The Shot That Made Me
- Feb 21, 2016
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Some photographers know exactly what it is and when it was taken. Other photographers attribute it more vaguely. The Curators asked 15 world class photographers a question; “what was the shot that made you? A shot that was pivotal in significantly progressing your career?” The answers were as diverse as the work of the photographers questioned. John Bulmer’s shot got him thrown out of Cambridge University. Harry Borden’s won a top prize and opened the door for global recognition. Laura Pannack doesn’t think she has a shot that “made me” but has one that is very important to her practice.
From a portrait of Richard Branson wearing a pair of white angel wings to commuters crossing London Bridge seen from the back seat of a taxi; from a tight jawed Paul McCartney to a student climbing a university building, this unique collection of photographs brought together by The Curators, offers evidence to the power of the still image and how it can give an individual the edge in an extremely competitive creative field.
Just some of the highly acclaimed photographers featured within this exhibition: Borden. Smith. Stoddart. Freedman. Hilton. Griffin. Deardon. Floyd. Olmos. Bulmer. Pannack. This world exclusive exhibition is available by application from interested parties.
The Curators offer a unique concept for business development that aims to put a stellar roster of the best film and photographic talent to work for corporate and private clients, wherever in the world they may be. We formulate considered events that people want to be a part of, thanks to 20 years of experience drawing on the wealth of internationally significant artists and their knowledge, to drive commercial outcomes among the c-suite and beyond.
Harry Borden photographs Richard Branson
“My portrait of Richard Branson wearing a pair of white wings won third prize in the singles portrait category at the 1997 World Press Photo Awards. Commissioned by Katz Pictures for GQ magazine, it highlighted my progress as a skilled photographer. Two years later, I achieved second prize in the same competition and category for a portrait of Icelandic singer, Bjork. This helped convince those in the industry that the Branson portrait wasn’t a fluke!”
Though born in New York, Harry Borden grew up in Britain. His earliest commissions were for the NME and then The Observer. Throughout the 1990s, Borden’s profile grew steadily as he became a regular contributor to leading international magazines. Awards followed, including World Press Photo prizes in 1997 and 1999. The past decade has seen a consolidation of Borden’s position at the leading edge of contemporary portrait photography, and in 2005 The National Portrait Gallery in London played host to his first solo exhibition, ‘Harry Borden on Business’. Borden has over 100 images in the permanent collection. His book on Holocaust survivors, which has taken him to Australia, Israel and South America will be published Spring 2017. Borden was the chair of the specialised jury, Portraits in the 2010 World Press Photo Contest.
John Bulmer photographs the a Cambridge University Night Climber
“I was sent down from Cambridge, six weeks before the finals of my engineering degree, officially because the University believed I wouldn’t pass my degree, unofficially, because I had recently sold a set of pictures to Life magazine (under the alias, David Brinkman) depicting students climbing university buildings at night. I headed to London without a degree of regret and to the offices of the Daily Express where I quickly secured a job that gave me the confidence to set out and stride the globe as a photographer”.
John Bulmer became one of the first photographers to adapt to the sudden change towards using colour photography for editorial photojournalism and one of the first to be employed by the Sunday Times Magazine when it launched in 1962. The professional relationship secured him a 60 page a year contract and had him travel to around a 100 different countries in over a decade on their behalf. The magazines’ first cover featured a picture of a footballer photographed by Bulmer surrounded by pictures of Jean Shrimpton’s armpit photographed by David Bailey.
Chris Floyd photographs Paul McCartney
“For all of my life, the band, The Beatles, have been there. They influenced my youth, my fashion, my conversations with friends and my photography. In the tenth year of my career, I got the call I’d always hoped I’d get, to photograph Paul McCartney and the chance to add my photograph to the iconic catalogue of photographers who’d been there before me including Bailey and Hoffmann. However, it didn’t go as I’d planned..!!”
More about Floyd’s experience photographing McCartney can be read here:
Chris Floyd is a British photographer and film maker. His work has appeared in some of the world’s most highly respected publications, including The New Yorker, Harpers Bazaar, GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Wallpaper* and Lula among others. He has shot advertising campaigns for British Airways, Toyota and Philips and has been selected several times for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize and the annual publication, American Photography. In 2011 Floyd published a project entitled ‘One Hundred And Forty Characters’. Over a period of a year he made contact with 140 people that he followed on Twitter and photographed each of them in his London studio. The idea for this came at a moment when he realised he had not spoken to any of his closest real life friends in over a month, yet he was communicating several times a week with people on Twitter that he had never met at all. The project received worldwide recognition and acclaim, with features about it on the BBC, Newsweek, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Elle, Esquire and many other publications and websites.
Stuart Freedman photographs Shiva devotees bathing
“The image that I’ve chosen is of Shiva devotees ritually bathing under a waterfall at Coutralam in Tamil Nadu, India. The image dates from 1996 and I had been working professionally for five years having already covered many international stories – The Siege of Kabul, the war in Croatia and violence in Haiti but this was my first experience of India – which was unlike anywhere I had ever been. I’d been working in the country over five months by this point but this image comes from a month’s sabbatical in the South. I found myself caught up in a pilgrimage procession of ecstatic Shiva followers and, climbing barefoot up a cliff to the waterfall’s edge, I made three exposures on transparency film with a Leica M6 camera whilst trying not to get too soaked. The image marks the start of a two decade relationship with India that is ongoing. Later that year, my old editor at Time magazine in New Delhi, the legendary Deepak Puri asked for a print for his office and last year it was among his enormous collection donated to MAP (The Museum of Art & Photography, Bangalore) which holds India’s most respected collection of photography. The work was exhibited last year in Delhi as one of the most important archives of 20th century photojournalism in the country including work from James Nachtwey, Sebastian Salgado and Raghu Rai. In October 2015, The Washington Post included the image in it’s list of twelve of the most important photographs of the twentieth century”.
A photographer and writer, Freedman is based between London and New Delhi. A member of Panos Pictures, he has, over more than two decades, covered stories from Albania to Zambia and his work has featured internationally including in Life, Geo, Time, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine, Paris Match, Smithsonian, Condé Nast Traveller.
Brian Griffin’s photograph of commuters crossing London Bridge
“I had a secure job working as a nuclear power station pipework engineering estimator on the cooling water section, my white collar career was assured. To my parents horror, I decided to leave the large office of 80 employees to study photography at Manchester Polytechnic. After graduating, the pressure to succeed was acute. Months of cold calling, knocking on doors and pounding the pavement followed. Roland Schenck, design director at Management Today saw I had some potential, he said I was the new Robert Frank!! During an assignment for Schenck, photographing London commuters, I paid a Taxi Driver five shillings to drive slowly across London Bridge whilst photographing the commuters through its back window. 18 months after leaving Polytechnic, I felt I had at last taken an exceptional image, one that is now in museum collections and continues to be published. This image was the turning point when I realised that I had potential as a photographer. Phew!”
Born in Birmingham in 1948, Brian Griffin is one of England’s most influential and creative portrait photographers. Griffin’s work draws from influences as diverse as Renaissance masters, through to Symbolism and Surrealism, with ‘film noir’ lighting often used in conjunction. After graduating in 1972, Griffin joined the staff of a business magazine Management Today which was based in London, and became a corporate photographer. When the 80s hit, and the business boom took off, he was considered the corporate photography expert, and began to shoot projects for a vast number of corporate clients. Griffin ahas also worked with a huge variety of music industry clients including Depeche Mode, REM, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel and Queen’s Brian May and his work can be seen on many album covers from the era.
Antonio Olmos photographs Malala
“I was commissioned to photograph Malala Yousafzai for the cover of her book I Am Malala. The photographs from the resulting shoot have been published all over the world and hang in galleries and portrait collections. Many people around the world know the photographs even if they don’t know my name”.
Born in Mexico, Antonio Zazueta Olmos is a photojournalist who has worked on issues concerning human rights, the environment and conflict throughout his career. He has worked extensively in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East for editorial publications and NGOs all over the world. A recipient of a first place award in the World Press Photo Awards, his work has also featured in all the UK broadsheet weekend magazines. Olmos has been based in London since the mid 1990s. ’The Landscape of Murder’ is his first book which documents all the sites where murders occurred in London between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2012.
Laura Pannack photographs Madeleine Glass
“I don’t think I have a shot that has ‘made me’ but this shot is very important to me. To this day I am extremely interested in the dynamic between photographer and sitter and it is an image that reminds me that my photography doesn’t have to say or do a singular thing. It is the start of a conversation.”
Pannack’s work has been extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, including at The National Portrait Gallery, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall in London. In 2010 she received first prize in the Portrait Singles category of the World Press Photo awards. She has also won and been shortlisted for several other awards including The Sony World Photography Awards, The Magenta foundation and Lucies IPA.
She was recently awarded the Vic Odden by The Royal Photographic Society award for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under. Her art focuses on social documentary and portraiture, and seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer.
Toby Smith’s photograph of Brighton’s west pier
“A long exposure at 1:30 a.m. on the 2nd February 2009 on the South Coast of England. 10 minutes after the end of the heaviest snowfall in England for 28 years a rare coat of snow reflects the streetlight highlighting the ghostly remains of Brighton’s West Pier. The image was used as a metaphor across European press for Britain’s economic collapse both as a result of the recession and inability to cope with the poor weather”.
Toby Smith, 33, is based in Cambridge and works internationally on projects concerning landscape, environment, industrial and science stories. Smith graduated with a Masters in Contemporary Photography from London College of Communication in 2008. This was after spending time employed both in the British Army Infantry and 2 years working across Africa utilizing his bachelors degree in Environmental Science. His focus now lies on large-scale photography and research projects for editorial publication, exhibition, communication and advocacy. He is represented globally by Getty Images Reportage.
Homer Sykes photographs the Bacup Coconutters
“My photograph of the Bacup Coconut Dancers shot in 1972, is in various national collections and was published in my first book, Once a Year. It continues to be exhibited and licensed over 40 years later. It was one of several images I took to show John Ansty, the first editor the the Sunday Telegraph colour magazine. He liked the work and gave me a trial colour shoot, a portrait of Lilly Skinner the shoe shop heiress. The portrait went well which led to working on a regular basis for the SundayTelegraph Magazine for many years”.
Sykes is a professional magazine and portrait photographer with many years experience. His principal commissions in Britain were for what used to be called the “weekend colour supplements” such as The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, You and the Sunday Express magazines. He has also covered weekly news for Newsweek, Time, and the former Now! magazine, covering conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland, as well as general news in the UK. Sykes has shot numerous magazine portraits of the famous and not so famous. During his career as well as his commercial magazine assignments he has worked on personal photographic documentary projects. These include documenting traditional British folklore customs, that started in 1970 and completed seven years later resulting in the publication Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs (Gordon Fraser). Homer is the author, and co-author-photographer of eight books about Britain as well as Shanghai Odyssey (Dewi Lewis Publishing) and On the Road Again (Mansion Editions), his American project started in 1969.