Richard Boll

Category Archives: Editorial Portrait

UK Visual Artist Photographic Portraits 4 of 4: Gordon Cheung – contemporary multi-media artist who blurs the line between the virtual and reality

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Gordon Cheung, Location Photography, London, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I first developed an interest in photography and started learning about well-known artists and photographers, I appreciated seeing portraits of them taken by other photographers. A portrait can be an effective introduction into the life of an artist and can tell a visual story and open a window into that person’s world. I found it really intriguing and was curious about why that person had been photographed in a particular way. I’ve decided to continue this rich photography tradition, by shooting a photographic series of well-known visual artists currently working in the UK.

Gordon Cheung

The artist Gordon Cheung wearing a mask ready to spray paint a new picture. Portrait photo by Richard Boll of London.

The fourth set of images in this series features Gordon Cheung, a London-born contemporary, multi-media visual artist from Chinese parents. Cheung has developed an innovative approach to creating art, blurring virtual and actual reality and raising questions about what it means to be human in a capitalist society. Working with a variety of media including stock page listings, spray paint, acrylic, inkjet, and woodblock printing, he blends his art into dreamlike spaces of urban surreal worlds, using the topics of culture, mythology, religion, and politics.

The London-based artist Gordon Cheung facing toward a picture that he's about to start painting.

His work centers around financial market crashes, incorporating elements of the Financial Times into his art to make 3D sculptural pieces. Tulips crop up in most of his work as a symbol because ‘Tulip mania’ was reputed to be the first ever market crash in February 1637. Tulip mania was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some new and fashionable bulbs reached ridiculously high levels – a handful of tulips would have cost the same as a house nowadays.
Gordon has pioneered a now iconic digital glitch technique, involving taking an image, whether it’s a painting or a portrait, and altering the structure of the digital file, getting into the programming behind it. This process produces a really interesting aesthetic, dragging the lines down and blurring the virtual with reality.

The photographic concept

The original photographic concept for this series was to shoot four different elements of the visual artist: behind-the-scenes studio shots, finer details referencing their work, the artist working, and photographic portraits. As part of this project, I also wanted to introduce a collaboration and crossover element between the visual artist and myself and I asked Gordon if he would be prepared to digitally glitch a portrait that I’d taken of him. I’m keeping that particular portrait under wraps for now to reveal at a future exhibition of the visual artist series. I chose Cheung for this series as I find his work fascinating and unique, in particular how he incorporates financial elements and assesses financial institutions. I regularly shoot corporate portraiture for an investment bank and I’ve even noticed his work hanging on the walls of their offices.

A close-up detail photograph of an art work by the London artist Gordon Cheung.

It was great collaborating with Cheung on this project and it’s encouraging to see my imagery being extensively used on Gordon’s own website and in a newsletter produced by the Cristea Roberts Gallery, the worldwide representative for Cheung’s original prints.
Watch this space for the next visual artist in this series – Yarli Allison. Visual artists previously featured in this portrait series were Gavin Turk, Adam Chodzko and Jake Wood-Evans.

Discover more about Gordon Cheung and his work by visiting his website.

UK Visual Artist Photographic Portraits 3 of 4: Jake Wood-Evans, contemporary painter and interpreter of past masters

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I first began my education as a photographer and started learning about well-known artists and photographers, I appreciated seeing effective portraits of them taken by other photographers. It was a great introduction to the work of the artists and interesting portrait photography can tell a visual story that opens a window into that person’s world. I found these portraits intriguing and was curious about why each person had been photographed in a particular way. I decided to continue this rich photographic tradition by shooting a photographic series of visual artists currently working in the UK.

Jake Wood-Evans

The fourth set of images in this first series features Jake Wood-Evans, who works from a large studio based near Lewes, East Sussex. Inspired and influenced by artists such as Turner and Francis Bacon, his signature approach is to consider Old Master paintings and reinterpret and modernise them in his own way. He partially abstracts the original image and incorporates his own messages and ideas within his painting. There’s a language that exists between the original and his work. He produces very beautiful pictures that are visually exciting and very original in their approach. I find that his work has an effect of re-energising the original paintings.

Large Format Camera

Portrait photography by Richard Boll, London. Large format black-and-white portrait of the artist Jake Wood-Evans.

This black and white portrait of Wood-Evans was taken with a 5 x 4 inch large format film camera. I wanted to use a more traditional photographic approach, as this links in some way to his work as well as looking back to the history of photography. It was also a very enjoyable part of the process as I haven’t used a large format camera for 5 or 6 years, or produced a traditional darkroom print for over 20 years. Using a large format camera requires a very considered technical approach to the photographic process and I enjoy the extra time that these technicalities require. It’s not possible to look through the camera during the exposure, which for portraiture relies on the subject remaining very still whilst a dark slide is loaded. This contains the unexposed negative.

In the printing process, I used fiber-based paper which is a relatively involved way to produce a print. It needs careful handling, longer developing, fixing and washing times, as well as flattening after drying. The advantages of the paper is that a richer print can be produced and it’s more archivally durable than resin-coated paper.

Inadvertent mark-making

When I look at Wood-Evans’ paintings, I’m very aware of the layers of history and time within them and am conscious of the mark-making that creates them. Before I met Jake Wood-Evans I had the idea of giving him photographic prints to leave around in his studio: perhaps on the floor, where he keeps his paints, or underneath a painting that is being worked on; be it hanging on the wall or on an easel. The portraits could be left there for weeks or months and over time, they would inadvertently pick up marks and develop a history and life of their own in the studio space. It was a coincidence that Wood-Evans has previously carried out this practise by leaving photocopies of paintings around in his studio to develop interesting marks.

A photocopy of an old master painting left on the floor of a studio by the painter Jake Wood-Evans.

I like the element of chance in this practise and not being too precious about the prints or the process. I’m keen to allow mistakes to creep into the project. For example, one of the dark slides that held the negatives had slight cracks which created light leaks, leading to white lines being visible on the final prints. I appreciate that some photographers might find this frustrating and discard the negative due to what is technically a mistake. Instead, I’m taking hold of these elements, appreciating them, and pushing them forward. Jake very much agreed that these elements should be celebrated and not discarded.

Wood-Evans at work

Multiple blurred exposure of the painter Jake Wood-Evans working on a large canvas. Photo by Richard Boll, London.

For this image of Jake at work, I set the camera up on a tripod in front of one of the large paintings that he was working on. I took multiple exposures of him working over the course of 10-15 minutes experimenting with varying shutter speeds.
The exposures incorporated into this image were quite slow, around an eighth of a second which rendered Jake’s movements as blurs. Jake is a very dynamic, energetic painter and he moves around a lot when he’s working. This image captures his energy and that of his paintings. The slow shutter speed adds an element of partial abstraction. On showing the image to some people they didn’t initially see him in the painting at all. I like this element of abstraction that correlates with Wood-Evan’s style of painting. This image made an effective sketch but I’m looking forward to re-shooting another version of this image with a greater level of refinement.

Jake’s studio

An interior photograph by Richard Boll of the studio of the painter Jake Wood-Evans.

An interior shot of Jake’s large studio space near Lewes.

Visual artists previously featured in this portrait series are Gavin Turk, Adam Chodzko and Gordon Cheung.

Discover more about Jake Wood-Evans and where his work has been exhibited by visiting his website.

 

There is more to Corporate Photography than Headshots.

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Filed under Corporate headshot photography London, Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Editorial Portrait, headshots, Studio Photography

When people think about corporate photography, they often see it as limited to either company portraits or headshots taken of CEOs, senior leaders, and employees. But there is much more to corporate photography than just business headshots.

A corporate office interior with white walls and black chairs.

As a commercial and editorial photographer, I often get asked to photograph a wide range of other corporate lifestyle and ‘behind-the-scenes’ aspects of a business including:

• people working, having meetings and discussing ideas, and socialising at work

• office interiors

• architectural details of the outside of company premises

• annual company social events, business networking meetings, conferences, and award ceremonies

• before-and-after shots of construction sites

• office technology that is of particular significance to a client’s business

• automotive, furniture, and food production factories where products are being manufactured

Photograph taken from a construction site for a corporate annual report.

Corporate clients in the past have used these shots for a wide variety of applications including on their websites, and social media including LinkedIn, annual company reports, business plans, editorials in magazines, press articles, newsletters, emails, etc.

Construction workers holding onto a platform containing materials.

Many corporate clients will commission a variety of different photography styles, as well as professional headshots, to reveal their working environments, properties, and office buildings. The lifestyle aspect of these photographs makes a statement about their organisation and highlights their corporate brand and image in an effective and professional way.

Office workers discussing ideas in a corporate environment. Richard Boll Photography, London

It’s worth giving this some thought before you choose a particular corporate photography style.

I’ve helped many clients in the past, working closely with art and marketing directors, to choose the best style for images that suit their brand and company values. We discuss various ideas and options that can help make these important decisions.

People socialising at a corporate event.

If you need an experienced corporate lifestyle photographer, email me at richard@richardbollphotography.com or call +44(0)7812908229 to discuss your next project. More of my corporate photography can be seen here.

The portrait photographer Richard Avedon

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, Portrait Photography, Vogue

Photography Inspiration and Influence

When I first started my photography degree in 1996 and began to research well-known portrait photographers, I was struck by the strength of Richard Avedon’s powerful imagery, and in particular, his black and white portraits.

He was both a fashion and portrait photographer and pioneered his own signature style of black-and-white portrait photography. One project of his called ‘In the American West’ (1985) had a lasting impression on me, in that every portrait in the project was a powerful image taken of a visually interesting character.

Black-and-white self portrait of the photographer Richard Avedon

Avedon was an extremely hardworking, prolific photographer. In his lifetime, he produced an impressive quantity of high-quality work, photographing a very wide range of interesting people including celebrities, politicians, artists, poets, and writers. His work was an incredible commentary and document of the time. It always impressed me how he managed to combine his own artistic personal projects with editorial, magazine, and commercial work. The structure of his working life was a huge inspiration for my own photography career and I attempt to follow his blueprint in my own work.

Photography was very much a part of his personal life too. He consistently took pictures of his family, and whilst traveling. These images were taken purely for pleasure and not as a commercial project. This aspect of his photography also inspired me and forms the basis for my own personal projects, such as the UK visual artist portraits that I’m currently working on.

Who was Richard Avedon?

Avedon was born on May 15, 1923, in New York City and was best known for his work in the fashion world and minimalist portraits. Starting out as a photographer for the US Merchant Marines during World War II, he took ID portraits of sailors. He then moved on to fashion, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. His insistence on models conveying emotion and movement was a welcome departure from the norm of relatively motionless fashion photography.

Beginning of Photography Career

Avedon attended the New School for Social Research in New York to study photography under Alexey Brodovitch, the acclaimed art director of Harper’s Bazaar. Within a year, Avedon was hired as a staff photographer for the magazine. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, he created elegant black-and-white photographs showcasing the latest fashions in real-life settings such as Paris’s cafes, cabarets, and streetcars.

Portraits and Later Career

Richard served as a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar for 20 years, from 1945 to 1965. As well as his fashion photography, he was well known for his black-and-white portraiture. He managed to capture the essential humanity and vulnerability of larger-than-life political figures and celebrities, such as President Eisenhower, Martin Luther King, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles.
From 1966 to 1990, Avedon worked as a photographer for Vogue, continuing to push the boundaries of fashion photography with surreal, provocative, and often controversial images in which nudity, violence, and death often featured prominently.
Avedon always believed that the story of his life was best told through his photographs, saying: “Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is… the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.”
As one of the first self-consciously artistic commercial photographers, Avedon played a leading role in defining the artistic purpose and possibilities of the genre.

Discover more about Richard Avedon and his iconic work by visiting The Richard Avedon Foundation.

[Article Source: https://www.biography.com/artist/richard-avedon#citation]

UK Visual Artist Portraits 2 of 4: Adam Chodzko – Conceptual media artist, YBA and Saatchi 2007 ‘Sensation’ Exhibitor

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Filed under Artists, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Location Photography, Photography Award, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I first became interested in photography and started learning about well-known artists and photographers I appreciated seeing portraits of them taken by other photographers. Initially, I might not have known who these people were, but an interesting portrait can tell a visual story and open a window into that person’s world. I found it really intriguing and was curious about why that person had been photographed in a particular way. I decided to continue this rich photographic tradition, by taking a series of photographs of well-known visual artists, currently working in the UK.

Adam Chodzko

The second set of images in this series features Adam Chodzko, a Kent-based, highly acclaimed conceptual artist working across a wide range of media, including video, installation, photography, and performance, and considered to be one of the Young British Artists (YBAs). The YBAs are a group of visual artists who are noted for shock tactics, the use of throwaway materials, and wild living. They attracted considerable media coverage and dominated British art during the ‘Cool Britannia’ scene of the 90s. Chodzko’s art relies on the viewer’s imagination and personal experience to create the meaning behind his work. Using elements of science fiction, he explores the space between documentary and fantasy, conceptualism, and surrealism. His art explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour by investigating the space of consciousness between how we are and what we might be.

Spotted by the art collector Charles Saatchi, he was invited to take part in ‘Sensation’, the highly controversial, contemporary art exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts (London) in 1997. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this significant exhibition drew a lot of media attention at the time and showcased work by 42 different artists, including Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin.

The photographic concept

This time, the approach was slightly different from the previous Gavin Turk shoot, in that Adam doesn’t work out of a traditional studio. I couldn’t take shots of him working in a studio, so we focused purely on portraits. Chodzko was really good at engaging with my ideas and very clear about what would suit him. I really enjoyed the collaborative elements of this project, born from a combination of both our ideas and an open, creative discussion, that generated the final images.

1. Collaboration, crossover, and a portrait prize

The idea I had for this portrait was Chodzko being in the countryside and somehow connected with water. He then took my idea and suggested wading around in a pond holding recording equipment, because that’s the sort of thing he might do for his work. An extra element of this shot was the sound clip of the space that was produced during the shoot. You not only hear countryside sounds like birds and mosquitoes, but as we were close to a road, you also hear cars, a car stereo and a dog barking. There’s an interesting crossover between the urban and rural spaces. I requested this sound clip from the artist as it might be suitable for an exhibition of these portraits in the future. I’m pleased to report that this image went on to win third prize in the Kuala Lumpur Portrait Awards and was exhibited in Malaysia and Japan. It was great to get this extra element of exposure for this portrait.

a photographic portrait of the conceptual artist adam chodzko in a pond copyright richard boll

2. Wasteland in the future?

This portrait was inspired by ‘A Hunting Scene’ (1992) by Canadian photographer Jeff Wall. Wall’s photo is of two men walking into a wasteland from a road and they’re both carrying guns. It’s an image that has always stuck in my mind and Adam said that it was a photograph that he’d always liked. Chodzko suggested we put an alternative spin on it. Instead of carrying guns or an axe, he tied white bedsheets together and dragged them around in this waste ground off a main road between a car park and scrubland. There’s a feeling of an in-between, non-space and I hope that it’s intriguing for the viewer in that what has happened in the image is ambiguous and is left up to the viewers’ imagination.

the artist adam chodzko dragging a white sheet in whitstable kent copyright richard boll

3. Whitstable in a (Wet)Suit

Another water-themed portrait was shot in the sea off the beach at Whitstable, where Chodzko lives and works. The idea surrounding this image was that the viewer can imagine that he’s just arrived on the beach and traveled from somewhere else, perhaps the strip of land that can be seen behind him across the water. Again, it’s left up to the viewer to imagine what the back story of this image might be.

a portrait of the artist adam chodzko in the sea in whitstable kent copyright richard boll

Watch this space for features on 2 more visual artists, currently working in the UK that I’ve also photographed, Gordon Cheung and Jake Wood-Evans. Future plans include an extensive exhibition of the complete UK Visual Artist Portrait Photography Series.

Discover more about Adam Chodzko and his work by visiting his website and reading about the controversial 1997 ‘Sensation’ exhibition.

UK Visual Artist Photographic Portraits 1 of 4: Gavin Turk – artist and sculptor, YBA and Saatchi ‘Sensation’ Exhibitor

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Filed under Artists, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Gavin Turk, London, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I initially developed an interest in photography and started learning about well-known artists and photographers, I appreciated seeing photographic portraits of them in my research. Even though I didn’t know who these people were at the time, an interesting portrait can tell a visual story and open a window into that person’s world. I found it very intriguing and was curious about why that person had been photographed in a particular way. I recently decided that I’d like to continue this rich photographic tradition by taking a series of photographs of well-known visual artists currently working in the UK.

Gavin Turk

The first set of images in this series features Gavin Turk, a British-born, world-renowned international artist, and one of the Young British Artists (YBAs). The YBAs were a group of visual artists who were noted for shock tactics, use of throwaway materials, and often controversial works of art. They attracted considerable media coverage and dominated British art during the ‘Cool Britannia’ scene of the 90s.

Turk’s work deals with issues of authorship, authenticity, and identity. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture now taken for granted, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon, and the use of rubbish in art. Spotted by the art collector Charles Saatchi, he was invited to take part in ‘Sensation’, the highly controversial contemporary art exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts (London) in 1997. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this significant exhibition drew a lot of media attention at the time and showcased work by 42 different artists, including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

On the day of the shoot, I spent around three hours at Gavin’s studio in East London. The original concept that I had for this visual artist series was to take a range of photographs with four distinct elements depicting images of the artist and their work: behind-the-scenes studio shots, details referencing their work and processes, the artist at work (where possible) and more formal photographic portraits.

A photographic portrait of the british artist gavin turk with his signature written in the air

This image is a reference to Turk’s work on identity and the frequent use of signatures in his work and also mimics a project carried out by the photographer Gjon Mili, who photographed Picasso drawing in the air with a torch. The effect of this portrait was created by taking a long exposure of Gavin writing his name in the air with a torch and then firing a flash to expose the room in which the photograph was taken.

A double black and white photographic portrait of the artist gavin turk

This double portrait combines two photographic portraits taken in quick succession and references Turk’s artwork: ‘Portrait of something that I’ll never really see’ (1997), a self-portrait of the artist from the neck up with his eyes closed against a blank background.

An interior photograph of the studio of british artist gavin turk

A photograph of collected items on the shelves in the studio of gavin turk

These photographs of the interior of Turk’s studio provide an insight into the artist’s work and his influences. I’d like to thank Gavin for being so open to my ideas and generous with his time on the day of the shoot. It was a particular pleasure for me both to meet him and to take portraits of him. It’s also been great to see some of the images I’ve taken being shared on the artists’ website and social media platforms.

Watch this space for features on 3 more visual artists, currently working in the UK that I’ve also photographed, namely Adam Chodzko, Gordon Cheung, and Jake Wood-Evans. Future plans include an exhibition of the complete series of portraits of visual artists working in the UK today.

Discover more about Gavin Turk and his work by visiting his website and read about the controversial 1997 ‘Sensation’ exhibition here. More of my photographic portraiture can be seen here.

 

Commissioned Still Life and Portrait Photography for J & A Beare, London

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Filed under Corporate Photography, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, London, Product Photography

J & A Beare are an internationally-renowned musical instrument dealer based in London and Germany.

Their reputation has been built over 125 years of authenticating, valuing, making, restoring and selling musical instruments and bows.
They recently asked me to provide them with portrait photography of their members of staff as well as interior photographs of their premises on Queen Anne Street in London. I first took photographs of J & A Beare in 2015 for Rolls Royce Magazine, and it was wonderful to be back in the calm, quiet spaces of their premises. It’s an amazing experience to look inside the workshops where the beautiful instruments are lovingly restored by their expert craftsmen. As well as the portraits and interiors, the commissioned photography also included still life images of the instruments and bows that are being repaired and that are for sale.
More of my still life photography can be seen here and more of my portrait photography can be seen here.

 

Product photography of cellos and violins in London

Simon Morris Manager at J & A Beare, London

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Studio Furniture Photographer for Gabbertas Studio

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Filed under Advertising, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Furniture Photography, Product Photography, Studio Furniture Photography, Studio Photography

Richard Boll Photography was recently commissioned as a studio furniture photographer for the designer Mark Gabbertas. The brief was to produce a range of imagery that creatively expressed the qualities of the designs.

The new website for Gabbertas Studio went live in April of 2019 and features many images taken for the designer by Richard Boll Photography.

Mark Gabbetas became a furniture designer after having initially worked in advertising as well as having been trained as a cabinet maker. He served an apprenticeship in Codrington Furniture and also Stemmer & Sharp in London. Having opened the Gabbertas Studio in London in 2001, he later moved the business to the Oxfordshire countryside in 2016.

More of my studio furniture photography can be found here.

 

Studio-prodct-photography-of-Framed-chair-by-Gabbertas-Studio

Triad-tables-photographed-by-London-product-photographer-Richard-Boll

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Location Lifestyle and Furniture Photographer for AXYL Range of Furniture in London

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Filed under Advertising, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Furniture Photography, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London, Product Photography, Publications, Studio Photography

The AXYL collection is a collaboration between Layer Design and the British furniture brand Allermuir. The range comprises of furniture pieces each fully made from reclaimed materials.
It is the first time the London-based designer has collaborated with Allermuir. I was commissioned as a studio furniture photographer and location lifestyle photographer in London in a joint commission from both Layer and Allermuir. Produced with editorial and advertising potential, the images have been published across various design industry platforms including Dezeen, Domus, Urdesign and Designboom.

The studio product photography for Layer was carried out at Holborn Studios in London.

To see more of my furniture photography click here.

 

AXYL-white-table-and-chairs-in-still-life-product-photography-studio

AXYL-chairs-in-London-product-photography-studio

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Interiors and Portrait Photographer at Granger & Co in London for Habitus Living

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Location, Location Photography, London, Publications

It was a great pleasure to be commissioned by a favourite client, the Australian lifestyle magazine, Habitus Living as an interiors and portrait photographer. The brief was to photograph the restaurateur and food writer Bill Granger in his London restaurant Granger & Co in Chelsea.
The commission was to produce a range of portrait and interior photographs for the 40th issue of Habitus Living.

Bill Granger moved from Melbourne to Sydney to study art in the late eighties, and it was whilst working as a waiter that he was inspired to switch his creative interests to food and hospitality. He opened his first restaurant the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst in 1993, followed by “Bills Surry Hills” in 1996. From Australia he took the brand to Japan, opening restaurants in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, Fukuoka, and Osaka.

Granger & Co in Westbourne Grove, Chelsea was his first London restaurant, followed by Granger & Co in Clerkenwell, London.
It was a real pleasure to meet and photograph Bill and see the results of his ambitious hard work. I was also treated to one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Huge thanks to Holly Cunneen for commissioning the shoot, and to Leanne Amodeo for incorporating my images into her excellent article.

More of portrait photography can be seen here.

Portrait-of-Bill-Granger-in-London-for-article-in-Habitus-Living-magazine

Pages-from-Lifestyle-magazine-Habitus-Living

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