Shooting Queen & Country
PEOPLE: JAMES WILKINSON
To celebrate one year of Queen and Country magazine, we look back over the last 12 months at some of its striking cover shoot images, featuring handsome underkeepers and farriers on muddy farms, crazy drag queens in rainy corn fields and semi-naked rugby players at play for Pride.
Over the past year since the launch of Q&C I’ve had the utmost pleasure in finding and photographing some great people for our cover story photo spreads.
Among the many experiences while on shoots, I’ve stood knee-deep in mud in a farm in Hertfordshire capturing the dazzling handsomeness of underkeeper Jamie Field, horsed about with sexy farrier Lloyd Cleverley in Worcestershire, tried to tame wayward drag queens on the rainy back roads of East Kennet in Wiltshire, and spent a red-hot summer day throwing paint over a gay rugby team on the outskirts of Bristol.
As Q&C approaches its first year birthday, we thought it only appropriate to take a look back on some of those great shoots, reminding readers of some of our startling cover images, and picking out some of the very best out-takes which didn’t make the cut.
Putting the Queen in Country
A wet August Saturday afternoon, and a handbag of drag queens turns up at my thatched cottage in sleepy East Kennet, Wiltshire - bedlam ensues.
I was able to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone at this shoot – simultaneously filming some superb video footage of our drag pals to promote the latest book by Q&C resident stylist and novelist RK Williams – The Ozone Hotel, his ‘drag queen sci-fi odyssey’, while also getting some shots of Cheddar and friends for our Q&C launch issue.
My abiding memory is of Cheddar Gorgeous and Anna Phylactic running amok down the quiet back streets in full drag. Has such a sight been seen before in this part of rural England? The puzzled and shocked looks of the locals suggest not.
Game for anything
Phwoooar! Look at those smouldering blue eyes. That's handsome underkeeper Jamie Field. We spent a beautiful autumnal Sunday with Mr Field at Brook Farm in Cuffley, South Hertfordshire, where he gave us a driven tour of the estate, teaching us about life on a working farm, the history and etiquette of game shooting, and even posed for some pictures in traditional hunting kit.
New year, new you
This cute thing is Paul Marsh. He proved to be a great sport when I shot him for our New Year cover spread in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds. Clothes were provided by British menswear brand Sir Plus, and were perfectly fitting for the model and the location.
Easing into spring
In February, we scored a cover shoot with up-and-coming fashion brand Centrefront Menswear. We also bagged suave and sexy Frenchman Jeremy Pasnon as our model for the day. He’d previously modelled for legendary designer Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris, and for our assignment was happy to wear a range of casual and loose fitting stylish items from the brand’s new spring collection.
It was one of those freezing-cold English winter days when we all rocked up mid-morning at Centrefront HQ in Muswell Hill in London. The temperatures dictated that we did most of the shoot indoors, but Jeremy was man enough to brave the winter chill later on when we continued the session in nearby woodland. Despite Jeremy only just getting over man-flu, and my business partner-in-crime and Q&C’s chief-sub editor Robert hobbling about with a slipped disc, we managed to complete the job with some lovely visual results.
Press to play
We nabbed sexy Glenn Mainwaring after seeing him on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins. We thought the handsome and super-fit Welshman would be perfect as Q&C’s new fitness expert. Our aim was to show readers how they too can get fit without the need of an expensive gym membership.
After a last-minute change of country location for the shoot due to the inclement weather, I took a trip to London where I shot Glenn in a snowy Clapham Common. Despite the cold he was happy to take me through a range of exercises which I photographed in preparation for our planned fitness features.
With his lovely smile, laid back manner, and extraordinary skills at the anvil, we couldn’t put off any longer a trip to the stunning Warwickshire countryside to meet farrier extraordinaire, Lloyd Cleverley. The picture of a topless Lloyd, in his apron alongside his beautiful thoroughbred, is one of our favourites.
Brotherhood of Pride
Fast forward to one of the most baking summer days the country has seen, and I’m throwing multi-coloured paint over the boys at the Bristol Bisons RFC at their training ground on the city's outskirts. There’s worse jobs to have I suppose. The guys from the South West’s only inclusive gay-friendly rugby team were all great sports, up for a laugh and were all happy to roll around in the mud with each other for our Pride-themed cover shoot.
All creatures great and sexy
Mary, Mother of God! It's only the 'vet that pots', the incredibly sexy Dr James Greenwood. For our second fashion spread for Centrefront Menswear, James was happy to take us down to his favourite spot, Cleveden Beach, near his Bristol home where we got some amazing shots of him and his dog Oliver. Some items from Centrefront’s autumn collection were ideal for this breezy late summer shoot to celebrate Q&C's one year birthday.
Here’s to many more great Q&C photo shoots to come, and remember, if you have an idea for a cover and would like to get involved, please do get in touch with us at: email@example.com