The head has to go due to the fact I can’t see through the viewfinder and as a newby I’ve conveniently broken the first rule of being a fursuiter, I’ve revealed my identity.

Still asking furries if they wouldn’t mind being photographed by me draws a mixed response, some are happy to pose. Others are slightly more reticient with “who are you, why do you want to photograph me?”¬† Er, because you’re wearing a amazing red fox outfit. “I’m worried people will recognise me” That’s a hell of an outfit to hide in.


After a while, they warmed to me and ended up with a furry being my lighting assistant. Sadly no pictures of this exist ( unless there were any other photographers at RBW 2008 who took my picture..there were loads as I recall)


The famous carpet

I decided there and then that there had to be a bigger story than just photographing these amazing looking creatures at a convention, although my attention was distracted somewhat by the furry commonwealth games, which seemed to be a game of musical chairs


And….time to move


Are you lion to me…


FFS or For Fox Sake

Alfa Fox in all his glory

Alfa Fox in all his glory

It gave me the first threads of an idea, I wanted to reveal a little more of who the characters are and what identifying as a furry is all about. It took another year or so to gain their confidence and from there on in it was the beginning of At Home With The Furries

  • Seriously though, if there were any photographers at RBW 2008 and they have a picture of me in the cat outfit being assisted by furries, would love to see the picture. If only to prove it actually happened…

Falmouth Photo Symposium 2015, me and the furries

As readers of this blog may have well…read in the past I gave a talk at the annual The Institute of Photography Symposium at Falmouth University to the students in January.

As well as meeting the students, and being very impressed with the quality of their work. I went the whole hog and managed to break down a talk about my photography, the furries and my editing work into 40 minutes. There were quite a few questions from the floor afterwards as I recall…usefully my talk was recorded so rather than me bleating on about it, you can have it from the horse’s mouth.

It was also nice to meet some of my fellow photography professionals, Gemma Padley, Roger Tooth and Tim Flach to name a few.

David White and Gretchen Viehmann, the course leaders of the press and editorial photography course are going great guns and helping the students to produce some terrific work, thanks for the invite!

Sorry, wrong horse

Sorry, wrong horse

John Kasmin for Newsweek

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

“You want to take more photos, haven’t you taken enough already?” And so, my shoot with John Kasmin or “Kas” as he prefers to be called continues in a similar vein. Admittedly I’ve been commissioned by Newsweek as both a photographer and an editor, to go through his many thousands of rare and unusual postcards, photograph 20 or so and get some great portraits of the man.

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

That man, Kas has worked in the art world for many years, initially representing artists like David Hockney and Anthony Caro. Born in 1935, he’s now in his 80’s and over the past few years has started collecting postcards, most are of the photographic ilk although we started going through one of his advertising books as well, that was brought to a swift stop as time was pressing. The writer pointing at his watch and rolling his eyes…no that might have been me actually.

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

Okay I might have pulled a few animal themed postcards, as though the #furries have entered my subconscious ( no surprises there then), on the whole though it was a case of letting Kas direct us to his favourites and stopping him when my gaze fell on a particularly striking image.

After one of the most fascinating editing sessions I’ve had in a while, there’s nothing quite like working with physical objects, as opposed to digital images for a change. We shot portraits of Kas, some at his desk and a few more on his reading chair in his office. John Kasmin and his postcard collection

How many photographers does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one more

John Kasmin and his postcard collection

The article is in Newsweek’s European edition, out now

Falmouth Photography Symposium: 24-27th February

Next week I’ll be taking the train down to Falmouth University for their annual photography symposium. Gretchen Viehmann, is the course leader down there and we’ve been trying to hook up for a while in terms of me coming down and talking to the students. There are going to be some quality speakers, Roger Tooth the Guardian’s head of photography, Brian Griffin: the documentary photographer, Alex Webb, Tim Flach, Sian Bonnell plus photography writers and consultants, Val Williams and Gemma Padley.

I’ll be talking about the importance of personal projects, as well as photography being one of the skills you’ll need along with editing, writing and much more more.

I’ll try and leave the animal themed puns at the door, but inevitably one or two may sneak their way in.





My talk on the Thursday afternoon will be followed by portfolio sessions with the students on the Friday. I always enjoy seeing exciting work and giving advice to a new generation of photographers.

Links to speakers

Brian Griffin-websitetwitter

Roger Tooth-websitetwitter

Tom Broadbent-websitetwitter

Alex Webb-website

Val Williams-websitetwitter

Ian McCarthy-websitetwitter

Morgan Quaintance-website

Tim Flach-websitetwitter

Sian Bonnell-website

Gemma Padley-twitter

Falmouth Photo Symposium-TumblrTwitter







Why Poodles and Labradoodles make the best of friends

People say never work with animals, well I’m all out of excuses this time around. There’s a first time for everything I suppose, remarkably the first actual animal to make it into the At Home With The Furries project. The others are not really animals I’m afraid, they’re to give you the dry version:¬†anthropomorphised animal characters. That’s the furry version of dry i.e not really dull and academic at all.

All these shoots have happened organically, I go to a meeting and have a camera in hand. The furries love to be photographed, I ask them about their suits, I give them compliments, how could I not. The camera is a useful tool to have, it gives me an excuse to ask people questions.

At the last Christmas meeting, I met a poodle called Edward Fuzzypaws. We got on well, he had heard of my project. I slipped him a business card and a few days later received a lovely email from him asking if I’d be interested in photographing him for the project at his home in Richmond.

Well two weeks ago, I knocked on the door of a house at the end of a tree lined drive and was welcomed by the most beautiful looking dog I’ve seen in quite some time.

At Home With The Furries

His name is Teddy and he is a two year old Labradoodle. He even made me a cup of tea, no wait that was the poodle that made me a stonking cup of builders!

Edward’s friend came along: Sticks The Fox to help and what a help he was, he became my first assistant and on-set photographer!

Two ideas per character tends to be the format of these shoots and I wanted these two to be a couple of greyhounds. As soon as I met Teddy, the family pet I knew he would play a major part in the success of these images. Did I have an animal wrangler though? Er no. Was Teddy a primadonna? I’ve never met a softer dog and to photograph him, well a dream!

I asked Edward about his character, he explained: “Edward Fuzzypaws is a fun character, all about bringing joy and smiles, never worrying or feeling stressed. He can screw up and it’s all just games – I guess he’s a personification of myself. My career means that I live to tell stories every day, whether through writing, painting, animating, and dressing as him is no different. He likes to play, quite simply, he lives to bring happiness. I designed him as a child at heart in the same way a dog can come bounding in and wag its tail without a care in the world”

Picture by Sticks The Fox

Photograph by Sticks The Fox

“I found poodles are unusual in the furry scene, perhaps because of their style or character being a bit fancy, but they have always been dear to me. Prior to wanting to be an animator when I was a child, I wanted to be a poodle groomer. I met a standard poodle named Edward and it left an impression on me, hence the name (it’s also my late grandfather’s name). And I have always dressed up, even when I was young. Imagination is important to me, and expressing oneself as well. Edward isn’t escapism, he’s the opposite – he’s an outward demonstration of my passion for animals, art and entertainment.”

Edward Fuzzypaws, a poodle and Teddy, a labradoodle in their drawing room

Edward Fuzzypaws, a poodle and Teddy, a labradoodle in their drawing room

“I got into the furry scene kind of naturally. I hadn’t heard of it until I was much older, but I have been drawing my whole life, very often drawing anthropomorphised animals, especially where I work. Animation has so much of it, animals are everywhere in our world and in our childhood. When I found out there was a world of people dressing up and celebrating this, I was automatically hooked – I had gained an interest not just in costumes, but as I got older, an interest in how they are made. To me, it’s not about saying “why?” it’s about saying “why not?”

Sometimes an idea is all very well, research and preparation play an essential role in whether a photo is a success or a failure but sometimes, just sometimes regardless of an idea, the situation develops in a way you don’t expect and the picture just appears, as if by magic. Of course the prep work has led you to that place, but to let the image develop in front of you is as wonderful as the first time you drop a black and white print in the developing tray.

Photograph by Sticks The Fox

I always shoot with tucked in trousers…Photograph by Sticks The Fox

Edward brushing his dog’s coat down, a simple premise. As they sat together on the wooden decking bathed in dappled sunlight, Edward held Teddy’s head with one hand and Teddy caught his look. There was definitely something special there but it was only later, when editing the images my attention kept coming back to this one image. The project as a whole is about capturing something real, in admittedly unreal situations, but a moment of genuine emotion between furry friends, well that’s worth holding onto.

Edward Fuzzypaws and Teddy share a moment in their garden, Richmond, London

Edward Fuzzypaws and Teddy share a moment in their garden, Richmond, London

Thanks to: Edward Fuzzypaws, Sticks The Fox and of course, Teddy.

To see more images from At Home With The Furries, have a look on my website

Who are the furries anyway?

To order limited edition prints from At Home With The Furries, contact me here



Moon meets Marie Claire-At Home With The Furries

‘Meet The Furries’ in a fashion magazine usually means an article about the joys of fake fur accessories, so it must have been a bit of a surprise for the readers of this month’s Marie Claire UK ( March 2015) to find an article about my project, At Home With The Furries.

It’s always appreciated when a quality magazine takes a genuine interest in the project and writes a balanced piece about it. The features director, Tracy Ramsden conducted a short interview with me and I suppose, to coin a phrase ‘give good copy’. Impossible not to, with the project being as it is.

Moon, the deer from Sheffield features. We met at a London furmeet and arranged a shoot from there, it was off to Sheffield for the day!

This image, which is one of my favourites from the series was one of the last pictures I took on the day. I remember getting funny looks from walkers at the time…for some reason.

At Home With The Furries


















Thanks to Kelly Preedy, Tracy Ramsden and Marie Claire

To see more images from the project, have a look here

To read more about the project, have a look here

If you’d like to buy a limited edition print, contact me here