John Robertson: Midlands Photographer
Freelance editorial, commercial, advertising, PR and wedding photographer based in Rothwell, Northants - covering the UK and the World.
A Monkey's Revenge - My Blog
Apr 14, 2013
The end of an era this week with the ceremonial funeral of Baroness Thatcher on Wednesday. Last week The Daily Telegraph sent me to deepest Worcestershire to photograph one of her admirers-John Parton, an ex coal miner turned successful business owner who has now retired. He admired Lady T so much he had one of his purdey shotguns engraved with her portrait. The gun is now up for auction by Holt's,(expected to fetch between £30-50,000). The twist to the tale is that the day Mr Parton took delivery of his gun from the engravers was the day Margaret Thatcher left 10, Downing Street in tears. He put his gun up for auction the week BEFORE the baroness died. Photo of the engraving is courtesy of Holt's Auctioneers © Andrew Orr – Holt’s Auctioneers.
Mr Parton was clearly leaning to the right even as an 18 year old coal miner. He told me that when he was seen reading the Telegraph he was chased by other miners for a mile along the pit. He switched to The Daily Mirror pretty quickly after that experience!
Way back in the late eighties I photographed Margaret Thatcher when Gorbachev came to town for a historic meeting that effectively sealed an end to the 'Cold War'. Being a northern snapper, I arrived too late to find a decent position as the clued up London snappers had already secured their places outside number ten with gaffer tape and chained up stepladders in the press pen. Sometimes even bad luck works to your advantage though- I was able to get Dennis Thatcher in from the angle I shot at, right on the edge of the scrum, as Gorbachev took a sneeky peek at his watch. I remember hearing lots of expletives from one of the photographers near me who had missed that shot- you see we were working on film in those days and he was just changing a roll at the time!
I photographed Lady Thatcher again in 2001 when she supported William Hague's election campaign. My photo made front page of The Guardian and was more a matter of luck than anything. The Guardian's writer, Simon Hoggart, described the situation very accurately as 'a goatfuck'. I was lucky enough to be in position as an ardent and amorous admirer gave the iron lady a quick kiss. The security men were not as pleased by this as I was and promptly shoulder charged me out of the goatfuck where I ended up on the floor near one of the Northampton market stalls. Surrounded by knocked over flowers I was happy nevertheless- you always know when you have something good in the camera!
Feb 22, 2013
Oops! Looks like half a year has passed without me blogging anything on my own site. Apologies if you were a regular reader- things got a bit hectic and I kinda got out of the habit !
I had been blogging as a guest on the Photobizcoach blog and I guess that took precedence over my own blog- so sincere apologies and I will now attempt to keep a more regular presence on this blog ;-)
It had become a bit of a diary on where I was at, what I'd been doing, etc. I'd like to get away from that if I may, so please bear with me whilst I re-format where I'm at with all this and try to get some different content on here. All suggestions are welcome!
Sep 2, 2012
Jun 15, 2012
Sometimes with the best will in the world, things go wrong. Jobs fall flat, cameras break, flashtubes go bang. As a photographer you can minimise the risk of pear-shaped occurrences but never completely remove the chances of things going wrong.
I cover weddings some weekends as well as editorial and commercial work and recently turned up nice and early for one of these. You can never tell if there will be traffic problems, so it's always best to err on the side of caution. As I exited my car, I realised a seam had gone in the trousers of my nearly-new expensive suit. I'm not keen on flash at weddings and even less keen on being a flasher, so I changed into the spare trousers I keep along with a spare jacket in case somebody gets a little too liberal with the champagne.
Fortunately on this occassion I was able to visit a professional tailor's within sight of the church! Ten minutes and a very professional repair later saw me back in business and still nice and early. So thanks to the team at Joe Krampah in Northampton for being brilliant ;-)
May 13, 2012
Those nice people at Barcroft Media often come up with hilarious stories for me to illustrate. In this case it was a 70 year old virgin!
Pam is an actress and entertainer and has even starred in one of my favourite TV programmes, 'Shameless' in which she played 'Auntie Pat'.
We took photos in her garden, in a nearby park and in her bedroom where the leopard print bedspread made a very appropriate background.
The story reminded me of another Barcroft piece I illustrated, along with one of my assistants at the time, Wayne Neal. 'Princess Kaz' at a porno film 'factory' in the dark heart of Birmingham. Below is a photo of Wayne helping to repair the bed after some heavy duty action- NOT that kind of action, I only shoot tasteful images ;-)