Friday, 12 November 2010

Our photographers, part 1: Greg Funnell

A big reason why the Geek Calendar looks as great as it does is the fabulous work of our amazing photographers. We are greatly indebted to Ben Gilbert and Greg Funnell, who, between them, produced the remarkable images of our geeks -- and all for nothing more than their artistic curiosity and the odd baked treat!

In the next two blog posts, we'll turn the spotlight round on them, revealing what it was like to be behind the camera for Geek Calendar.

First up: Greg Funnell, a freelance photographer and an old school friend I brought in to the project. It was a good call too -- judging by some of the tweets we received, many of you agree, and some would even have liked him to appear in the calendar!

Greg takes a shot

Would you call yourself a geek?

Yes, but I think I'd have to classify myself as a 'photo-geek'.

What's the geekiest thing you've ever done?

Probably the large amount of old cameras I collect could be considered an ongoing geeky habit.

Which was your most enjoyable Geek Calendar shoot?

I enjoyed them all and they each had different plus points. Photographing Chris Addison was great fun because he's full of interesting factoids and good banter. Jonathan Ross was similar to that extent *and* he had the toys to back it up. I got a little bit jealous of his collection of retro cameras though.

Johnny 7

Which was the most challenging shoot?

Probably the shoot at Crossbones because it's always quite challenging working in fading light conditions. Added to that, we were positioned on the middle of a road that was still in use, so we had to keep breaking set and dashing to the sides with the lights!


Which Geek Calendar month is your favourite?

I think I like the one of Chris best - something about the look of genuine pleasure he's getting out of playing with that space rocket.

December 2011

How did you get into photography?

The long-winded way, but let's just say I'm self taught because I'm so much of a geek. I wanted to study History and War Studies at university instead...

Israeli tanks crossing the border with Lebanon during the Israel Hezbollah war, Aug 2006. Copyright © Greg Funnell 2007. All rights reserved.
What's a normal day in the life of a freelance photographer?

Drinking lots of tea, responding to emails and occasionally getting flashes of inspiration that send me scurrying off researching ideas for projects. On shoot days it's very different, altogether more hectic and exciting depending of course on the job. No two jobs are ever the same. 90% of photography is about overcoming problems, whether they're logistical, technical, personal or creative.

What's the most interesting thing you've ever photographed?

I've spent time in the middle of sewers, sex dens, arenas, war zones, the black bloc, high class hotels and dirty forgotten street corners. Photographed A-list celebs one day and convicted murderers the next. That's why I love my job. Variety is the spice of life and the camera gives me the excuse to sample its many flavours!

Finally, who's your favourite geek?

Probably Steven Fry, or Ray Mears (let's face it, he's a geek of nature...)

See more of Greg's freelance photography, at