Announcing my charity photo project by Chris Brock

Next year I'm running in the London Marathon to raise money for the wonderful charity, Scope. With a stated aim to make Britain a country where disabled people have the same opportunities as everybody else, they work hard to provide support, information and advice to disabled people and their families, in order to make their lives a little bit easier.

I'm fundraising, and you can help by sponsoring me in my effort to run 26.2 miles next April (it's a REALLY long way). And if doing a good deed wasn't enough, I'm offering a couple on incentives:

  • The person who makes the biggest donation via my sponsorship page will get their very own portrait shoot, carried out by me (as long as they live in the UK).
  • One of my sponsors will be chosen at random to receive a signed print of their choice from my portfolio. It could be you!

I'm also starting a new charity photo series. Each month, in the run-up to the marathon, I'll be shooting a new, sport-related image. When the marathon's done, prints will be auctioned off to help me top up my fundraising and reach my goal.

This is the first picture from the series, of my flatmate Laura jogging around Alexandra Palace. I hope you like it, and I also hope you will dig deep and sponsor my marathon effort at: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisBrock1

Charity photo project by Chris Brock

On the beach with Andrew Zealey by Chris Brock

Graduate of the globally-renowned Glasgow School of Art, and now artist in residence in the North Jutland region of Denmark, Andrew James Zealey is known for his abstract works. Recognisable by his striking use of colour, his paintings capture the emotion and power of the sea, and the sensuality of the rolling landscapes.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Andrew when I photographed him for this year's Bunkerlove festival, and saw his method first hand as he set to work bringing one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall to life. His colours fusing with the natural passing of time as the elements took their toll on the bunker's concrete structure, and his paint complimenting nature's own relentlessly gentle, yet indefatigable processes. 

He's a good laugh, too.

Andrew Zealey by Chris Brock
Andrew James Zealey by Chris Brock

Build a better burger with ShortList magazine by Chris Brock

I like burgers (who doesn't?), and if you follow my blog you'll know that I like vans, too. So when I was asked by ShortList magazine to do a shoot with a burger van for the cover feature of this week's issue, it was like all my Christmases had come at once!

And it wasn't just any burger van - it was the Bleecker St. Burger van. Possibly the best burgers in the world, if not the entire universe. 

The shoot was to accompany a feature about street food, and ShortList's Mr. Hyde editor, Jonny Pile, had been undergoing training in the Bleecker van to get to grips with just what it takes to make the perfect burger.

Check out the video below to see how we got the cover shot. And yes, I did try a burger. And yes, it really was amazing!

ShorList cover by Chris Brock
Shortlist cover shoot by Chris Brock
Build a burger by Chris Brock
Burger van by Chris Brock
ShortList covers by Chris Brock

In the dunes with Marit Benthe Norheim by Chris Brock

Sometimes in this life you feel very lucky, and being a photographer I'm thankful every day that I get to meet some amazing, interesting people in amazing, interesting places.

One such person is Marit Benthe Norheim, one of Denmark's most important sculptors, and the mother of Sigrid, the dancer I photographed on the same day. I've actually been fortunate enough to photograph Benthe before - a year ago when I got the chance to visit her workshop where she was working on her massive ongoing "boats" project.

And this summer I photographed her again in the dunes at Hirtshalls, Denmark, near the entrance to a WWII bunker which housed a figurehead from one of her boats. This is another image shot for the amazing Bunkerlove festival, and again I feel very lucky to have been a part of such an amazing event for a second year running. 

Find out more about Benthe and her amazing work at her site www.norheim.dk.

The Friday Wrap 15.08.14 by Chris Brock

It's funny how you get emotionally attached to objects. I still have my first teddy bear from when I was a baby, and of course my camera is my best friend. But when my wife bought a little red Daihatsu Hijet van for her business, I didn't realise how fond of it I would become.

She promptly named the van Rosie, but I preferred to think of it as The Brockmobile, and as well as taking it all over the country on photoshoots, it also came with us to places like the Glastonbury Festival, when we installed a sink and sofabed in the back. Lots of good memories were created with the help of that little van.

So it was a sad day when recently we had to say goodbye to our beloved little two-seater. After an MOT failure we just couldn't get hold of the parts. But she lives on, and has gone on to live with someone who can look after her, get her back into shape, and will ultimately turn her into an environmentally friendly electric workhorse.

So I thought it was appropriate - as a kind of tribute - to put together a little gallery of iPhone images of Rosie/The Brockmobile. She was great fun!

All that Gorm had to do was wait. by Chris Brock

The wind and rain were lashing the beach, and I was wandering around with lighting gear wrapped in plastic bags, attempting to photograph the artists of Bunkerlove. It was then that I spotted Gorm Spaabæk taking in the sights and sounds, despite the raging elements.

With his beard and the blanket wrapped around his shoulders, I knew I had to take his photo, so I dragged him out of the cover of a warm bunker and took him down to the water's edge. With the assistance of fantastic Danish photographer Cathrine Ertmann we managed to get this shot without the lights blowing away into the tumultuous waves of the Skagerrak.

Speaking to Gorm afterwards I learned that he wasn't just a passerby taking in the art, he was in fact a well known and highly regarded artist himself. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and as well as having his work exhibited all over Denmark he also takes part in debates and writes articles about the state of art in the country.

He asked me why I wanted to take his picture, and so I told him that he had an excellent beard. He replied, "the beard wasn't that difficult - all I had to do was wait."

If you get a chance, you should check out his work at www.gormspaabaek.dk.

At the Seaside for Carphone Warehouse by Chris Brock

What a glorious summer it's been, and to make the most of the sunshine, Carphone Warehouse (soon to be Dixons Carphone) commissioned me to create a series of images at the seaside. So we bundled down to Brighton with a box full of shiny new mobile phones and got shooting (I managed to get a little sunburned in the process - but it makes a change from my usual pasty complexion!)

Chris Brock for Carphone Warehouse 1
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Chris Brock for Carphone Warehouse 4
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Chris Brock for Carphone Warehouse 8
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Harvest in North Jutland by Chris Brock

It's been a hot, long summer this year, and the harvest has come early. As I was driving through North Jutland I couldn't help but notice the farmers cutting the straw ready for baling. So I pulled over to the side of the road, climbed through a hedge and over an irrigation ditch and ran towards the tractor, waving my arms like a maniac.

When the farmer stopped and climbed down from the cab, I asked "do you speak English?".

"A little," he replied.

"Can I take your picture?"

"OK."

And when we were done he climbed back into his tractor and got back to work. I didn't even find out his name.

Harvest in North Jutland by Chris Brock

Remembering the Fallen by Chris Brock

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI, and it takes me back to a commission I recently completed in Denmark as part of the wonderful Bunkerlove festival. The festival invites artists from all over Denmark and further afield, to turn the concrete bunkers that were built under Hitler's reign into works of art. Some house music concerts, some are turned into art installations, and some into places for performance. The aim is to change something that was a tool of war into a tool of peace.

The first of the two festivals took place on the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. To commemorate this, actor Lars Ditlev Johansen opened the second festival with a self-scripted performance, where he portrayed a figure emerging from the sea; victorious, embracing liberty and remembering fallen comrades. "We died for freedom," he proclaims, before asking, "but what have you done with that freedom."

It's a poignant question. With war waging in the middle-east, and the currencies of injustice, greed and corruption buying power and privilege around the globe, what have we done with that freedom? 

The Great War was devastating, and though at times it feels like we've come a long way since then, at other times it doesn't. So today I'll be taking a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate price, and I'll be asking myself if I've earned their sacrifice.

Lar Ditlev Johansen by Chris Brock

Coffee with Niels Rasmussen by Chris Brock

Niels Rasmussen by Chris Brock

A few weeks ago, I ventured out into the countryside, and spent an evening around the campfire with a bunch of artists near Skallerup, in Northern Denmark.

One of the people there was Niels Rasmussen, who makes amazing things built around fantastic concepts. One of his latest projects looks at taking social media away from the internet and returning it to one of the most basic human activities of all - talking... face-to-face.

The next morning we sat down for a coffee, a chat and a portrait under the baking Danish sun.

Niels Rasmussen by Chris Brock