Oktra Interior Design Photography

Okra London designs and fits up North

During the tumble weed times of frozen lockdown I was commissioned for an exciting interiors photography job that fitted the ‘safe shooting’ requirements perfectly. Essentially a soon to be occupied office building in Newcastle’s NE12. It was a brand new beautiful office design and fit by Okra Design in London for their expanding client (who wants to remain private) with an HQ in London. They had worked to a really tight schedule with design and fit then the timescale shrank on the job drastically as COVID struck. All was completed smoothly on time and the finished results were crisp, professional, light and airy, a positive environment for the new Northern team. Oktra got in touch with me having viewed my website’s Office Interiors Photography (link here) and felt my Newcastle location and photography style was a good fit for their brand and so asked me to capture the office on handover day last month. I was so keen to shoot again, I could have actually kissed them (although strictly I couldn’t in the middle of a pandemic….. and they are 280 miles away, but I am sure you can imagine my joy)!

So the brief was to capture clean descriptive photos of the office’s full height windowed perimeter, the space, light and enormity of the building to create an interior photography portfolio for this design. The photography was briefed to cover the layout planning and details like wall graphics, bespoke brand coloured furniture and organised open planned spaces within the huge expanse of space. There was a fabulous interior living wall in the breakout area that Oktra wanted photos of next to modern furniture and finishes. Images with perspective were important to show the scale and there also was a secure bullet proof area that had it’s own generator in the case of a power cut. It was pretty a impressive piece for Oktra’s portfolio so see what you think below. I have also placed some screen shots of the current Oktra website displaying my images and you can see their work here.

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My new Prints Shop is Launched!

How exciting, it’s live at last! It’s been a rather long time in the making but it has kept me busy for three months!

Throughout 20 years of working as a photographer in London and Newcastle I have collated sets of documentary images for my own enjoyment and personal projects. During Covid-19 lockdown I have had the time to create a website that offers these pictures as Fine Art Photo Prints to buy at various sizes on a fine art quality paper to then frame yourselves. These images are my observations of everyday life, celebrations of colour and composition that I hope will add colour, character and entertainment to people’s walls.

There are several series of photo prints for sale taken at various different times over 20 years, covering a wide range of genres; festival photography of a tomato fight, the Rum Shack and a Welcome sign in lights at Glastonbury Common, local North East photos of the famous and familiar Quayside on Newcastle and Gateshead sides, pictures of the Town Moor’s Hoppings Fair with vibrancy and colour and my favourite Peckham Loves Me series that documents the food, people and culture of Peckham Rye Lane in the year 2000. Images will be added and removed from the product range over time so do please keep popping back.

Prints are available from A4 upwards in 4 standard sizes to fit most frames easily found in online and at most homeware stores, John Lewis for smaller more fancy finishes, B&M home-stores for great modern and budget options and The Range for a similar prices too. If you want good quality framing to bespoke sizes then take to a local framers and in Newcastle I would recommend the Arts centre on Westgate Rd and Wallsend has a great value framers too on the High St. If you like a print but have a particular frame or mount size in mind please email me with your requirements and I shall be happy to advise, crop to fit your frame and provide a personalised quotation. Sizes in millimetres are on the site for your reference.

Black Lives Matter

In response to recent events I felt it appropriate to donate a percentage of my print sales to a charity supporting black communities. Peckham’s Caribbean and African community was home to my daughter and I in the 1990’s so the area and culture is important to me. So for every Peckham print purchased by you I will give 10% of the profit to London Black Women’s Project. This is a black feminist organisation supporting women who have suffered violence and abuse, offering accommodation, mental and physical help, empowerment and training to the front line services.

Below are some framing and layout ideas of how my photographs could look once framed and on your wall. There also is a video of the unwrapping of a test print of Ovoline Gateshead Quayside at A1 size on my instagram account and facebook page. If this all sounds interesting and you’d like to see the images closer head to this link for my shopping cart website here

Photographs of Peckham, London SE15 to buy

Minimalistic home interior with photo print to buy

Photo prints to buy to frame and put on wall of Peckham London

Minimalistic home interior with photo print to buy Photo prints to buy to frame and put on wall of Peckham London

Fine art photo prints for wallsPhotographs of Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside to buyPhotographs of South Shields Marsden Rock to buyPhotographs of Peckham Rye Lane to buy

YMCA Portraits

Just before lockdown I worked with the YMCA in Newcastle on their Urban Mushroom project, capturing photos of the grow-your-own kits they sell made from recycled local coffee grains. It’s a genius idea and more mushroom images will be shared when they go live. Part of the photography brief was to capture urban portraits in Newcastle city centre of the local youth that the scheme employs.

The YMCA are an exciting new client for me and one of the fist things I discussed when meeting Calvin, the Marketing Officer at YMCA Newcastle, was the infamous song! I was curious to know whether it felt relevant to the work they do now. I’d thought the memorable 1970’s Village People’s flamboyance was worlds apart from what the charity does today but did you know that the song was celebrating the YMCA help given to young gay men who were rejected by family and turfed out of home? The YMCA charity gave accommodation to those homeless young men and so Calvin explained the history of the organisation was well respected in this song. Now the YMCA supports both young men and women in all areas of life and Urban Mushrooms is an important employment scheme in Newcastle’s YMCA.

My main focus for the portrait shoot was the amazing Wilton who is employed by the Urban Mushroom scheme. He was a super star and surprisingly tolerant of me pointing a camera in his direction for several hours! I got some atmospheric shots of him and YMCA staff too by simply crossing the road from their premises and using the alleyway next to the Tyneside Cinema. So many brick textures, backdrop colours and lighting styles in that one street!

The brief was to capture a more relaxed expression, so not necessarily smiling as this can appear unappealing, staged and possibly unrealistic to the younger target market the YMCA want to attract. We also discussed the use of dimension and angles to fit with the YMCA style of photography and branding currently on their website. It was a clear and creative brief (the best of course) and the mood and expression needed to be just right. It was also a different type of shoot for me as I usually encourage people to smile although I did get a few smilers at the end though. Obviously!

For more information on the YMCA Newcastle and it’s work click here

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Science Museum’s ‘Robots Then and Now’

Robot Faces: Exhibition Photography

This exhibition at the Science Museum explored the 500 year history of humanoid robots. It opened in 2017 in London, and in 2018 Life Science Centre in Newcastle was lucky enough to host it before it toured internationally, this year in Berlin.

If you love a robot face, particularly the 1970’s 80’s toys like me, then you’d have been in for treat at this exhibition! It was a joy to capture these photos for the Life marketing team, the colourful lighting, cartoon style designs and the amazing interactive technology of the moving and talking machines!

The exhibition graphics are the design work of the amazing London based Environmental Graphic Designers, Studio HB, for whom I have captured images for the David Bowie, Winnie the Pooh, Dylan Thomas and most recently the Corbridge Hoard exhibitions to name but a few.

These colourful robot photos are the perfect antidote to a grey day or a crazy pandemic lockdown…. just look at their funny googley eyes! If you wanted to find out more about the fantastic PR stunt that I captured to promote the exhibition’s visit to Life then you can read a blog I wrote in 2018 on this link here.

Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 4 Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 8Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 13Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 2 Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 11 Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 7 Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 1Science Museum Robots Exhibition Photography taken in Newcastle at Life 6

English Heritage’s Corbridge Hoard

Corbridge Hidden Treasures

You may know this already but until I was briefed for this shoot, I had no idea that Corbridge, just outside the pretty cobbled town centre, has an excavated Roman settlement managed by English Heritage. As well as the architectural remains to walk around there is a display of the largest of Hadrian’s Wall’s collections. Its exhibited together with a 2000 year old ‘hoard’ of buried treasure. The excavation here in 1964 found one of the most significant historical findings; a Roman soldier’s belongings including armour, tools, weaponry, wax writing tablets and papyrus, (an ancient writing paper). Essentially it was a Roman time capsule!

These discoveries were found buried in an iron-bound, leather-covered wooden chest which was likely to have been left by it’s owner to collect at a later date but never was. Instead the well preserved items are exhibited at the English Heritage Centre in Corbridge in a colourful, interesting and atmospheric exhibition.

Studio hb, a London based Graphic Designer, created the exhibition’s design concept using detailed spot lighting, careful symmetry, dramatically suspended heavy stone work and a colour scheme inspired by the orange and blue-green beads of the Roman jewellery exhibits. I was briefed by Studio hb’s Helen to capture the design detail of coloured lined timescales, debossed typography (echoing roman etchings in stone) and the story telling layouts of tiny and delicate artefacts.

For anyone interested in finding out more about Hardian’s Wall or the Corbridge Town Roman settlement information can be found on The English Heritage website here

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