Tokyo Architecture: Tadao Ando & Mori MinoruMay 17, 2017

In April and May I traveled across Japan on honeymoon; from the Pacific Islands of Okinawa, onto Osaka, Kyoto, Koyasan, Hakone and finally Tokyo. My first trip to Japan was as a teenager in the late 1990’s and for nearly twenty years I’ve longed to revisit. As a teenager I was interested in the games consoles and scale models produced by Japan, now as a married man my interests have shifted somewhat towards the art and architecture produced by this fascinating culture.

 

In Tokyo I eagerly wanted to view and experience the work of renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando in his homeland. I am drawn to his creations by simplicity of design yet complex structural building techniques, creating a sense of Zen and cleanliness. He often uses concrete as his main material and doesn’t seek to hide this as part of the interior design, using natural light to create spacial weightlessness. In 2007 Ando created 21_21 Design Sight along with fashion designer Issey Miyake. Taking inspiration from Miyake’s concept in clothing design of “A Piece of Cloth” Ando devised the idea for the roof as one sheet of folded steel. 80% of the volume of the structure is built underground where a naturally lit sunken court creates a dynamic atmosphere. In March 2017, Ando retuned to 21_21 Design Sight to unveil Gallery 3. In my opinion good architecture and a well designed building adapt with changing ideas and use of space. Instead of adding existing structures, a restaurant which sat adjacent to the gallery was decommissioned and Gallery 3 was created. Now open to the general public, a variety of programs including exhibits, events, and workshops will be held in this space.

 

In the same neighbourhood as 21_21 Design Sight is architect Mori Minoru’s creation simply called ‘Tokyo Midtown’. This enormous complex of shops, offices, restaurants and an art museum forms a labyrinthine kingdom of urban life. In sharp contrast to the Zen and minimalism of Ando’s work this vast complex, although modern in design and building techniques seems chaotic and unordered. In an attempt to capture a sense of order and calm I found a quiet, naturally lit corner of the building and snapped a couple of frames.

 

21_21 Design Sight. Tokyo, Japan.  Architect: Tadao Ando & Associates

Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo Japan. Architect: Mori Minoru

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Formal Corporate PortraitsMarch 29, 2017

As the financial year in the UK draws to a close I have been traveling around photographing corporate portraits of board members for their upcoming annual reports and press releases. These two images were taken for a leading global services company with headquarters in Germany. The two images are from the same shoot, albeit lit and processed differently, thus giving a distinctive and separate look. The images were taken of the board members on site in their offices before their AGM. I had limited time with each member of the board, but still had the luxury of tweaking lighting and producing a couple of options for the client to choose from, giving them more scope and uses of the images in future. It can be very daunting for some to have their portrait taken, especially moments before entering a large and important company meeting. I pride myself on working quickly whilst maintaining a relaxed and professional rapport with board members, helping put them at ease during their portrait sitting.

 

 

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Senior Lifestyle PortraitsJanuary 31, 2017

These portraits were taken on behalf of an independent living and retirement home company as one of my final shoots in 2016. It was a pleasure meeting the vibrant and happy ladies and gentlemen living care-free in their own home and community of a newly built retirement village. These two ladies especially got myself and crew chuckling with their life stories and sideways take on our photoshoot! Building a friendly and approachable rapport with my portrait sitters is something I value highly whilst carrying out any photoshoot, making sure the person is comfortable, at ease and happy is key to achieving great portrait photography.

 

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Relaxed Corporate PortraitureDecember 7, 2016

These images were taken on behalf of an international management and consulting firm in the heart of London. I was asked to produce a series of images capturing the professional yet vibrant young staff and new recruits as they carry out their normal working day. I was allowed to roam the office floor capturing natural images of their staff to use throughout their global branding campaign and across recruitment literature. It was a real pleasure to work with corporate clients who also had a creative flare and energy in their ethos.

 

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Corporate Interior PhotographyDecember 7, 2016

In November I was asked to photograph on behalf an international management and consulting firm in the heart of London. Along with relaxed and informal corporate portraits of members of staff I was also asked to capture their stunning new offices and the sleek interior their employees get to work in.

 

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