genius lurks in chaos


Nigh on 16 months of development and over 6 years of research and cultivating data into a number of ambitious & expansive plans have, since January last year found me in front of policy makers, politicians, professors and professional pundits – each one suitably wowed by the designs, my efforts and determination to see some, if not all my plans come to fruition and become part of the day-to-day shenanigans up here in the north of England.

With that in mind and with a growing number of backed up RAID files and NDA protected documents of considerable weight and caliber, I am in need of a system that you may currently use with excellent results.

I need to broaden my skills in document house keeping and reduce the amount of space I use for such virtual paperwork on my ageing MacBookPro. I use it only for desk top, no films and limited images are stored internally, much of the drive is taken up with the written word. Many, many written words.

Your assistance in this is gratefully received.

Many thanks,



If you are going to visit any gallery exhibition this year…


If your are anywhere near Yorkshire this summer you must make time to visit Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax HX3 5AX. I am proud to be part of not just the pieces hanging on the walls but having been part of the birth and subsequent fostering of this magnificent camera.

Peter Defty, the grand master of large format photography and all round goodfella has an exhibition to promote the growing number of images taken on this very unique and very old super large format device.

Supporting the event will be gratefully received and I am very much looking forward to meeting all the people who have been part of this three year project.

The Outlaw Project exhibition runs from 13th June – 6th September 2015, in the Link Gallery – D Mill. Call 01422 250250 for further details. Looking forward to seeing you all there.


Summer school is open (soon)…


Announcing a new and spectacularly important summer of expiration. Mr Aj Wilkinson is an artist, an educator and an all round nice guy with an ability to encourage and inspire anyone who meets him.

He is rather lucky to live in the cultural heartland of the north and enjoys the commanding views of the Calder Valley directly (and literally) from his studio’s front door.

This summer he is running a season long intensive creative workshop and all who wish to explore the creativity of photography and can get to Hebden Bridge with ease, get in touch and book now before the limited places are taken.

I look forward to seeing you there.


Kind regards,


workshop letter

A New Dawn…


With the first painful weeks of the new year under our wing, it’s all going flat out at Slaughterhouse Mansions. With so much learned from last year and with so much to look forward to in 2013, it’s difficult to know where to start. So I will keep a lot of the expansion plans under wraps for the time being, no point in diluting the good news when you all knew about it months before…but be rest assured there will be no room for Ikea furniture and a splash of paint on the floor. That is not how we roll here.

So what has been learned from 2012?

Well I learned how to know what to look out for and when to offer services to people when they needed it rather than thinking I had all the answers all of the time.

That spending £1000’s on hard copy advertising is pretty pointless when all you guys do is Google Search to seek Studio Hire. So don’t expect to see an add in BJP any time soon.

Not even the oldest of American Snack Foods are secure in this changing market.

That a man in a Space Suit can fall to earth and have 16million people all hold their breath at the same time.

That London can put on one of the finest world events and turn the East End back into a vacant lot.

That I can now add car mechanic to my CV, owning a 14 year old car teaches one quickly.

Gaining market presence in many more sectors as well as fashion and magazine editorial has been a great asset to the studio and will increase throughout the new year.

Being less aware of what I want from my business and more aware of what the customer requires, this is often a bitter pill to swallow, especially when the business is so young. However, it has been more of an issue of late, when it comes to working with those who have continuously changing payment agreements and reducing budgets.

I also found that my continuous encouragement of local photographic talent is starting to pay off. Just as much as I have found new designs on how I can help and encourage people outside of this industry sector. Case in point, the young girl we had on work experience in July and August 2012, Natasha arrived a quite and rather shy, unemployed young girl and left a confident, erudite, employed young woman. A job in Manchester, excellent presentation skills – proven at an event at Portcullis House in September, in front of over 80 people, including CEOs and MPs.

Natasha has gone on to pursue her career in Acting, gaining a place at the celebrated Manchester School of Acting. Not bad for a girl from Irwell who back in Summer (and I am sure she will support me in saying this) was quiet and the epitome of a ‘Wall Flower’. So mentoring is proven to help even those who think the world is against them.

This week will see the Slaughterhouse Studios New Year’s Honours List – something I cannot do without you as my opinion counts for nothing in a democracy.

So let me know who you have enjoyed working with this past year, it could be a photographer, an assistant, a studio Director (hint) or even the Make Up artist that works so well with your own visions. All in all I want to see who is moving and shaking the world of photographic image making in the UK, it is often a lonely place running a studio and often one can only fix one’s attention on the client of the day. I get asked often if I have access to Photographers, Assistants, Digi Assistants, MUA’s, Wardrobe Specialists (inc Seamstresses) and on the odd occasion, Art Directors. So let me have your list of favourites and lets keep them all busy throughout 2013.

No matter what we do this year, lets work together to support all in the industry and allow them to have a busier year, a brighter year and a much more financially successful year. Let us champion those who are not afraid of putting in the hours, bringing in the contracts and keeping the talent in the UK.

Something to keep an eye out over the coming weeks is a Redeye event at Slaughterhouse Studios. For those of you connected to Redeye or those of you wishing to become a member, I am proud to announce a two day masterclass with Celebrated Photographer Liz Hingley on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February. This is a unique opportunity both for me and for Redeye: a weekend workshop with a leading photographer, including a portrait of you – or someone you nominate – by Liz, as part of her series in progress, Spiritual Object Portraits. Numbers are strictly limited to eight participants.

Liz Hingley is one of the most celebrated photographers of her generation; her sympathetic approach, curiosity, and insightful visual storytelling has won her numerous prizes and accolades over the last five years.

Details can be found here on how to book a place on the weekend event. Please hurry however as places are limited and going fast.

Looking forward to seeing you all back in the studio this year.


Papa Simpson x

whiter shade of pale…


For some time now, any studio with windows and the ability to let in the light have been announcing themselves as “the only daylight studio in ….enter city here….” So here’s my “daylight studio” in Manchester.

Bookings can be made for hire by calling 0161 745 4232 or email I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Papa x

spectacular in its simplicity…

Edwin Land was once quoted, “Marketing is what you do when your product is no good”.

Bold words from someone who was the founder of Polaroid I hear you exclaim, but there is a vein of truth in his comment. Ok, Polaroid is known by millions and used by just as many, it has been in and out of favour by the public and the professional set. Now fashionable again, all of us wished we had kept and cherished our SX-70 or still had the attachment to the work horse Hasselblad. You will not be shocked then to hear that I too have accessed equipment older than most of the buildings in central Manchester, incredibly taking images with such clarity that standard digital platforms could only wish to achieve and with the adaptable rear of the camera offering a chance to shoot 14×17 transparency down to 5×4 transparency, polaroid or paper.

The Outlaw Project is all about people, people who have or are still making a difference in their chosen direction. If you are or know anyone of this calibre and wish to see you or them captured for prosperity with this phenomenal contraption may I suggest you contact me as soon as is humanly possible. So – actors, musicians, entertainers, photographers, film makers, scientists, circus performers, surgeons, teachers, sports men and women; even unicycling court judges – anything you think I would like to see become a legacy.

So easy it has become to plug in and snap away. A renaissance of film, chemicals, patience and skill (or alchemy) is required to see that time can slow right down and still deliver something wonderful.

So lets stop living at a million miles an hour and start looking, really looking at the world. You may just enjoy it.

Papa x


extended credit…..

At some point in any artist’s life, one hits a moment where funds are, how can I can I put this..shy.

For centuries the creative community has been pilloried and chastised for not putting money before everything, more today that is a real issue. Yet, creativity, like time has to go on. Without it we have nothing. Photography is my chosen art form, my preferred method of making pictures. This process costs money, it is costly in time, effort and by entering into this industry with either a prize fighter’s eye on the purse or with a more existential, bohemian attitude, at some point you are going to need to eat.

Since artists started to hang out in trattorias, bodegas or cafe’s around the world, they have found a synthesis between chef/proprietor and their own work, many ageing and smoke stained walls of eateries around Europe are still littered with objects of desire, captured moments, scenes from the turmoiled, boozed addled brains of those who once were too impoverished to afford a plate of Tapas, Chicchetti, Pinchos or Meza.

So what did they do? What would any discernible creative do in moments of need? Easy, they offered work for nourishment – commonly known as “extended credit”.

The house gets to sell the work for the cost of all the meals and ubiquitously, wine they have consumed each day they were not in their studio or darkrooms.

So to those with need of a darkroom, to those in need of a test day in studio much larger than your living room and some old bed sheet why not consider offering something lovely for me to hang on the walls and fundamentally sell for your time here? If it worked for Hemingway, Picasso and well, me. It will work for you.

So get in touch.

The images must be framed and able to be hung on arrival – (T&C’s apply)

Papa x