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John Cooper's Blog
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Another longstanding client Nigel a Chrissy of the successful Abbot Fire had the official opening of their new premises towards the end of last year. They were able gain the services of The Speaker of The Houses of Parliament' John Bercow to officiate at the event.

Best be prepared for Guy Fawkes....

...and the speeches were not to be missed!!!


Thanks to all the clients both old and new for making the start to 2014 so positive. The variety of projects covered is great for the motivation. One minute photographing corporate events suited and booted, the next upto my armpits in mud on a new site.

The new clients have included some of special not. We now are currently capturing images for William Cowley, the last vellum and parchment manufacturer in the UK for their new website. One of only a handful of manufacturers worldwide, William & Cowley supply The Houses of Parliament for the acts of parliament, Royal Wedding Certificates, etc. They also supplied the media used to make 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' maps etc, and 'Harry Potter'! Recently they have also been involved with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

We are now currently photographing for their products pages a wide variety of media that they produce. These are used for anything from the obvious quality archival documentation, to furniture, musical instruments etc. The challenge is to reveal the texture, surface quality and detail of each variant. Not easy when the images are to be reduced in quality for web purposes!

A test image above shows just two examples of the products. They vary from almost pure white, almost transparent to stiff stereotypical 'Pirate' veined and marked skins. Definitely not your high tech production line, but hand made quality throughout and carrying on an ancient craft.


Centrality on the move.

A company on the move in the right direction, Centrality have gone from strength to strength over the last few years. I was lucky to be involved capturing the images for their recent website revamp. The staff were all very welcoming and the facility is nicely tucked away in the country.

Head for heights....again!

A Charity Abseil at Octavia Livings Elizabeth House with both Octavia and Willmott Dixon staff taking the plunge was a hot event....literally.

Roped to the roof in baking 30 degrees and kneeling over the edge on melting roof felt for four hours. Not your normal Saturday, but witnessing the looks of fear then achievement on everyone's face (well nearly everyone's) kept me going. They all managed to overcome their fears with even a few children of the staff bravely taking the plunge.

The views across Wembley were dramatic, and the view down onto the London city traffic 130' below was also not for those with acrophobia.

Apologies to Rachel, but the cheesy nervous grin just makes me smile when I see it and I had to put it in! ;0)

Again a big well done to all those who were both involved in setting up the event and those participating.

New Challenge...old client!

Photography to some companies is not a frequent event, only done on the odd occasion to help market new products or develop a new images and website.

Recently a client that I had worked for many years ago requested an update to their image library for urgent brochures and web use. The company had grown beyond recognition and was a hive of technically activity....mostly lost on me! It however allow for some great product and production images.

There facilities and product diversity are expanding all the time. Already we have been back to shoot more products, although we can't show you many images as there products are often hush, hush!

Recent Projects.....

Over the last few months we have been lucky to be both busy but also welcoming new clients to Studio MK. Not only this but it was also a pleasure to see a couple of clients we had not heard from in a while back requesting more imagery.

The projects varied from a fantastic five days working for the ECB/ICC at the ICC Champions Trophy - cricket matches for those not into willow & leather! This was fun on two counts, lots of frantic days traveling between grounds and setting up lighting and printing etc, but mainly the fun
people I met both staff and guests.

Those who are into cricket would have loved the sense of involvement that working at these events gave. Even getting to see close up several teams/players - even a certain Mr Lara!


A recent project to capture the clients ATEX approved hand held LED torch in use in an avionics environment. The logistics of getting access air-side to the servicing area on a jet liner were just far too difficult to contemplate. 

The brief was to show the hand held unit being held 'into' an inspection hatch on a wing fuel tank on a large jet liner. After Googling images of said fuel tank access and the size and fixtures required a quick sketch was sent to my client to gain approval for what I believed I could physically supply in the studio set build. It had to appear realistic, not too clean, as though it was a few years old but well maintained.

Set build, including painting, took a couple of days to facilitate. Then lighting and photography to capture a variety of options of hand and light position. A few tweaks to the lighting later the image was captured. Then some photoshop and all done....

I was having to keep things simple as not to distract from the purpose of the image. I had added some graphics to the wing near the access hatch but client preferred without. As we know the client is always right, and they know what the ultimate purpose of the image requires to show.

The 'OIL INDUSTRY' shoot we did at the same time was a similar studio build. The ATEX rating of course implies suitability for potentially explosive environments. My cameras and studio lighting do not carry the same ATEX rating!

This image was part shoot and part photoshop/photomontage construction. The rusty sheet metal and gravel were real, the access hatch was created for the client to match the brief. It was to be final cropped to a pano to fit a double page with text top and bottom.

Looking to get more of these challenging industrial shoots in the coming months with this clients new products coming soon.

Latest News Update...

Sorry for the lack of updates... been a busy few weeks.

I seem to have spent as much time driving as I have taking photos in the last month, what with several location shoots in London, Swindon and even Aberdeen! Still nice a busy locally as well with projects coming up in the coming weeks as well.

I intend to check my insurance policy fineprint as well soon as have had some interesting jobs, fromup hi dangling from a tower crane 130' over Wembley streets in a cage, to in a blast container with grit firing all around me! Either clients are trying to tell me something or i'm just lucky??? I relish the challenges this job brings so not really an issue.

Penthouse panoramic view from 'hanging' cage 130' up over Wembley Streets...

Soon I will upload a few examples of the Blast images once client approval granted.

A busy run up to the end of the year is looking likely....


From now until the end of August we are now offering 15-20% off the first Table-Top product shoot for each client. To qualify clients need to have 'like'  us on our Studio MK Facebook page -

To qualify for 20% discount the total order needs to be (before discount) in excess of £400. 15% discount will be on orders less than £400 in total invoice value.

Please notify us of you wish to utilise this offer when you call, but don't forget to visit us first on Facebook! Call John on 01908-260440 or 07808-272423 to book your studio slot.

Hendon Air Museum Photo Shoot

A Great day was had photographing for Heckmondwike at Hendon Air Museum in London. Heckmondwike have installed new carpeting for the Bomber Command Exhibition that this year has been recognised at last for their great sacrifice during the Second World War.

I basically had access to the Lancaster Bomber and other surrounding areas to capture images for Heckmondwike's PR purposes. It's a tossup between the Lancaster and Spitfire as to which is my favourite plane, both adorned my ceiling in the form of Airfix models when I was a child.

A big thank you to Richard Tweed at Hendon who facilitated my access and was most helpful and knowledgeable. It's nice when you meet people who are willing to assist rather than hinder you whilst you are covering a commission!