Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The AXA Team

Recently, my life has been full of ‘A’s. I’ve been shooting pictures for AXA Insurance Group, and I’ve snapped an amazing dance-troop called ‘The A Team.’

Both jobs are great to do, but they’re so different! It has definitely reminded me how photography can differ from one day to the next.

The A-Team are a really talented group of dancers. They know how to pose, they know how they want to look, and - no doubt - they know how to dance.

The troop have got the world at their feet. They’ve got dancers as young as 11 in there, as well as others who’re 25-30, backing up the energy of youth with experience. They tell me that they’re going to be on Sky TV soon, too. Tune in! I promise you they will be well worth watching.

When I shot them they were great fun. They brought loads of their own ideas to the table. Every one of them had their own thoughts about new angles to create, new poses to hit. As they were natural posers I saw this as an opportunity to do some really creative, really high-end photography.

On the day of the A-Team shoot, I took a little stroll from my underground lair, upstairs to the courtyard. When I turned the corner I found the entire troop putting on a little show for everyone who was having their lunch. They were busting some serious moves! Even watching them brought me out in a sweat...

I’d love it if you kept in touch with their progress on Twitter. It’s rare for people so talented to have the personalities to go with it. These lot certainly did, they were top banana. Give them a follow @ATeam_Official

The AXA Insurance Group stuff is a completely different kettle of fish.

The job is this: I travel around the country and take quirky pictures of AXA team members! When I’ve taken all of the shots I’m going to compile them into a series of bigger, quirkier pictures which include loads of different people and poses. In the end, the finished product is going to be an aesthetic treat. This project has given me loads of ideas!

But this is definitely the long game. Whereas The A Team bopped into my studio at 1000 miles-per-hour (does anyone say ‘bopped’ anymore?) taking pictures all over the country is closer to a marathon than a sprint.

But I am loving it! AXA, you’ve got some great characters in your team. I thought I might have trouble getting some of them to let go in front of my lens... what do I know, eh? It turns out most of them didn’t even have a shell to come out of. They’ve been great fun! Top team.

I have been laughing my way around the AXA network. I’ve been up north, down south and to a whole bundle of places in the middle! (Also, I’ve spent a lot of time in my studio retouching and editing - come and visit lonely Cary? This big pop-in portraits project is still on!)

I’ll blog again soon, there’s loads of stuff going on. On top of that Santa’s coming! I best clean that chimney...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Inspiresme Week

Inspiresme Week


Last week I took part in ‘InspiresmeWeek’. The week was a joint project between Workspace Group and the GLA that got loads of London teenagers some top quality work experience placements.

Workspace Group have loads of entrepreneurs and small-business-owners working from their venues, so by teaming up with the GLA and three Mayor of London Academies they gave students as young as 14 the opportunity to spend a week doing really cool things - like photography with me!

I got involved with InspiresmeWeek as I turned 41 recently, so I thought having a sprightly young helper around the studio might be useful, as my back isn’t getting any younger and there’s lots of stuff for Cary to carry...

Only joking. I loved the idea of the project as there wasn’t anything like it when I was 14. I am so thankful for every piece of advice I got when I was a youngster, so I thought that if I could give a teenager a helping hand, it could only be a good thing.

My helper for the week ended up being a complete star. Me and Elif Mazi, a girl who’s doing her GCSEs right now and hasn’t quite reached the ripe-old-age of 15, got up to loads of brilliant stuff last week.

Elif told me on Monday that she wanted to be a journalist. She was chatting away about her aspirations to me and my mate Ben, as we collectively consumed 4 brownies, 2 cups of tea and a scone. Elif wants to be a music journalist. That’s cool, I remember that I used to dream about being a music photographer! So how could we help her on her way?

Later that day, I had all of the students who were doing their placements at the Clerkenwell Workshops down in my studio! It was just a spur-of-the-moment, ten-minute-long thing, but I just thought: how many of them would’ve seen a photographer’s studio before?! I ended up talking to them about what they wanted to do. There are some really passionate kids out there! Good luck to all of them.

By Wednesday I was being interviewed for Elif’s brand new blog. She wants to be a music journo, I take pictures of pop-stars for a living: match made in heaven?
Elif did a top-notch job of interviewing me. She asked me about how I came to be what I am today & about my experiences as a photographer so far. Take a look at the interview in full here, it’s well worth a read!

On Thursday I took Elif, and another work experience student, Melek, to a shoot for AXA Insurance.

Both of the girls had to wake up at 5:30 so they could get to my studio in Clerkenwell in time for an Addison Lee car to ferry us across London to AXA’s London offices. It’s just like the Apprentice!

When we got to AXA, both girls gave me a hand to set up the shoot-space, and helped me out all day. As I shot forty quirky staff-portraits in Part Two of AXA’s London shoot, the girls were fantastic throughout. They also had a little meeting with Gemma Chadwick at AXA about Marketing, which is something really nice of AXA to have done for the girls, so thank you! In amongst all that, they posed for a cheeky photo: http://tiny.cc/no203.

They were such a pleasure to work with last Thursday I let them go home an hour early (don’t tell anyone, yeah?)

Another really surprising thing to have came out of Inspiresme Week is that I won an award!

At Inspiresme Week’s closing ceremony - which was a lovely little do down at City Hall, I gladly popped on my my best whistle and polished my shoes - there was an award for the ‘Best Business.’ Low and behold, I won it. I am very grateful and surprised! Thank you to whoever made the decision, but I must say that everyone who participated in the project was part of something really useful that made a big difference. If Inspiresme Week rolls around again next year, I’d do it all again!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pop In or Pop Up? Two of My Latest Projects


Um... Sorry.

I swear to you that I even believed myself when I said that this blog was going to be weekly. I know it’s no excuse, but I am a very busy man! I’ve shot loads of portraits for AXA, I’ve got some beautiful shots and met some great people. Also my studio has been overrun with visitors. Although photography takes me outdoors a lot of the time, having a studio is really paying dividends. I can’t wait ‘til I can show you all some of my favourites.

And I’ve got two pretty cool projects to tell you about: Pop In Portraits and Pop Up Gallery.

Pop Up Galleries is the future of art. It is an insightful project of mine that really pushes the boundaries of art and social media. I genuinely think that I am spearheading a ground breaking development. No, I’m pulling your leg, it is pretty good though!

Every day I’m uploading a photograph of mine to Twitter, via @hammondtweets. I’ve already starting uploading, so head on over to the Twittersphere and have a butch if the mood takes you.

There is no ‘theme’ to the photographs, I select which image is ‘popping up’ completely at random. One day it could be Cheryl Cole, the next it’s Dynamo the Magician. The only unifying theme behind the photographs is that they were taken by yours truly. It’d be great if you could have a look, and tell me what you think.

The second event I’d like to tell you about is all about you.

No, seriously, it could be! ‘Pop In Portraits’ is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now that I’ve got my own space, I can.

This project does exactly what it says on the tin. Anyone who wants to pop in to my studio and have their photograph taken, they can. I want to capture one-thousand different people by the end of ‘Pop In Portraits, and I’m nowhere near that at the moment. I would love to meet you, and to take your photograph.

The overall aim of the project is to pull all of the images together – every single one of them – into one huge entity. The end product will be like a little community of its own. One thousand people collected in one place.

So come over to my place! My studio’s located to the left as you come down the stairs to the basement at the lovely Clerkenwell Workshops http://tiny.cc/gl05q.

Who knows, your Pop In Portrait may become an installment in the Pop Up Gallery?! One day it’ll be Pixie Lott, the next day it’s you, then it’s Black Eyed Peas. You’re keeping good company nowadays, eh?

In my next blog I need to tell you about my new flooring, it’s quality! My thanks to Bolon for that. I’ll tell you more next time, and maybe upload a cheeky picture, too.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Studio: All’s Well That Ends In Clerkenwell.

New Studio: All’s Well That Ends In Clerkenwell.


I probably need to start with a massive apology. I haven’t blogged for donkey’s years, but, my friends, there is a very good reason for that: I’ve moved into a new studio!

Well, technically, have I ‘moved’? The thing is, I’ve never had a studio before. Before now I've made it my habit to beg, steal and borrow space from other people, so it's brilliant to finally have a place to call my own. That's why having a studio is very new, very busy and very cool for me! 

I’m now in a brilliant space at The Clerkenwell Workshops. The whole place is buzzing with creatives, entrepreneurs and tech-heads. My studio is modern, comfortable and very practical: it's a Shoot Space.

It’s as long as an elephant’s nosebag, which is really useful for photography. I’ve put in some beautiful chairs so that my friends and clients need never suffer any unnecessary back-pain. Also, I am particularly proud of my bin. It looks like Artoo-Detoo who, some might argue, looks like a bin.

I’ve been in the studio for two months now, and I've had a big realisation: furniture is difficult.

That may not make sense straight away, but trust me. I’ve been in this studio for over two months - that’s well over 60 days, a lot more than 1440 hours - and I still can’t find the stuff I’m looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a load of top-notch bits and bobs, but my appetite for soft furnishings has not yet been satiated.

I think my problem is that I only want really, really, really, really good stuff. I want my studio to look amazing in that retro-chic kinda way. I don’t want the place to look like a particular Scandinavian-budget-furniture-outlet vomited all over the place.

Ah well, I am very happy with what I’ve got and I kind of enjoy sniffing around for more! Drop in and have a look if you want? I’m serious! The studio is on the Basement level of Clerkenwell Workshops, on your left as you’re coming down the stairs, you can’t miss it. I’m the good looking chap with the beard, fyi.

I’ll blog again soon, don’t you worry. I won’t disappear off the face of the earth again. There’s a lot going on my end what with all the shoots, and I’ve got a couple of projects up my sleeve that I need to tell you about.

Until then, keep up to speed with everything Cary Hammond by following @hammondtweets on Twitter. It’d be brilliant to chat.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New Book Finally Printed

It's been over a month since my last blog and I have been busy building my new book in a sense my portfolio of work. Anyway it is finished after months of moving images a fraction here and a fraction there to the left to the right and so on and so on :( But after all that I have received my copy and uploaded a preview to my web site for all and for free :)
Next time I hope to pay a designer do it while I watch TV ha!!

Below is a little about it. 

My book showcases my work so far as a London based music, celebrity and fashion photographer. 

It is a simple book. Just images, which take you from the present day back through to my earlier work shooting live gigs. The book is a combination of backstage, studio based and location shoots.
So far I have shot in storage cupboards, on rooftops, in hotel rooms, bathrooms, clubs, studios and locations around London and Europe. Sometimes with a budget but usually with very little; just a flash mounted on top of the camera,  a couple of pounds in my pocket and a few minutes with the artist. 
So the book is not just about the images, it also tells a story of the places my work has taken me to and the situations I've been faced with in order to get the right shot. In a sense it's a journal; a journey I've taken, from one of my very first shoots with Black Eyed Peas, to becoming Girls Aloud's official video stills photographer and ultimately working with Cheryl Cole on her first three video shoots as a solo artist. I've been creating a career in which I have taught myself along the way; not just technically but creatively too in a difficult field of photography. Difficult in regards to access to major artists and celebrities, difficult to make a living but despite all this, I have been determined to be a success in this field. And it's been fun!  I still have a lot to learn though and many many more artists to shoot. 

The book is also a reflection of my personality; bright, colourful, happy pictures. I always have fun with the artists, showing them a little less staged giving the artist the freedom to pose, so the pictures are what they are: no hidden meanings, just a reflection of the situation and the moment.

The images are a collection of my favourite work over the past six years. Choosing the images to include was tricky; I have so many great shots of each of the artists. My forthcoming exhibition will 
be an opportunity for me to share much more of my work. See you there!

Cary Hammond

To view my book please go to the heading "Book Preview" on my web site.

Please UpTweet my book if you can and Face Bookshare.
The buttons to do this are to the right of my blog :)

Thank you

Link to site:


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A busy week in Pictures

HI hope all is good with you.

Well it's the start of a new week and thank god is all about prep this week as last week was crazy!!!
I was shooting, editing, retouching, and sending images all over the place. phew!!

Ok last week i had the second part of a behind the scenes shoot with Pixie Lott for Lipsy.
Once again this was a great day :)
I really love this type of work as there is no real pressure of direction, lighting, etc so you can shoot away at your own pace capturing the day as it passes you by.
But you end up with a million images which you have to look through the next day edit and send!! So for all you Pixie fans it's not all glamour. Anyway Pixie is always great to work with and with so many interesting things going on the day of the shoot it way makes up for it.

My second shoot last week was a Club shoot for Lipsy at Movida and just to stop for a minute Star boy Nathan was performing on the evening whom i had been working with the week before. Small world hey  "WOW thats amazing Cary you sap ha!!"

OK the shoot involved shooting 14 young ladies { Well someones gotta do it :) But i was old enough to be their dad :( Anyway shoot time was 10pm till around 2 in the morning and it was hard work lugging around my batteries and ring flash and as soon as i shot one i had another lined up :)  However  I marched on and I got some great shots thanks to ring flash and a few camera adjustments.

The evening's idea was candid and off the wall and we got it so I thank all involved especially the Lipsy girls who were great. I'll upload some shots soon.

Ok well this week is all about up and coming shoots and story boarding and prep so as soon i have something more to blog about will let you all know.

Have a great week.

P.s Check out the behind the Scenes Clip Below " Star boy Nathan" you may see me ha!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Duffy Video Shoot

Hey yesterday i was lucky enough to be shooting Duffy For her new single  ‘My Boy', 
the second single from her Top Ten album ‘Endlessly’  Which is set to be released on March 14th. 
Co-written and produced by the legendary Albert Hammond yes "Hammond" must be family ha!! (best known for the classic songs ‘When I Need You’ and ‘The Air That I Breathe’)  So Get out there and buy this tune as its so good :) And i must say i enjoyed it playing time after time which is always the case on these video shoots!! " you could be listening to the same tune for hours as the video comes together :( ha!!

Anyway was a great day and had great fun shooting Behind the Scenes and got some great images!! thanks Duffy.

Well the weekend is soon upon us and iv got some editing to do before i pop a bottle or two of vino so have a good one and look out for more exciting blogs haha!! 
Duffy My Boy Jools Holland Later Oct 2010 Enjoy :)