Tom Daley

General

About 3 years ago I had the privilege and pleasure of photographing Tom whilst with the GB Diving Team in Rome at their warm weather training. During that time I chatted all too briefly to Tom over the two days I was there. I spent the time with the whole team and the coaches that were training for the Worlds and ultimately, the upcoming 2012 Olympics. 

Although Tom had no idea who I was, he took time out to chat to me, to welcome me and to ensure I got the pictures that I needed and wanted. At no time did anyone in the team make me feel anything other than part of their happy, fun and very hardworking environment. Tom was a perfect gentleman to his fellow team-mates, to the coaches and to the onlookers that probably invade his whole life. He even did a BBC Radio 5 Live interview on the mini-bus to the Hotel we were staying at. He was incredible, one minute a joker and the next the consummate professional at 17 years old, talking like he had been in the media all of his life. I guess in a way, he has.

What he has done today is sad and a terrible reflection on our society. Still we live with these crazy, petty prejudices that force even the likes of Tom, one so young, to ‘come out’ as gay, and have to bare his soul. It is none of our business. We shouldn’t care what he or anyone else does in their private lives. So he has a boyfriend. Good for him, I really and truly hope that he is happy with his lover. I for one will continue to love him for his dedication, commitment and flawless character in the face of extreme pressure. I am just so disappointed it matters and he felt the need to have to do it. 

I am sorry Tom that we have made you record that video. However, as always, you have done yourself enormous credit. Fantastic you have found happiness, fantastic that you are in love and well done you for doing it with such grace and class. 

And for no other reason than he is so beautiful here are a few of the pics I took whilst in Rome with the team.

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Tom Daley

General

Here below are our Top 6 most downloaded photographs of heart throb GB Diver Tom Daley from our website www.squashimagery.com

Most of these images were shot while the team were warm weather training in Rome at their fantastic outdoor diving facility.

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New Year, New Dawn

General

It is that time of year again when Christmas is already history, the presents are all opened and you wait around for the old year to fade out and the new one to be welcomed! We have had an absolute belter of a 2011 here at Ellis Imagery Ltd. It has been a real exploration of wit, guile and creativity. At times it has been totally frustrating and others thoroughly mesmerising.

So, not one to look back too hard, what does this new year of 2012 hold in store for us here? Well, I have had some amazing photographic books by some of the real masters (like Duffy) and to say I am excited about the coming 12 months is an understatement. There is so much to do and so little time to do it all. Also, money will be a hamperer as it always is.

Lets look at the year and see what it has in store. Well, there is always the Olympics and I would love to set a project around that. Not based on the Games themselves but on ordinary people, people like you and me, what do they mean to us? What hopes do we have about the games? How will it affect and effect our lives? Will you be touched? Mmmm…I will think on this one.

Personally there is quite a big day coming up in May, I get married to my fellow Director, love and inspiration. She is my constant in this wickedly erratic world and should I prepare for a project about the lead up and the aftermath of such a huge day in someone’s life?

Finally, I have a strong feeling that one of my many resolutions this year will be to work hard at some of these personal projects I want to pursue. My main one being to start and develop a theme that has been in my head for some time and this is the project titled “An Englishman’s Home….” It will be a study of how men look at their place of comfort and solace. A series of portraits depicting different styles, loves, cares, dreams and resignations. My biggest task will be to get the subjects themselves to trust me to take reportage images, not to show them in a negative light. The aim will not be to judge but to accurately record, kind of reportage mixed with a journalistic style. All hopefully beautifully shot with care and tenderness for the subjects and their private lives.

Anyway, whatever your dreams and aspirations are for 2012 may the world grant you them and your god look kindly on us all and maybe at least reduce the amount of appalling violence and hate in the world.

Peace, love and dreams

XxX

Guy Garvey

Guy Garvey, Elbow, Cardiff

Olly Murs, Colston Hall, Bristol

Monique Gladding & Nick Robinson-Baker

Olympic Diving hopefuls, Monique Gladding and Nick Robinson-Baker

Shaftesbury Guitar Advert, Soho, London

Pets eh?

General

I have often wondered why people get so attached to their little fluffy ‘Monty’, ‘Molly’ or in our case ‘Marmite’. Lets face it, these companions are at best a comfort, at worst a goddamn pain in the arse. They are SUCH a responsibility. They need feeding of course, walking maybe, special care, and above all a good home. We all think we provide them with that. After all, many animals live in far worse conditions. And don’t forget, they understand you, they need you and they give you undying love and attention don’t they? I said, don’t they? Well, if you have a dog, then I think I can just about give you that. However, any other flippin’ creature on this planet doesn’t give you love! They may subject themselves to being with you for a few minutes, hours or whatever in the day but please don’t mistake that for LOVE. Mostly its ‘cos they are bored and can’t think of anything better to do than be with us. We are the equivalent to TV for them. We are cheap but fairly low grade soap operas. Lord how they must chuckle at us. I mean, we even talk to them! Hahaha, have you ever heard yourself? You NUTTER!

So, there I am with these two bloody house Rabbits left pretty much on my own for three weeks when the normal troublesome one decides that it is going to have tooth trouble. Well, by that I mean that the stupid thing has teeth that grow inside its mouth to the point that it cannot eat. Really. Well, how ridiculous is that? We have to take it to the vets to have its front teeth ‘clipped’ and then 6 weeks later it needs the damn things done again. They grow as fast as these animals multiply!

Well, the vet questioned my motives and suggested that maybe I should consider having its teeth surgically removed. It would be kinder maybe? What? Taken out, how will it eat? It will apparently have no problems at all as they dont use their front teeth for anything other than picking things up. OK, says I, it will stop these hundreds of vet visits and stop the little chap from being so stressed all the time. Lets go for it.

Two days later and £160 lighter, I return to pick up my little darling. The rest of the family have long since deserted me to leave me alone to deal with this bunny crisis! Home I bring him. Only, he doesn’t eat. Or drink. Not for two days. The vets jab him with some chemical gut stimulant and still he doesn’t eat or drink. Back I take him, overnight they keep him. They are now force feeding the poor little guy syringes of ‘recovery’ feed. I get a call to come and pick him up AGAIN as he is now much brighter and much happier feeding greedily on carrot and broccoli. Now I knew there was trouble afoot when I heard that as he has NEVER eaten carrot or broccoli in his short but full little life! Sure enough, home he comes with his syringe and recovery feed and there he sits. Doing nothing. Eating and drinking nothing and me ‘force’ feeding him this green gunk. You may think ‘force’ feeding may be a bit of an exaggeration and that I gently encourage him to lap at this formula. However, I don’t know what else to call it when you grab said bunny, have a 5 minute fight with it while you wrap him in a towel and tip him upside down whilst wrestling a 5ml syringe of muck into his gob!! Needless to say, I think about 1ml of fluid actually gets anywhere near his throat and half of that he simply leaves to dribble its way out again all over me.

I have absolutely no way of knowing how on earth he is still alive as he seems to only nibble grass and dandelion leaves a bit and never drinks anything. However, he seems to be ok and although the vet tells me he MUST have very regular bowel movements (he doesn’t seem to but how the hell do I know?) he seems to have decided that he can, after all, tolerate his brother and they will get on for the time being!

Meanwhile, I am left to fret and worry myself every waking hour and dash down in the morning to see if the little fella is still with us. Do you think he gives a flying f**k? Not on your jeffin’ life does he. Does he give me anything back for all this stress, cost, love, care, tenderness etc I throw daily his way? Nope. But still, I do love him…awwww. He doesn’t need his teeth I read on the internet, bunnies can easily eat without their front ones. We will see. Mine hasn’t yet. Oh and to cap it all, while force feeding him just now guess what I see growing back through his little injured gums? Yeah, but don’t go there, I refuse to.

Anyway, in between these trips to vets, fights with bunny not wanting to feed etc I have knocked up this little portrait of Peter Waterfield taken right after his Gold Medal victory with Tom Daley at the Diving World Series 10m Platform in Sheffield last month. Slightly different treatment here but I liked it!

Peter Waterfield

Peter Waterfield while talking to press after winning Gold in Sheffield

Top Class Hotels, Diving & Radio Shows

Photographs

It’s strange how life seems to go in full circles at times. The last couple of days have been rather mundane and unappealing with mucho processing, admin and general nose to grind stone kinda stuff. Then, all of a sudden, certain things creep out of no-where and vie for your attention when you least expect it.

Granted, processing is hardly one of those things that is likely to catch me unawares. So it was when the phone rang yesterday evening and a hugely pleasant and timely conversation was had with Huw from the massively successful and exclusive (truly) Old Rectory Hotel in North Devon, that I realised things were going to look up. Huw and Sam are truly lovely people from the old days, days when proprietors cared about their clientele. Really cared. They know that their success is based on proper customer service that leaves the receiver feeling warm, loved and ‘alive’. The brilliance of a stay at The Old Rectory is that they (Huw & Sam) don’t realise quite how fantastic they make you feel. And that is their secret. They work hard, love what they do and believe in the people that stay with them. It is therefore a massive privilege to be ‘their’ photographer and to be associated with them. We have booked a session mid-May to shoot the outside, the gardens and quite possibly the essence of what the whole experience of the Hotel really is, the two guys themselves!

The processing of the FINA World Diving Series became a little easier, the shots were not amazing but they were starting to show the beauty of world class diving. Athleticism, grace, poise and above all, brute strength and courage. To capture these qualities is a real treat and quite difficult to achieve. Upon looking at the 100’s of captures I realised that some, just a few images, captured the ‘feel’ I was after.

I then received another call from an old friend who was going to drop by this evening. We spent a lovely couple of hours chewing the cud before we went across the road to the mecca that is the itfm Radio studios to put out, live, the first pilot show of my Radio DJing career. Boy, what an addictive and amazing experience that was!  Total control of the jukebox (as it were) and total control of the mics. Mmmm….heaven can’t be this good! I think you will be hearing a lot more of Rich Ellis on itfm Internet Radio on Wednesday evenings 9-11pm. Hunt it down, guests will be a plenty…watch this space.

Tom Daley & Pete Waterfield

Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield on their way to Gold in the 10m Synchro FINA World Diving Series 2011 in Sheffield

10m Synchro Diving FINA World Series, Sheffield

Perfect harmony at the FINA World Series in Sheffield

London Town & Radio Show

General

Yesterday I travelled up to Covent Garden, London Town for a business meeting. It was looking spectacular with the gorgeous sun and 22ºC heat. The tube was getting a bit warm already which I don’t love even at the best of times.

I did grab the chance to drop in to see a contact at a marketing agency to pick up my portfolio book I left with them a few weeks ago. I enquired whether there was much photography work knocking about but was told it was pretty quiet. It might just be an excuse to not use us but I really would love to work with them.

I got home late afternoon and had to get one of the kids to grab a quick headshot of me for my media accreditation at the FINA World Diving Championships at Sheffield next week. Really am looking forward to that. Gemma at UK Swimming has sold the event out so it should be a great couple of days. All the top divers from around the world will be there too. Also looking forward to seeing Nick Robinson-Baker and the hugely unlucky but recovering well Monica Gladding after her accident. I have hired a 300mm f2.8 lens which should be cool for the event but maybe a bit much for the wedding we are attending on the Saturday!

Later last night I was given a quick tutorship on how to run a radio show for the ITFM internet radio station. It only has a few listeners currently but everything has to start somewhere doesn’t it? I have agreed to do a show on Weds evenings 9-11pm titled “Rich Ellis & Friends”. Keep your ears out for that then eh??

Better go and get ready to see The Mob tonight at The Fleece. Not shooting them but going purely as a paying punter. They last played together in 1983 and I saw some of their first ever gigs in Yeovil in Somerset in the late 70’s!! Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself…Meeting up with a few very old friends who are travelling from many miles away to support a brilliant band.