2023 Year Round Up

It’s that time of year to look back at a few of the highlights from 2023 and also look forward to what’s install for 2024.

It’s fair to say, 2023 was a year of ups and downs. Certainly, the malaise in the bike industry saw many brands limit or put on hold their marketing activity which consequently had a knock-on effect with far less shoots than the previous year. Much of the campaign work disappeared as a result with brands concentrating their efforts on producing good e-commerce photography which has become more important and creative as a result.

But with every cloud, comes a silver lining and in this case a new client – BMW managed by the agency, STICHD, who I had been recommended to by Brighton Studios (and whom I’ve used previously for shoots). BMW have a large range of apparel and merchandise goods such as hydration, stationery, etc.. which all needed photographing. Over the period of this year I’ve done 3-4 shoots for them including a trip to Munich working on some campaign work and featuring a few of their cars.

BMW – using some flash trickery and long exposure.

This year also saw the launch of a new Triathlon and Running brand – Born Bound, which is the brainchild of a good friend of mine, Mark Sinclair (previously adidas and Team Sky). I was asked to photograph the campaign work which was shot on the glorious north coast of Devon on an amazing winters day.

BornBound shot in glorious North Devon

Keeping the beach theme, I also helped one of my oldest clients, Misa Harada with a shoot on the south coast of Wales. Misa makes the most beautiful hats which have graced the cover of Vogue and been worn by the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, etc…

Beautiful hats by Misa Harada

Misa Harada Millinery

I’ve also kept closed ties with my corporate clients such as PwC and have been doing some interesting projects including a day at Red Bull Racing HQ, for one of the shoots.

A few faces for corporate clients

Winning cars at Red Bull HQ

There’s also been some travel abroad this year, but the highlight was Sri Lanka which I visited twice exploring the country by bike, over its numerous gravel tracks that navigate through the paddy fields and tea plantations of the central and southern regions. This was the type of job which didn’t feel like work and it looks like it might be the start of a longer term photography project there.

Sri Lanka – Hot & Humid

It’s also been a big year for the Mountains project and print sales. The interest in the work continues to grow year on year and I’ve started to re-visit some of the Mountains which I have shot previously and also new destinations and climbs with a view to updating the existing book and potentially making a limited special edition book.

Mountains Project – New work, Col d’Izoard

I’ve also hooked up with my old print making tutor, Ian Brown from Hastings college who runs an open workshop from his home in Brighton – more.

I’ve been working on a new range of prints using the method of Photopolymer etching. There will be more on this in the coming weeks when the new prints are launched for sale on the online shop.

Furka Pass

X4 Colour Photopolymer Etching of the Furka Pass

Roubaix 01

B&W Etching of the Roubaix Shower block

So, what’s on the radar for 2024?

This year has already kicked off with some studio shoots for Le Col photographing their new Spring/Summer collection.

I’m also starting to work with a new client, Derby Wheel which brings the hugely popular Japanese Keirin velodrome racing to the UK. It’s reminiscent of horse racing with colourful outfits for the riders and where punters can place bets on their preferred rider.

Colour of Keirin Racing

I also want to get back into doing more editorial work, something I largely missed in 2023. I have an idea on a long-term project based around the Tour de France Advertising Caravan which travels around France every July in front of the race.

TDF Caravan – Chickens on the Col d’Iseran

In terms of travel, I have a few early season projects with a trip to the deserts of Oman and a trip to Gran Canaria to photograph some of the famous climbs there including the Valley of Tears.

Lastly on a personal note, I am hoping to start a building project converting a barn which we bought a few years ago on the south coast of England, into our new home. It’s a big project which will probably take a few years but hopefully we can get going soon.

Sussex Barn – Hopefully it will be a house one day!

If you have any projects you would like to discuss or would like to see a portfolio of work, please get in touch via:

Email: photography@michaelblann.com
IG: michaelblann
Tel: + 44 (0)7775 572534

You can also view more work and visit the online shop.