University: Year 3... and beyond!

Now that summer is in full swing, my time as a student is coming to a close (for now at least). Over the past three years I have been working my way through a BA (Hons) in Photography and last week we had out final graduate show. This year I have worked on several projects and my dissertation which will culminate in graduation later next month!

In the first half of the year I worked on my minor project and my dissertation. Since year 1 I have had an interest in the virtual world and its relation to the field of photography. My minor project continued this trend as I focused on the non-place, edge-lands and landscape within the virtual.

"‘Invisible Walls’ is a project of two parts, culminating in two sets of images focus on the abandoned environment within and the restrictive nature of the virtual game space.

The project will be split into two halves, the first is a set of black and white images that are derived from the virtual and displayed via the analogue. The images focus on the ‘neglected environment’ which, within the virtual world acts as a decorative barrier to the user. Employing visual cues from the real and imagined, these scenes incorporate destruction, decay and neglect to visually fool the user into believing they are within the world they have entered. However, these scenes are non-interactive and merely serve as window dressing, creating the illusion of a wider world. These places serve as the edge lands and non-places within the chosen virtual world.

The second set serves as an exploratory piece set within the virtual. This part of the project also documents the restricted areas that are imposed upon the user within virtual environments, however it is via the use of the topographical format that the imagery is delivered. With the ability to be near limitless in scope, many virtual environments are restrained in terms of their size and employ visual trickery to give the impression that they are larger and more detailed than they really are. This part of the project documents these false doorways and entrances formed into a coherent topographic photographic collection compiled of 100 individual images."


The next think I had to work on was my dissertation which had the overly pretentious title of ''The Emergence of 'in-game- photography: The validity of visual art produced via the photographic process within the virtual environment.' This was one of the major parts of my final year and I was glad to have gotten it out of the way in the first half!


After that was done we had our major project to work on. For this I decided to continue my work within the virtual, this time producing another two part project that focused on the living aspects of the virtual. These were the people and the flora.

"VR)Ography is a dual part project that examines, documents and archives two ‘living’ aspects of the virtual world. The two parts focused upon within this project are the representation of the human form and the representation of the natural world.

Within virtual worlds, the representation of nature is often ignored or side-lined. This is often due to the representation of nature being of little consequence to the mechanics of play, or they utilised merely as set dressing that is only briefly in play. Within ‘Herbarium Simulacrum’ I have embarked upon a botanical documentative journey into the virtual and the real, collecting digital and physical samples from each realm. I have combined the two, highlighting the nature and beauty of both worlds. The addition of the real within this project serves to tie the virtual into the reality it is derived from."

"(VR)Ography is a dual part project that examines, documents and archives two ‘living’ aspects of the virtual world. The two parts focused upon within this project are the representation of the human form and the representation of the natural world.

Within virtual worlds, the human form is often misrepresented or represented poorly, this is usually due to the uncanny valley effect, or the lack of development into the scripting and AI of the background NPC. Within ‘People of the Virtual World’ I have explored the virtual environment and documented the human representations that resided within. By embarking upon this project, I have explored the humanity of the virtual, documenting through portraiture the non-player characters that populate the digital world. Along with the portraits I have constructed excerpts of text that create an emotional tie to the viewer and the NPCs depicted, thus humanising the simulation."

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This project was as you might suspect my most in depth that I have embarked upon during my time at the University of Brighton and my development file illustrates this. I found myself researching a much wider array of references and going a lot deeper into each. The written part of this project was over 42,000 words in length. I can only apologise to those who had to read through it to mark the work haha.


After the work was complete it was time to prepare for our degree show. We all pitched in with the prep for the show and I decided to opt for designing the catalogue as I have a bit of an interest in graphic design. The process of collecting all of the content for the book was rather intense as we were very limited with time, but the process was fun and it improved my illustrator capabilities no end! The book started out as a stapled together scrappy draft and after refining the design and getting it professionally printed by Bristol based printers Taylor Brothers Ltd we ended up with a lovely catalogue to archive and remember the work of the class of 2018. 

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And here is the work in installation at the Grand Parade gallery in the heart of Brighton. The show came to an end on the 10th June but not to worry! I am continuing my [VR]Ography work on my website and on Instagram: | @vr.ography

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With the focus less on the academic work now I am switching my focus back to the fashion/editorial/portraiture work I have been doing in the past. This week I had my first shoot in quite some time! I met up with the lovely Bethan Wright in London after not shooting together since 2014! We created some photography magic but more to come in a later blog post! In the mean time here is a sneaky peek from the back of the camera. :)


University Year 2 - Major Projects and Shows

University Year 2 - Major Projects and Shows

For our second year major projects we were give an open brief, to embark on any theme we wished. For mine I decided to further explore an idea I had earlier on the representation of the digital world. The following is an exert from my project description, I thought I'd knock it down to that rather than dumping all 4500 words from my development file haha. 

"The conceptual base of this project is to explore the ideas between the virtual world and the real, to highlight the ever-blurring lines between video games and war. As technology advances, the realism in videogames becomes ever more true to life and at the same time real life conflicts are resolved using more video game like processes. Along with this, I am exploring ideas of propaganda and the possible deceit in photography initiated by the artist. I hope to have accomplished this by forming a project around these ideas on war journalism and more specifically war photography and video games as simulacrums for war.

The work consists of a series of virtual images transformed via analogue techniques with the intention to showcase a fictional conflict that has been brought into reality via its presentation. My images are born from fictitious origins and presented in a way that takes them from that and into reality."

More information can be found about my current and future projects over on my website at!

After my initial presentation I had to reconsider my method of display for our upcoming exhibitions. The image below is how I originally envisioned the process of viewing the project. For the exhibitions however I created a wall mounted light box to display a small number of the negatives.

The above image is from the installation in our group show titled NINE, we showed our work at the wonderful Gallery 40 for a few days before moving on to our year group show.

My contribution to the second year show was design related and along with the posters I made this animation to represent everyone involved. Our title '55 Ways of Seeing' was a reference to John Berger's book - Ways of Seeing.

With our designs and plans complete it was just a matter of repainting the walls, installing the work in the space and arranging our opening night!

During the opening we had a pop up photobooth for everyone who visited to get a visual memory from the night! Along with some props and a little alcohol it became a wonderfully fun success!

A huge thank you to everyone who came to both our group and year group shows! 55 Ways of Seeing runs until the 15th of February, if you're in Brighton please come and visit! For more information you can check out the event page here! 

Stars Above Her Head

Stars Above Her Head

A few weeks ago at the start of December I met up again with the lovely Elizabeth (of GalleryGirl) for our third shoot together! This time we were using a headpiece she had created as the main part of the costume! We met up in London and shot our first look outside a beautiful 18th century building and then made our way to Richmond Park to have some fun with smoke bombs! :D

 Be sure to follow Elizabeth over on Instagram to see more of her and her work! 

University: Year 1

University: Year 1

It only seems like a few months since I received my letter of acceptance from Brighton University, now I’m third of the way though! Since enrolling, the fashion side of my photography work has taken a bit of a back seat. For the duration of the year we have been working on 18 summaries, 2 essays and 4 main projects, as it doesn’t really match with the style of my other work I have decided to show them here as opposed to my website!

Project 1 – Portraiture:

For my first project I was compelled to stay relatively within the bounds of fashion by combining previous work with new portraits. I decided to take a set of imaged from previous fashion photoshoots, I then shot again with the model in a new context, this being their rooms. I wanted to portray the models as they are in their regular lives outside of fashion. Presented as a series of paired images in a two by four grid in the order of room/set. I decided to present the images of the models in their rooms in black and white, this was to contrast them from the original images but to also focus the work on the model and their emotions without the distractions on colour.

Project 2 - Landscape:

For my second project I decided to take a more experimental step. I didn’t want to just shoot regular landscapes as I found it difficult to find any meaning at the time. I decided to create a set of snapshot style Polaroid photos taken from a collection of screenshots I took many years previous in the virtual worlds within a specific video game. It gelled with the theme of holiday snapshots because I spent a lot of time playing it as a child and it is now inaccessible, an environment that has passed by with the progression of time. I also chose to shot the images using instant film to bridge the gap between the virtual and the actual. The physicality of the images obfuscated a certain amount of the digital evidence that was visible within the original screenshots such as the aliasing along the edges of the objects in the scenes.

Project 3 - Document:

After the second project we moved on to semester two and a less broad remit. For my third project I decided to investigate and catalogue a series of murders that have occurred around the BN area of Brighton. Using a combination of news archives and public police reports I was able to plot a set of homicides on a map of the area. After collating the information I then went to each of the locations and shot a photograph of each scene. For my final presentation I displayed them along with the map of locations that I had created.

Project 4 - Fiction:

For my final project of year one I wanted to continue in similar vein to my previous project by focusing again on crime, this time specifically fictional crimes scenes. I put together a series of five case files containing detailed documents such as coroner’s, fingerprint and scene reports. As well as this I included photographs of the scenes along with images of the fabricated evidence and linked correspondence. For the presentation of this final project I decided to fabricate an office environment by adding a lamp, map and laptop to the scene, this combined with the case files completed the feel I was aiming for.

Now, time for summer and some fashion shoots! :D



A few weeks ago I met up with the lovely Daisy (be sure to follow her on Instagram :) ) for a little test shoot at Holland Park in London with the giant turtles, wendy houses and yellow flowers! Below are a few of the final images! :)

See more on the website at :)

First Solo Show

First Solo Show

4 years of work, 1 year prep, 60 images, 26 models, 15 designers, 12 make-up artists, 8 stylists, 8 assistants, 5 agencies, 5 boutiques, 2 hair stylists and 1 photographer! It's amazing how quickly things pass by, the exhibition is over and it was great fun! Thank you to everyone who was involved in creating the images, helping me set up the exhibition and also everyone who came down to visit us at the gallery!

I first started framing the images as previously mentioned, about a year ago. Collecting frames and getting prints made over the months I quickly realised that 20 or so wouldn't be enough haha, deciding what images to display was definitely the hardest part!

During the process of framing I decided to create a booklet, this would serve as a guide to the exhibition that would detail those involved in the creation of each image as well as displaying their chronological order.

After doing some research I decided to display my work at Gallery40 in Brighton. With a little help from my friends and family I got the images up on the walls in a couple of days ready for the opening night and week long show!

And with that, a week later it was time to take down the frames and drive them back home! It was such a lovely experience and if you are planning on putting on a show yourself I couldn't recommend Gallery40 more! And as a lovely surprise for the last day the Brighton based news paper The Argus printed a little article promoting the closing night, so thank you to them too! :D 

Although the exhibition is over it's my no means the end! It's time to shoot new work and build a bigger portfolio! Also I am working on opening a little shop for my website where I will be selling the books, prints and postcards that I make! You can pop on over to and follow the shop link or head on over to my etsy page! This is what my shop would look like if it wasn't virtual haha. I'll be going into more detail about this in a future post so keep your eyes peeled! :)

The First Four Years

The First Four Years

As you may know I have been working on setting up my solo show for a very long time, and finally after almost a year in the planning my exhibition 'The First Four Years' is happening at Gallery40! We had the opening night last Friday and we'll be open until Thursday this week! If you're in Brighton come on down from around 11am-5pm! I will be posting in more detail after we're all done so if you miss it there will be lots of photos! :D

You can see more details on my website at or you can find the event page over on facebook! Keep an eye out there for more up to date information! :D

Waking up with Venus

Waking up with Venus

A few weeks back I made my way to London to meet up with some wonderful folk at the converted barracks of the Royal Arsenal. Below are some of the final images that we got on the day! The shoot is also featured on the Ballad Of... website, you can see that by clicking here or the image below. :)

Model: Emma Kershaw @ Named Models
Make-up/Hair: Cassie Antmann
Styling: Rachel Mae Tyson
Designer: Lindsey Jade Cornish @ Waking Up With Venus
Assistant: Ken Leung
Photography: Thomas Cole Simmonds

The Porchester

The Porchester

Way back in April of this year we had a photographic adventure around Porchester Hall in London and this week the images were finally published in the wonderful 3rd issue of Solstice Magazine! You can buy a digital or physical copy by clicking the image below or clicking here! :)

You can see more from this shoot over on my website too!

Model: Anastazja Rendak @ PRM Model Agency
Make-up: Silvia Tonelli
Hair: Johan John
Styling: Shirly Piperno
Designers: Chloé Marlow, Sebastian Aquiles Albornoz
Photography: Thomas Cole Simmonds

Elizabeth and 125Live Exhibition


A couple of weeks back I finally met up with the wonderful Elizabeth Vartanian Collier who you might know as Gallery Girl from her fantastic blog - if not you should definitely have a look! We met up in London for an adventure amongst the dinosaurs and sphinxes in the Crystal Palace gardens. Below are some of the final images from the day! :)

Model/Make-up: Elizabeth Vartanian Collier
Photography/Styling: Thomas Cole Simmonds (26-09-15)

125Live Exhibition

Last week I was invited to the private viewing of the 125Live exhibition in London as one of the featured artists, this was incredibly exciting and a great honour to have been selected to be part of the show! 

Our image (taken with the wonderful Sara Grabek) from a few years back was chosen and also included in the 125 Annual. If you are in London between now and the 20th October be sure to pop in and have a look, there is a huge range of amazing work there to see! :) Details can be found on the 125 website here. And here are a few images leading up to the event. :) And to have one of my images exhibited for the first time!




A few weeks ago I met up with the lovely Vanessa Tait to shoot a little set of images that I had wanted to do in the sea! After rummaging around in the local vintage shops I managed to get together a suitable outfit. You can see these images on the wonderful Whim Online Magazine website by following the link or clicking the image below :)

Here are some more images from the shoot too :)



Back at the start of the year I  began planning a shoot with a wonderful stylist by the name of Lauren Segal, after a whole heap of emails we settled on a shoot date and got a team together. We met up mid April in London along with make-up artist Izzy Cammareri and model Jade Lindo with designs by Frida Hoffman

This week the editorial was published in the newly released Solstice Magazine, you can see us on pages 80-89, follow this link or click the image below, a printed version of the magazine can also be purchased! :)

Here are some more images from the shoot, you can also see more over at |


Model: Jade Lindo at Oxygen Models
Make-up: Izzy Cammareri
Stylist: Lauren Segal
Designer: Frida Hoffman
Photography: Thomas Cole Simmonds

Camera Finds: Bronica ETRsi

Camera Finds: Bronica ETRsi

It's been an awfully long time since I've done one of these camera finds posts and to get back into it I thought I'd go with a beast of a camera, the Bronica ETRsi! This camera was one of my early attempts at gambling with my money on eBay and to my relief I ended up with something that wasn't utterly terrible! :D The ETRsi is primarily a medium format camera but it's also incredibly versatile with a broad range of film backs available.

Apart from it's many uses as a camera the overall build quality and the feel of the camera when operating it is one of the things I like most about it, it's an absolute joy to use! As I mentioned previously you can get many back for this camera including a Polaroid version and you can even get an attachment to use a digital back if you have more money than sense. 

I managed to get my hands on two types in addition to my 120 version, these allow me to to shoot with 35mm film on this camera. The 135N and 135W the latter of which after using prompted me to alter my style of shooting to incorporate a more panoramic and cinematic look to my work.

Beauxoxo Easter

Beauxoxo Easter

A few weeks back just before Easter I made my way up to London to shoot a spring time set of images for Georgie at Beauxoxo. I met up with Georgie, Stephanie and Chloe
 and we made our way to Holland Park and after setting up with the make-up in the park cafe we got to work shooting! Here are a few behind the scenes images! 

And here are some of the finals! Be sure to check out to get some headpieces of your own! And again Miss Patina lent us some outfits to use too, you can check them out over at their website too!

Model: Stephanie Linda Pause
Make-up: Chloe Edwards
Accessories Designer: Georgie Beauxoxo
Clothing: Miss Patina

In the Rough

In the Rough

Back in February on the 15th I made my way to London to shoot once again with stylist Shirly Piperno along with make-up artist Izzy Cammareri 
and model Keziah Zeisser. For this shoot we had some difficulty finding suitable places to set up for shooting so we decided to rend a place nearby for the day, this was the first time I have tried this and it was perfect! Having somewhere reliable as a base nearby instead of using a cafe or something is highly recommended! 

We met up around mid day at the house and Izzy got to work on Keziah's make-up and hair while Shirly prepared the outfits, during this time on a shoot I usually have nothing to do so I went and scouted the location ready for the first look! After some final touches and the first clothing change we got to work shooting six looks in total, finishing just in time to walk back while watching the sunset! 

Here are a few behind the scenes photos taken throughout the day:

And here are some of the final images! You can see more on my website too at, or This shoot was also just published on the fantastic DeFUZE magazine website as one of their featured webtorials! You can see the shoot on their website by following this link or by clicking the image below! :)

Credits for the shoot are:

Model: Keziah Zeisser @ Oxygen Models
Make-up/Hair: Izzy Cammareri
Styling: Shirly Piperno
Designers: Nitsan Alter, Mary Eleini, Felipe Hiroshi Goto, Sabina Soderberg
Photography/Post Processing: Thomas Cole Simmonds



Just before Christmas I had my last shoot of 2014 up in London with the lovely Bethan. We met up around Hampstead and braved the cold to get what was meant to be a summer shoot, although plans never go quite right so December ended up being when we did it. :P

The shoot was just published in the latest issue of the wonderful Whim Magazine and you can see our images on pages 6-15 with an interview on pages 16-17! You see that the issue by clicking here or the image below! :)

Here are some of the final images from the day!

You can see these on my website at!

Model/Make-up: Bethan @ Leni's Model Management
Photography/Styling: Thomas Cole Simmonds

Rainbow Challenge

Rainbow Challenge

The other week I was tasked by the wonderful Ella Ruth Cowperthwaite to take on the 7 day rainbow challenge where you have to create a new image each day for a week with the theme of the 7 colours of the rainbow!

I was lacking a little on the photographic side of things and self portraits aren't so suitable when you're the antithesis of photogenic so I thought I'd go back to by graphic design college days and create 7 portraits in Photoshop using the trusty old friend - the pen tool! :D I've used this style before to create some images just to practice and this seemed like a great opportunity to use those skills! :)

Below are my 7 images for the challenge! If you decide to have a go yourself be sure to let me know what you create as I'd love to see! :)

And here is the obligatory gif!

Camera Finds: The Polaroid 195

Camera Finds: The Polaroid 195

This weeks post marks the finishing of my long and arduous quest of acquiring a camera that I've been wanting to add to my collection for a very long time, the Polaroid 195! And after a few weeks of intensive eBay page refreshing I managed to find one for a non ridiculous price (in camera terms at least)! :D 

The package made it's long journey from the heart of America and arrived on my doorstep just a couple of months back! And since then I've had a few shoots so I was able to begin testing it out as almost as soon as it arrived! So after loading a pack of FujiFilm FP-100 C the camera was ready and thus begat the clicking! Below are a couple of images that I've taken so far! Unfortunately I only had myself to test it on when it first arrived but that changed after a few weeks. :P

Summer Closet

Summer Closet

Way back in July I had another shoot for 
for Clothing Clothing, this time we were in London again and with a slightly different team. I've finally gotten round to putting the images together for the blog, better late than never right? :P Here are some of the final images! :)

And a couple of behind the scenes :)

Model: Emily Towner @ Leni's Model Management
Make-up: Jenni Davis
Styling: Bryony Friend
Assistants: Gabriella Hodgson, Davinia Hammond
Designer/brand: Closet Clothing
Photography: Thomas Cole Simmonds