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LONDON TOWN

London, United Kingdom - 2023

Some projects demand a very high level of creative processing for the end result not to fall flat. My goal was to take a picture in London with an intense sense of place and I knew that to do this and remain original was a formidable challenge. There can be few cities in the world more photographed than London and to tell a story that would resonate with a content spoilt audience, we had to be at our very best. There is nothing more disappointing than to creatively underwhelm, particularly in my home city. We can hardly plant a well-known figure in front of Trafalgar Square and suggest it’s art, and I pondered over this puzzle for many weeks.

Ultimately my instincts were to go back in time and play to the lore of London's past. We iterated and iterated and decided to play on the gritty London of the post war 1920s. Within the tight vortex of an unmodernised narrow London street, we could then throw on to the stage as many nods to the era as possible.

The historic dockyards of Chatham offer a strong visual canvas on which to tell stories and I sensed that if we played with the ambient light of the early evening and married that with old London streetlights, we had a platform to build on.

It’s a bit like making Christmas lunch - all the constituent parts must coalesce with each other and elevate the final offering. I had a strong inclination to introduce smoke; it adds another cinematic layer whether that smoke comes from a car exhaust or a chimney.

This roaring twenties in the UK saw material advances in technology and science, but it will also be remembered as a decade in which women found equality and their sexuality was celebrated. It was an era where grit and glamour forged an unlikely alchemy. Choosing iconic British supermodel and actress Cara Delevingne - a quintessential London girl - as my lead was one of the easier decisions of my career. Meanwhile, David Gandy is my favourite male lead to work with in the world - he always nails it and gives his all. It was a very London day and we were honoured to work with the best leads that London can offer. There was no room for compromise.

This photograph may celebrate the London of 100 years ago, but for all the challenges of 2023, it remains the most vibrant, creative city in the world. We felt that vibe on set. Not many cities can compete with London Town.

Available sizes (Framed size)

Standard: 52" x 68"
Large: 71" x 96"

Available editions

Standard: 20
Large: 20