1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die

My photograph ‘Smirnoff, a husky wolf hybrid’, from the series ‘At Home With The Furries’, will be featured in the new photography publication;

1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die.

At Home With The Furries

Fittingly for the project, At Home With The Furries, this photograph is the very first picture I took for it. I remember arriving at Smirnoff’s house and after we had a cup of tea, I asked him to (fur) suit up. At that point I was astonished by the costume, the scenario of him being at home and I felt we needed something to ground his character into his surroundings. I also recall my nervousness, mostly from thinking I hadn’t thought this idea through. Afterwards I kept coming back to this image and it became the template for the rest of the project. The thought that, you could have walked into someone’s living room, discovered someone in a wolf suit playing a piano and the response from the wolf to be, “and what are you looking at?”

At Home With The Furries has become so much more than a photographic project, it has been exhibited in London with the furries themselves making an appearance. The furries have become my friends as I traversed the UK meeting them in their homes. I’m pleased that the photographs have appealed to people on so many different levels and perhaps best of all, it has encouraged people to get involved and come to their very first furmeet.

More here: https://tom-broadbent.pixelrights.com/albums/Y8fmkb/at-home-with-the-furries

https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/art-design-architecture/photography/1001-Photographs-You-Must-See-Before-You-Die-General-Editor-Paul-Lowe-9781743369494

Info:

Is photography art, documentary, or both? Should images simply reveal the world we live in, or provoke us to think, act, and react?
A visually arresting reference, 1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die is an invaluable guide to the history and practice of photography. Sweeping through the arts, fashion, society, war, peace, science, and nature, the images in this enticing book are as eye-catching as the commentary is engaging. Some you have seen, others will be unfamiliar, but what all the photographs have in common is their ability to move you, shock you, and open up the notion of what it is to be human.
Organised chronologically by the date that each image was made, and featuring a reproduction of each photograph, the selection provides some fascinating and unexpected juxtapositions. Insightful text uncovers the creative process behind each image, revealing its visual, aesthetic, and historic significance, Why was the photograph taken? Was it set up? What was the intention? How did the world react?
From Fox Talbot to Nick Knight, from Roger Fenton to William Eggleston, and from Cartier Bresson to Diane Arbus, all the photographers featured in this book transgressed the boundaries of the camera with a skill and spirit that helped to develop their field into a highly evocative art form.
In a world where millions of snapshots are taken every day, these exquisite images stand out for their eye-catching content and technical prowess, provoking reactions that range from joy, exasperation, and horror to fascination, repulsion and ecstasy. Uncovering the compelling tales behind the lens, this comprehensive global encyclopaedia reveals how this powerful art form has shaped the modern world.

Published September 7th 2017

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FIXPhoto opens with some very special guests

Last Thursday saw the grand opening of FIXPhoto at the Bargehouse on the Southbank , a huge exhibition of cutting edge photography organised by L A Noble gallery with 22 artists showcasing their work including Emily Allchurch, Lisa Creagh, Einar Sira, Robert Clayton and yours truly.

Picture: Neil Massey

The turnout was spectacular and one or two furries made an appearance which went down well. Zuki the gargoyle, Sticks the Fox, Edward Fuzzypaws, Bhavvels Bunny, Quartermane and Kreek put on a performance which people are still talking about. Yes I might have said, ‘explore the four floors of art and photography and have some fun’

Picture: Neil Massey

Outside the gallery. Picture: Neil Massey

 

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Looks familiar! Bhavvels Bunny with well…himself. Picture: Neil Massey

 

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Sticks, Zuki and Bhavvels in the gallery with Ed Thompson’s The Unseen project behind them

 

Here are all the details for the exhibition, which usefully has a coffee shop and bar on the premises.

http://www.lauraannnoble.com/fixphoto/

The writer David Secombe wrote about the exhibition on the London Column here. Here’s an excerpt: “A nod to Lewis Carroll isn’t inappropriate, given that the furry domain shares some of the dreamy charm, transformative power and moral complexity that he represents. That seems obvious enough. But the image of the stag invokes the iconography of the pre-civilized mind and a time when woods were feared and venerated. This stag is a forest god; one that might be worshipped as part of the sacred, time-honoured rituals of Summerisle

The exhibition closes on Sunday, the 22nd at 8.30pm.

The work is on sale as editioned signed prints, framed and unframed.

Thanks to Zuki, Bhavvels, Albrecht, Pickle, Edward and Sticks for the wonderful support.

 

 

 

 

Bee excellent to each other

Whilst I shamelessly rip off Bill and Ted’s line with one hand, I selflessly hold onto the lack of waspish ways within the anthropomorphic fandom. That’s right, where are the pretty stinging varieties; the wasps, the bees and the dragonflies. A distinct gap in the market, until now.

At Home With The Furries

I met Hazel last weekend and she shared my surprise that the bringers of honey haven’t really been acknowledged within the furry community. The birds can call themselves ‘featheries’, the dragons and snakes have ‘scalies’, even horses can call themselves ‘hoofers’. Well maybe. What do the insects have? You tell me.

 

At Home With The Furries

Sticks and Edward Fuzzypaws

As I wandered the streets of the City of London, I came across these unusual looking creatures. This was not planned at all honest. It wasn’t a special Christmas party for the Londonfurs I swear.

At Home With The Furries

The badger who calls himself Feral seems suitably grumpy, he reminds me of ‘Badger’ from Fantastic Mr Fox. Hvedra is a cassiopeia and both are on the radar for At Home With The Furries

At Home With The Furries

Pazuzu is a wonderful creature, calling himself a self-styled demon lord. He speaks as a character straight out of a Bram Stoker novel

A skulk of foxes, a pack of wolves, a terror of dragons and a smattering of cats, sheep and all manner of hybrid creatures lined up for the school photograph.At Home With The Furries

Merry Christmas and let’s have an amazing 2016! At Home With The Furries

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.

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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.

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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)

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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

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And….time to move

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Are you lion to me…

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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