The Day I Shot A KGB Mind Reader

Some shoots are just fun. I mean FUN!

One of my favourites this year has to be when Joe, whose act is as “Boris Nicoli: KGB Mind Reader”, came into the studio a couple of months ago for some new promo shots. With a great range of props and ideas, and ably assisted by Fotofilia “house model” Emilie Walt and a suitably taciturn Eastern European accordion player, Joe was an amazing subject.

Boris and Natasha (aka Joe and Emilie)

I think the funniest moment of the day was when “Boris” hurriedly popped out to top up the parking meter, still sporting uniform, hat and gun. The warden was already at the car writing a ticket. Boris asked “You wouldn’t give me a ticket, would you comrade?”. But, typically for Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, he did.

I’ll share a few more images from this shoot (there are quite a few different set-ups as you can see) in the next post but in the meantime, if you’d like to know more about these wonderful characters, have a peep at

“Tank” Rolls On

For quite a few years now, I’ve been watching the young boxers of Dudley’s Priory Park ABC as they grow (in every sense) and develop their craft under the expert guidance of trainer Paul Gough and his team. My first tentative steps into documentary photography began with a story about this club and even back then, one name was being whispered as a future champion – Dudley’s own Ryan “Tank” Aston. If you’d been alongside me at ringside when “Tank” faced Bulgarian fighter Stanislav Nenkov at The Venue, Dudley on 7th June, you’d know how he earned his nickname.

Tank, about to enter the ring

Trainer Paul Gough gives advice between rounds

Ryan dominated the fight from the outset and it wasn’t long before Nenkov was in serious trouble…

Nenkov hits the canvas for the first time.

Eventually, Tank’s relentless body shots took their toll and in the 6th round (of a scheduled 10)…

Nenkov down for the second time.


Ryan basks in his well-deserved glory.

This fight was the final bout in a show which also showcased other local professionals based at Priory Park including Ricky Summers (images of whom I plan to post in the near future). I can honestly say that Ryan’s victory was a fitting highlight to an excellent night of boxing put together by Paul Gough. It was so good in fact, that I confess I was a bit too distracted at times to concentrate on my photography, Still, I walked away with quite a few images that I was pleased with.