Racing into the new year


January has been a very busy month, both professionally and in terms of my running.


From meeting with South Bucks Hospice in the first week of the year – confirming our plans to raise as much money together as possible – to my first 26 mile run on the last day of the month, it has been non-stop. I have decided to run 3 marathons in 3 weekends, starting with Manchester on 10th April and finishing with London on the 24th for this local and very worthwhile charity.

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Traditionally January is a quiet month in the commercial photography calendar but that hasn’t been the case this year with work all over the country. A couple of shoots with paralympian David Weir have been totally inspiring and reinforced what an incredible yet humble man he is.


Like most people running has had to fit in around work so it has been an interesting exercise keeping both sides of my life happy.


Having said that training has gone really well and I’ve recorded my biggest ever monthly mileage (242 miles) Knowing I’m running for the Hospice has really focussed my mind and made me determined to train as hard and sensibly as possible. I want to do well but also don’t want to get injured!


I’ve started to build in speed work now, trying to get a bit quicker. My club caters for all levels of runner and hold a couple of sessions a week concentrating on speeding up. These benefit all types of runners as it pushes you probably further than you would do on your own; and it’s also a great way to socialise with fellow runners.


Long runs are the bedrock of any marathon training and I usually do mine on a Sunday morning. However, one Saturday this month my daughter had to be up early for work and wanted me to make sure she was awake. As I was up anyway I thought I’d get the run done so set off at 6.30. The idea was to run 17 miles and end up at the Rye just before 9am to run parkrun (the free running event held every week there – I’m not a morning person and obviously my first few miles were a bit sluggish as, when I got to the other side of the Rye, I could see 300 people running the opposite way having already started!


On the last day of January I ran my first full marathon distance this year. It’s not something I usually do training for a marathon but the Stonehenge Stomp is a favourite of mine and I couldn’t pass up the chance to run around those iconic stones. This isn’t a race, doesn’t have medals, timing or goodie bags and isn’t really for runners! It rained for pretty much the whole way round but the marshals at each checkpoint were as enthusiastic as ever. I spent about 17 miles chatting to a fellow runner not noticing the miles passing as we swapped stories. At the finish I decided I might as well run another mile or so around Amesbury to get the distance to exactly 26.2 miles.


So it’s been a great start to the year in many ways and I can’t wait to see what February brings.


If you feel you could support South Bucks Hospice in any way please visit their Just Giving page at  More about the Hospice at

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A summer of sport

I love photographing sport but unfortunately very rarely have the opportunity. This summer, however, I have been lucky that, not only has the Tour of Britain route passed really close, but I have also had two clients closely involved in sporting events.

National Paralympic Day

Firstly Nissan are sponsoring the Road to Rio for both the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). In August the BPA held a National Paralympics Day at the former Olympic Park. I was commissioned to photograph the various events taking place showing how the brand was seen during these events. Not as easy as it seems as sponsorship boards from a variety of companies were vying for space.





The Tour of Britain

I am lucky to live close to where the 6th stage of the Tour of Britain was held. Not only that but where one of the Category 2 climbs was scheduled at Kop Hill. I wanted to shoot the tour at a climb as I had seen a lot of images from earlier in the tour and all were of the peleton in a bunch racing through a village or countryside. I wanted to get a bit more up close and personal focussing on the strain in the faces of the riders as they battle up this short but tough hill. An added bonus was that they would be going a bit slower so I’d have more time to see them!




Blenheim Horse Trials

The final sporting assignment was at Blenheim Horse Trials where Biffa Waste Services were again sponsoring a fence. Again my task was to show off the branding around the course. I took the opportunity to grab a few personal shots too as I walked the course. Not a bad way to spend a day.







And finally

Not really a sport but sport related. ASDA workers volunteered as Tourmakers during each UK leg of the Tour de France earlier in the summer. This picture was used in their internal communications.



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Everybody’s doing it so why can’t I? A London Marathon Story

Sorry Cranberries!

My London Marathon odyssey. 

A lot of meticulous planning went into my first marathon. From training plans, alcohol free months, strict(ish) diets down to what and at which time I would have my pre-London breakfast. The one thing I had neglected though, was how I was going to get there. I assumed (I know, I know) that I could jump on an early train into London and everything would fall into place.

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Which is how I found myself driving into Central London at 6am.

I parked up in a very posh road (Chandos Street) near to Oxford Circus parking my mini between an Aston Martin and a Range Rover Evoque and chucked down my OatsoSimple porridge. Classy.

The journey to Blackheath was pretty good though it was nose to armpit all the way. Once there I got my first taste of the madness to come.

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This was tame in comparison – luckily I never saw the mankini man in the flesh.


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As I do, I arrived about an hour earlier than necessary but spent the time hydrating, getting rid of the hydration effects and relaxing.

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Then it was start time. Starting in the blue section you don’t get the sense of scale that you must have with the other starts and I was through to the timing mat within 10 minutes.  And so it starts. I remember at the time being massively frustrated that I had to keep dodging around slower people almost continuously for the first 5km. When I looked at my splits I found that this was my second fasted 5km so in hindsight I’m really grateful all those runners were there. I almost certainly would have set out too quickly and bombed halfway through.

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The first half of the race went pretty easily and I couldn’t wait to get to Tower Bridge. I’d arranged to meet the family there, on the left, but no idea which part. The whole of Tower Bridge was a blur of noise and faces as I tried to find them. Eventually my daughter screamed out my name and I ran over for a quick kiss and cuddle. It was such a relief  to see them and set me up for the rest of the race.

The next mile or so is also where you run back so it was inspiring and demoralising at the same time to see runners who were at least 7 miles ahead of me on their return leg. What was fantastic was to see the 35km marker on the opposite side as I new, once I reached that, I only had one and a half (ish) parkruns left.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Canary Wharf section as I assumed there wouldn’t be too many people out there. However, spectators had turned out in force, bands were playing outside every pub, steel bands on every corner and every underpass had a louder drum group than the previous one.

I was still feeling good at 20 miles and had finally given up trying to find a Runners World pacer to help me with my time. At the start I was pretty well down the back of the queue next to the 4.30 pacer. The idea was to ease past as quickly as possible and find the 3.56 pacer and sit with them. In the first 2 miles I got past the 4.30 and 4.15 but couldn’t find the 3.56. At about 3 miles the red start and the blue start merge so thousands of runners joined us. Then I spotted a pacers flag only to find it was a 4.58, then another further on was 4.30. Totally confused I THEN remembered to take note of the mile marker times and sort myself out.

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Around 21 miles I had a bit of a mental wobble. We were running past Limehouse Town Hall. I think the previous few hundred yards might have been a bit quiet because suddenly there was a wall of cheering, a massive sound system pumping out live music and a fantastic atmosphere. I felt myself welling up, took a deep breath, and a gel, zipped up the man suit a bit tighter and carried on.

Not long afterwards I hit the magical 35km mark and knew I could do it. Unfortunately what I didn’t know was how long the road was until we were back at Tower Bridge. I kept thinking it was just round the corner but it was a good mile away. Happily I somehow completely missed the 22 mile marker and, thinking I must be slowing horrendously, was ecstatic to go through 23 miles. One parkrun left!

I tried visualising my local parkrun, where I would be on the route that I’ve run so many times, but I was tired, and a bit grumpy, so that went out of the window. What also, briefly disappeared was my appreciation for the crowds. At Limehouse my heart went out to all the people, most I suspect who weren’t cheering for anyone in particular just for the joy of encouraging strangers, to the extent that I almost cried with gratitude. 3 miles later I just wanted them all to shut up, stop making such a racket and let me get on with this on my own. Sorry…

It was all a bit straightforward after that, apart from dodging runners who, so close to the finish, were either stretching out their own cramps or being stretched by others or, worse still, looking like they weren’t going to make it.

I hadn’t taken any pictures throughout the run as I had a few other things going on but thought I should do a bit of a selfie at Buckingham Palace. Shouldn’t have bothered.

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And then the final stretch. The wonderful, amazing indescribable feeling of having accomplished something I set out to do almost exactly 8 months previously.

And all for this…


The ballot opens for next year on Tuesday. I’ll be first in the queue.

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Review of 2013 in pictures

2013 was a pretty interesting year. From shooting cityscapes in Monaco to horse trials at Blenheim life hasn’t been dull. Long may it continue!





lord mayors show








dexter fletcher




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September – what a month!


Normally there is a bit of a hang-over from the holiday period but this September has been the busiest – and most diverse – yet. I’ve got together a quick collection of images from a few of the jobs I’ve covered this month which, I think, illustrates why I love the job of a commercial photographer.


Didcot Power Station

Taken after an evening job for Which? Magazine in Didcot. I wanted a picture of the power station with the sun setting behind but while trekking up a hill saw this amazing vapour trail. Shot in 11 portrait frames I stitched it together in Photoshop.


Minoli – George Street

This was taken to promote the new Minoli Tiles office in London. It is a stylish new showroom/meeting facility and was a pleasure to shoot.


John Lewis – Wasps Rugby promotion

To promote the opening of an extended John Lewis store in High Wycombe three stars of the London Wasps team came down for a bit of pampering. Shot while the store was still open I made use of my best friends – two Elinchrom Quadras with soft boxes. Essential if you want to light in a busy area.mattphoto_99_fm-125

Frankfurt Motorshow

It was good to get back to Frankfurt. I haven’t been to the Motor Show there for 6 years due to clients not exhibiting but it felt like I hadn’t been away. You never forget how enormous it is and how far away all the halls are. Calf muscles still haven’t recovered.


Guinness Trust – Tower Hamlets

A commission to shoot progress on the building of a housing scheme tower block in Bethnal Green. Unfortunately it had to be done on a specific day and it decided to pour down just as I was winched several hundred feet up in a cage. Views were breathtaking but I’d love to go back when the skyline is a bit clearer.



Blenheim Palace Three Day Event

Commissioned to shoot for a company sponsoring one of the fences, I got there early and rattled off some shots for myself. Haven’t photographed horses for a number of years so really enjoyed the experience.




Renault Twin Z at the Design Museum

Evening hosted by Renault and Designer Ross Lovegrove at the Design Museum, London. A bit of a chat, a q&a, the most minimalist canapés I’ve seen and a fantastic car with a perfect backdrop. Not a bad night out.



Nissan Note Boat

Behind the scenes shots of the new Nissan Note being made ready to be rowed down the Olympic Rowing course at Eton Dorney. Not something you see every day. BTW Note is Eton backwards – just so you know…







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Welcome to the New Matt Fowler Photography Website


It’s taken a little time and probably should have been done a long ago but finally I have a fresh new website.

The aim is really to showcase the different strands of photography I am commissioned for and to highlight my images.

Please feel free to offer any opinions either here or on my Facebook and Twitter sites.

The first thing I will definitely be doing is updating this blog far more than in recent years.

With Frankfurt Motor Show coming up next week and a conference in Portugal in the next month I’ll definitely have a few things to talk about soon.

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Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury slideshow

I’ve quickly cobbled together a slideshow showing the start to finish of Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre. I’ll be doing a longer, more involved version later but just wanted to show the overview. A real shame we couldn’t get the same vantage point from the start but still a fantastic project to be involved in.

Click here to see show

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2011 Review Part 3 (and final)

September was the start of conference season for me with both the Guinness Partnership customer conference, and Mothercare staff conference. There was also a fantastic 5 days shooting at MIRA for Continental tyres. I was tasked with shooting a range of cars, both interiors and exteriors, (all at speed) in what can only be termed “changeable conditions.” In the middle of this I had to travel from MIRA in Nuneaton down to Canary Wharf to attend the Gold Ball celebrating 50 years of Mothercare. Hostess was Myleene Klass raising money with Mothercare for save the Children through an auction late on in the night. Drove back to MIRA through the night to find my hotel key wouldn’t work. Bit groggy the following day.

October and off to Benidorm for the McDonalds Franchisee conference. Always nice to get away for a bit of autumn sun but coincidentally Spain were playing Scotland at the same time and most of the opposition supporters were based around us. Alicante has never been more raucous.

November. A feature on Wayne and Gerardine Hemmingway who have been tasked with regenerating an “ill-conceived, inwards looking, mixed use development” in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. This is an ongoing project needing monthly updates over the term of the project.

December . A quick trip to Bilbao for the launch of the new look Twingo and a great opportunity to photograph Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud. As usual with this type of thing time was very limited so everything needed to be in place for when she turned up. Also had the pleasure of a very exclusive concert with her in the evening. Not a bad end to the year.

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2011 Review Part 2

May. End of the football season and I was asked to shoot the (hopeful) celebrations as Wycombe Wanderers were promoted to the First Division. I already shoot the squad at the beginning of the year and merchandise throughout the season but this was a bit of a homecoming as I used to work for the local paper and hadn’t shot from the pitch in about 15 years.

June and off to see David Cameron with Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn. Shoot was a nightmare as it had been raining all day and just before they came out for the photocall the sun burst through resulting in really strong sidelighting that fill-in flash couldn’t cope with. Thankfully a bit of post processing saved the day. Blagged our way into No 10 to upload the images from their computers. Offices are more like a shabby local council office rather than head of government. Can’t be accused of spending money on frippery here.

Julyincluded a quick trip to Edinburgh to shoot two Zero Emission cars for Nissan/Renault. As we didn’t have time to scout for locations it involved a lot of dodgy map reading, illegal parking and chatting up the local constabulary. Also got a really nasty magenta hue on the Renault’s windscreen using a polarising filter. Lightroom to the rescue again.

August and World Series Renault came to Silverstone. Had an access-all-areas pass so made good use of getting up close to the cars while I could. Love the dramatic sky in this one plus the fact that, in a relatively well funded formula, you can’t beat a bit of gaffer tape to keep your crash helmet together.

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2011 Review Part 1

A quick look back at 2011 in pictures. Not neccessarily my favourites (though I love them all like children!) but hopefully a good representation on the kind of work I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in over the last 12 months.

January started in a pretty doggy way. I was asked to shoot the front cover in Bath for the Guide Dogs magazine, followed by their Vision for Equality conference shortly afterwards and ending with portraits of their chief executive. This picture is of Jenny Mitchinson and Foster overlooking Bath. Although this is my favourite picture from the shoot this is one that they chose not to use. Possibly it was a bit too dramatic whereas the other shots were softer and showed the emotional bond between them.


February ended with the first of my twice yearly trips to the International Motor Show. This one, in Geneva, is a favourite as it is a great city, the trains to and from the Expo do run ridiculously to time and the show itself is fairly compact. There is also usually a fine display of moustaches.  As usual I was working for Nissan Europe’s comms team, shooting cars, execs and celebs for internal and external use.


March was Princess Royal month. Firstly I photographed her at the opening of the British Horse Society’s new head office near Stoneleigh. Two weeks later I was with her again at Butchers Hall, London at the launch of “Ladies in Beef”.  I chose this shot as, having photographed Princess Anne many times over the years, it is an achievement to capture her looking relaxed and smiling. She seems to have a pathalogical hatred for photographers. Maybe just me. Sadly, I didn’t receive my invite to the Royal Wedding for the following month or to her daughters wedding later in the year. Gutted.

April was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. If you weren’t involved in the Royal Wedding, shooting Easter Parades or photographing people having endless Bank Holidays there wasn’t much around. However, I did manage to get some nice shots around Paris after a shoot for a pharmaceutical company there. This one is while climbing up the Sacre Coeur, handily placed near to the Eurostar.


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