The RNLI at Penarth station in Wales - a personal project

Armed with a boot full of gear and the excitement of a new portrait project I recently took a trip out from my studio in London to Penarth, a small town just outside of Cardiff. The ladies and chaps at the RNLI station there had kindly lined up a number of portrait sessions for me, all shot in one day in a meeting room above their two main lifeboats. It’s my favourite kind of project when it involves portraits of a group of people with a common interest. In this case the team at the Penarth station are a group of mixed ages and backgrounds, but all genuinely love their time volunteering for the RNLI. I’ve shot with the RNLI in the past and each time there’s certainly an almost church-like feeling in each station - they’re special places. As for the volunteers, they’re grand, every time.

Here’s some of my favourites from the day:

A retrospect of 2018

2018 was a fulfilling year for me. From short and sweet shoots with big names to long days spent with families affected by dementia I travelled far and wide to capture some special moments that I’m really proud of. Here’s some of my favourite shoots from last year. They’re not the most predictable choices on the whole, but for me these were the most special.

Having Breaking Bad legend Bryan Cranston in my viewfinder was of course a highlight - an intense, wonderful actor and a complete pro to work with. Shot for the ‘Share The Orange’ campaign for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Speaking of Alzheimer’s Research, I think of this charity fondly when it comes to my photography, as well as my personal connection with dementia. I spent a few months travelling up and down the UK, spending time with families affected by dementia. In Hay-On-Wye I met a very special lady called Sue Strachan. She was training for the London Marathon at the time whilst in the early stages of her recently-diagnosed vascular dementia. Sue’s attitude was infectious - a bubbly, loving, strong and welcoming woman. Sue appeared on the BBC and nationwide media, helping break common misconceptions about the disease and instilling hope for tackling dementia in the future; “I’m very proud that although I’ve got dementia I’m still able to take on the challenge of a marathon. I want to prove someone with dementia can run a marathon and show you can still have a good life after a dementia diagnosis. I also want to inspire people to support dementia research.”

Sue’s portrait was displayed at the ‘Reframe Dementia’ exhibition at the Oxo Tower alongside many others I produced for the charity. The exhibition contained a range of displays to help break misconceptions of dementia. What a privilege to be part of.

Visit the ARUK website here. These are a few of my favourites from the day.

Speaking of tackling arduous physical endurance sports in the name of charity(!), on a very wet Sunday I was track-side at the Prudential Ride London, again for ARUK. Being passed by over 100,000 riders all riding head on into the rain was quite something, and I made the most of capturing some gritty and determined faces along the way.

Simply put, my shoots with GQ this year were pretty special. Here’s GB rower Lance Tredall and explorer Kenton Cool for Wilkinson Sword x GQ, followed by a special trip to Barcelona with Richard Biedul and Cristina Tosio for Seat x GQ.

I worked with Lululemon a great deal during 2018, capturing their store ambassadors in action in their chosen field, from yoga and pilates, to crossfit and strength conditioning. There’s a lot of my work in-store on big prints across London and Oxford stores - keep an eye out!

It would go without saying that photographing Rio Ferdinand and Olly Murrs for the Premier League this year would be featured here. Both were a pleasure to work with as they took on the challenge of judging the Premier League Writing stars poetry competition. Here’s Rio thinking back to his days as a nipper…

The Premier League granted me access to their season launch ahead of the 2018/19 schedule. Within a hectic day there will of course be special moments. The day was spent tracking current pros, old footballing heroes, managers and TV personalities.

Jon Snow - what a man. I had a very short shoot with the chap at his Channel 4 studio where he strutted a Cycling Down Dementia jersey in aid of the charity’s challenge to ride either 300 or 1000 miles during 2018’s winter. He’s joined in the fun, fronting the campaign and supporting other riders along the way.

Here’s to 2019! Fancy a chat about future work, or just to say hello? Drop me a line!

mail@alexwallace.co
07500067946

Bryan Cranston for Alzheimer's Research UK

Alzheimer's Research UK are a charity close to my heart and it's always an absolute pleasure to work alongside the team there. Back in January I joined them for the filming of their new 'Share the Orange' campaign with none other than Bryan Cranston.

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Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run, ) produced the wonderful ad which has already been shared well over 2 million times by the likes of Richard Branson, Lewis Hamilton, Bill Gates, Pixie Lott, Jonathan Ross and Edith Bowman to name just a few - an incredible feat. I spent a few minutes with Bryan to create the supporting stills, as well as documenting the filming. 

Have a watch of the campaign and #ShareTheOrange