Darren here. I work in technology at Net-A-Porter, but my real love is for fashion, beauty and portrait photography. I spend my spare time writing about pictures I love and trying to emulate them. I’m always happy to meet models, makeup artists and stylists. So if you’re interested in working together, get in touch by email or find me on Twitter or Instagram.
It's our loss that Beyoncé doesn't do magazine photo shoots any more. In the early 2010s she graced some of the finest fashion stories. Out of all these, it's Alasdair McLellan's cover for The Gentlewoman that I love the most.
The two of us did this shoot on a rainy Saturday morning in late 2018. My favourite pictures of Eric are always the in-between ones, where she’s laughing or just finished delivering some witty put down. I know the pictures will look great as soon as you start to see those gorgeous dimples showing up.
Gemma is one of the easiest people to shoot with, her natural swagger always comes across in the pictures, but she’s also funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously. This shoot was from 2014 with Rachael Kent doing a perfect job of keeping the makeup low key and letting Gemma (and freckles) shine.
I hope Julia Roberts has this picture hanging on her wall. It’s such a joyful, "everything is going to be ok" moment captured by Alexi Lubomirski. Just looking at the image makes me happy.
The pictures I love are stripped back. The simpler the better. I don't like props, themes or elaborate production. All things that Tim Walker is master of. I shouldn't like his Vanity Fair portrait of Emma Watson and yet I love it.
I get butterflies looking at Peter Lindbergh's portrait of Cara Delevingne. Cara's hard to read emotion and the simplicity of the lighting against her pared back makeup make it timeless.
When I play fantasy fashion photographer my model shortlist is Emma Watson, Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan.
Jake Michaels is a serious photographer with high profile clients and a beautiful portfolio. As a sideline he also goes under the name Joke Michaels, sharing many of his street pictures and changing my mind about humour in photography.
This is the second Boo George shoot with Alessandra Ambrosio that I’ve written about. If I had to pick the perfect fashion picture this would be it.
Steven Meisel has been responsible for many of Vogue Italia's most controversial shoots. His 2007 Make Love Not War shoot was described by the Guardian as "the most nauseatingly tasteless fashion pictures ever”. Controversial and difficult, but ten years on they still stand out.
Zoë Kravitz is having a bit of a moment, she is in every photo shoot. This Stas Komarovski photograph of her is a picture I’ve tried (and failed) to take many times.
There are plenty of London street images, but it’s more unusual to see them from other towns and cities in the UK. Robert Viglasky’s picture of the women in the window was taken in Oxford.
Alessandra Ambrosio has done everything from the Next catalogue, through Victoria’s Secret shows, to high fashion. In this image, Boo George was able to do something different.
Why I love this Rankin series of Heidi Klum pictures that made me want to learn to take portraits.
That Roger Federer does not sweat had become ingrained thinking, the sort of idea we were looking to challenge. Was it real or just a lazy cliche? We had IBM’s Wimbledon match data for all the top players and using Weather Underground we pulled in temperature data for those matches. This let us see the number of matches played by player and temperature.
I work in a part of IBM called Emerging Technology. One of the group's responsibilities is to help clients with innovation. We do this by explaining technology, running workshops and helping prototype new ideas. We're often asked how to be innovative. I don't think we have an answer to this, but we do have lots of experience of what has worked and hasn't worked for us.
Over the last three years I've been responsible for helping the US Masters, Roland Garros and primarily Wimbledon understand how people are engaging with the events on social media. Their requirements have led to a messy combination of stream processing, batch processing and static indexing. I've started to look at how a Kappa architecture might help us produce a cleaner solution.
Crowds at Roland Garros for the 2016 French Open.
Predominant colours of most popular user generated Bobbi Brown videos on YouTube.
As an experiment in using the Physical Web I wanted to create a voting system for physical meetings. A meeting would have a current question and attendees could vote with one click. There would be no entering URLs, downloading apps, or scanning QR codes.
Darren Shaw, 2019.