By Fiona Flores Watson

New Series “My Takes”

Five contemporary art photographers (Kawtar et Thamny, Eva Casal, Michelle Chaplow, Joaquín Alarcón and Carlos Canal), joined together for the first time in a collective exhibition at Mercado del Arte in Marbella.

Collective photography Exhibition, Mercado de Arte Marbella

Collective photography Exhibition, Mercado de Arte Marbella

Michelle presented three new collections of work. “My takes” “Misty” and “Out of Season”

“My Takes” was created by Michelle Chaplow  a personal series. This collection of photographs is outside the hotel photography commercial client brief; here, Michelle captures her own personal vision of a particular hotel.

These images were never intended to publicise the hotel, but instead represent a view of her private moments, her aesthetic  reaction to that hotel’s history, architecture, character and spirit.

Brussels Hotel Sofitel Le Louise - A table for two

A table for two at Hotel Sofitel Le Louise, Brussels.

A table for two is an interplay of light and shade, the lines, posing the question, who will dine here? Today they could be lovers, tomorrow who knows?  A table for two leaves us with many unanswered questions, unrecorded conversations, maybe only one person turns up and it is never used as “A table of two” after all.Is it business, is it pleasure? There is always an element of mystery in a table for two.

As a photographer, Michelle is always looking for a fresh angle, a thoughtful reaction or an untypical view.

Wellesley Hotel, London. Vintage bottles

Wellesley Hotel, London.
Vintage bottles

This photograph, Vintage Bottles, was taken on a photo shoot in a beautifully restored Art Deco hotel in Knightsbridge, London. The image is very subtle, but also intriguing, as it makes you think not only about the scene itself in this luxurious yet discreet London hotel bar, but the story behind the image. The face of the barman, partly glimpsed in the mirror, is completely anonymous. The cognac dates back to 1770, making it nearly 250 years old. Where did this priceless vintage brandy, with its impressive patina of wine cellar dust and aged label, originate from? Who was its original owner, who will have the good fortune to sample this prized liquor – and how will it taste? Who is the dapper barman, with his perfect bowtie?
Michelle took this photograph for herself, and there is also a copy in the Wellesley photographic archive.


Dromoland Vintage Draws

Dromoland Castle, Vintage Drawers

Here we have another “My Take” A vintage chest of drawers in Dromoland Castle, County Clare in Ireland

Dromoland Castle opened in 1963 for a visit to Ireland by the Beatles. George Harrison stayed in this very room, the same one where  Michelle stayed when she photographed the castle. The elaborate corner suite in the castle, with huge sash windows and a chandelier over the bed; indeed, it used to be the Presidential Suite.

 As the morning sun comes up, light streams into the room, bringing the cut glass knobs and pale paintwork of the chest of drawers to life.

The Beatles arrived in style, but their exit was not so graceful, as they had to be smuggled out of the hotel in laundry baskets to avoid the crowds of fever-pitch fans.

Hotel Photography it´s not just about assignments, its all about visual storytelling. As a photographer with decades of experience, Michelle is very aware of which frame will make a good composition, from a purely aesthetic point of view, in contrast to those images aimed to sell the establishment in a marketing environment.

Each image in the “My Takes” series is simply a hotel photograph for its own sake.