RHS Chelsea Flower show afternoon Tea, The Savoy, London

I was honoured to be asked to photograph the special afternoon tea inspired by the Chelsea for luxury hotel The Savoy.

I’m sure that you’ll agree that Dan the pastry chef and his team have made an amazing job.

Knights Bar Autumn Cocktails

The Savoy asked me to shoot a range of the seasonal cocktails served up in the Knights Bar which is a part of the Simpsons 1828 Restaurant at The Savoy. Located on the Strand in central London, the Knights Bar is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the street below, offering a relaxing environment to indulge in a cocktail or two prior to a luxurious meal, or they’re happy to just serve drinks. The greatest shame is that I’ve always got to drive after photographing them!

 

These cocktails were inspired by English allotment flavours and they looked great with such vibrant colours.

Remembering Summer

Winter can be all a little bit gloomy, especially once the Christmas and New Year festivities have been and gone. Going to work in the dark, going home in the dark. Especially after the great summer we had in 2018. Football, beer and lots of BBQ’s. Well, not all beer - so I shot a few of my favourite summer drinks to get us looking forward to the longer warmer days again.

Aperol Spritz. A summer classic.

Ophir Gin, tonic with lime and ginger.

Gin and tonic, with Elderflower and cucumber.

Throwing It Together

When I was younger, I remember my mum saying things like "I've just thrown a cake together." I'm not sure what it was that jogged my memory about that, but it got me thinking about how that could be bought to life in a visual way. Maybe I should have started with throwing a cake together, or, maybe thats something for another time. I thought about the idea for a few weeks and then threw myself into it. 

After I'd sat on the idea for a bit, in December 2017 I started to shoot what would turn out to be a long and testing body of personal work.

Starting with breakfast. A full English to be exact. This image would set the framework for the project and how I would execute more of these thrown together images. The trouble was, at this point I wasn't sure how many I wanted to do, or what was going to be next. Things seem to work nicely in three's, but I've got a bit of a habit of shooting series of work that always come out with three final images so I wanted to go further with it than that.

The first image took me two days to shoot. There was a lot of tinkering as you can imagine, but I wanted to make sure that this could be an elaborate and real talking point within my portfolio. As is always the way with the first step of a series or new body of work, you have to find the best ways of doing things. A bit of trail and error, probably lots of swearing as things didn't quiet work out and a bunch of patience goes a long way with this kind of thing. Everything had to be shot near enough where it is positioned in the frame in the final image. Perspectively things wouldn't line up otherwise, something might just look odd about the images, but it would be difficult for the viewer to figure out what if they weren't "visually trained". It was the perfect challenge for me, offered up plenty of problems to solve, which in turn appeals to my precise way of doing things. I guess thats what really makes still life photographers tick.

I can't remember which image I shot next, but after doing so it started to become clear to me that I could do a whole days worth of food. Maybe an indulgent day, but that seemed like a logical way to go with and it would give me a natural order for the images. Now not only did I want to do the dishes, but I wanted to throw in a drink for each stage too. This obviously started with the brew on the breakfast which I didn't really have to think about with a fry up, the rest went from there.

After about 6 months I'd ended up with the images you see below. A little bit of an epic, but worth all the tinkering and eating all the food afterwards!

Sometimes the best work just seems to grow organically.

Full English Breakfast

Smoothie

Cheese Toastie with Tomato Soup (very American)

Surf and Turf

Trifle

Cheese and Biscuits.

Shooting at The Savoy, London

Premium Food & Drinks Photography

Back in the Autumn we were asked to put together a shoot that helped Simpson's In The Strand restaurant, which is part of The Savoy hotel in London. The client's brief was to show the craft that goes into the food and drink at the restaurant. We shot both food and drinks photography as well as video to really show off the talent and the restaurant's processes.

Ominous Art Direction

The art direction required a dark and moody feel to the images with some extreme close up's too. It was a pleasure to work with head chef Will Hemming and his brilliant team. The food, as you would expect, was incredible.

Take a look below to see a selection of the stills and a cut of one of the videos. Just be warned: don't look if you're hungry...

We also had some help form DOP Mark Pullon on the day to help create some moving images of the processes we shot stills of. All in all, a very satisfying day with some beautiful food.