‘Reader Resto’ shoot makes Cover

My first shoot for Practical Classic magazine was a little MG Midget restoration based only 20 mins away… #Happydays!

The day was booked were all three parties involved were available… With the weather being the best day of a bad looking bunch on the weather sites. At best we were looking for no rain and true enough it was dry. Unfortunately we were left with a flat white sky… the kind that I don’t like… the kind I don’t like to shoot. I much prefer rain clouds that have some definition in them…

Anyway we set off to capturing the required shots of the owner and car plus all the other shots listed in the brief (which was a very good comprehensive brief!). Being the first commission from PC I liked this brief as I had a better idea of what they wanted and needed for the article. Plus the ‘Reader Resto’ article follows the same style and imagery from month to month.

The single garage was a little tight, unlike some of the large double garages some restorers have, but once the car was placed into position we shot a few of the owner and car.

While the weather was dry we needed to get some motion / action shots in the bag as these tend to be the main key shots… with a private drive at another location available to use we decided that this would be better to grab some rig shots and take a little time over them.

With this being a potential cover we took some portraits and landscapes using the rig…

Once in the bag we took off to the tops and on the edge of the moors to grab some straight forward angle shots to the car from all sides. This is where the flat sky would help with the cut outs of the car if that’s what was required.

MG Midget - Moors

After a few detail shots for fillers the last on the list were a few shots inside of the car being driven.

Pleased with how the day went and looking forward to reading the finished article… which you can see here.

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Till next time


WEC @ Silverstone

Silverstone held the WEC over the weekend just gone. I’ve got to admit I’m not that clued up on all the different classes that compete in the World Endurance Champoinship but I like the atmosphere and ‘goings on’ behind the scenes. The weather was on the chilly side but dry…which was a good start. We had a walked past ‘The Loop’ and took a few of the cars that were already out on the track before heading to the main area just behind the International Pit Straight.


For me all the engines sounded similar until the Aston Martins came around. There a re a few teams running them which for me was good as there was plenty of opportunities to hear that sound…. Vantage works V8 GTE… just sounded savage… (you can check out the Aston Martin 2014 season preview vid here to give you an idea)


We wandered around to the International Pit Straight to have a look what we could see. There seemed to be a lot of tyre washing and prep… so a fare few tyres got shot…


I was with a few friends who are serious F1 fans… So throughout the day they were talking to a few drivers who they knew / recognized. One such driver was Sam bird @SamBirdRacing (Mercedes F1 3rd driver last season)… You can see with the help of Sam’s sunglasses (below) I took a ‘selfie’ of us all. I think it was Andy’s jacket that got most of the attention due to it being a Mercedes team jacket and not a general jacket that you would find for sale…


Access to the pits was limited on the day we went, with only the National Pit Straight open for a brief 15mins in the afternoon. With no real connections with any team or driver I just wandered in the short space of time to see what I could capture.



We got access to the Art GT (Mclaren) team paddock and was good to see things behind the door… Seeing Ricardo Gonzalez (@ricardo_racing) amongst a few others preparing for the next outing.



All in all a good day out and great value.

You can see more images in my gallery here.


‘Behind the Camera’ – Volvo

Another behind the camera post…this time with some images taken by a good friend (lets call him Richard) whose been mentioned in my blog before….(the focus driver)

I wanted to match the location to the car as normal…to try and place the car in a ‘comfortable’ location which is fitting for the car or story. Richard has his own business (creating Apps – Appware) on an office park with some good ‘modern’ looking buildings that fit the bill.

It was a tad touch and go for the weather on this one but the clouds broke and the sun came out…happy days.

Behind the camera - Volvo

Had time to do a couple of set ups…. The first was a low angle shot whilst the car was turning…

Behind the camera - Volvo

You can see with the final result (below) the wheels had to have a touch post production to tidy them up….

Behind the Camera - Volvo

The full length 6m carbon boom shown here…

Behind the camera - Volvo

The final set up was a straight line shot with a higher angle getting in most of the building in the background.



Quite pleased with the final image and thankful the sun came out. Always a pleasure shooting things with friends and thanks to Richard for this one…

You can see more rig motion shots here.


“Can you shoot Car to Car?”

A recent meeting with an automotive magazine title brought about a question and quest…. Can you show more car to car shots? Having the rig kit is great to get those shots with a limited ‘crew’ but for this certain title the cars they shoot can be anything up to £1m …. don’t think the owners would be happy in having these cars rigged up!

So to show that I’m not bothered in hanging out of a boot of a moving car I asked a good friend…(lets name him ‘Richard’)….one of my petrol head friends to help out. The ‘chase’ car was a Focus so we could communicate and talk as we drove which proved to be good for the low tail-gate but not so good for power! We came to the conclusion that a Range Rover would be a good ‘tracking’ car.

Finding a fairly quiet road with a smooth (ish!) surface and a decent length in order to maintain a constant speed with the subject car is more than half the battle. The road we decided upon had a ‘wop off’ speed bump, the type that even at 3mph smacks your head against the roof of the car….fun and games. Ideally wanting to get to about 40-50mph…we could effectively reach up to 30-35mph before we had to break hard for the end of the road or a speed bump. After a couple of passes we started to get there…

The funniest was taking the rear 3/4 shot. As the XF had a bit more get up and go than the Focus the first run resulted in 0 images….. The XF took off and we were left with dust and a nice view of the XF disappearing into the distance… (you may want to try and install NOS…. just a thought)

In the end we came away with a hand full of images which is what we were after. All in all a decent lunch break with only a few funny looks.

One final fact… just in case you do find yourself in the boot of a Focus the boot door involuntarily shuts at about 35mph… (Thank me later)


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Camaro makes Cover

This was one of the most insane cars I’ve been in… up to 1000bhp…. and we went out in what Top Gear would describe as ‘VVW’ …Very Very Wet!!!

The original location for this shoot (you can read about it here) was rained off on the day so Plan B came into play…

We had to get something in the bag for this car as it was the 4th location that through one thing and another that we tried.

JJP_6502 Camaro

Not the most inspiring of 60’s car parks but was the best of a bad situation. Getting the standard shots for this magazine was why we needed cover from the rain. Once we did a few rig shots and detailed shots we headed out to try and get another shot from inside.

JJP_6549 Camaro

Once I clamped a flash gun on the roll cage to give me a controlled light source inside the car I was strapped in by the 5point harness which the buckle was the size of a side plate!! Realizing I needed to change a setting on the flashgun I had no slack on the harness so I almost put my shoulder out twisting round to get to the flashgun. Once sorted we fired off a few frames to show the cockpit with its array of technicolor switches.

This was not the type of car you would go for a pint of milk… obviously road legal and insane when its dry but in the wet … ?! Once we did a few miles to get the shot we headed back to do a few burnouts to round the shoot off.

JJP_6577 Camaro Burn out

Once the camaro started to smoke it didn’t take long to engulf itself in smoke… Needless to say another burnout was needed 😉 … this also drew a small crowd of passers by as it really is a normal site to see in a town centre!!!

JJP_6556 Camaro

Pleased it was used in the mag but more happy it made the cover despite the location, rain and sodium lights!

You can see the full article here ‘JJP In Print’

Have a good week


‘Behind the Camera’ – Dodge Charger

This one was a fun one… I tried to find a location that placed the General Lee in a fitting place similar to that of Hazard County. Google maps played a huge part again for me in looking for a suitable private road where we could shoot a rig shot. This was a private forest owned by a forestry company who were willing for us to use the drive to recreate Hazzard County.

General Lee Rig set up

With a lot of cars you can use both the front windscreen and rear window to attached the rig…but as this car is about 18 foot long the resulting image would make the car too distorted for my liking.

We opted to use the bonnet to come off from. The road surface was gravel and uneven, so choosing a few meters of half decent level ground was in order. Using this kit and technique the vehicle can either shot in either a forward or reverse direction and still give the effect of ‘forward motion’. The gradient of the road meant there was no way of pushing the Dodge in a forward motion, so some gentle brake action

Dodge Charger - The General Lee

Dodge Charger – The General Lee

As ever always learning different ways of using the kit and getting the best from it.

Still every time I get to go out in the General Lee it always puts a smile on my face…

Have a good week…


Full day in the studio…

8am in Manchester, waiting for the roller doors to open to shoot some car exteriors.


Grabbed a couple of shots as we turned the vehicle around on my phone hence the poor quality.


Long day but a good day…. As ever the wait to see the finished work is a long one…

Almost two full batteries used for the camera whilst tethered to me mac.

Until next time I’ve a bit of news, info or something of worth to share…

Have a good weekend.


The Dodge & Plymouth make it to the cover…

Enjoyed shooting this for American Car magazine back in the end of last summer, mainly cos the location made it for me. An old unit that was previously used as a garage which was sat vacant while the new tenants moved in….happy days. (below are a few rece photos I took before the shoot)

JJP_0291 Hudds rece

(Reflections…a great way of making a subject ‘belong’ in its surroundings. It dried out before the shoot so that idea went by the wayside)

JJP_0294 Hudds rece

(couldn’t ask for a better ‘urban’ location)

JJP_0297 Hudds rece(looking all around for different angles)

I suppose a major part of my style comes from my first job in a press agency after finishing my degree in photography. Very much so an editorial, photo-journalistic  style. Always trying to tell a story in my images be it stand alone or in a body of work.

So I try and give as much thought to the location as I do to capture the subject….which here, were the Dodge and Plymouth. So to have an indoor as well as the outdoor area all in the same location behind some big red shutter doors was a great find.

Having two cars to shoot, funnily enough nearly doubles the amount of images you capture. We only had a short amount of time on this one and just managed to get a rig shot in…. It could have made the cover shot but who knows next time.

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If you want to see the article follow this link or you can follow this one to see the images and a few more that weren’t printed.

Hope you have a good weekend.


The location was a wash out…..”do we have a Plan B”?

Well the shoot was booked for Sunday just gone after three other locations at the end of 2013 all pulled the plug a few days before the shoot date.

Forecast for rain but still went ahead as this shoot was penciled in for a previous issue, we had to get something in the bag. The location was in the heart of Manchester…an old disused railway.


Any weather would have done…apart from rain. There was a clear spell forecast but in the end it never came.

Plan B… I had 20mins to spare before the car turned up on a low loader, a 1971 Camaro. I found a multi-story car park less than a mile away which would be limited but still better than nothing…

The Camaro turned up and the location just was a no go from the start due to the rain. The owner mentioned a large bus/coach station around the corner, in door and dry. “Sorry health and safety, can’t let you in” was the answer I got.

So we all set off to the multi story car park to find that the access would have been tight even for a Ford Focus, never mind a drag Camaro!

Onwards and upwards to another multi story car park near to where the Camaro is based. In my head I was thinking, whatever its like were shooting…

The location was okay at best but the main issue was the old sodium lamps which coupled with the ever increasing daylight would cause me no end of issue with colour balance.

Anyway I’m sure I’ll be posting a few images once the mag has decided upon them.

So not the best shoot but you have to learn from every shoot which I did here and look for positives.

Also you always have to have a plan ‘B’.

Hope you have a good week 🙂

‘Behind the Camera’ – Porsche Boxster

If your like me with an inquisitive mind then my ‘Behind the Camera’ posts may be of interest…

Especially with my ‘JJP in motion’ shots I try and capture a few images with my phone showing the set up of the rig and camera. Just for the record I use a Carbon Fibre boom from (Car Camera Rig) as shown in these images.

Not just for the rig shots but anything that’s of interest while I’m on location I’ll post a few images…

The resulting image from the set up shown in the title image is below…. a cheeky Boxster at sunset…

Boxster rig

I’ll post a few more of these ‘Behind the Camera’ shots when I’m out and about or when embargoed images from editorial shoots have been published.

Have a good weekend 🙂