We can’t wait to see the epic motion that Duncan Nicholls is shooting … The inspiring true story, involving courage and strength in the face of Life’s challenges, should be out this July.
A sunny February morning
The awesome raw space right next door to our studio
While everyone was prepping for the shoot, Brittany & Phil began warming up a bit. Bill and his crew turned around to Brittany whipping out a few handstand push-ups and they were in awe! Her skills ended up being the hero of the shoot.
Who: Client: AgriGold
What: Stills & Motion Campaign
Fun: Facing a sub-tropical storm head-on! Only a few hours to shoot before the massive storm hit us, we moved quickly and efficiently while getting everything done. The tornado sirens went off and we had to head indoors for a couple of hours to wait it out. In the end, we walked away with some great images and video for the client (and a great story!)
We are thrilled to announce another win for Conceptual Advertising & Portrait Photographer, Pavel Hejny - for his incredible campaign with Reporter Magazine and Y&R Prague.
“Stay Informed” has already won 2018 Cannes Lions, Clio, Golden Drum Grand Prix awards. It has also helped earn Pavel’s place in Lürzer's Archive - Top 200 Advertising Photographers, as well Pavel’s 2018 Lucie Award: Best Print Advertising Photographer
Now, Stay Informed has won 2019 Andy Award … enjoy this remarkable campaign!
Our Sports photographer / director Duncan Nicholls recently captured this beautiful new personal project in Northern Thailand. Here’s more from Duncan about that experience. No Surrender…
I arrived at the arena as the warriors were in their final pre fight preparations. Surrounded by all the noise, activity and anticipation, they exuded an energy of calmness, control and focus. Visualising perhaps how they saw the fight playing out. Many with an aura of certainty of a victorious outcome ahead.
Each of the five fights had its own rhythm and flow, each fighter their own unique style and game plan. The tempo often slow and hypnotic - each warrior waiting patiently for the right moment to strike. Human chess pieces, moving gracefully from position to position as part of a carefully orchestrated master plan. Out of that calm, brutal moments of raw power, aggression and athleticism exploded into life. The decisive blow only ever a split second away from being delivered or received. Momentum often amounting for nothing.
Throughout the contests, I felt a deep sense of honour and respect amongst the fighters. Respect for their opponent, and for the artistry, history, and tradition of their sport. The victor, after the elation and emotional release of victory immediately showed that respect and empathy for his defeated opponent. An acknowledgement perhaps of the courage and dedication required to go toe to toe in that ring, and a respect for their shared experience.
What I was witnessing, and experiencing myself whilst photographing these fights, was the sensation I believe is at the heart of our species love for sports - and beyond that at the core of happiness itself. Being fully immersed in a Flow state experience. Total present moment awareness. No distractions, no thoughts of the past or future. A momentary taming of our restless minds, as time appears to stand still.
In sports like Muay Thai or say mountain climbing or skiing, where the physical dangers are higher, I believe this flow state to be even more profound.
Photographing the fights, I felt immersed in this beautiful Flow state. Guided, never over thinking, and moving with the heartbeat of the fight itself. Happily allowing the thousands of hours of being a photographer take over. Total presence with the experience and my love for sports photography.
Commissioned by New Balance & Runner's World, this campaign tells the story of 26 determined and courageous people running this years London Marathon - and their reasons for taking on those 26 miles.
From one blind runner who lost his sight stepping on an IED bomb in Afghanistan, a cancer survivor told she'd never walk again - to the many inspired to raise money for charity after the devastating loss of a loved one. Their stories are all inspirational, and many he’ll admit admit brought Duncan to tears.
A special commission, one he’ll always treasure the opportunity of creating.
“Sport is a spiritual event that can enrich the soul, awakening within us a higher sense of self” - Way of the Champion, Jerry Lynch.
He’s always on fire! Last month Duncan launched a huge new personal project called We Breathe Sport - which through interviews and his signature style of imagery champions inspiring people from the world of sport and fitness.
The project will feature a new ‘superhuman’ each week, and what’s unique about this campaign is that you’ll see Olympic athletes and world class performers sitting alongside everyday sports and fitness fanatics like Duncan himself. For Duncan, the full power and impact of sport is felt outside the boundaries of it’s arena. It’s not just measured in Gold Medals, Championship Rings or Green Jackets - but in who it inspirers us to be, how it makes us feel and the human connections it creates.
From every sport you can imagine and quite a few you wouldn’t think of, Duncan is curious to join the dots between these stories, and inspire us all to be better versions of ourselves. He’d be thrilled if you joined him for the ride - and you can follow these stories as they unfold both on the Instagram page and website too.
We want you to watch this captivating new video by Duncan Nicholls, and feel yourself physically drawn in, at the 12 second mark. Sometimes, tempo shifts and silence are incredibly powerful and emotional tools, and Duncan's direction has the controlled pacing of a world-class athlete.
Wikipedia defines of "Jack of all trades, master of none" as such: a figure if speech used in reference to a person who has dabbled in many skills, rather than gaining expertise by focusing on one.
The shortened version "a jack of all trades" is often a compliment for a person who is good at fixing things, and has a very good broad knowledge.
Food for thought, all of the above. And I have pondered this question for many years. As a professional photographer, I have tussled with the notion that, maybe, just maybe I should focus wholly on one genre or aspect of this wonderfully absorbing past time we call photography. But every time, eclecticism and a multidisciplinary interests win out.
You see I'm infatuated with the adrenaline-inducing world of photojournalism. I've always loved the thrill of chasing down a story or a moment that might be construed as the summation of all the events of that particular day. I love shooting ad campaigns, the thrill of interpreting an art director's pen and ink schematic and turning that into a fully realized, beautifully-executed photograph.
So too, I love pointing my cameras at the construct of a beautiful hotel or cruise ship. Likewise, I find the renewable energy industry to be something worth believing in. The planet and humanity does need more renewables. Every time I stand before a giant wind turbine, I feel in awe of its Goliath presence.
I’m also a great believer in the sanctity of art, and I like to produce photographic work that could be classed as such. Hence I dabble in abstract work, and street photography projects that are in essence explorations into existential and dystopian themes. Human portraiture most probably can be considered the highest photographic art form. And while historically, artists have used oils and marble to capture human likeness and character, I use my camera.
I revel in covering diverse specialty areas. Most people would call that madness. And there are days when I think it is too. But I persevere. Afterall, a week has seven days in it; why not dedicate a few of them to different areas of my many interests?
My week begins and ends with Aeronautica, and my focus is all things hospitality, luxury and renewables. I keep it all clean and green. High key is the name of the game; my clients visit my website and feel happy, bright and cheerful.
Over the course of the week, I make time for my personal projects: my personal and editorial work, as I chase down my National Geographic dreams. I reach out to curators, galleries. I read about art, I research art projects. I savor the hours I spend on my personal fine art projects.
I also enjoy connecting with potential buyers (including interior designers, private clients, established businesses.) I find that everyone everywhere is looking for something fabulous for their walls. And my sweet tooth for is satisfied through my fun, engaging Pop Art portraits, feel free to message me.
Right. Now, back to the question. Jack of all trades master of none? Jack of all trades master of many? Mad? Yes! One of these days I might whittle all of this down to just one! But for now I’m having a lot of fun running with them all.
In May, Duncan Nicholls had the privilege of photographing World & Olympic 400m champion (and World Record holder) Wayde Van Niekerk for Adidas. With both of them being life long Liverpool FC football fans, they clicked straight away.
Showcasing Duncan's signature intensity yet intimacy with his athlete portraits, here's the opening shot from that series.
Captured on a freezing cold day in London's Greenwich Park, our European sports photographer Duncan Nicholls executed this new campaign for New Balance. The final shot below also featured on the cover of Runner's World in the UK. Go Duncan!
Duncan Nicholls recently created a striking new series of sports and dynamic movement stills and video - and below are a couple of frames from those shoots.
This series also saw a collaboration with retoucher Kieran Clancy from Happy Finish in London.
Athlete Sarah Smith
MMA Fighter Lorena Andrea
Athlete Kirby Akindeinde
Duncan Nicholls has started a visual campaign for creatives to raise funds and tackle avoidable blindness around the world.
The opening months have seen creative professionals from around the world take part - and the project has raised enough funds for operations to restore the sight of 60 people whose blindness is curable.
If you'd like to be featured in the project and help those living with visual impairment, then please do get in touch with Duncan. It will only take 15 minutes and our actions have the power to transform peoples lives.
You can learn more about the project here:
Duncan can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
All the funds raised goes to the charity Seeing Is Believing, who since 2003 have impacted the lives of over 150 million people around the world who are effected by visual impairment.
Along with Frank Ishman, I have a piece in the Off The Street Club auction.
Check it out alone with a bunch of other great pieces of art.