Friday, 23 November 2012

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Graphic Novel Photoshoot

Recently I had the privilege of working with two amazing ladies - Lonnie B and Rebecca Hughes. Between us we came up with a fantastic photo shoot involving a large warehouse and a kendoka warrior. After the shoot we wrestled with how to best present the wonderful images we'd made.

Bearing in mind that we're all pretty geeky, and that the images were very dark and edgy, the idea of a graphic novel seemed very apt.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Monday, 6 August 2012

#bodypainting #themakeupmentor


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

Trading Faces: Paul Apps - Fine Artist

  Continuing my Trading Faces project, today saw me shoot a portrait of my good mate, Paul Apps. 

  I only met him quite recently, but already we are firm friends, due in no small part to his excellent appreciation of coffee, and wicked sense of humour. I have even enjoyed a couple of impromptu photo shoots out in the streets of Hythe with him and beautiful models.

   Paul has a studio in Hythe High Street, where he paints his amazing wildlife and landscape scenes, and also art nudes. He runs several classes which are well attended, covering a range of topics, and he is a big fan of cool headwear.

  I love this photo of him, because it's a stereotype image of an artist in many ways, and yet a true depiction of my friend - somebody who in no way could be called "stereotypical". I love the colours on the palette too! 

  Visit Paul's virtual studio at or find him on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

You can't win...

Untitled by Way Ahead Photography
Untitled, a photo by Way Ahead Photography on Flickr.

Photographers are damned creatures. If we dare to flaunt our wares in public, at a wedding or an event, it is inevitable that we will be challenged with the phrase "Oh - you're the PROFESSIONAL photographer are you?" by some ancient relative with a bigger lens on his Nikon.

Often I have even been asked directly "So what makes YOU a professional photographer?" - usually backed up with a withering glance at my woefully inadequately-sized camera/lens. My favourite reply is simply "I am being paid"

The double standards are that whilst we're being told by such antagonists we're no bigger/better/bolder than anybody else out there, that we are not required or wanted out there, when we DO produce the goods, the excuse is made that it's because we have "a better camera". I find this baffling - surely EVERYONE can buy these cameras? Surely the playing (or perhaps poppy) field is levelled?

If the "better camera" is the explanation, how come there are so many awful photos on Facebook?

These series of psychadelic photos were me having a bit of fun on an app available for free, to everyone. Amateur or professional...

Amusingly I've already had somebody point out the simplicity of what I've done - it's not like I've "done it myself" - ANYONE could take that app and do this...

But the fact remains - I've DONE it. I've taken action. I've chosen my path. And here is the result.

And that - Mr Wedding Antagonist, is why I am a professional... choice, and actions.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Trading Faces - Press Release

  Way Ahead Photography is proud to announce that Luke will be undertaking an exciting new photography project called Trading Faces. This project is already underway and expected to take several months to complete.

Cugleys of Hythe

    Inspired very much by the "Small Trades" series of photos taken by Vogue's amazing photographer Irving Penn in the 1950s, Luke will be inviting the local high street traders and business owners to pose for a portrait. In the current financial climate, the high street like so many others is finding it tough going, and Luke felt that it would be great to embark on a project designed to raise awareness of the wonderful array of diverse shops and businesses on offer in Hythe High Street.

Kate - Chocolate Deli

   The project is intended to draw out the individual characters and personalities of all the wonderful folk who make Hythe such a fantastic place to visit and to shop in. Not only are they extremely knowledgeable in their fields, they are friendly, funny and fascinating. And sometimes downright quirky too!
Loraine - Elysian Treasures

    Once Luke has photographed as many traders as possible, the plan is to hold a "safari exhibition" in the high street. The photos will be displayed in the windows of shops and businesses taking part, and the public will be invited to collect or download a map showing the location of each exhibit. As an addition to this there will be a "treasure hunt" style quiz included with the map - which will give one lucky person the chance to win a free portrait photo shoot at the Way Ahead Photography studio!
Ruth (and Harvey!) - Stuff

    Luke is already under way with the project and is looking forward to meeting and photographing as many people as possible. If you have not already contacted him and would like your business to be involved, you can contact him by phoning 07956 584178 or emailing And of course keep checking back here for progress!

The Photographer!!!



Monday, 30 April 2012

93/365 - Up'n'at 'em...

I've been doing a lot more running lately, and I'm proud to say I've got the 10km well and truly bagged.

But rather than bore you with running information, or describing the terrible chafing injuries etc... I thought I'd tell you what was on my iPod playlist.

Aha - Take On Me
Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son
Rush - Spirit of Radio
AC/DC - Fire Your Guns
Wolfmother - Joker And The Thief
Vince deCola - Training Montage (from Rocky IV - my "power song"!)

Some runners - the real experts - run without music. Which I can only express awe for - I simply could not do it. Because the music I listen to, is not only to help me run. It's the REASON for running.

Running allows me the space and time to escape to the world of music, to let my mind float away with those memorable melodies, and killer riffs. Without running I simply would not find the time or inclination to stop and have a bit of a listen to some prog rock, or pop on my headphones and enjoy a bit of Gaga.

So while my legs are exploring the local terrain, my mind, ears and heart are elsewhere, lost in a world within itself, with a language we all understand (to quote Sir Stevie Of Wondershire)...

Running enthusiasts can check out the stats for today's run here:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Why I don't do "Glamma"...

Today is International Women's Day. A day that celebrates how far women have come since the days that my great nan chained herself to things and protested for the ridiculously basic right to be treated as an equal human being, to have such rights as to work and to vote, and to be listened to and counted.

But can we congratulate ourselves that we live in a world that is so heightened in its awareness that slavery is no longer in existence? No. Children and women forced into prostitution, surely a thing of the distant past? No. And surely in this sophisticated decade men no longer treat women as mindless sex objects?

Two words: The Internet.

Whatever you seem to Google out there, you will at some point come across images of women designed and marketed for men. For the simple purpose of helping them get their jollies. The internet is the very worst tool for sexual objectification in history. And glamour photography is a major player.

As a photographer, it really gets me down, because it cuts across anything I try to do, and creates a stigma on my industry. People who know me at all will know I am certainly no prude... but when it comes to the way women are often portrayed, especially in glamour photography, I want nothing to do with it.

I always try to reflect my admiration and respect for women in my photography; if anything rather than drag them down to the lowest common denominator, I place them on a pedestal as they deserve. Because basically I think women are amazing!

Before the stones come hurling at me, I am not moralising here. I have posed for artists and photographers in my birthday suit. I always found it to be an amazing experience which raised my confidence and self-esteem and heightened my awareness as to how important it is to treat ANY subject (clothed or otherwise) with respect and understanding. It did all this, rather than strip me of my dignity, reduce me to a lump of meat and leave me feeling cheap and dirty - which is how I believe a lot of unfortunate young models end up feeling after being duped into posing for glamour "photographers"...

I have no problem with artistic nudity which I believe glorifies the beauty of the human body and its amazing complexity and diversity whatsoever. In fact I think it's a wonderful art form, as old as time itself. So let's not make everything about sex eh?

I once told a glamour photographer (much to his disgust) that I could put a girl in a duffle coat and make sexier images than he could. Unbeknownst to him it seemed, sexy is not naked body parts contorted into an artificial posture. Sexy is a flick of the eyes, a thought, an unseen gesture or bit of body language. Sexy exists in the mind.

And as for beauty Scroobius Pip once remarked - "Beauty is more than a nice pair of tits." I tend to agree. I believe beauty is found in seeing people for who they are, it's about character, it's about a relationship between the photographer and subject (male, female, adult or child).

Glamour - BAD glamour removes character and it removes relationship. The images become about the customer, and don't reflect anything of how the photographer feels or sees his subject (other than a perfect airbrushed, underdressed body). And it further serves to make young women insecure and unhappy with themselves, as they struggle to attain the unattainable perfection that male photographers create for male grubby purposes.

And for that reason, I'm out...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I jus' felt like runnin'....

Really finding my running mojo again. I am aiming this year to be fitter than ever before, and after 3 weeks training I am putting in a respective time of just over 23 mins for a 5km run.

There are various reasons why I am running.

Firstly, I love the freedom it gives me to think, relax, unwind and listen to music. It's MY time, just me, my ipod and the countryside around me.

Secondly for my health. Not only do I dislike feeling out of shape and wincing when I look in the mirror, but I have 2 small children who do not deserve a dad who keels over before they are old enough to look after themselves. I owe it to them to take every step I can to preserve myself until they are adults.

And thirdly, a few years ago I had the confidence to pose for an art class, au naturelle. I can't honestly say right now that I have the guts (physically or spiritually) to be able to do such a thing again. And I hate that, it feels like I've lost something. Not caring what others think is the key, but in order to achieve that, you have to like yourself a lot. And hopefully the running will help with this.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

"Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested"

Great time today with my youngest playing with his remote controlled car. It's his birthday soon and he's very excited (and hence waking up very early).

It's important to enjoy these times, because I know all too well that one day, he won't want to play with his dad... best to take it while you can!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Way Ahead Photography Website Is Up!

Finally I've got round to re-doing the Way Ahead Photography website, after several years of it remaining untouched.

Be fair to me tho, it didn't look bad before, and as I spent nearly 20 years building websites for other people, you can understand my natural reticence to want to work on my own, more than I have to.

The new site has some gorgeous full screen imagery, funky transparencies and should be far more friendly for all you lovely people who use devices with the letter "i" in front of them. Pads, pods and phones are all welcome at Way Ahead Photography :)

Hope you enjoy the new site and thanks for visiting! :)


Monday, 16 January 2012

14/366 A brief moment to rock out...

I love Mondays! My day to do all the little things that need doing, see all the people who matter and generally enjoy myself!

Today is a glorious sunny winter day, and so I took a few moments to sit in the conservatory and play my guitar, just for fun!

Friday, 13 January 2012

"Some things you shouldn't get too good at...."

" smiling, crying and celebrity." (U2)

We live in a world where celebrity is a staple diet, the bread and potatoes of the masses. Every day we eagerly consume news of the rich and famous. As well as the not so rich and famous.

As Russell Brand observed very wisely, celebrities have become our Greek Gods (or as a very clever man once observed, the Gods were the Greek's celebrities). And he's dead right. But as time goes on this is getting diluted, as information flow increases with ease, thanks to the likes of Twitter and Facebook. The concept of a celebrity becomes less about an amazingly talented and focussed person, and more about somebody who knows how to play the fame game.

A bit like the National Lottery. Every week it creates more millionaires, so that whilst once upon a time the term "millionaire" gave rise to visions of a hard-working, single-minded and talented individual who would stop at nothing to get what they dreamt of, it's now replaced by the image of an individual who sits at home watching Jeremy Kyle and drinking Stella in his vest at 10am in the morning. Deliberate? Calculated? I think it might be...

Maybe, just maybe, this is much more digestible than the thought of somebody BETTER than us? We've brought the millionaire down to our level, so that we can see them smiling and waving one week in the press, then in a few weeks we find out that they once kicked a dog in the park.

And this is exactly what has happened to the celebrities. Having first made celebrities our gods, we've evolved further, and brought those gods down to our level. We have created celebrity in our own image.

Reality television, and the internet mean that anyone can become "famous" very quickly, for pretty much no good reason. And the great thing is that these sorts of celebrities don't make us look inferior. Best of all, some of them can be looked DOWN on!

Humanity is essentially lazy. All we have done is create a self-maintaining garden, and removed the need to hack down the tall poppies, rather we grow them the way we want, our rules. When the time comes, we can always remove these lesser-lesser god celebrities, by judging them by the very same facts that made us revere them in the first place, and publishing it on the front page of the gutter press, or retweeting it.

No wonder it's so fashionable to denounce any person or faith that claims there is a real god out there as either stupid or dangerous. How on earth could we live up that reality, and more importantly, how could we control a real god? Better to raise up people who have sex with married footballers...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

5/366: Hoodie...

Today was back to school and back to work day. It felt rotten saying bye to my kids after such a fantastic Christmas break, but that's reality.

Started work in earnest today on the new Way Ahead Photography website. The new version will be far more "professional looking" - I am very keen that it should be fed by and tie into the various social sites that I use to promote my work, also it will be far more iPad/iPhone friendly. After all - most of the creative people I mingle with have one or both!

This return to web design after several years of freedom proved quite frustrating at first - once again CSS proved inconsistent, flawed and sometimes downright silly. After a while though I found myself back in my old world, and quite enjoying myself!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

3/366: Me and coffee

Well what can I say. 15 years as an IT guy, 4 years as a photographer - of COURSE I love coffee.

A couple of years ago, my wife, well known for her cunning and guile bought me an amazing coffee machine for my birthday. There was just one catch. It needed a kitchen to be installed in... so naturally I agreed without any fuss to buying a new kitchen.

Yes - she is THAT cunning! :)

Anyway the coffee machine remains one of my very fave things, I feel very lucky to have it. Especially at about 6.45 most weekdays, when I stagger downstairs, drop a mug under it and hit a button.... aaaaaaah COFFEEEEE! :)

Today's photo is courtesy of a chum on Instagram who claimed that day 1's photo lacked enthusiasm, and that I needed to dose up on caffeine before day 3. In fact, I've dosed up FOR my day 3 shot. So there :)

2/366 "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize..."

(Quoted from the Book of Philippians)

This is my watch. I just got my watch back from my wife - I lent her it for a few months because her watch broke. But she got a new one for Christmas, which pleased me no end :)

I am very proud of my watch because it is very symbolic of a great success.

Last year I set some goals at the start of 2011. One of these was to meet one of my photography heroes, Rankin. And I did. This watch, one from a very limited edition, was a gift from Rankin and Swatch, given to all those who attended the opening of his fantastic Eyescapes exhibition in London. At the exhibition I met him, talked to him and was very much inspired in many ways. He was a great guy! And I even got to take his photo - which was quite a moment!

So - yay! I did it! In fact I met ALL my goal targets last year. Well done me! But... what now?

It would be very easy to relax, feel smug, and keep harping on about past successes. Humans are very good at it. But the downside is that this can knock us off target, it can slow us up, or even kill our progress.

Ironically past achievements mean very little. They are in the past. They don't exist any more. They amount, to very little more than nothing... except good memories.

The only thing to do is press on, something I am setting as a massive goal for 2012...

Monday, 2 January 2012

366 Days! 1/366 - here I go again...

Well last year's 365 fell apart somewhat. I got about 180 days or so in, roughly halfway and hit the wall.

A wiser man would probably quit at this point. But I'm very stubborn...

Not only that I have a feeling 2012 is going to be another very significant year, so I want to document it as well as I can. Aaaaand - I might even try and do my blog alongside so people have something nice to read.

But no promises mind. I can be pretty unreliable at the best of times :)

Wishing you all a fantastic 2012.