Eric is very cool. I used to feel particularly nerdy around her, before discovering she is a bit of a geek who listens to science podcasts and has a dog named after Nikola Tesla. 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.

Hello.

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.

Contents.

Hello from the future

Hello from the future, Valencia, Spain. The City of Arts and Sciences, built at the end of what was once the river Turia.

Simple and natural, stripped back Sophie

One of the hardest working models I know, Sophie and I have shot together many times. For this shoot we did something simple and relaxed, not worrying too much about slow shutter speeds and making the most of some gentle film grain.

Dimples, blur and grain with Eric

Another blurry, grainy shoot with Eric. Another chance for her to work those dimples.

Jennifer Lopez

Anyone could take a beautiful picture of Jennifer Lopez. I love that Camilla Akrans and Harper's Bazaar didn't settle for that.

Beyoncé

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.

Rainy Saturday with Eric

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.

Fierce and Freckles with Gemma

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.

Julia Roberts

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.

Emma Watson as Belle

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.

Cara Delevingne

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.

Carey Mulligan

When I play fantasy fashion photographer my model shortlist is Emma Watson, Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan.

Palm Tree

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.

Nautical Alessandra Ambrosio

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.

Make Love Not War

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.

Window Lit Zoë Kravitz

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.

Rainy Oxford

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.

Pregnant Alessandra Ambrosio

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.

Heidi Klum is a Cat

Why I love this Rankin series of Heidi Klum pictures that made me want to learn to take portraits.

Has Roger Federer Perspired?

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.

Experiences of Innovation in Emerging Technology

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.

Kappa Architecture on Bluemix

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.

Roland Garros

Crowds at Roland Garros for the 2016 French Open.

Colour of YouTube

Predominant colours of most popular user generated Bobbi Brown videos on YouTube.

Physical Web and Physical Meetings

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.