Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geek Calender 2010-2011 - Libel Reform

A few months ago I got asked by a friend of mine if I'd like to be involved in a charity calendar that was aimed at raising money for Libel Reform in the UK. I was working alongside a photographer from the Wellcome Trust, Ben Gilbert, and between us we photographed 18 ‘geeks’ for the calendar – all well known personalities within their various fields.
It went surprisingly well considering there was no budget to work with and most people on the team were having to fit this around their day jobs. However they all did a great job and the calendar was officially released last week, receiving coverage both on the Guardian and Telegraph websites along with a lot of general interest and a huge turnout at their launch party.

The geeks I was tasked with photographing were an interesting and varied bunch. The tech guru Dr. Aleks Krotoski started things off for me with a shoot at the Guardian multimedia offices. She was great fun to work with, but it was rather odd at the same time because I remember having a little crush on her when she presented ‘Bits’ on Channel 4 in the late 90’s. Anyway she humoured my photographic demands and was great to work with. Next came Brian Cox and Gia Milinovich - we arrived in the middle of them moving house and having to look after their little one, so the picture actually nicely reflected how chaotic it felt. The cat is actually staring intently at softbox probably wondering what the hell it is. We managed to stink out their kitchen with burn toast. They were shortly followed by the comedian Chris Addison – whom we photographed at the Wellcome Trust building, in the green room (props were mostly his own…). Again great fun to work with – and game for playing up for the picture, whilst also bringing out fantastically geeky facts throughout the shoot. Thirdly I worked with sex therapist Dr Petra Boynton whom we photographed at the Crossbones cemetery site in Southwark, South London. This was a fascinating part of London somewhat unknown – it’s basically an unconsecrated graveyard dating back to medieval times and mainly filled with the bones of prostitutes who worked in the Bankside’s legalized brothels or ‘stews’ (read more here). Dr Petra’s sensitive work with women in a similar field today made it a relevant backdrop. However diving out of the way of cars every five minutes made it quite tiring. Last but not least I had the pleasure of photographing Jonathan Ross at his home in North London – believe or not this is his office and it contains a rather crazy collection of comic book paraphernalia. Some members of the team had a hard time not getting too overexcited by some of this – sadly a lot of it was lost on me – his camera collection however wasn’t, and I did get a little bit jealous. He was a consummate professional to work with and generous with his time and energy – plus he had us all in fits of laughter throughout.This is the finished calendar below and I urge anyone interested in science, media and the like to pledge their support and buy a copy - it's a thing of beauty; put together Cosima Dinkel a great graphic designer. Libel Reform is very worthy cause and something that will have profound effects on this country in the future - you can read more about it all here. If you’re interested in seeing more behind the scenes from the shoot then check out the images on flickr here.

2 comments:

FRANK JOHANNES* said...

hey Greg !
great work. it is allways a pleasure seeing you pictures.
all the best from Berlin
frank

Anonymous said...

Thanks :)
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