“Remember to look up at the stars …….”

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This time last year I was lucky enough to photograph this gentleman .The occasion was the Radio Times Covers Party, an event to celebrate all the cover stars from that year. The main party was in the swanky surroundings of the main ballroom at Claridges. I was in a (very grand) side room where we had set up a colourama backdrop to turn it into a studio space .The idea being that we would take portraits of all the artists after they had received their awards.
After taking a couple of hours to set up we were informed first up was Mr.Hawkins who would be arriving early with Lucy his daughter through a (step free) side entrance.
He drove onto the set and his wheelchair totally trashed the newly laid colourama beneath the chair …..I vaguely remember saying something to him like “we will sort that out in photoshop afterwards”, but was also thinking that a man of his super intelligence would have little interest in the superficiality of posing for photographs. So I told him what I wanted photographically but was conscious of not attempting to indulge in smalltalk. What do you say to the man who knows the Theory Of Everything ?
. So we did the pictures, and also some with Lucy and him together . Then he was gone, into the party, and that was it .

At the end of the evening we had broken down most of the equipment and myself and both my assistants were looking at the pictures of him on the laptop ,reflecting on what a bizarre experience photographing him had been. Just then, into the room, he returned, enroute to the same side entrance of the building he had entered at the beginning of the evening.
I then found myself showing him and Lucy the pictures we had taken earlier. I just remember looking at him and thinking, wow thats Stephen Hawkins, right here ,right now .
He left and I remember saying “did that Just really happen.?..
It was quite surreal really. and we all felt a little bit honoured to have been in the same room as him.
And im reminded of that feeling today
He said a lot of amazing things ,and this one is probably all over social media today ,for good reason ,because it says it all in a nutshell.
“Remember to look up at the stars ,
and not down at your feet.
Never give up work.
Work gives you meaning and purpose,
and life is empty without it.
If you are lucky enough to find love
remember it is there and don’t throw it away”.

Tears On The Dancefloor….

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It was indeed a bizarre  moment when the band assembled in front of me for the first shot  of the day .They had not been together for a  photoshoot  since 2001 and there was an abundance of nervous laughter as they all reconnected with their characters from yesteryear. Having shot  STEPS  on numerous occasions in the past it was a bit of a groundhog day moment for me too.

Their images for the new single and album covers came out of this shoot, and were both released this week. The single “Scared Of The Dark” entered the chart at  no.2. However the album “Tears on The Dancefloor” is now sitting  at the top of the album charts, so I’m chuffed to have another No.1 to add to the list .                                                                                                                                                                      Fortunately for the listening public my appearance on this is of a purely visual and not an audio nature.

Styling and Concepts by FRANK STRACHAN





“La Ronde”

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I’ve worked with the multi-talented chap that is DANIEL DONSKOY  quite a few times. The most recent of which was for the new production of”LA RONDE” of which he is the producer. The original play, written in 1897  shocked Europe on its release with its tales of sex, love and lust.Director MAX GILL updates the story to modern day London and the four actors appear in an order defined by the spinning wheel at the rear of the stage .

I shot all the promotional images for the show and also directed the trailer which was filmed and edited with LOUIS BRYANT 

The fruits of our labour you can see by clicking here : LA RONDE TRAILER


A Thousand Tiny Lights….

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Just before Crimbletime I went off to the outbacks of Reading to photograph the album sleeve for the new Gareth Malone Album, “A Great British Christmas”.

The concept for the cover came from Gareth ,so we had full reign to go as over the top with the Christmas lights as we wanted.

So, at about 7am we turned up at the location house with the prop team who unloaded a huge truck load of lights as myself and art director Paul Chessel did a lot of “can we put that there,and all those up on the roof please “. We then headed off to the dizzy heights of a Reading industrial estate where we hooked tip with Mr.Malone and commenced the studio side of the shoot .

In the late afternoon we returned to the house to find the Propped Up team had turned a quiet suburban cul de sac into the magical sight that you see above. This sight was of particular amusement to the assembled locals who watched patiently as we all waited for the delicate balance between the fading daylight and the thousands of brightly coloured little lights to manifest itself for my camera.

Many thanks to Dave Meyer for the excellent snapshot of the day which  he filmed for the record company, Decca.

You can see it by clicking on the attached link :







The Doctor will see you now……

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The stills shoot to promote the Christmas day Dr.Who episode was shot in Cardiff & London. The final images that the Beeb used were animated into a cool little viral .

The link of which is here :DR.WHO CHRISTMAS TEASER

For me the highlight of the shoot was watching PETER CAPALDI and MATT LUCAS dance around the studio as they sang along with The Human League back catalogue which was blasting out of the studio speakers.

In a quieter moment ,this behind the scenes picture was taken by HARRY HITCHENS and  although I seem to remember that I was suggesting to Peter a pose to sit in ,it does look like he’s telling me to get my feet off the furniture……

Take Me To The Church…

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We shot this in October ,on the steps of the beautiful St.Johns Church in South West London.

The shoot was for the cover of the Aled Jones Christmas release “One Voice At Christmas”.

On the album, young Aled duets with grown up Aled, which I reckon for a singer ,must be a pretty cool thing to do.

The church is situated in Smith Square next to the River Thames and  takes up the whole of the middle of the square.

Quite uniquely, the front of the church looks exactly like the back .

On the day of the shoot we arrived to find one side was basking in bright Autumn sunshine

Luckily round the other side it was snowing ……


360 Degrees Of The Voice

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Tonight, The Voice 2016 starts and it seemed only fitting to post this little bit of  brilliance that was filmed during the coaches photoshoot I did for the BBC.

Throughout my shoot, a tripod was placed between myself and the coaches. On top of this tripod were 6 or 7 Go Pros recording all the wonderful chaos as it unfolded in full 360 degree vision. There are little cursors on the top left hand of the screen which allow you to pan round the room to see everything as its happened .

This is a Behind The Scenes of a photoshoot unlike you will ever have seen.

Sadly the moment when I managed to coax Ricky Wilson to throw an entire cake stand at the camera is not included ,but it does give an indication of the madness of the day ….


And when it was all finished this is how it looked …..


The Voice - 2016

Talking loud and saying something……

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I’m very chuffed to have been interviewed by Harry Hitchens and Matt Shore for their brilliant Filler Podcast series. Journalistically wedged somewhere between “This Is Your Life” and “How to survive in cameraland in 2015”, we traded stories, photographic anecdotes and industry tips. During the interview we trawled through my time fronting a band ,falling into a career with a camera, right through to some recent photographic commissions.

Should you be inclined to check it out, here is a little link to the series …..



An audience with Sir Tom ….

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This is a behind the scenes shot taken during my recent photoshoot for the BBC, photographing the series iconics for “The Voice 2015”.
During this full on, but fantastic day, there were only  4 people in front of my camera, but at any one time at least 30 people behind it, all making valuable contributions to the proceedings, like a big arty melting pot.
I had just asked Tom Jones to back up to the wall, throw his arms to his side and look menacingly into the camera.  He just smiled at me and replied “whatever you want me to do boy’o “.

Then as he stared at me through the little box i held in my hand ,one thought came suddenly came to my mind …..”Wow, you knew Elvis.”

Ray Burmiston photographing Sir Tom Jones



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Thanks to the great man Mr Addison Cresswell ,who many moons ago entrusted  me to photograph his star pupil Lee Evans .Up to that point i had only worked with musicians, and it opened up the world of comedy, a whole new photographic landscape for me. I have continued to capture the endless contortions of Lee over the years. Be that in a harness, on a trampoline, or even submerged in a deep filmset swimming pool. This is the latest creation by Myself and Lee, with artworking by Lewis at Tangerine. Its currently on billboards and escalators all over this fair city advertising his new tour called “Monsters”