Thursday, 30 December 2010

News; December 2010 - Happy Holidays.

I hope everyone's having a great Christmas. I'm away for the holidays, spending most of the Christmas period with family in the North West. Already eaten far too much and drinking even more - every Christmas I think to myself I'll be more careful this time... Oh well, next year...
I'm having a longer break this Christmas, I had my last shoot of the year, a portrait of Carl Barat, mid-December then left London. I love the Christmas holidays, everything shuts down and I get real time off to see friends and family. I get to sleep in, and watch lots of films too. I don't even mind the repeated movies that are on every year - I'm a big film fan and a lot of films I like are usually on during the holidays, and I certainly don't mind Casablanca being on again - I'm a huge Bogart fan.

So I'm basically;
Drinking lots of red wine, vodka, and cocktails.
Listening to Laura Marling, Lissie, Gaslight Anthem, Fleetwood Mac, Arcade Fire... Hmmm noticing a kinda sound there.
Watching lots of movies, and
Californication (I love this show and had season one for Christmas so I'm watching it again). Oh, but I would like back the time I spent watching the awful Case 39, I don't often mention dislikes here but that was the worst film I've seen in ages and thought I'd warn others. There, good deed done!

I'm off to do more visiting & drinking :)
Have a great New Years celebration!


Sunday, 28 November 2010


November has been good. There has been shoots with Underworld, The Naked and Famous, Monarchy, and Cloud Control. But I took some time off too during November and went away, a relaxing, recharging break in Barcelona. I love Barcelona. I should move there one day. Well there or Berlin, or New York. Maybe. But I'm staying in London for now. Good to have some time out and relax, and enjoy warmer weather. Walking around the city, evenings sitting in bars, also taking some photos but not had them processed yet, I took my old 35mm and shot film for the first time in ages. Reading 'R.E.M. Fiction', and as well as R.E.M. I've been listening to a lot of 1970's Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Led Zeppelin. Also love the new CD by Warpaint, 'The Fool'.

Below are two portraits from a recent shoot with Charlotte Dellal, shoe designer & creator of Charlotte Olympia shoes.

Charlotte Dellal, Charlotte Olympia shoes © Michael Robert Williams


Saturday, 30 October 2010

'Here Was The Great Master.'

'I was in awe of Robert Frank. Here was the great master. I couldn't believe that I was able to watch him work for a few days, that I was actually in the room where Robert Frank was loading his camera. He picked up my camera once. I was terrified. He held it. It was like being with God. He said to me, "You can't get every picture." That was comforting advice. You do miss things. You're attached to this machine. To its timing. Things are moving in front of you and you're supposed to capture them, but it's not always possible. Robert Frank didn't seem to be missing anything, though. He was tireless. He never stopped working.'
- Annie Leibovitz, from her book 'At Work'.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool Portraits;

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool © Michael Robert Williams

A set of my portraits of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. Their fantastic album 'The Golden Year' is out next week. The build up to its release has been overshadowed by the tragic death of frontman Charles Haddon. It was with great sadness that I heard about the loss of Charles, he was a great guy and a musician only just at the beginning of his journey. Talking to him his passion for music was clear and I'm glad the band and his family are going ahead with the release of his music.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Recent Work; La Roux Cover.

La Roux, 2010 © Michael Robert Williams

I'll post some recent work here over the next couple of weeks. This is my La Roux cover portrait for US magazine 944, shot this summer. A few more have now been added to my website too.
La Roux is really good to photograph, she really understands the process and is happy to put in the time for a good shoot. I love the portraits we produced from the day.


Saturday, 28 August 2010

August Catch-Up;

© Michael Robert Williams

My first and probably only post in August, I've been away for much of the month having finally taken the long-awaited break. A sailing holiday first around the South West coast of England, then some time away visiting family and friends too.
There were a couple of shoots in August before I went away, I photographed Klaxons, and Mystery Jets. I'll post new portraits soon. Some recent portraits from over the last few months have recently been added to my website; La Roux, Kate Nash, Eliza Doolittle, Yeasayer, and Bonobo were all recently added.

Off The South West Coast of England, 2010 © Michael Robert Williams


Thursday, 29 July 2010

News Update; July 2010...

Lissie © Michael Robert Williams

I went to see the new American singer Lissie play in London last night. I photographed Lissie recently and her album is one of my favourites at the moment, so I was looking forward to the gig, and I really enjoyed it. It was in the ICA, a great place for a gig as it has an intimate feel. Lissie seemed to enjoy it too and was very relaxed while performing. A highlight for me was 'In Sleep', I love this one on the album, its a little reminiscent of 1970's era Fleetwood Mac - which I have a soft spot for I must admit. We even got a guest during the encore, Ellie Goulding came on to perform a song with Lissie.
It was a really good, relaxing evening after what has been a really busy period. There have been a lot of shoots recently but I'm going to be taking a break for some of August, I'll be away seeing family and friends for a week or so, and I'll be going sailing for a week too.

Its good to stop for a moment now though, I need a break - and its also an opportunity to kinda assess the first half of the year - its been really interesting this year and I've really enjoyed the work. There has been a lot of music shoots, with Kate Nash twice for US & UK magazines, Eliza Doolittle, Biffy Clyro, The Drums, also Lissie of course, and others.
Most recent was photographing La Roux for a cover story for a US magazine as she embarks on her US tour and American promo for her album. That was a really good shoot, I'm really happy with the results. Maybe my best work this year, setting things up nicely for when I return from my breaks away. I guess like many photographers I'm very hard on myself in terms of assessing my own work, but sometimes you know when its gone well and that shoot seemed like the culmination of a few ideas and things I'd been working on this year coming together. I'll post some of the La Roux portraits here or on my portfolio site next week.

Kate Nash © Michael Robert Williams


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Me Profiled In 'Digital SLR User Magazine'.

More shameless
self-promotion in this post I'm afraid...
The new issue of 'Digital SLR User M
agazine' (UK, Cover date August 2010) is out, and has an eight-page profile on my photography. I'm interviewed about my background and my approach to my work, my love of music, and the feature includes a selection of my portraits. The picture above shows the opening spread showing my portrait of Kasabian.


Monday, 12 July 2010

'A Documentation Of The Encounter.'

Portraiture in the past has been regarded as a documentation of a person but for me it is a documentation of the encounter between myself and the subject. It is not meant to reveal them, nor is it meant to subject them to an X-ray; it is a departure from that.'
- Steven Klein.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Michael Robert Williams - Ian Brown Portrait Prints.

Ian Brown © Michael Robert Williams

Just a quick update post regarding prints. I get emails often asking about prints of my work. As those who have enquired know I do make some of my portraits available as prints. These are signed & titled below the image by myself. A few new portraits are now available including this portrait of Stone Roses legend Ian Brown.
If you'd like to know more just email for more details.Michael Robert Williams Photography


Monday, 31 May 2010

Recent Work; Daisy Dares You.

've photographed a lot of bands & musicians so far this year, including Kate Nash (twice), Yeasayer, The Drums, Jónsi (of Sigur Rós), Lissie, Two Door Cinema Club, Bonobo, and Biffy Clyro. These are some of the portraits from a recent shoot with Daisy Dares You (aka Daisy May Keeley Coburn) in London.

Daisy Dares You, 2010 © Michael Robert Williams


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Personal Photographs - Coney Island, NYC.

was editing some work and going over some older photographs when I found these I took three years ago. They are all taken during one day walking around Coney Island in NYC. I've never done anything with them, or even had good prints made yet, but I liked the photographs and thought I'd put them up here. These are just rough scans.

Coney Island, NYC, 2007 © Michael Robert Williams


Sunday, 2 May 2010

Me Profiled In 'Digital Photographer' Magazine.

All about self-promotion right now...
The latest issue of 'Digital Photographer'
magazine (UK, Issue 95) is just out, and has a five-page profile on yours truly, interviewed about my background and talking about my work.

Also, my website has had an update too, a number of new portraits added, including Beach House, Daisy Dares You, Lightspeed Champion, and Delphic.

Lightspeed Champion © Michael Robert Williams


Saturday, 17 April 2010

'What is the truth of a photograph?'

'What is the truth of a photograph? The minute you put make-up on someone, the minute you brush the hair, you turn on the light, you are already altering reality.
David LaChapelle.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Jim Marshall

I only just picked up this news, Jim Marshall died on the 24th March. Its a strange thing that news of some peoples death makes the front pages while others pass without the public at large really knowing at all, but Jim Marshall was one of the true greats of photography. He was a hugely influential photographer, mainly photographing musicians and making his name in the 1960's with iconic photographs of artists including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix. All of those that came after, from Annie Leibovitz to Anton Corbijn, owe a debt to Jim Marshall.

Bob Dylan, New York, 1963, by Jim Marshall

Johnny Cash at San Quentin Prison, 1969, by Jim Marshall

Janis Joplin, San Francisco, 1968, by Jim Marshall

Jimi Hendrix at Monterey Pop Festival, 1967, by Jim Marshall

"This 'career' has never been just a job — it’s been my life."
-- Jim Marshall.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Behind The Scenes; Kate Nash Shoot.

A look behind the scenes of the Kate Nash shoot I did in January. The shoot was done in a bar I hired in Covent Garden, London, and the crew was; Stylist Rebekah Roy, Hair by Corrado Tevere, Makeup by Claudine Henderson, and Photography Assistant was Clare Lewington (who also shot these candid behind the scenes photos).

Kate & Hair Stylist Corrado discuss the look for the shoot.

From left; Kate, Me, and Corrado.

Discussing the portraits and directing Kate.

Kate and stylist Rebekah.

Kate & I celebrate a successful shoot.

Thank you to all involved, and to Kate who was brilliant, and a big thank you to Clare for the photos. I'll post the finished portraits too in the coming weeks.


Saturday, 27 February 2010

'You Want To Do Some Version Of What You Already Think I Am.'

'You don't really wanna get to know me or photograph my soul, you want to do some version of what you already think I am and then expose something that you believe is hidden.
Lady Gaga talking about magazine photoshoots.
Interviewed in Q Magazine (cover date April 2010).

Thursday, 28 January 2010

'I Hate Remembering.'

'I hate remembering. Its all past.'
- Brian Eno, interviewed in 2009.

I know I talk about music a lot and this post is no exception. I watched the profile of Brian Eno on BBC4, which was followed by an hour of music Eno has been involved in - whether solo, or with David Bowie, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, etc. The profile was excellent, with Eno actually talking about his work and life. He's been directly involved with some of my favourite albums, including Bowie's 'Low'.

It was funny to me to hear him say he hates remembering. I have such an awful memory that I think its one reason I take so many photographs, I take photographs of places I visit, things I do, people I know... I forget things so easily, so the photographs are like a part of my memory, helping me remember, they fill in the blanks.

But it was really interesting to hear him discuss the music he's been involved in, as performer, composer, or producer. Or all three.
The word genius is used too often to describe people, but I think in Eno's case it applies.

Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and David Bowie at work in the studio in Berlin, circa 1977 © C. Simonpietri


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Recent Shoots (& Laugh Tracks);

2010 got off to a busy start. There have been shoots with Biffy Clyro, Kate Nash, Delphic, Two Door Cinema Club, and others already. Went to Delphic's gig after the shoot too, really enjoyed it.
Wish it wasn't so cold here however, the UK started 2010 with a big freeze. OK for most shoots as they've been mainly inside, but photographed Biffy Clyro in the rooftop outside bar of the Soho hotel they were staying in. 7pm on a rooftop high above Soho, a freezing January night - one of those times where you shoot fast then go for a drink :P

There're a lot of films out now I want to see but not found the time yet. Did see 'Up In The Air' which I thought was good.

Actually, on the subject of movies I love this clip of 'The Shining' with a laugh track, I may never be able to watch the film in the same way again :)

Found via Dev Hynes's film blog.


Sunday, 3 January 2010

Again In No Particular Order...

I have to admit I like end of year best of lists - Top 10's of the year etc. I always read the end of years lists in magazines - and then of course I moan about the ones I don't agree with and think 'really, how, why, what are you thinking putting that in there?'
I don't mean all lists - I can live with and find interesting a 10 best list, but I get annoyed by those '100 Greatest Ever.........(Whatever It Is)' run downs that are just an excuse for 5 hours of cheap TV on a Saturday night.
But anyway, after reading the best albums of the year lists in the various music magazines over Christmas I started thinking which albums I'd loved that were released over the last year, and so made my provisional list of favourite albums of 2009.
So, and in no particular order (cop-out/noncommittal), 10 of the albums from 2009 that I liked;

The Dead Weather - Horehound (I think I love just about anything Jack White's involved in)
Florence & The Machine - Lungs
Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
The XX - XX (One of the best debuts)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
White Lies - To Lose My Life
Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
REM - Live At The Olympia, Dublin (Yeah, I know its a live album, but I went over to see them play at the Olympia and it reminds me of how great it was to see them play this really intimate theatre.)

This was hard, there were a lot of great new bands appearing this year, and more to come next year, so its a mix of established and new artists.
Actually once I finished writing down these ten others started to come to me that I'd loved this year, so Fever Ray 'Fever Ray' and Animal Collective 'Merriweather Post Pavillion' could easily have been in the ten, and I'm sure once I hit 'Publish' others will come to mind......


Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2010 is an amazing year for you, and your year is full of joy, success, and love :)

1st Jan 2010 (I seem to have shot lots of trees & sun this Christmas)