Richard Boll

Category Archives: London

Derwent London commission corporate team portraits for Annual Report

0
Filed under Corporate Photography, Location Photography, London, Portrait Photography

Derwent London Plc

Group corporate portraiture by Richard Boll Photography commissioned by Derwent London.

Derwent London’s ethos has always been distinctive and design-led. From modest beginnings, they’ve grown steadily to own a portfolio of 5.4 million sq ft (507,200 sq m) of commercial real estate, (predominantly in Central London) valued at £5.2bn as at 30 June 2023.

Based on Savile Row, they are the largest London office-focused real estate investment trust (REIT). Recently named in the ‘Sunday Times Best Places to Work List 2023’ in the medium-sized organisation category, 91% of their employees said they were proud to work there. 88% enjoy their job and 86% felt they were employed in a well-run organisation.

I was recently commissioned to photograph several corporate team portraits, in and around three of their London-based commercial properties, for their 2022 Annual Report & Accounts.

Annual Report & Accounts 2022

The 2022 Annual Report published on their website, is the third Derwent London Annual Report that I’ve taken photographs for since 2019.

For the images in this report, I worked closely with an Art Director and together, we visited some of the recently completed properties in central London to find visually interesting with aesthetically strong compositions.

Corporate Group Portraits for Derwent London

Derwent requested group portraits of their various teams from the following departments:

  • Finance
  • Health and Safety
  • Leasing and Marketing
  • Valuation and Investment
  • Asset and Property Management
  • Development and Sustainability &
  • Building Management, Facilities, and H & S

A corporate portrait of four people taken for Derwent London by Richard Boll.

It was a logistical challenge to get this number of people lined up and available for the shoot requiring meticulous advance planning.

A group portrait taken in London for Derwent.

Group portraits are always interesting to photograph and come with their own set of challenges. Initially, the challenge is to scout for suitable locations which could be an elegant room or a grand reception area. The challenge then becomes how to compose and photograph numerous different people within that space to create an effective photograph.

Group corporate portrait taken for Derwent London Annual Report.

It’s important to ensure that everybody in the photograph is looking at the camera with their eyes open, which can be a challenge when you have a significant number of people to position and photograph. The whole process typically takes much longer than photographing an individual portrait or headshot.
The Derwent London employees are great people to work with and this is a corporate photography project that I always find really enjoyable.

Find out more about Derwent London by visiting their website and seeing other corporate portrait and lifestyle photography projects I’ve worked on.

Hospitality Photography: London’s iconic OXO Tower Restaurant showcase delicious British menu, mouth-watering cocktails and stunning views

0
Filed under Commercial Photography, Food photography, Hospitality photography, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, London

OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie

For over 25 years, the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie has offered a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy memorable food and drink experiences, using only the best of British seasonal produce and serving the finest wines.
Situated on the 8th floor of the iconic OXO Tower on London’s South Bank, the restaurant boasts stunning views of St Paul’s and the river Thames. From birthdays and graduations to a romantic meal out, it’s the perfect setting for any special occasion with the views to match.

A member of staff at the OXO Tower Restaurant Bar and Brasserie in London with a tray of drinks.

Double Commission

I first shot promotional images for the OXO Tower Restaurant last summer and then again a few weeks ago. Both shoots were really enjoyable and generated some great content. The restaurant is a fantastic environment to photograph in. Due to its top-floor location and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the natural light up there is great with nothing to block the view.
It’s a real gift to be asked to take photographs there and the staff are great to work with too. Typically, a shoot like this would take about 3 to 4 hours starting at around 6pm in the evening. I took a range of different photographic shots including still-life food and drink, documentary lifestyle, the interior space of the restaurant, and the outside terrace area.

Hospitality photography taken for the OXO Tower restaurant Bar and Brasserie in London by Richard Boll.

Food & Drink Photography

The food and drink photography shots were the most formal and composed, similar to taking a still-life photograph. It was an honour to take images of some stunning plates of food that had been specially created and prepared for the shoot by Executive Head Chef Jeremy Bloor.
I combined the approaches of photographing the dishes on a table set up for dinner and incorporating waiting staff holding plates of food. As well as delicious food, the restaurant is well known for its mouth-watering cocktails and I shot several composed images of these throughout the shoot.

Food photography at the OXO Tower restaurant in London by Richard Boll.

Documentary Lifestyle Photography

I always enjoy using a ‘fly-on-the-wall’, documentary photographic style here, as it gives a real flavour of the buzzy but relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant. For example, I photographed lifestyle shots of staff behind the bar making cocktails, kitchen staff preparing dishes and the waiting staff serving food and wine.

It’s always interesting shooting in a live, natural environment where there are customers and staff present. The atmosphere at the OXO Tower is great and really lively. Both of the shoots were dependent on the weather (especially the images taken on the outside terrace) but thankfully, I got lucky on both occasions and had natural sunlight and fantastic sunsets to work with.
I’m pleased to report these promotional images have been used throughout the OXO Tower Restaurant website, on their social media, and some of the images have also been featured on the Time Out website.

Drinks photographed in London by Richard Boll for the OXO Tower Restaurant.

Why not try the best of British menu yourself at the OXO Tower Restaurant and sample one of their famous cocktails? See more images from the promotional shoots.

 

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

0
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.

Six of My Favourite Corporate and Personal Photography Projects in 2022

0
Filed under Corporate headshot photography London, Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, headshots, Location Photography, London, Portrait Photography

When a new year starts, I like to look back on the year before and review photography projects that I’ve worked on. I’ve handpicked 6 of my favourite corporate and personal images from 2022, depicting a range of different photography styles, including corporate headshots, corporate products, corporate portraits and two portraits from my personal UK visual artist project series.

1. UK Visual Artist Portrait Series: Gavin Turk

A double portrait of the artist Gavin Turk in his London studio.

This portrait of Gavin Turk forms part of a personal project from my UK Visual Artist Portrait Series, inspired by his own work including the ‘Portrait of Something That I’ll Never Really See’ (1997). I love this double portraiture combination shot particularly in black and white, as I think it’s more graphically powerful giving a direct, punchier effect to the stripes on his shirt. Both of these elements also echo Turk’s previous work using combinations of double portraiture and stripes. What I like about portrait photography is quite often, an unexpected result can emerge either during the shoot or in post- production as in this case. There’s a need to be open to chance and not overly plan the end result.

2. Corporate Headshot Photography: Octopus Energy

Corporate photography for Octopus Energy, taken by Richard Boll in London.

Octopus Energy is one of my regular corporate photography clients and this image is from a series of shoots that involved photographing staff in 3 of their offices based in London, Manchester and Leicester. Working alongside an Art Director, we collaborated to produce a whole library of corporate headshots and lifestyle imagery. This shot shows a flavour of the natural, documentary ‘fly-on-the-wall’ photography style that I think suits the Octopus brand really well. What I like about this particular image is the employee looks very relaxed and is clearly having a real, natural conversation with a customer, oblivious to the fact that she’s being photographed.

3. Corporate Product Photography: Kin Chairs, designed by Pearson Lloyd for Allermuir

Kin chairs around a table in a studio, photographed for Allermuir by Richard Boll Photography.

Allemuir came up with the original design concept for this image. Taken in their Preston studio, I attached a camera onto a scaffolding tower looking down onto this range of Kin chairs. What I like about this shot is that it shows off the products in an interesting and visually intriguing way. There’s the play on colour of the chairs around the table and it was fun choosing the props to co-ordinate with the chair colours. Having to direct a model was an interesting aspect of the shoot, in order to get a good range of images that worked. I like this particular photo of the model reaching into the bowl as that worked well compositionally, as a focal point in the middle of the table.

4. UK Visual Artist Portrait Series: Adam Chodzko

The artist Adam Chodzko in a pond in Whitstable, Kent.

This portrait of Adam Chodzko, is another favourite image of mine from the UK visual artist portrait series. It was a particularly enjoyable shoot with a strong collaborative element to it. We discussed the images at some length beforehand with Adam letting me know what he thought would work and wouldn’t work. I like this particular image because it highlights the collaborative approach to the shoot, and echoes Chodzko’s love of water and use of crossovers between different spaces. The recording equipment he’s holding picked up both urban and rural sounds within the space and I plan to use the sound clip as part of the installation for a future exhibition.

5. Corporate Product Photography: John Lobb, Frank Sinatra’s Wooden Lasts

The wooden lasts of Frank Sinatra, carved by the London bootmaker John Lobb.

John Lobb is a bespoke, traditional shoemaker to celebrities and royalty alike. Central to their process is the creation of a pair of wooden lasts, shaped to the exact contours of the wearers feet. What started as a purely personal project, initiated by asking if I could photograph the wooden lasts, has now developed into a regular commission shooting images for John Lobb’s marketing and social media.
This photograph of Frank Sinatra’s wooden lasts is one of my favourite images from the project. It’s not just the fact that they belonged to Sinatra who was an icon that many people can connect with, but I love the fact that they’re well-worn with interesting textures that suggest that many shoes were made from this pair of wooden lasts. In a way, they speak of a history and a life well-lived.

6. Corporate Portrait Photography: Elrige, Master Last Maker at John Lobb

A portrait of Elrige, master lastmaker at John Lobb, London.

This was a commissioned portrait by John Lobb who requested photographs of their Last Makers. I’m particularly fond of this image of Elrige, Master Craftsman and Last Maker. He is a real character and I love the intensity of his stare in this photo. I also think this portrait captures the essence of the traditional establishment of John Lobb with its traditional working methods, where each wooden last is carved by hand.
Elrige may appear to be wielding a lethal weapon here, but the tool he’s holding is essential for last making and is known as a Last Knife. It’s used to get a block of wood down to the rough shape of the last. Afterwards, a surform, various grades of files and sand paper would be used to get the last down to its final shape and measure.

See more of my corporate portrait and corporate lifestyle photography projects taken on location in London and around the world.

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

0
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.

 

Portrait Photography: The Day I Photographed Sir David Attenborough

0
Filed under Editorial Photography, Fine Art Photography, London, National Portrait Gallery, Portrait Photography

portrait of sir david attenborough by richard boll photography, london

Sir David Attenborough by Richard Boll/ Commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery, London

In 2007, I had the privilege of taking this photographic portrait of our nation’s favourite, Sir David Attenborough, in London. Of the photographs I took I chose this particular image for the final portrait as I think it captures the calm, thoughtful, and highly intelligent nature of his character. There’s a reflective, meditative element to the portrait that I hope represents him effectively. I’m proud to say that this portrait went on to form part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, leaving a fantastic ongoing legacy for my work and professional photography career.
Although some time has passed since that day, I can still vividly remember how I felt at the time. It was an exciting and enjoyable shoot, as Sir David was someone I had always admired and respected. People often ask how I came to take the photograph in the first place and what it was like to meet Sir David.

Joe and The National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize

It was a lovely, sunny day on Brighton seafront. I spotted Joe, taking his dog for a walk along the promenade past my flat. I thought he looked like a very cool and interesting character and I asked if I could take some portraits of him. Joe was very happy for his portrait to be taken and gave me a few minutes of his time. We’ve kept in touch and maintained a positive connection over the years since the photograph was taken. I entered this portrait of ‘Joe’ into the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, awarded annually by the National Portrait Gallery. The competition celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography. It was very exciting to be awarded first prize in the competition. I knew I’d been shortlisted but only found out that I’d won on the evening of the prize-giving.

portrait of joe the winning portrait of the national portrait gallery photographic prize 2006

Prize-winning photographic portrait of Joe on Brighton seafront

Britain’s Greatest Living Cultural Icon

After winning the portrait prize, the National Portrait Gallery arranged a special opportunity for me, to take a photo of the winner of a public vote for ‘Britain’s Greatest Living Cultural Icon’. 10 British icons including the likes of David Bowie and Sir Paul McCartney were shortlisted. The public voted overwhelmingly for Sir David Attenborough, and I’m pleased to say that I also voted for him. Thankfully, he agreed to be photographed after the result of the poll was announced. On the day of the shoot, he was extremely polite and very generous with his time. He patiently allowed me to take several portraits against a couple of different backgrounds.
I’m incredibly proud of the final image and people respond well to it, recognising what I was trying to capture of Sir David’s character and legendary status. There was never any guarantee that the portrait would be accepted for the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery which makes me particularly proud that it was sufficiently well-received to be accepted, ensuring a great ongoing legacy for my work.

Sir David Attenborough awarded Knight Grand Cross

Sir David Attenborough needs no introduction, enjoying a very distinguished broadcasting career, spanning the last 60 years when he
first joined the BBC.

Best known for writing and presenting his many acclaimed television documentaries exploring the natural world, including Life on Earth, The Living Planet, and The Blue Planet, he received his first knighthood in 1985 from the Queen.
In recent news, Sir David, now 96 years old, received a ‘second’ knighthood, the even more prestigious Knight Grand Cross from Prince Charles. Attenborough is one of only 120 people with this honour, which was awarded for his services to television broadcasting and
conservation. Let me end with some final words from Sir David himself, “I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored”.

Click here if you’d like to read more about Attenborough and his career, and more of my portrait photography can be seen here. Signed, archival-quality prints of the portrait can be purchased here.

Still life photography: Bespoke shoemakers John Lobb showcase their 170-year history with inspirational wooden last photographs

0
Filed under Editorial Photography, Fine Art Photography, London, Product Photography

For over 170 years, John Lobb have been hand crafting bespoke, exquisite, and elegant footwear and leather goods. The world-renowned family-run business spans five generations, receiving its first Royal Warrant in 1863. The firm still produces unique and bespoke handmade shoes to this day one pair at a time. Today, they’re loved for what they’ve always stood for: the celebration of the unique and the original.

Lasts of Frank Sinatra. Still life photo by Richard Boll Photography

 

At the heart of their process is a pair of unique hand-carved, sculpted wooden lasts, custom-made to the precise form of the customer’s feet. If you walk into their shop for some custom shoes, their master craftsman will draw around your feet to produce the wooden last. They can then continue making shoes to your exact specification using this bespoke last.
Every pair of shoes produced for a customer of John Lobb goes through a 50 hour, 190 step process. Their experienced fitters will discuss the endless possibilities that only truly bespoke footwear can provide. Every single element is carefully considered, resulting in a creation that is truly unique.

Lasts of Jacqueline Kennedy. Still life photo by Richard Boll Photography

Not only are these wooden lasts beautiful sculptural objects in their own right lending themselves perfectly as the focus for still life photography, but they are also historical artifacts of a unique and fascinating legacy. Since 1849, John Lobb has nurtured an impressive range of famous clients over the years from royalty to household celebrities.
I first became aware of the collection of lasts from their historically significant customers whilst on a shoot for a magazine. I thought that the lasts would make a great subject for a photographic project and approached the owners of John Lobb to ask if I could begin photographing them. I was consequently granted exclusive access to shoot the collection of famous people’s wooden lasts.

Read More »

Corporate portrait photography in London for Numis Investment Bank and The Brunswick Group

0
Filed under Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Environmental Portrait, headshots, Location, London

In September of 2021, I was commissioned by the creative agency The Brunswick Group to take corporate portrait photography of key members of staff at the investment bank Numis. The images were produced over a two-day shoot in various locations at their London offices. Each portrait required the location to be scouted and compositions discussed in advance with an art director from The Brunswick Group.

Numis is an innovative and dynamic investment bank with offices in New York and London. They’re proud to have the largest client base by number of corporates in the United Kingdom, and through combining their leading component services such as equity sales, M&A solutions, and trading and debt advisory, they operate at the forefront of the industry.

More of my corporate portrait photography can be seen here.

professional corporate photograph of a member of the Numis Investment Bank staff

corporate-photography-in-london-by-portrait-photographer-richard-boll

Read More »

Lifestyle Photography for Wizzard Advertising Agency in London

0
Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Environmental Portrait, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London

I was recently commissioned as a lifestyle photographer by the London advertising agency Wizzard. The taxi company has taken the risks posed by Covid-19 very seriously and is taking significant measures to protect their customers in London. I was asked by Wizzard to source models for the lifestyle photography and suggest suitable locations in London. The models were then selected and the shoot was carried out in a relatively quiet square in Pimlico in London. Due to the prevalent risks posed by Covid-19 everyone on the shoot was observing social distancing and wearing PPE. More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

Taxi driver with PPE mask photographed by London-based photographer Richard Boll

London lifestyle photo shoot of a model with a taxi.

Read More »

Corporate Photography for Octopus Energy in London, Warwickshire and Brighton

0
Filed under Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Environmental Portrait, Location, London

I was recently commissioned by Octopus Energy, a UK-based electricity and gas supplier specialising in sustainable energy. They were established in 2015 and have rapidly developed a reputation for excellent customer service and value for money. I was asked to photograph their staff members in London, Warwickshire and Brighton. The commission involved taking informal corporate photography of their team at work as well as posed corporate portraits. It was a great commission and I’m a big fan of Octopus Energy and their fantastic team.

More of my corporate photography can be found here.

 

Corporate portrait in London by Richard Boll photography

Documentary-styled corporate photography by Richard Boll

Read More »

.