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The day I met Donald Trump

Some chap called Donald Trump appears to be in the news rather a lot right now so I thought I’d search the archive for the shots I took of him back in 1996 for The Times. The now President Elect was on a visit to London during the week of his 5oth birthday. At the time he had ambitions for a London Trump Tower. It never materialised. I don’t know why but given the recent emergence of statement buildings on the London skyline he may have been ahead of his time. Unusually there was just him and me in the room for the shoot; no PR, PA or security. I suspect this may never happen again. I recall setting up my lights in a room containing a Trump Tower model so used it in the shots. He can’t have been in a hurry because we chatted quite a bit and looking at the shots again I had time to move my lights around. After getting the steely-eyed serious shots I needed I asked him for some smiles. He said I should tell him a joke. I can’t recall what it was but it worked as there is a nice sequence of him laughing to and away from camera. I tracked down my diary for that year and I shot The Donald late afternoon. My first job that day was a portrait of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts followed by the actress Eleanor Bron whose career includes a role in the Beatles film Help! and is said to be the inspiration behind Paul McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby. Quite a day. Look out for the forthcoming post The day I didn’t meet Bill Clinton. Really.


USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996.

USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996. ©copyright MichaelPowell /


USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996.

©copyright Michael Powell /



©copyright Michael Powell /

All you need is… tuition

A bit of creative wedding photography here and a good one for those in need of photography tuition. I’ve always enjoyed shooting silhouettes and unusually, here is one shot inside that doesn’t feature a window. It’s something I’m often asked about when doing one-to-one photography tuition. There’s a real knack to them and many photographers fail by expecting the camera to shoot exactly what the eye sees. You need good strong shapes, good exposure technique and awareness of what the camera can faithfully record. This one was shot at Sarah & Adam Gayfer’s wedding in Lincolnshire. I used a very wide aperture on a 85mm lens to isolate their features from the background while still managing to read the word ‘love’. I’m particularly pleased the way the ‘v’ of the ‘v’ draws the eye straight to their faces. For more creative wedding photography go here. For a photography tuition session go here.

©copyright Michael Powell/

Breakfast food photography with L J Fairburn

A large family breakfast I shot for egg producer L J Fairburn has been used to decorate the company’s board room. The directors and children gathered at the home of chef Rachel Green as part of our food photography commission. A stream of runny eggs and toast emerged from Rachel’s kitchen as part of a campaign promoting soft boiled eggs for all as a now safe food.

Sarah Louise Fairburn said: “I am a Mummy to four young children – all of which have been brought up on our runny British Farm eggs. Dippy eggs and soldiers are an absolutely must in our household! The humble egg has reinstated itself after years of backlash as one of the most nutrient rich foods – and its consumption as a breakfast product in the UK has risen dramatically with scrambled eggs being the most popular form for early morning meal times.”

She adds: “It has now been scientifically proven that British Lion runny eggs are safe to eat by pregnant ladies, the elderly and toddlers. We encourage the FSA to accept the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) and officially change its advice to vulnerable groups. British Lion runny eggs should be on the menu – for all!”

For the full story go here:



Wrendale Designs in Simple Things Magazine

I have a page spread of pictures in the current issue of Simple Things. Artist and designer Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs is featured on the ‘My day in cups of tea’ page, a spread of pictures taken as part of a wider commission to provide PR and editorial imagery. Hannah’s wonderful paintings adorn a range of cards, prints, tinware, stationery, gift wrap and kitchenware. Hannah lives close to a village church with a very atmospheric graveyard. She sometimes sketches here so was a great place to do one of the portraits of her at work. The Wrendale store is here.


Artist, Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs.

©Michael Powell /


©Michael Powell /

Shed of the year

Here are two of the contenders I photographed for Shed of the Year sponsored by Cuprinol and commissioned by Imagewise. The first (below) is Ilona Richard’s entry in the Budget category made entirely from reclaimed materials and decorated with her own craftwork created at her table and chairs in the shed itself. Ilona rescued most of the raw materials from skips. She even created the dazzling hanging heart sculpture you can see on the left hand side from discarded aluminium cans. Nice to see this used well in the papers including The Guardian and Daily Telegraph.


shed, sheds, unique shed, pub shed, budget shed, own space, colourful shed


Next is Stephen’s Pub, a remarkable shed / bar that includes tables made from old beer barrels, hand pumps, beer mats, hundreds of 45’s and CDs as ceiling decoration and over 1000 beer fronts. He can’t sell beer though as he is unlicensed. I had to decline his offer of a pint as I was driving so of course couldn’t get…. shedded. Other entries in the competition include sheds on wheels, shed villages, glamorous work sheds, summerhouses and even a nuclear bunker. For more Shed of the Year contenders in a Guardian photo gallery go here. To keep an eye on the overall winners announcement go here.