Photography for Grand Designs – Channel 4
In early October 2023 I was very honoured to be approached by Channel 4 to be part of their team filming for Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud. Filming took place one bright and clear day in the wonderful countryside of South Herefordshire. The designer and homeowner Lucinda and her two adult children Dan and Rosie welcomed me into their nearly completed home.
Lucinda, a high-end bespoke furniture maker by trade, wanted to create a beautifully crafted, low impact eco home upon the same site as her current one-storey family home, set amongst the tranquil Herefordshire woodland. Drawing on her early years of championing sustainable forestry practises in the Amazon, she wanted her home to respect the surrounding area, by cladding the outside in sustainably sourced 10,500 cedar ‘shingle’ tiles – all measured, cut and nailed down by herself. The house is eco-friendly by drawing heavily upon ‘passive house’ principles, ensuring air-tight heating and cooling – using only a single wood burning stove for the whole house. Off-site prefabricated wooden panels were brought to site using minimal heavy goods vehicles and strictly no heavy machinery was used during the on-site build!
I first viewed the house in its current form as I was not part of the building or filming process in the years preceding. My first impressions of viewing the house that warm, bright October morning were of awe and amazement, it was said a few times on set that the house seemed to be as a “piece of furniture scaled up” – the exquisite attention to detail, beautifully crafted wood, joints, lines, screws and fixings were a masterpiece in design and build.
The brief during my time on set was to take high-end architectural images of the exterior and as yet unfinished interior. I was also tasked with setting up staged photographs of Kevin McCloud and the ‘contributors’ Lucinda, Dan and Rosie. In between the film crew setting up their cameras, running through takes and organising the schedule I was able to politely ask Kevin and the contributors to pose in several areas of the house and take my images. The client (Channel 4) needed several different images, showing the host and contributors in different areas of the house, from different angles and camera orientations etc. These images will be used for publicity of the show: online, streaming services and possibly in magazines.
It was an honour to be asked to be part of this prestigious program, one I’ve admired personally since my college days. The host, contributors and crew were so friendly, accommodating and made sure enough time and effort was given to me to ensure all areas of the brief were covered and I got the images I needed.