Chris Brock - Commercial and Editorial Portraiture

Get on board (charity update)

News, Recent WorkChris BrockComment

You might have noticed that I've been doing a bit of charity fundraising lately. Part of that involves running the London Marathon in a couple of weeks time (sponsor me here!) and I've also been doing things like selling prints of my work, and holding a local portrait marathon, all to raise money for the fantastic charity SCOPE.

I've also been carrying out a sport-related photo project. It seemed appropriate considering the London Marathon, and the latest of those shoots was with two skateboarders, graphic designer Ant Willis, and photographer Rachel Lipsitz.

Ant Willis by Chris Brock
Rachel Lipsitz by Chris Brock

The reason I'm trying to raise money for SCOPE is because it's a charity that's very close to my heart. As any creative freelancer will tell you, it's not always an easy business, and when I was only a few years into it, I had to supplement my income with another job. So I worked three days each week for three years as a support worker and carer for people with disabilities. Ultimately, I ended up working exclusively with one person, a young doctor who suffered from a degenerative neurological condition call spinocerebellar ataxia.

The condition took hold fast, and in less than a decade it had taken him from being perfectly able like anyone else, to being unable to walk, hold a pencil or even talk. While still mentally sharp, and with the keenest wit you could imagine, he needed my help to do even the most mundane things like talk on the telephone, go to the loo, type up his work, and even eat his lunch.

Over the years that I worked with him, Dr Shakeel Bhatti became my friend as well as someone I helped get through the day. So it was devastating to learn that just before Christmas he passed away.

Working with people like Shakeel, you realise just how difficult having even a small disability can make life. Public transport becomes impossible, communicating with other people a mammoth task and even getting access to the funds that you need and are entitled to as a disabled person is no mean feat - not least because this government has made it even more difficult that it has been in the past to find out what you're entitled to, and to claim it.

Which is why I'm trying to raise £2000 for SCOPE. They work hard to make things easier for the disabled. Whether it's finding suitable housing, helping people to find out what support is out there for them, or helping with respite breaks for carers, they provide an invaluable service.

But I need your help. I'm very close to reaching my fundraising target, and with one final push I can get there. So please SPONSOR ME in my London marathon effort, and spare whatever money you can to help me get there.

In the meantime, here are the other image from my sport photo project.

Bash by Chris Brock
Tennis by Chris Brock
Yoga by Chris Brock
Laura by Chris Brock

Lyn Baylis, Celebrant

Recent WorkChris BrockComment

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day in the West Sussex countryside with Lyn Baylis, a celebrant for the LifeRites organisation. What LifeRites do is help people who might not have a traditional religious belief celebrate and mark the important milestones of the lives with alternative ceremonies to those found in church.

From humanist weddings and funerals to pagan coming-of-age ceremonies and burials, celebrants like Lyn enable people to mark those significant moments of life without being tied to a traditional religious ceremony.

Lyn and I spent a lovely afternoon under blue skies chatting about how she helped people progress through life and find meaning in their existence without the presence of the gods that many of us associate with organised religion. For me it was a very uplifting experience.

Lyn Baylis by Chris Brock
Lyn Baylis by Chris Brock

Master Craftsman at The Phoenix

Recent WorkChris BrockComment

London is well known for it's West End theatres, and one of the most famous is The Phoenix on Charing Cross Road. Keeping an old building like this, as well as the shows it hosts, up and running - sometimes for long periods - takes a huge crew of experts and craftsmen. I got to meet the theatre's carpenter, Andy Lawson, when I went backstage to photograph him in his workshop.

Andy gets involved with everything from set building to running repairs on the theatre and has been working in the business for fifteen years. As a photographer I could really relate to him when he talked about doing a job he loved, and he's in his element when he's building things behind the scenes.

The Phoenix Theatre hosted Blood Brothers for 22 years and is soon to open with Bend it Like Beckham: The Musical.

Andy Lawson by Chris Brock
Andy Lawson by Chris Brock

It Follows

Editorial, Published, Recent WorkChris BrockComment

A little while ago, ShortList Magazine hosted their first film club night at The Gate Cinema in Notting Hill, London with a screening of the newly released It Follows. What the audience didn't realise was that they were going to get a surprise visit from the director of the acclaimed horror, David Robert Mitchell, and the two lead actors, Maika Monroe and Daniel Zovatto.

It was a flying visit from the stars of the show, but I managed to steal them away to the cinema's basement for a quick ten-minute photoshoot and they were happy to oblige.

Maika Monroe

Maika Monroe

Daniel Zovatto

Daniel Zovatto

David Robert Mitchell by Chris Brock

 And as you can imagine, with only ten minutes to get the shots things got pretty manic, but in the best possible way - there was still time for a selfie!

It Follows cast by Chris Brock

A Day for Charity

Chris BrockComment

On Saturday I held a portrait marathon at a local North London pub called The Alex. The landlord had kindly donated his space to let me shoot portraits for the knock-down price of just £15 per person, all of which went to the fantastic charity Scope.

It was a hectic day, but in the end we managed to shoot a lot of portraits and have a lot of fun. Thanks to all those who came along and contributed to such a fantastic cause.

charity photo marathon by Chris Brock

Charity Portrait Marathon

Events, NewsChris BrockComment

If you follow my blog, you'll be aware that I'm currently fundraising for the Charity SCOPE - I'll give a few more details about why I'm raising money for this charity, which works to improve the lives of disabled people in the UK, in another post. But as part of my fundraising, I'm holding a portrait marathon tomorrow, attempting to shoot as many portraits as I can in one day.

So if you fancy having your picture taken for the extremely low price of £15 per person (all of which will go to the charity), come along with a mask, hat, or other prop, put your best face on and prepare to be snapped. Your portrait will follow soon after by email, and you'll not only get a chance to have your very own Brocktrait, but you'll also be supporting a very good cause.

It's taking place from midday on Saturday 21st March, at The Alex Pub on Park Road, Crouch End, London, N8 8JP.

Photo Marathon Flyer.jpg