I’m in the Doghouse …..


Wednesday 20th June 2012


Sometimes it’s a moment of serendipity that introduces the opportunity to work for a new client … and it could not have been more so than whilst spending a bit of down time with some close friends at the annual ‘Ludlow Spring Festival – Beer, Bangers & Bread’ that I came across a display stand selling an eye catching magazine entitled ‘Doghouse – café & pub magazine’.

A few days later I contacted the editor & publisher Jon and we arranged to meet up and chat about how I might be able to offer my work to the new publication.

Jon is a multi-award winning publisher, whose eye for design, layout, image use and editorial content is unmistakable the minute you browse a copy of ‘Doghouse – café & pub magazine‘. Quite simply, it’s superb!

After our initial meeting we soon teamed up to work on my first assignment for the publication – an in-depth reportage picture story of the famous Three Tuns Brewery in Bishop’s Castle. Working with such an enthusiastic editor was great. Once on location Jon showed me a sample of page mock-ups he had on his Mac and gave me a clear directional brief as to how the brewery should be captured. Working together we spent the best part of the day moving from the heady heights of the brewery’s eaves down through the building to the dungeon like keg cellar where the finished product (beer – and lots of it) is kegged, prior to being dispatched to local pubs.

Due to editorial embargoes (at the time of writing) it would be unfair to illustrate the entire shoot here – but the following image is a quick ‘preview’ from the shoot, capturing just one moment from the brewery’s working day.



To capture the above image multiple flash heads were strategically positioned around the cellar, fired via radio-transmitters. Some of the flash heads were aimed at the ceiling to create a softer light – using the ceiling area as a giant soft box reflector, whilst others were directed at the cellarman, specific barrels and areas of low light. The flash was balanced with what little ambient light there was available, so in certain cases diffusers had to be placed over the flash heads to lower the light output, avoiding ‘hot spots’ in the picture. Finally after getting the correct lighting balance, the cellarman’s pose and positioning was key – to capture him complete in the picture, framed by barrels and the red hose.

Since this initial shoot Jon has commissioned me on two further occasions and I can say that once again the resulting shoots have been great fun to work on – including Cheese the Weimaraner pictured on a railway station platform and a pub with a ‘mini-galleon’ ship as it’s bar!  My ‘thanks’ go to Jon for the opportunities and making working together such good fun!

Please visit the Doghouse website to order your copy of the forthcoming issue – available from 7th September … or perhaps sign up to the annual subscription at just £12.00 for four copies.

I’m sure the Doghouse will be another award winning publication and judging from its editorial content, eye catching design and clearly its illustrative photography … I hope you’ll be (delving) into the Doghouse too!