Thursday, 25 June 2015

Mick Channon Ex England Now Racehorse Trainer

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

I spent a great couple of hours on the Berkshire downs last summer with ex Southampton and England footballer, and now racehorse trainer, Mick Channon. I had never been to a working racehorse yard before and it was fascinating. Mick's son, Mick Junior, drove me up to the gallops and I was able to observe Mick putting the horses through their paces. There was plenty of football memorabilia on display back at the stables. I have always had a soft spot for Southampton having spent many a Saturday night there in my 20s out on the town!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Member of Parliament

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

I spent an hour or so chatting to MP Nadine Dorries at Westminster this afternoon. A thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating time. I had never met an MP before let alone been inside the Houses of Parliament before, and if it hadn't been for doing the book I doubt I ever would have.

The chapter will cover how the meeting came about, the connection Nadine has to bowel cancer, and the full details about the afternoon. Over the last 18 months of doing this book I have learned not to prejudge any of the people I meet, and my instinct, from the messages I had exchanged with Nadine beforehand, was that it was going to be a great experience. It was that for sure. She was absolutely lovely, and really enthusiastic and supportive about the whole project, and was keen to find out how mum is doing. She even gave me some dating advice! :)

This really leaves with me with just one more photo to do. I am keeping my fingers crossed that  I am meeting Olympic rowing gold medalist Katherine Grainger at Henley next week...

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A World Record

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

My continuing journey took me to the legendary Abbey Road Recording Studios for this chapter in the book, and this week I was very happy to receive my certificate of participation in the world's longest officially released song now in the Guinness World Records. My part in this world record is very small, but a part of it nevertheless. I wrote one verse in the song, and I played a rhythm guitar track on another verse. The project was put together by Mike Peters from The Alarm. I would say that it was the kind of experience that money can't buy, but it was actually worth every penny :) We were in the same studio used by The Beatles to record so many of their songs, and not forgetting The Alarm recorded their 1984 debut album Declaration there as well. The chapter will document the day, the Love Hope & Strength charity and how the song entitled The Scriptures is helping to save lives. Who'd believe all those years ago watching the late Roy Castle on Record Breakers that I would finally be a record breaker myself :)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Matthew Wright On His Bike

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

Television presenter Matthew Wright, from the Channel 5 programme The Wright Stuff, has been one of the most supportive people for the new fundraising book. We had great fun doing the photo in London last year, although I should add the photos I have used in the chapter in the book are minus the helmet and bowel cancer tie. Matthew sadly lost his father to bowel cancer, and is a great campaigner and supporter for bowel cancer charities including Beating Bowel Cancer. He immediately agreed to be photographed for the book when I asked him, and recently very kindly wrote a marvellous forward for it too. I spent a fascinating hour with Matthew, and his passion for bowel cancer issues is something I came to quickly admire and have complete respect for. 

I usually ask the people I photograph for a photo with the bowel cancer tie, as it gets posted on a Facebook group to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It's interesting how different people approach this, and Matthew, for example, threw himself totally into it and had a lot of fun with it as you can tell. 

I can't believe that it is a year ago that I met Matthew to do the photo, but the wait for publication will soon be over...

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Photographing Rachael

Rachael Chadwick

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

Whilst I was promoting the first fundraising book Beating Bowel Cancer, I came across a wonderful blog, 60 Postcards, written by the quite remarkable Rachael Chadwick. The blog tells how Rachael went to Paris to scatter postcards around the city in memory of her late mother who sadly passed away quite suddenly from bowel cancer. It was a story that needed taking forward, and the 60 Postcards book soon followed which en-captures the complete story from Rachael's mum's final months to Rachael's journey to Paris and beyond. There is no point me trying to retell the story in a paragraph, so I will just recommend you read the book. It is a fantastic read...

I have made no secret of the high profile public figures that I have managed to get on board the new book, but chapters like Rachael's are in many ways the heart and soul of the new book. When I asked her to be a part of the book she immediately said yes. Without giving too much away we had to meet up twice to do the photo, but you will have to read the book to find out exactly why... 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Putting The Book Cover Together

To read the introduction about the new Lives & Times book which is going raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here.

With my idea for the book's front cover pretty much decided, I have now turned my attention to the back cover. On the first book, Beating Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book, I left the back cover blank. This was as much to do with slightly rushing the publication, as to do with not looking into how feasible / easy it is. This is something I think was a mistake. With hopefully a hardback edition of the first book coming out later this year I will seek to put that right. So for the new book the cover is going to be the finished article with as much attention placed on the back cover as the front cover. For the last few months I have known what I would like to do, and I am now confident that I will be able to pull it off. So last night I was busy creating the picture board above from which I am putting images together to make the cover. These images give you a preview as to some of the people already photographed for the book. I will be leaving room on the back cover from some descriptive text, and I am hoping that will be able to have the finished cover ready in a few weeks time. It will be shown on this blog first.

Next up for the book I am hoping to be photographing an MP.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Can't Do A New Book Without A Chapter on Mum

The latest person to be added to the book is my mum! I was always going to do a chapter on her, and it was just a case of waiting for the right time as we had agreed that a photo with her horse Shimara was what we wanted to do. This of course kills two birds with one stone as mum had asked me last year if we could do some nice photos of her with Shimara. Think we have this years' birthday present sorted.

With the book now approaching 40,000 words and not far off 50 chapters I've had to find a way of finishing it, and a few people suggested that a chapter on mum would make for the perfect ending. The actual photo both me and mum agree on is a cracker, although this one here is pretty good too.

Mum has made excellent progress since her operation in February to remove a cancerous tumour from her left lung, which was a secondary cancer from the original bowel cancer. She has her next appointment and blood tests in a couple of weeks...

Friday, 5 June 2015

The Cosmedic Coach

I spent a fascinating evening in the swanky W Hotel off Leicester Square meeting and photographing Antonia Mariconda @CosmedicCoach for the new book. Antonia was there to help launch a new app called the Beauty Tracker which has been designed to help patients buy cosmetic surgery treatments safely. This is one of the most unexpected photos in the book for me, in so much as I think I could have lived to 100 and never gone to any event like this without having done the book. A lovely champagne reception and I was looked after very well by Antonia. I have got some great photos to choose from for the book.

We were also photographed by professional photographer Joe Alvarez who was covering the event. It's not often that I have been photographed in such a way if ever! 

I also met Doctor Hilary Jones, so I am hoping he will let me use a photo I took of him with the bowel cancer tie in the book too. He was a really nice man. In fact it was a lovely crowd there.

Having got myself all dressed up in a suit, I then went on afterwards to see The Rifles in concert at The Electric Ballroom in Camden. I must have been the smartest dressed person there! :)