22
Feb 14

MANning Up

Eiffel Tower Cartoon

© 2014 Roger Overall

My friend Paul O’Mahony is a sharp cookie. The counter in his kitchen is where I get many valuable business lessons. Really, he should found a business school around that counter top. It would rival any in the world. The experience would be immersive, funny, enlightening and there would be excellent wine, coffee or tea. Last time there was home-baked fruit cake too.

I digress.

Both Paul and I work as creatives. He and his business partner Jonathan Amm build brands (“Get your story straight”). I’m a storyteller (“Get your story told”). We are similar in how the marketplace perceives our value and our time. Often, they are rated at zero.

The world for a song

Recently, I was asked by a company what I would charge for photography that would express its corporate values. It was a sizable commission too. Lots of images. All told, in excess of three days’ work.

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10
Feb 14

Oceans Project Podcast – Episode 10: The “We Can’t Reveal That Yet” Episode

You’d think that marketing a solo row around Britain would be easy. To an extent it is. But there are some hurdles too.

This week on the podcast, we speak with Clare Jefferis of She Marketing, an agency that specializes in marketing to women. Clare is helping Sarah with all aspects of publicizing her row: from connecting with sponsors to getting press coverage. Sarah also has HUGE news… but she can’t reveal all the details just yet.


09
Feb 14

Creative Fit

As I really start to embrace middle age, I notice my body is fraying around the edges. I can’t hear tones higher than 10,000 Hz, for instance. Nor are my eyes what they once were and my effective field of vision is receding. My memory, already feeble, is becoming increasingly porous. At least I still have my hair, though it is losing its colour. And my memory isn’t what it was.

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01
Feb 14

Oceans Project Podcast – Episode 9: Getting Poo Through Customs

In this week’s episode, you’ll hear that Sarah has been accepted on to a PhD programme and will be studying the cognitive effects of calorific stress on rowers. She will be her own first test subject during the Great British Viking Row. She talks us through the research and the delicate issue of faeces – one of the study’s key data sources. For instance, just how do you explain a box of it on your way through airport customs?


01
Feb 14

The Documentary Photographer Podcast – Episode 16: Brian David Stevens and the Meaningful Landscape


It’s been so long since I spent time on The Documentary Photographer, I sometimes forget I host it. Really, that’s not good enough and my ambition in 2014 is to bring the podcast back on track. I love documentary photography, it is where my photographic heart lies, and I learn so much when I get to speak with other photographers about it.

This interview with Brian David Stevens was recorded just over a year ago in London. In fact, it was on the same day that I spoke with Gina Glover. Life, work, stuff all got in the way of it being edited and broadcast. I lost my mojo a bit as well. 2013 was a hard year.

Let’s not dwell on all that.

Instead, let’s dwell on Brian and his work. He speaks eloquently and thoughtfully about his work and approach to photography and his subjects. We meander through landscape photography, street photography and documentary photography as sub-genres of photography. We talk realism, truth and meaning, as well as building meaningful relationships with your human subjects when they are very different from you.

Brian’s interests are varied, covering seascapes to graffiti artists, yet there is a coherence. Often Brian collaborates. Either with his subjects or by working with others on a project, a poet for instance. His work is about dialogue. Landscapes are revealed to have human meaning due to events that happened there – the interplay between image and words creates a deeper story.


28
Jan 14

Sexing a Croissant

You might know about the monster that lurks under the front passenger seat of my car. Croissanzilla. A piece of pastry that refuses to decay. Bought at the start of July 2013 at Tesco and showing no signs of mould. A little desiccated perhaps, but otherwise robustly oblivious of the march of time.

I have to accept that Croissanzilla will be around for a while yet. In that vein, the pastry deserves at least a gender. Is a croissant a he or a she?

Turns out Croissanzilla is male. “Le croissant”.

I imagine him as a leathery mariner from Marseille. I hear they breed them tough in that city. A no-nonsense sort of pastry that would back down for nobody. Irascible and indelible. Big on attitude. Scary.

I tell you this: steal my car at your peril. He’ll rip your ears off.

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25
Jan 14

The Great British Viking Quest

One of the great stories that I have the privilege of helping to tell right now is that of Sarah Weldon’s “Great British Viking Quest”. We do this together in the weekly Oceans Project podcast.

In a nutshell, Sarah had hoped to row across the Pacific Ocean later this year. First as part of a four, then (after a crew shake up) as part of a pair. Sadly, when her remaining crew mate also left the project, she had to abandon it.

Now she plans to be the first person to row solo around Britain.

At the moment, the project is on a knife edge. The finances involved in such an endeavour are considerable and an important deadline is approaching. She needs to make a £7,500 deposit on the boat by the end of next week.

But before I give everything away though, why not listen to the latest episode of the podcast?

If you’d like to hear more of the story, you’ll find all of the previous episodes listed over on the widget bar on the right.


19
Jan 14

Birdsong

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12
Jan 14

Régale Biscuits

Régale is a bakery down in West Cork that produces wonderful biscuits. The owner, Richard, talks about producing biscuits using ingredients that his grandmother would recognise. The results are wholesome and delicious. A short video showing the process.


17
Oct 13

Fundraiser: The Syria Print Sale

NOTE: This is a repost of a recent entry to my blog that accompanies The Documentary Photographer podcast. It is here to help raise awareness of an initiative to raise money for Médecins sans Frontieres work in Syria.

Earlier this year, Christian Payne, a good and conscientious man, went to Syria to tell the stories of people like you and me – except they weren’t quite like you and me. Their lives had been destroyed by the civil war. Christian’s tale is a moving one. You can listen to it in episode 14 of The Documentary Photographer podcast, or experience it on his blog (the post titled Towards Syria is a good place to start).

Following our conversation, I approached a number of the photographers who had been interviewed on the podcast about contributing prints to a sale to raise money for some form of aid in Syria. Gina Glover and David Creedon readily agreed.

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