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Hello again.

Here’s some things I’ve been up to. Why should you care? You needn’t of course but here you are reading it so I don’t know what to think!

Last week I had a get together – a meeting of musical minds – with Paul Machin: he organises our arrangements into pop hits, I’m still trying to pass myself off as Johnny Marr. It works though! Paul is also a much smarter-dressed man than I and so I think my first in a series of mild, mid-life crises will begin with me buying some red converse sneakers. If I look a tit, I’ll know who to blame.

Also last week I had the pleasure of recording (totally separate musical project) with the musical marvel that is Robert Lee. I’d been promised a ‘go’ in his studio in return for some photographs I did a while back and last week we got started. I’m doing a song I don’t really plan to use with Paul Machin but, you never know. Rob is a very intuitive producer. I’m doing a bit more this week and will post the song here when it’s done.

Did a couple of jobs for the Times Ed. Shot the second one on film: I’m so rock ‘n’ roll it’s untrue. Also had a job photographing an author on Sunday: beautiful light, crappy backgrounds. Ha-ha, a red-herring for you there: beautiful light is the only one you have to worry about. One doesn’t notice anything else if there’s beautiful light and a definite moment.

On Saturday we went up to see my Mum and also went to see my brother in Love Never Dies. I was very excited and proud to see my brother up there on stage at the Adelphi singing with a full orchestra. Nice one Joe. He took my boys for a look around backstage afterwards too. He also showed me the script for ‘Campus’ that he’s filming for channel 4 at the moment. I only read one page but was crying laughing even so. Should be good!

Lastly, my Mum recently took a couple of photographs of me and of my brother. They are such truthful documents that I have to share them with you. We both love our families (we each have two children) and here’s the proof:

Decent exposure

I read somewhere that you can only expose your film to what you expose yourself to hence this week I have yet more photographs of my children. My wife is busy with work this week and so here I am around the house.

Still, whatever one finds oneself exposed to:

1. look

2. wait till something moves you

3. click

Alex Lester for Prime Minister.

Good night.

8-beat rock-beat

My eldest son is having drum lessons from a neighbour of ours at the moment. He absolutely loves it and is getting on well.

He’s especially looking forward to showing his drumming to his uncle Paul, who, by some sort of cosmic co-incidence, is a drummer too.

Solo gig tonight

What could possibly go wrong. Surely nothing.

Well, it turns out it’s all about perception: for me it’s a nervewracking, slightly surreal prospect; for everyone else, it’s some bloke singing in a bar.

TONIGHT: Bar No. 10, East Street, Bridport about 9.00 pm.

And here, purely because I just found it again, is a photograph of my brother Joe and I in New York (in America – you must know). We were both there separately for ‘work’ and bumped into each other near a café. All my early experiences of flying were with newspapers sending me. It was only when my wife and I booked our only real holiday abroad that I realised you had to pay for tickets yourself.

I can recommend ‘cloud cuckoo land’ as a fine destination.

Back in the day

Found an old portfolio of mine from soon after I started taking photographs. It was the one I showed to the NME back in about 1993/1994. They gave me work for the next couple of years or so, on and off.

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My what a shoddy job I did of fixing the prints: they’re all yellowing badly now. What I’m surprised about though is that I feel they’re quite good. I was trying to emulate the Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn. I don’t think they’re particularly similar but there’s at least something of his influence there.

Also, talking of back in the day, I was sent a photograph by an old friend Richard Heyes. It shows myself and my family and that’s me home from London where I’d recently moved to. By the look of things, I must have thought I was ‘it’ but it might perhaps be closer to the truth to say I was a little bit of a tit. Don’t know. I’ve got no perspective on myself: I’m always living in my head. I love this photograph though; it’s one of my favourites. It reminds me how lovely my parents were. I must quickly point out that my Mum STILL IS lovely but sadly Dad’s no longer around. It’ll be 10 years ago next year that he died and I’m keen to ‘do’ something. I can’t quite think what but I’ve got some ideas.

Millson 03

Richard Heyes taught me how to load and process my very first roll of film in his parents’ garage in Thatcham, Berks. I think of him every time I load a film to this day.

Ooh. I drifted off there into the past.

Back to earth. I’ve got an exciting shoot tomorrow in a wood. I’ve been spending tonight reminding myself how I light photographs as I’ve been mainly working with the light that I find this last year. Details to follow.