Pretty Vacant


As I grew up with the original punk movement my collection wouldn’t be complete without a Sex Pistols lyric. The one that I’ve chosen was from the song that I liked the most. It’s full of energy and irony and even back then, I appreciated that!

The song opens with the line, “There’s no point in asking you’ll get no reply” after a great guitar/drum intro and it was this line that summed up the era really. No-one understood and we didn’t really care!

The shot was completed in Bristol with the lovely ‘April Blue’ who was perfect for the part. She knew of the graffiti wall just near her home and she carried the ‘look’ perfectly. All went well apart from a neighbour of hers who asked her if ‘April’ was OK and if she needed her to “call someone”! The irony was amusing given the massive piece of gaffa preventing a response. April ‘survived’ and the neighbour returned to her warm abode while we completed the shoot.

I finally chose this frame above many others taken as I loved April’s eyes. A suitably arrogant and defiant look was perfect for me. The only regret was missing her beautiful bright green Dr Marten’s!



Red Light


Another shot that has long been on my ‘to do’ list was Roxanne by The Police. The red light essential because the song mentions it so many times! However, I always thought an actual red light in the shot was too obvious and was a bit stuck. I decided to just get on with it and booked the gorgeous, bubbly and bright “April Blue” and told her what I was trying to do.

I have to admit, the idea of a red bulb in an overhead light was hers. She also suggested the book giving our heroine prostitute an intellect and possible hope for the future. I love how these projects develop with collaboration. I decided the overhead camera angle gave a voyeuristic sense to the final image.

The processing was all me however! I wanted a seedy feel for sure but also a 70’s contrasty saturated look. Sting wrote the song in Paris and I wanted to create that feel. I think the song offers hope, an escape from lower times so the image is not intended to be a totally desolate one.


My Mistress’ Eyes


This shot has been on my list of “to do” shots for a couple of years. However, I really was stuck on how to shoot it. The lyric is “my Mistress’ eyes, are nothing like the sun” by Sting and although I have always loved its mystery, I just couldn’t figure out how to best capture it.

In the end, I decided to just keep it simple and produce the first thing I’d thought of. It is one of the few images I’ve produced that doesn’t really translate well onto a computer screen. It is meant for a large framed print as the image and title’s subtlety is not obvious at small resolution. Which is why I’ve also added a ‘blown-up’ second image to capture the eyes.

Lulu Lockhart (the beautiful model) doesn’t normally shoot this style of image. That is, I’d asked her to look at the camera slightly sexily in an alluring manner. I think we were both slightly concerned the image might look a little cheesy and glamour shot-esque. However, as with this whole shoot, she went for it and her poise and graciousness shines through in the finished shot.

I have processed it hoping that the eye pupils still look almost real before the viewer notices that something is slightly amiss about them. Hopefully the portrait is still effective as a stand alone portrait but with a small twist.