Baking hot in summer and freezing cold in winter, the Rioja weather can batter the senses throughout the year. It’s a climate of contrasts over the seasons, months and sometimes even over a few hours. Very chilly mornings can turn into beautifully pleasant days. Beautifully pleasant mornings can turn into brutally hot afternoons. And so on and so forth.Read More
Viña Mayor winery asked me to make some portraits of its recently arrived winemaker, Almudena Alberca. The brief was for elegant, reasonably minimalist images that showed Almudena at work in the Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) winery in the heart of Ribera del Duero. It also wanted portraits of Almudena at itand also its Rueda winery - Caserío de Duero - an hour away in Villaverde de Medina (Valladolid).Read More
A first encounter with a Mantas Ezcaray blanket is very much a sensory experience: the wool is so soft it could be silk, the colours are bright and appealing but not garish and your hand practically disappears into the thick fibres. There’s an overwhelming desire just to wrap yourself up in it.Read More
One of the first and best things I did when I moved to La Rioja six years ago was to invest time and money in building a decent website. One that was simple but elegant and showed off my photography at its best. It was a shrewd investment for my website has brought in tons of work ever since.Read More
Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui and Juan Mari Arzak are legendary Basque Country chefs that helped raise the region’s gastronomic profile to the stratosphere. In recent years they’ve been followed by a younger generation including Andoni Luis Aduriz and Elena Arzak. But who will be next?Read More
It’s human nature to prefer to buy something from someone you know rather than a complete stranger. That’s why Barceló, owners of Viña Mayor and Palacio wine brands, asked me to photograph the grape harvest in its Ribero del Duero, Toro and Rioja vineyards.
The brief was to capture images that show emotion, passion and sacrifice, amongst other things. They wanted to show something of the daily lives of those who work in the vineyards and the wineries.Read More
Food photography in Spain is one of the great perks of working in this country. There are 15 new dishes this year at Ezcaray’s two-Michelin star restaurant El Portal del Echaurren, and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and then sample them! Chef Francis Paniego has continued with his theme of using out-of-fashion animal cuts in surprising and original ways. For example, the “razor clams” are actually pigs’ tendons.Read More
The brief for this commercial photography in Bilbao assignment immediately had me hooked! Alvaro Sordo is a top interior designer based in Galdakao, Bizkaia, Basque Country, just outside Bilbao. However, instead of asking me to produce images of commercial interiors and family homes he’s worked on, he wanted portraits that showed his professional approach with his clients. Portraits that transmit his philosophy of close working relationships, collaboration, communication, his personal integrity and sensitivity. Like me Alvaro knows that an excellent client relationship leads to fantastic results.Read More
The Echaurren gastronomic hotel in Ezcaray, La Rioja, has been in the same family for five generations, gradually building up a reputation as a very special place to eat and stay in northern Spain. But that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels, as I found out on this commercial photography shoot.Read More
Ezcaray is a popular holiday destination attracting people thanks to its beautiful mountainous location, excellent restaurants and hotels and, at least as we head into winter, ski resort. It’s particularly well-known among people from the Basque Country and Madrid.
But it’s also internationally famous in one particular, and rather niche, commercial sector: the manufacture of quality wooden furniture and theatre / cinema seats.Read More
The brief for this job was straight forward: Show the people and personalities behind San Pedro Apostol, a co-operative wine-maker based in Huércanos, near Nájera, 20km from Logroño, La Rioja. “I want the photos to reveal the love that these people put into wine making,” Sergio Fernández, of Icono Gráfico, told me in his office in Logroño. “Namely, these hands make this wine.”Read More
The Art Company, based in Quel, near Arnedo, La Rioja, is one of the larger manufacturers in northern Spain and sells its classy ranges of shoes all over the world. It specialises in distinctive, high-quality, hand-made shoes. It may be a traditional product but it comes with a modern twist and this forward thinking also applies to the firm’s marketing: It invited nine bloggers from Germany, France and Spain to visit the factory in Quel and try its latest Neosens and Art collections.Read More
Morning Calm, Korean Air’s in-flight magazine, is a champion of great editorial photography and I was chuffed to bits when they asked me to photograph chef Toño Perez for the February 2014 edition (pdf). Toño and his partner José Polo set up Atrio restaurant, in Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, in 1986. Specialising in creating exceptional dishes from fantastic local foods (this is “Jamón Iberico” country) Atrio won its first Michelin star in 1994 and added a second 10 years later.Read More
Where’s Wally books are popular among young children and, ahem, not so young children too sometimes! I had them in mind in the days leading up to this shoot at Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. A family run business founded in 1879 and based in Haro, CVNE is one of La Rioja’s most famous and acclaimed wineries.Read More
Sports stars, successful artists and business leaders famously have it and so too, it seems to me, do the winemakers I've been visiting over the past couple of weeks. The 'it' I’m referring to is devotion to what they do.
I've been photographing a number of them for Diario La Rioja's annual wine supplement. At Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, Javier Salamero spoke with tenderness & love about the historic wines on offer. Of course you could argue that he was preaching to the converted as the photo above seems to suggest.Read More
The first thing that Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga, the count of Creixell & owner of Marqués de Murrieta winery, said to me was: “How long do you need to take my portrait? One hour or two?”
Brilliant!! So often on comercial assignments, I get no more no more than 10 minutes to photograph the boss. The resulting photos are fine, and sometimes a combination of spontaneity and my inner desperation leads to surprisingly good results.Read More
Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Andoni Luís Aduriz, are just three of the dozen or so highly-regarded chefs who’ve given talks in Francis Paniego’s new restaurant, Tondeluna, in Logroño, over the past few months. I’ve been to eight of the talks and have been trying to choose by 10 favourite photos. I’ve got it down to my favourite 16, so far.Read More
I’m thrilled that a series of my photos are published the May edition of Decanter, one of the best known and respected wine magazines in the world. I’m even more thrilled that I took the photos in Bodegas Vega Sicilia, one of Spain’s best known and respected wineries.Read More
I shot my first wedding of the year last weekend when Argiñe and Pedro celebrated their marriage in La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, La Rioja. The photos are a bit different than normal as they were commissioned by the restaurant owner, Ángel, for his new website.Read More