Deano's 2020 Highlights
To procrastinate from doing my taxes I decided to start a blog! The first post is a round up of my 2020 highlights - I think to remind myself that there actually were some, ha! Enjoy ;)
Maldives & Sri Lanka
The year started off pretty sweet to be booked for an editorial shoot in the Maldives with Megan Barton Hanson and the Heritance Aarah resort. The client asked if I’d fly the 15 hour journey (London-Dubai-Male-Seaplane to island resort), shoot the job, then to keep costs down, rush back the airport for an evening flight and the 15 hour return leg.
I decided it would be a shame to come this far just to just head straight home, especially in the darks of January. My return flight was via Colombo so I managed to tack on a week and travelled Sri Lanka - a country which has been on my travel list forever!
I packed in a ton of amazing adventures in that week (not even knowing this would be my last trip for the foreseeable future). A must if you ever visit is the train ride through the mountains from Candy to Ella - it’s just breathtaking! By the time I got to Ella, (5 days into my trip) I was starting to miss not having a travel companion. As I sat on my hotel balcony overlooking Little Adam’s Peak, reading a book (David Jason’s autobiography, don't judge me) I heard drumming and singing coming from the property next door. As I lent over to see where it was coming from, I caught the eye of a local lad who waved for me to come and join the party. So I threw on my flip flops and headed over.
I was greeted by a dozen friendly-faced locals offering me snacks and some rather pokey local brew from an old Fanta bottle. Rarely one to say no, I got stuck in and before long I was clapping along to their drunken jam session. Soon a guitar was thrust into my hands. I had a handful of lessons as a kid (big up Owen Rolfe!) but can’t play for toffee. I did retain the power chords to “Wild Thing” by the Troggs (everyone knows that right?!). Well they left me hanging for a few bars as I nervously wailed my way through it before joining in with their bongos and clapping. Was a great feeling! I’m in a bloody band! Every time I tried to wrap it up they kept egging me to carry on - I must have played "Wild Thing" for 15 minutes straight and until my fingers bled! (I was thinking - this is it, I’m Brian Bloody Adams!). We could barely speak a word in the same language but had an awesome afternoon.
I also saw covid masks for the first time in the airport. I remember rolling my eyes a little but the UK hadn’t received the memo at that point.
Vue Cinema and Silver Sabres
A fun job in London for Beattie Communications. I loved playing with the light from sabres while creating publicity shots for Vue cinemas UK.
You can check out more of my PR and event photography here. Feel free to contact if you want snazzy stills of your event or products.
Ricky Gervais & Conan O’Brien
I received a call from my dear friend Ruthie in Los Angeles who works for comedian and chat show legend Conan O’Brien. Conan was in the UK for a talk at the Oxford Union and scheduled a last minute podcast recording with Ricky Gervais. Ruthie asked if I was available to do a quick portrait of them both for promotional use? - Absolutely!
The Office was one of my comedy obsessions growing up so the chance to visit Ricky’s actual office was an honour! (It was in my neighbourhood too - bonus!) Ricky arrived an hour earlier than Conan so we got to hang out and chat. He was super chill and pleasant, until Conan walked in - where the pair immediately got stuck into each other with some world class banter! You can check out their conversation here.
Experiencing London during the first lockdown was quite strange. The news was obviously horrific and scary but there was also a buzz (for want of a better word) in the air as I imagined there was during the blitz. People lining up outside grocers, our local pub serving takeaway growlers of ale and the nation on their doorsteps every Thursday night to clap for the NHS. Who knows the full challenges we’ll have to endure from this but looking to the positives I feel it brought out the best in human kind.
Moving to Devon
After a few months of my phone not ringing, we decided to hightail it out of London and move back to my hometown in North Devon. After being away for over 15 years I’d been looking for an opportunity to go home and this felt like the right time - that and we found out my wife Becky was pregnant!! Whoop!
The photo below was from a morning stroll at Valley of the Rocks as the bump was just getting noticeable. I got lucky with early morning mist rolling down the foliage. Becky got unlucky having to take her hoodie off and pose for a pic!
It was my first job on set since covid safety measures were implemented. Wearing a face mask with eyeglasses gets foggy at the best of times but add a giant rain machine and I couldn't see a bloody thing! Probably not the best look for a photographer hey. Eek!
You can check out more of my TV/Film/Commercials stills work here and contact anytime to book me for upcoming projects.
Local People doing great things
One thing I’m mad keen to do in Devon is support and work with the awesome local businesses that seem to be popping up everywhere! I started a project @homegrownguides to highlight my favourite people and places doing great things. A couple of great shoots I had in 2020 were with award winning artists Sarah Jackson and Corrine Young in their gallery in Barnstaple and my friends in Bristol who are making beautiful beeswax candles at Burton and Webb. Both are excellent gift ideas!
If your business needs beautiful photography feel free to hit me up for a chat! You can also check out more of my commercial work here.
After completing a cinematography course at Met Films 2019, I finally took the plunge and invested in a Sony FS7 camera and all the trimmings. I’m interested in documentary filmmaking and excited to dive into telling people’s stories and showcasing their businesses. My friend Daniel Gotz and I made this short doc on Sarah Jo Robinson and her quest to clean her local beaches.
I'm always looking for the next interesting subject to film so feel free to hit me up if you have a good story or wish to invest in an epic brand film! You can check out some of my film work here.
In October I was booked by a press agency to cover the new Batman film which closed down huge parts of Liverpool to shoot action scenes. It was fascinating to see St. Georges hall converted into Gotham City with SWAT teams, G.C.P.D., American fire trucks and of course Batman/Bruce Wayne played by Robert Pattinson. Other cast on set included Colin Farrell as The Penguin and Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman.
The last job of the year was shooting stills for Marcus Flemmings' latest feature film "Blonde Purple." Starring Ellie Bindman and Julian Moore-Cook. I thought I'd share a couple of sneak peaks. Can't wait to see how these feature in the artwork.
I'm truly passionate about film and cinema and love shooting BTS and unit stills. You can check out more stills work here. Feel free to contact if you'd like to discuss me capturing your production, large or small.
As I write this our baby is due any day (/minute!) and for me, moving home and starting a family certainly feels like the most positive thing to come out of 2020.
A topsy turvy year to say the least and I know 2021 is going to have its challenges too, so I wish everyone the absolute best. We really need to come together to support local businesses more than ever in these next few years.
If anyone needs photography or short films of any kind feel free to give me a shout. I'm happy to help smaller businesses I believe in and work within your budgets where I can. It's a competitive world and I feel you have to stand out with beautiful content to get noticed.
If you're further afield I'm always keen to travel (when safe) so contact any time if you have any questions or enquires to see if we can collaborate.
Peace and Love,
PHOTOGRAPHER | BRAUNTON NORTH DEVON
+44 07903 418425