Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

What A Carry On!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

You've Got Daddy IssuesI WAS invited to the Erotic Meet Christmas party for erotic bloggers in Soho. This was actually the second time I’d been to one of their shindigs, and both times I’ve had a very warm welcome from some lovely people.

My invitations were extended by the charming Annie Player, who is kindly a fan of SOTM.

These events have been great fun – the whole thing reminds me, in the nicest possible way, of the Carry On movies (of which I’m a big fan) with a few dirty jokes and lots of innuendo, sparking many laughs. It also involves a handful (not literally) of briefly-exposed willies and boobs.

I’ve been told some very interesting SOTM stories during my time among these rather fascinating people. One beautiful example from my first visit came from a woman who had been written a letter by her uncle, when she was only six months old. Her SOTM quote was the end of the letter, and has proved memorable for her whole life.

Also, one subject wrote to the broadcaster and author Danny Wallace for advice, and his personal reply formed her choice of SOTM quote.  As for my favourite shot of the night, this was a combination of an intriguing quote, a photogenic subject and a good setting – it’s the lady you can see in the photo on this post.

Returning to the Carry On theme – most surprising SOTM was from this chap, who runs an adult online shop and wrote something which looked like it was going to have a saucy explanation, when actually it was about something else.

I’ll be posting the images I took from the Christmas bash very soon on SOTM. My encounters there included photographing a burlesque dancer in their underwear who was pulling a face with remarkably rubber lips, a shaven-headed man in a kilt who turned out to be a teacher currently working in pest control, and a drag queen who wanted to be photographed in a toilet “because I’m trash”.

The Erotic bloggers meet regularly in Soho if you also write erotica and fancy popping along.


SOTM iPhone app

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Mockup for SOTM app homepageWORK is firmly under way on the SOTM iPhone application, and here’s a screen shot of the home page – click on it for a larger image, which you can also zoom in on.

My idea is to allow people to use the app to take SOTM photos without the need for paper, pen or conventional camera, at any time or in any place. Instead, it can all be done via this app which will take a photo of someone, then allow the user to place a white space in front of their subject’s image, mimicking the SOTM style.

Then, a relevant message can be typed onto the white space, and the image will be sent to me, for use on the SOTM website. Also, the user can post their app images to their twitter and Facebook pages.

I’m currently talking to a charity about paying the profits from the download fees to them, and hopefully that will work out to become a fruitful partnership for lots of different reasons. I’ll post more on that as things progress there.

I certainly hope that people will use the app to generate photographs for SOTM, but also I hope the downloads will mean a few people from poorer backgrounds around the world will benefit from the SOTM project. Which would be pretty cool all round.

The app will hopefully go live around the start of December, and I’d love for people to blog about it and generally spread the word when it does. And download it, of course 😀 It will only be available on the iPhone, as I can’t afford to go cross-platform, but so long as that works out as well as I hope, then I’ll be looking for sponsors to develop Blackberry and Android versions, with the same charity policy.

Guardian Press Photography

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Guardian Press PhotoI WAS tipped off by @hayjane about an excellent new series on press photography being run by the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the UK.

Starting on Saturday 7 November, the series is made up of a nine-part free booklet giveaway called 100 Years of Press Photography (you still have to buy the paper, obviously). Each booklet will be grouped by decade, starting with the 1910s and 1920s. The booklets promise to be a fantastic collection of images from the last century, and here’s the official blurb:

In order to find the greatest press photographs from the last 100 years for this exclusive new nine-day series, the Guardian asked a wide range of international photography experts to nominate their favourite images. The panel includes photographers Nan Goldin, Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans, veteran journalists Ian Jack, Peter Beaumont and Katherine Whitehorn, and other photo enthusiasts like filmmaker Anton Corbijn, novelist Siri Hustvedt, writer Geoff Dyer, publisher Jefferson Hack and musician Antony Hegarty.

The scope of the series ranges from hard news photographs from the front line of international conflicts to social documentary of everyday events, fashion photography and portraiture. Each instalment in the series offers a unique and surprising glance at the decade through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest photographers.

The series also reveals some of the secret stories behind the world’s most iconic images. Read an interview with one of the last surviving witnesses of the 1937 Hindeburg disaster, photojournalist Ron Haviv on his harrowing ordeal photographing the Balkan war, BBC reporter Kate Adie’s eyewitness account on the Tiananmen Square ‘tank man’, and the story behind the most controversial picture of 9/11.

Sounds pretty good to me, so I’ll be checking it out. Drop me a comment on what you think about it.

Mind Bending

Monday, October 12th, 2009

WOW. That’s all I have to say. Wow. Actually, I do have more to say, as those of you who have actually met me will attest.

I’ve always been a fan of Derren Brown. His sharp suits, his immaculately coiffured, indeed rather pointy, facial fuzz, his ability to make people do whatever he wants (to the extent that I’ve sometimes wondered if he may be in league with Beelzebub).

And now, it seems DB is actually a fan of SOTM. Well, he liked one of my photos anyway.

A few days ago I found that he’d used a SOTM photo on his blog – unsurprisingly it was one of someone who was told ‘You Look Like Derren Brown’. As you can see, he must get it all the time, given there is quite a resemblance. You Look Like Derren BrownThis image was first put up on my site in June 2008, so I’m not sure why DB stumbled across it over a year later. But he did, and I was delighted and flattered that he used it on his own blog (I have a Creative Commons Licence on SOTM, meaning you can use the photos so long as it’s not for commerical use or financial gain).

But wait! There wasn’t any link back to SOTM, so I emailed Phillis, who helps run the blog, to ask if one could be popped on. She wrote back with the following message:

“Hi Mario

I’m afraid that Derren is one of those guys who does exactly what he likes. In the past when we’ve been sued by websites wanting us to pull content – we seem to get rather quick rebuke later on with a full apology and are told to “just take what we like”.

I will ask Derren to do the sign and see what he says. Coops is about too – I’ll see if he can organize it.

Oh and DB says to check out this link:




That link, as you’ll discover, is to a proper post about SOTM on Derren’s website, which has sparked off a fair few comments and quite a few hits back to my site, too. I’m really pleased that it says SOTM is “a nice little concept that illustrates how some of the simplest ideas are the best” because that’s exactly what I’ve always thought about it myself.

I mailed Phillis back to thank her and to ask if DB would like to have a go at SOTM himself. No harm in asking, eh?

Boing Boing

Monday, August 17th, 2009

SO there I was, about to go to Los Angeles to stay with people I didn’t know, in order to take SOTMs of the good citizens of that city.

Jemimah Knight suggested to me that I should look up those who run the hugely popular and rather good Boing Boing website, as they are based in LA. So I did.
Mark Frauenfelder
Mark Frauenfelder, who is one of the co-founders, has a warning on his blog that he receives “hundreds of emails a day” and that he possibly won’t reply to yours. I tried anyway, and to my amazement he wrote back in about 15 mins, saying he’d like to pose for SOTM.

Anyway, weeks later, when I was in LA, I managed to meet up with Mark in a coffee shop, prior to a meeting he was about to have one morning. He was, in a word, great. Very interested in SOTM, he sat through a quick demonstration, and kept urging me to do a book. I also got a cracking shot of him, as you can see here. I was a bit nervous about doing it, as I really didn’t want to stuff up his photo. He’s an illustrator who was once discovered by Billy Idol, no less, so I knew he’d have a critical eye of any image I took (but seemed too polite to be unkind about my work) In any case, he said he liked the dappled effect that the shadows produced on his sign, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

When I got back to dear old Blighty, and posted up his shot, it happily fell to be the 700th that I’ve used. He then blogged about SOTM and I got thousands of hits, I think it was something like 500,000 page views within a few days.

I’ve offered to buy Mark lunch if he ever comes to London, so let’s hope that he takes me up on his offer.


Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

It's All Wired Up To The MoonTHERE was a super piece in the free Metro newspaper about SOTM, thanks to the excellent Tom Phillips who put the piece in and posed for a great SOTM himself.

Although I only saw it in London’s edition of the paper, I ended up getting lots of texts and emails from people in various parts of the country, proving that it got plenty of coverage. One lady even spotted it in Scotland!

High Times

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

The Sunday Times of Malta has featured another interview with me about SOTM, which has made me rather happy as Malta is the one place where I’d like to make an impact. Apparently my aunt and uncle out there saw it too, so that’s even more of a bonus.

Open Up

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Look In The WingsI met the charming Loma who runs the really rather essential Open Magazine, which gives you everything you wanted to know about arts and culture and such stuff. Happily she liked SOTM and wrote a short piece on it, which you can see here.

Malta FM

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

A happy moment for SOTM – a magazine in Malta wisely decided to run an article on the site in 2008. Thanks to the brilliant Sharon Spiteri, FM magazine, distributed once a month with The Sunday Times of Malta, ran an interview and printed several photographs.

Student Shenanigans

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Your Smile Lights Up The WorldI packed up my trusty camera and soon-to-be famous sketchbook in early February 2008 and headed to Bangor’s beautiful Victorian pier, following an emailed instruction to “meet us on the pier”. That message was sent by the excellent Siobhan Holt, editor of Seren, the student union magazine for Bangor University.

She had rounded up a posse of 15 students, who turned up for their photographs – I also got the chap who sells souvenirs on the pier to take part. The SOTMs had a romantic theme, as it was almost Valentine’s Day. During the trip I took what turned out to be one of my favourite SOTM images, with a lovely message too. Many thanks to Siobhan and the Bangor crew, and I got several mentions (on pages 2, 10, 11, 13) in Seren including a double page spread.