Lynchpix : A Retrospective 2022

Welcome one & all to my review of the year- our first full year free of Covid restriction.

For those of you discovering my work for the first time, let me get you up-to-speed. I’ve been a professional photographer my entire working life; the majority of that time employed within the British press. A wide-ranging & varied array of commercial clients also keep me busy.

I absolutely love what I do, although it can sometimes be frustrating. The best image taken might not necessarily be the best frame to illustrate a particular story or campaign meaning my own ‘fave’ shot may not be used, or even seen.

Since my website rebuild in 2010, the homepage has become an outlet for this material in the form of “Image of the Week”. A place where these photographs can be viewed & appreciated. It’s not always an award-winner, rather an honest slice of life behind the lens.

My photographic year began with an evening trip west to Kew Gardens & their stunning winter light trail. This gets bigger & better with each passing year. An absolute joy to photograph:

Week two & I was on portrait duties in east London with the O’Neil Sisters; co-founders of Hertility Health:

Week three had a nostalgic twist for a pictures-and-words package I put together for Metro as I took my children clubbing! Read all about it here:

The month wrapped on a news angle photographing the new City Hall on the Royal Docks, which the Mayor of London & his team should have moved into back in November 2021. The grand opening was delayed again with retrofitting & renovations costing an estimated £14million, only a handful of official meetings have taken place with assembly members forced to keep their coats on as the central heating wasn’t functioning properly:

Back on features duties for Metro, I headed to north London for an ‘at home’ shoot with the ‘Clueless Renovators’ Jess & Darius with their new arrival (and their cheeky cat!):

As we hit mid-month, It was into the square mile for a little reportage architectural ramble documenting some of the city’s newer landmarks;

Week seven’s highlight was a mad dash to the river as Storm Eunice ripped the roof from the O2 arena in Greenwich;

Into the month of March & we had what was seen as the official “London back to the office”. Mandatory face coverings on public transport were no longer necessary & commuters came flooding back from their home-offices & into their city locations.

In typical British fashion, it was an absolutely miserable morning with pouring rain & heavy gusts turning umbrellas inside-out (pictured; commuters leaving Liverpool Street Station):

With Covid restrictions on public gatherings fully lifted, a number of annual events returned including the brilliantly fun Leadenhall Market Pancake Race:

Back on portraiture duties, I explored King’s Cross’ impressive redevelopment with one of the influential people behind it; Morwenna Hall, Chief Operating Officer of Argent:

Then it was time for another one of those fabulous annual events I have the pleasure of covering; The Cheltenham Festival! At the beginning of Covid restrictions in 2020, Cheltenham was the last major gathering before lockdown began in the UK.

2020 was a wonderfully sunny few days in the countryside; 2022 was not so pleasant. I got absolutely drowned! It was a challenging few days, but I shot some great material, as you can see from my image below of a mud-splattered jockey chatting in the owner’s enclosure. I had a few casualties, though. The following week, I delivered two waterlogged lenses & a broken camera to my repair guys. Just another hazard of the job!

Back on for Metro, I undertook a fabulous cover shoot with Michelle Feeney at her stunning North London home;

From portraiture to reportage for a behind-the-scenes look at new theatre show Moulin Rouge! The stage was stunning with a huge swing that descended from the ceiling. My picture shows actor Clive Carter warming up in his dressing room before curtain-up;

Back on Spotlight duties for the Evening Standard I was tasked with photographing the colourful & ever-changing north London neighbourhood of Camden. Pictured is local character the Zombiepunk:

Creeping into Easter & I headed to Spain documenting the stunning architecture of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (the city of arts & sciences) within the wonderful city of Valencia;

I returned to the UK in time to cover top DJ Clarkson’s big London disco-house event “DiscNoTheque” with special guest Lenny Fontana flying in especially from the USA;

It was the arts next in front of my lens for the photo call at Tate Modern of Japanese artist Yakoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirror Rooms”, a stunning immersive & colourful visual experience, which I can highly recommend. The exhibition runs through until April of this year, so if you haven’t experienced it for yourself, there’s still time…

The UK election cycle took precedent the week after that. Pictured is Leader of the opposition Kier Starmer & his wife Victoria leaving their local polling station in north London. Labour made significant gains as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party lost almost 500 seats.

A long drive out to Oxfordshire was the highlight of the following week photographing specialist doggy portrait artist Dede Gold as she worked on her latest piece:

With London’s Crossrail (The Elizabeth Line) finally ready after almost two years of delays, the Evening Standard tasked me with documenting the outer boroughs & the benefits it’ll have on those areas; at the western end is Hanwell, a pretty neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ealing. This is our case-study Katie Owen whom moved to the area in 2013. Just as she arrived for our canalside shoot, the rain began to fall!

The week after that, I explored Thamesmead at the far eastern end, which kinda has the feel of Hackney Wick in the ’90’s. It really is a very interesting patch of town that I thoroughly enjoyed exploring:

Having rarely explored the southeast corner of London, I found myself there twice in as many weeks! This is the utterly stunning Crossness Pumping Station; affectionately known as “The Palace of Poo”. This Grade 1 Listed Beam Engine House was opened in 1865 to process London’s waste. It has been lovingly restored & is open to the public for tours & educational purposes. It is also a very popular filming location;

The following week was the Platinum Jubilee of Queen’s Elizabeth II, which I stepped away from choosing instead to take advantage of that lovely long Bank Holiday with both hands & get away with the family. The weather was stunning too.

This is Cardiff Bay in all it’s glory:

The closest I came to our beloved monarch was this cardboard cutout in a local bar a week later.

In hindsight, I wish I’d stayed to cover the festivities of what was unfortunately one of her last public engagements, but more on that later…

Upon my return to London, portraiture was the order of the day in Surrey with author Adele Parks:

This year was a particularly difficult one for our civil servants. With pay rises suspended throughout the pandemic, the unions came out fighting. Numerous professions undertook industrial action through the back-half of the year including bus drivers, teachers, driving examiners, refuse collectors, road sweepers, barristers, administrative staff, highways agency, border force, signal men, nurses, ambulance drivers, baggage handlers, dock workers, Royal Mail staff, BT engineers & coffin-makers. The tip of the sword, if you will, was our public transport staff.

Railways and London Underground drivers walked out in unison on Tuesday 21st June grinding London to a practical halt. Industrial action & picketing have continued into 2023 with little hope on the horizon of a suitable outcome.

On this particular strike day, the limited buses in service attempted to pick up the slack, but huge cues quickly formed at the major transport hubs including this one; London’s Victoria station;

As London’s public transport network whirled into gear again, I headed to Russell Square for a fun portrait session with Irish tech entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave:

With the warmth of summer on our backs, large-scale events & festivals ramped up. This week’s highlight came from a cool cocktail-making masterclass- part of the Bretford Summer Series in west London as housebuilder & regular client Ballymore launched a programme of free seminars & workshops within the housing development;

My next slice of fun & games came at a fabulous event in Vauxhall called the “Sunset Sessions”. Utilising the awesome Sky Pool within Embassy Gardens’ housing development, there was live music & street food aplenty, as well as a mesmerising synchronised swimming performance ten stories above the ground;

As the sun set over the US Embassy, a pair of ‘mermaids’ entered the illuminated expanse of water:

I was a little closer to home for this weeks’ slice of summer fun at the Islander Festival in Canning Town, east London. Photographed is the all-female band Mariachi Las Adelitas performing beneath Rana Begum’s gorgeous piece “Catching Colour”, which forms part of The Line public art trail;

Back on editorial duties, Metro newspaper sent me south of the river to photograph Interior Designer Pandora Taylor & her adorable pooch Mr. Bingley:

Next I undertook a fabulous feature story in the studio with the ‘Queen of UK Garage’; Kele Le Roc:

Politics was again the order of the day with a mad dash out to Cheltenham racecourse. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped down and so the Conservative party (and the country) needed a new leader. The final two candidates (Liz Truss & Rishi Sunak) endured nationwide hustings attempting to convince members that they would be the best person for the job.

Picture shows Mr. Sunak addressing the crowd. He lost the leadership race, but ended up Prime Minister a few months later anyway!

Back on editorial for Metro, I undertook a sunny Saturday afternoon shoot with television presenter Jonnie Irwin in Clerkenwell;

The last weekend of August took me deep into Essex for “Proper Fest“; an all-day dance music extravaganza on the outskirts of Clacton-On-Sea. Picture shows MC Lipton riling up some of the three thousand revelers that danced the night away in that field.

Later that night, soul legend Joyce Sims performed on the main stage. It would be one of her final performances in the UK. Rest easy Joyce Sims xxx

I returned to London just in time for GDIF (Greenwich & Docklands International Festival). Pictured is the world’s largest zoetrope titled “Charon”, which towered 32ft above the docks and included life-sized rotating skeletons;

“Pawstival” was next- a cool doggy festival in central London attracting handsome pooches from far and wide. I do hope this one returns next year…

Then everything stopped. On Thursday 8th September 2022 at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II- the only monarch/ head-of-state many of us ever knew passed away. Once her body was transported back to the capital, she laid in state within Westminster Hall for six days.

Vast cues of mourners quickly formed stretching across Lambeth Bridge & along the south bank

There were parts of the south bank where you could just about make out the pavement.

I followed the cue from start-to-finish stretching five miles past some of London’s best-known landmarks & deep into Southwark Park to the southeast. At every juncture, respectful symbols of memorial were visible. Below is the National Film Theatre beneath Waterloo Bridge;

At Sea Containers House beside Blackfriars Bridge, a stall popped up offering free teas & coffees to all that passed by:

And outside Tate Modern, art-deco flags of Her Majesty flew majestically against the crisp, blue sky

There were signs of respect everywhere. Even my local supermarket had a candlelight vigil:

As I approached Tower Bridge & City Hall, mourners in the cue were being told it would be at least ten hours before they could pay their respects. At it’s peak, waiting times were well over 30 hours…

On the sixth day, her funeral service began. I arrived at Westminster station just after 5am with road closures in place at every turn. Heaving crowds were already filling every inch of crash-barrier erected around Parliament Square & Whitehall. I’d secured my spot ahead-of-time in the press pen in front of Horse Guards Parade. To the left of me, the public areas were overflowing with mourners- almost all had secured their spot the night before & camped out in the street. Many were dozing as I began setting up my equipment.

By 9am, family, friends & dignitaries began filing past on their way to Westminster Abbey.

The service began at 11am. The ladies beside me had a wireless radio, as well as a temperamental iPad streaming the funeral to their fingertips.

It was a moment filled with emotion:

Then the huge procession began. Her horse-drawn standard-wrapped coffin passed my position around 11:45am

At Hyde Park Corner the coffin was placed in a modern motorised hearse before commencing it’s long journey west down the M4 motorway & out to Windsor Castle – her final resting place.

I pulled my edit together beneath a tree as the throngs of well-wishers slowly made their way toward the various stations dotted around our location & back to their respective homes. Everyone respectful. Everyone patient. I didn’t spot a single element of bother throughout the entire week.

My own journey home involved changing from the Circle Line to Docklands Light Railway at Tower Hill. As I made my change, a group representing the British Bangladeshi Community were handing out bottles of water & fresh, hot samosas- a truly wonderful touch that after such a long working week, was heartily accepted.

Covering this moment in history truly made me proud to be British…

Regular duties resumed as I headed out to rural Berkshire & the country pile of Interior Designer Benji Lewis:

Keeping my portraiture head on, the modern Wardian development in Canary Wharf was my next port-of-call for a shoot with architect & television personality Gabrielle Omar in her light-filled penthouse:

I covered the Chelmsford marathon & half-marathon next, documenting the 1,500 people that bandied through the streets of the Essex town;

Then it was art photographing Luke Jerram’s “Gaia” on display at Southwark Cethederal, South London. The spectacular piece uses detailed imagery of the earth’s surface provided by NASA to create a realistic globe that stretches seven metres in diameter & suspended high above the Cathederal hall.

A bit of fun & games next for yet another one of those annual events that never fails to entertain- The MCM Comic-Con! All things comic book-related are celebrated for three days at London’s ExCel Arena with a good 60-70% of patrons in attendance turning out in their best finery. There were some very peculiar looks from the stoic security team as a young gent rocked up with a five-foot broadsword!

Mr & Mrs Deadpool were a particularly entertaining pair- God bless those crazy Comic-Conners!!

The whole area becomes a cosplay playground. The frame above was captured at a cafe a mile up the docks & far from the venue’s doors…

As we edged into November, I covering the grand opening of London’s newest concert hall; World Heart Beat- the first new concert hall to open in the capital for 13 years.

With a healthy slant towards the disadvantaged & underprivileged of the city, they offer free tuition, instruments & affordable tickets to encourage anyone & everyone into the arts. The opening featured a number of performances from World Heart Beat alumni in the grand main space;

Following that was an interesting commercial shoot working with Cavendish Clinics at their impressive facility in the west end. Pictured is their “HydraFacial” technology, which deep cleans & rehydrates your skin.

Next was a trip north to Peterborough with longtime collaborator; DJ & top producer Andy Galea (AKA Sol Brothers). There we met vocalist Marcella Woods & fellow producer LaNesra- his co-conspirators for new single “Let Me Out“. We had an absolute ball running around the Cambridgeshire countryside capturing a raft of material. This frame summed up their playful personalities perfectly- and befitted the title of the single too!

With Christmas around the corner, pantomimes up and down the country began the task of casting & rehearsing. I accompanied journalist John Nathan to the Hackney Empire for an all-access look at their own production; Mother Goose. We kicked off backstage where the talent were getting stage-ready whilst rehearsing their lines;

The frame above is Director & ‘dame’, Clive Rowe in his dressing room.

Just before the show commenced, we set up a great shot in the “hot-goose-balloon”, one of the big moments of the production;

Then it was ‘curtain-up’ as the auditorium quickly filled with hundreds of local schoolchildren;

I honestly do not know where they get their energy from. It was non-stop from start to finish. Two-and-a-half hours of non-stop entertainment… Epic.

Back on for Metro’s Home section I dropped in to musician Luke Leighfield & his partner Annabel’s cool & colourful eastend pad.

A little slice of culture next at the English National Ballet for a Christmas performance of Swan Lake.

And if that didn’t feel like Christmas, arctic snow blanketed the country the following week. This was Thames Barrier Park beside the River Thames.

The year ended with more industrial action- this time from our beleaguered NHS nurses. They have expertly guided us through a pandemic, various lockdowns & a national vaccine rollout. They’ve literally held our country together. Pay and working conditions are once again the sticking point. Pictured is the picket line at St. Thomas’ Hospital- the very location our own Prime Minister was treated when he succumbed to Covid;

The final week of 2022 was a pretty quiet one for me. A few pickups here and there including this ‘Christmassy’ frame from London’s Waterloo station…

Well that’s your lot! Another busy year comes to a close. I do hope you enjoyed my photographic review of 2022; Another interesting twelve months, which dare I say approached something close to the relative normality of 2019. There have been some hugely enjoyable moments, alongside the charged & extremely emotional ones.

I finished the previous two years’ reviews with a thanks to our NHS & that still feels appropriate- especially with the industrial action witnessed above, which has already spilled into the New Year- a list of fresh picketing dates already in the diary. I do hope this situation can be resolved and quickly…

Thank you once again for taking the time to delve into my world. Should you have an upcoming project you’d like to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch…

Daniel Lynch Photography

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