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STREET STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENT CALENDAR 2020
And so, we come to the end of my 24-day advent series, a project (@hannah_miles_photo) that has brought me much joy in a very volatile month. I have been humbled by all the people willing to be involved in this; the distances travelled, the time spent, as well as the incredible support I have received online. I have learned a few things about myself and my job whilst shooting this series. The importance of “test shoots” helping to build a network throughout your career. I am lucky enough to work with people I class as friends on a day-to-day basis, and I do love a soft focus and a smile in a photograph. This time has reminded me of how important it is to pursue personal projects, develop your photography style, build an audience and in turn strengthen your career. Here are the final days of my advent calendar. I hope you have enjoyed my project.
Advent 10 - Efe Efeturi
I have had the pleasure of shooting with Efe a couple of times and he is always the perfect gentleman with lovely manners and, needless to say, impeccable style. His talent for pairing high street with high end is very impressive and he is also a big ambassador for "ageless dressing”, which if you go to his feed you can see he does very well. I could spend a long time just chatting about the world with Efe and listening to his charitable ways makes me want to be a better person and give back to the community, just as he does. As well as being a fashion and lifestyle influencer, Efe is also a filmmaker, shooting for many big-name brands. I guess you could say that this guy is an all-rounder, and with that smile, he makes it impossible to hate him for it.
Advent 11 - Rikesh
What a guy. I first met Rik at fashion week a few years back when I stopped him for a street style snap, and since then we have taken a number of photos together, and also become very good mates too. My favourite project I’ve worked on with Rik was when he asked me to shoot the images in his article for mental health charity CALM. We took to the streets of London with a number of industry names, and Rik wrote a very eloquent piece all about mental health - he still contributes to the charity today, which to me says a lot about how caring he is to others. Naturally, I can’t write this piece without mentioning the recent reel Rik and I shot together. Not sure if you heard but it reached the dizzy heights of 1 million views! Rik has been a huge supporter of my work over the years and a real inspiration on how to navigate this industry with a smile, whilst making friends along the way.
Advent 12 - Kit Stickland
I have been shooting regular street style for the menswear platform Thread for a few years now. It’s a job I really value, not only for the relationship I am constantly building with Thread, but also for the networking opportunity which comes hand-in-hand. Kit is a perfect example of how a quick street style snap can lead onto something exciting. Kit is the store manager at Thomas Farthing, a brand I have admired for a long time. After stopping Kit in London for a photo, it was evident from the way he was dressed that he worked somewhere in the fashion industry, and after a few emails we met up to shoot for this advent series. I had a great time with Kit, hearing about his journey to London and his role at Thomas Farthing. It’s clear that Kit is a very genuine, passionate and kind person, and I hope that we can be on set together again in the future. Watch this space.
Advent 13 - Scott Fraser Simpson
I have been an admirer of Scott’s style for a while and have learned about his fashion journey through reading about him in publications, and being a follower of his brand, Scott Fraser Collection. This project was the perfect excuse for me to reach out to the man himself and hear his story first-hand. Scott invited me to meet him at his Shoreditch studio, which he has turned into a beautifully curated room with rails of clothes that look too perfectly arranged to touch, but that you are desperate to try on. His style is evidently reflected in his work - a mixture of niche vintage pieces that he has personally curated, and his own expertly tailored garments. Effortless, yet considered. Rare, yet accessible. It was a pleasure spending time with Scott and taking these shots, he is a very humble, sincere, and admirable man who is clearly very connected to his work. Credit to Scott for nailing the Christmas brief too - styling that festive red to perfection.
Advent 14 - Carl Thompson
Carl is an absolute diamond, and he makes the best homemade oat flat white I’ve ever tasted. Fact. You’ll probably already know that I’m a huge dog person, and with Carl comes Charlie, his four-legged French bulldog side kick. The relationship they have is adorable, and after spending a moment with the pair, you’ll see Carl’s tough Instagram persona turn into mush, with one glance from his Frenchie. We never fail to have a laugh every time we shoot together, probably because Carl is such a genuine character, and refreshingly, always his true self. He’s always keen to connect you with people and for that I am very grateful. Basically, Carl is the dream to work with, and I am looking forward to all the future projects we take on together - I’m glad to call him my mate.
Advent 15 - Aleksandar Cvetkovic
If you are yet to hear the name Aleksandar Cvetkovic, then where have you been hiding? Like the stitches in your suit, Aleks is woven into the menswear world. I can’t actually remember how I first found the HandCut Radio Podcast, but this is where I first heard the name Aleksandar Cvetkovic. After flicking through the impressive list of names that Aleks has interviewed in the men's fashion world, and hearing the smooth talking, eloquent Mr. Cvetkovic talk, I was invested, and I don’t think I have come up for air since. Based on the time and energy Aleks puts into the podcast, you could be fooled into believing that podcasting was Aleks’ one and only job, but you’d be mistaken. He is also a journalist - writing for publications including The Financial Times and the founder of HandCut Studio, a content studio that empowers independent brands to communicate effectively. Yup, this man is extremely busy. When we shot these photos Aleks was running between various meetings, but even though rushed off his feet, Aleks continued to be the gentleman everyone knows him to be and asked if I had time for a coffee and a catch up. A man who has no time at all, but makes you feel as if he has all the time for you. It’s a goal of mine to be in the hot seat at HandCut Radio. I need to get a few more years in the industry under my belt first, but I would like to think that one day Aleks will be asking me how I started as a photographer in the menswear world.
Advent 16 - Brett Staniland & Scott Staniland
Here we have double trouble. I feel like I’ve known Scott and Brett for far longer than I actually have. The boys can correct me if I’m wrong here, but I think we first met at a Fashion Week where I stopped them for a street style snap, and since then I can happily call them my friends (Another priceless connection made, and friendship started from Fashion Week. It’s hitting home how important this week is for me). These boys are the best. They're so genuine and easy to get on with, and not just pretty faces either. As well as being models, influencers and faces of the menswear industry, Scott is a consultant for sustainable fashion and Brett has a PhD in public health - not too shabby, hey! I could sit and chat to the boys for way too long, as we did when taking these shots. With double the social power, the boys are a force to be reckoned with, and I’m waiting in anticipation for our next project we can work on together.
Advent 17 - James Sleater
Have you ever walked down Savile Row and admired how wonderful the store fronts are, but always been too intimidated to step foot in any of the tailoring houses? Me too. Enter James Sleater - co-founder of bespoke tailoring house Cad & The Dandy, and the brains behind the new hang out spot for the sartorialists of London, The Service London. One coffee at a time, James is changing the accessibility of Savile Row, providing clients, and workers alike, with an elegant space in which to meet and shop, an update that Savile Row has been craving for a long time. The thing I love most about The Service is collective nature. I am a firm believer that what goes around comes around and if you share other people’s work, and stories, they will in turn share yours, and James definitely works with this same ethos. Not only does The Service stock the latest ready to wear collection from Cad & The Dandy, but it also shows off a curated collection of items from other brands with stores on the row, making the “Savile Row shopping experience” a whole lot easier and accessible to everyone. After spending some time chatting with James, it’s no surprise that his career has been a huge success. His laidback demeanour, and funny sense of humour kept me very entertained and if you ever want to grab a coffee with me, the reply from now on will most likely be “I’ll meet you at The Service”.
Advent 18 - Melissa Jane Tarling
I thought I had my styling nailed... and then I met Mel. This is Melissa Jane Tarling, a fellow lover of the oversized suit and neutral colour palette. I am an admirer of Mel’s simple aesthetic, and I hugely appreciate the curated feed that she displays on Instagram. Her love for simple details and neutral tones is everything I want my life/home/style to be, and she exudes it with so much casual sophistication. This suit for instance; just look at it. Mel has a superpower. Her ability to effortlessly throw something on, walk out the door with wet hair, and still look this great. No surprises here but Mel is an art director and stylist, and you can clearly see those roles leaking into her everyday life. Spending time shooting these portraits with Mel was a joy, and when the bars open their doors again, you’ll find us with a bottle of wine, dressed in beige and talking about oversized clothes.
Advent 19 - Samuel Darcy & Catherine Darcy
Here we have the brains and the beauty behind Serge DeNimes... oh, and Sam. Hehe, only joking. Serge DeNimes was quite literally my first ever real client, and I’m still shooting with them regularly 4 years down the line. I owe them a lot. I am ever so grateful for Oliver Proudlock and the team taking a punt on a very young, and inexperienced photographer, and I’m even more grateful for them treating me like part of the Serge family. Sam is an idea a minute kind of guy, you’ll never be stuck for work when he’s around. His drive and passion is like nothing I’ve ever seen before and his commitment to making Serge DeNimes a success is what creates the buzz around the brand. Catherine has a very rare talent of leading from behind. Her nurturing, kind nature makes her a dream to work with, and because she says everything so thoughtfully and kindly, it’s never a hassle, always a pleasure. We have shared many great times together, and I am so pleased to call them both my close friends. I hope we have another 4 years ahead of us working so closely, and if the growth of either of our businesses mimic the previous 4 years, then I think we are on for one hell of a ride. Thank you for being my biggest supporters guys, I wouldn’t be where I am now without you.
Advent 20 - Nick Tydeman
This is Nick Tydeman, a fashion, portrait, and lifestyle photographer based in London. Nick’s photography is amazing. He has a real eye for framing an image, and he edits with such beautiful soft tones. Go flick through a couple of pages on his website and you’ll see what I mean… flawless. Nick has been working with luxury fashion and lifestyle brands for over seven years, and the proof is in the pudding when you hear the names on his client list. Nick is incredibly talented and a very funny, genuine and lovely guy. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of being on set with Nick, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is as easy to work with, as he is to have a laugh with. Nick and I are in complementary fields of work and have therefore shot some similar faces. Whenever I mention his name to anyone, they only ever have positive things to say. Nick is a huge inspiration and an all-round great guy, and I am excited to see what the future holds for him.
Advent 21 - Benedict Browne
I had heard Ben’s name a lot before meeting him. Unsurprising really, because Ben is a journalist, editor, stylist, and brand consultant working in the menswear world. Yes, I know, what doesn’t he do? I briefly met Ben when shooting for RZK's project with CALM. A brief chat and a few quick photos, I didn’t find out everything I wanted to know, so it was a pleasure to spend time chatting with Ben for this project, and hearing about his busy career. Ben is clearly a very ambitious guy and if you thought he did enough already… well there’s more. In addition to his editorial and consultancy work, he is also Head of Content at Studio Graft, a fast-growing digital development and content agency. Even with all these spinning plates, Ben is still very generous with his time and travelled across town to be part of this project. Ben is an easy going, grounded guy, and having run in similar circles to him for the past few years, I hope that it’s time for our paths to cross a bit more significantly in the New Year.
Advent 22 - Carlos Costa
Carlos was one of the first guys I shot with in London, back in 2016. He has been there right from the start of my journey. From our first shoot at Cut & Grind in Soho, all the way up to this advent shoot, Carlos has been, and continues to be such a huge supporter and inspiration for my work. I get a few people asking me how to start a photography career, and since doing this advent project, and writing these stories, I have noticed a common theme of how I have met people in the industry. The answer is simple really, just go out and shoot. Without taking the lead and reaching out to Carlos, and setting up a test shoot, I wouldn’t be able to speak of our friendship so fondly today. Carlos is such a great guy, and even though he is extremely busy with various projects, he always has time for you. The fact that he drove up from Bournemouth to meet me for these shots made me feel very special indeed and goes to show just how supportive he is of my career. Carlos is a model and influencer, as well as being an ambassador for many fashion and lifestyle brands, and I couldn’t be more grateful for his encouragement over the last few years, it’s a privilege to call him my friend.
Advent 23 - Christopher Raeburn
Christopher Raeburn doesn’t need much introducing for those in the fashion scene, but just in case you are yet to discover this inspirational man, Christopher is the Creative Director of RÆBURN and global Creative Director of Timberland. I have had the privilege of being backstage with Christopher for a couple of fashion week shows. I was shooting backstage content, and he was busying around getting his collections ready to send down the catwalk. In the madness of those moments, I doubt he even noticed me and my camera, so it was a true privilege to meet up with the man himself for this advent project, and get to know him on a more personal level. I met Christopher at his creative fashion studio in Hackney, a very impressive space where daily design meets responsible production. Christopher is best known for having a sustainable intelligence and holds a great success in bringing sustainable design to a mainstream fashion audience. In the run up to Christmas, probably the busiest time for anyone's business, and with new tiers looming, he was kind enough to lend me his time to hunt down the Christmassy parts of Hackney (harder than you think) and take some photos of him. It was a pleasure shooting with Christopher, he is such a lovely guy. He's very calm, collected, and clearly extremely intelligent. If everyone adopted a bit of Raeburn in their life, then I can guarantee that the world would be a much happier place to live. Looking for a New Year's Resolution? I think I may have just found one for you.
Advent 24 - Timothy James
There wasn’t too much consideration on the numerical order or value of the pervious 23 advent posts, but as people continually asked me who was going to be number 24, I did give this one some thought, and only one person came to mind. This is Timothy James, a photographer, brand consultant, designer, model and great friend of mine. Tim has been the most consistent support to me and my career over the last four years, and we have spent some great times on set together. Beautiful locations, fancy cars, fast bikes, timeless outfits and most importantly for us both, photoshoots with dogs. I’d struggle to count the amount of people that I have met, or shot with, who start a conversation with, “You shoot a lot with Timothy don’t you?” I’ve even been given the direction, “I want the shot to look like it’s from Timothy’s page”. It just goes to show how respected he is by other models and influencers in this game, and also how many doors he has unknowingly opened for me. Not only is Tim extremely accomplished, he is also one of the loveliest guys I have ever worked with. He is generous with his time, considerate, thoughtful, respectful and above all, great fun. It’s no surprise to me that he has earned a very loyal and engaged following and has collaborated with some amazing brands. This year we have all had our ups and downs, some more than others, and this guy highlights how you can keep smiling through the tough times and continue to find strength from people around you. I know the future is bright for Tim, in whatever path he chooses, and I can’t believe it was over 4 years ago we met for coffee and photos at The Yurt Cafe. Time flies when you are surrounded by good people, and Tim is most definitely one of those.