091: Neale Haynes/Through The Lens

Self portrait duck dive on the annual Maldives trip. Photo: Neale

“Doesn’t matter if it’s Spielberg or Dr Dre, they just want to think you know what you’re doing. Even when you don’t.”

Shining a light in stories you may not know about, or speaking to people who are deserving of a wider audience, is a really important part of the Looking Sideways ethos. That’s why my guests have included journalists, activists, chefs and musicians, as well as the big-name professional athletes we all know.
And it’s why I invited my old friend Neale Haynes onto the podcast for this week’s episode. Neale is a photographer, although that description really doesn’t do justice to the life Haynsey has led for the past 30 years.

Neale and Dr Dre, 2018. Picture: Neale

It’s a truly picaresque tale, which sees Neale (a man definitely both under a lucky star), forge a truly remarkable career that takes in the birth of Loaded and lad mag culture, sees him set up a ground-breaking action sports stock agency; and generally garner enough shameless, name-dropping anecdotes to give DJ BBQ, previous Looking Sideways namedrop world record holder, some serious competition.

A classic from the Loaded years. Photo: Neale

Yes, this is a romp of a conversation in which Neale outlines the entire rollicking tale, while also imparting a couple of really salutary life lessons which apply to everybody, no matter what they’re trying to achieve.

John-John the grom. Photo: Neale

Sure, it’s nice to embark upon a three-week road trip around California. But sometimes it is equally nice to hop on a train to London and sit down with an old mate who you know has had one of the maddest, most incident-packed and downright successful careers of anybody you know. So that’s what I did.

Hope you enjoy the episode. Listen to it below:

Show Notes

  • Hanging out on the 10th floor at The B&H Garden Room, London.
  • Surfboat in the Maldives.
  • Having 3 kids: “they’re not so hard to look after”.
  • House in Cornwall.
  • Blue Juice.
  • Surf doubles.
  • Windsurfing the docklands as a kid.
  • Interning at Allsport.
  • Meeting Graeme Chalmers.
  • Neale’s book.
  • Early 90s snowboard magazine commission.
  • Christian Stevenson’s unrivalled success.
  • Shooting mainstream sports.
  • Allsport bought by Getty.
  • First X Games.
  • His career break with Loaded.
  • 90s Lads Mags and Britpop culture.
  • Working with Tim Southwell, James Brown, Martin Deeson and Bill Borrows.
  • “Non-stop adventures for years”.
  • Fosters funding a trip to Australia.
  • “Where there was the battle of the bands between Blur and Oasis, there was the battle of the magazines”.
  • Loaded changing the magazine landscape.
  • Syndicating his picture library.
  • Setting up Buzz Pictures.
  • Building reputation across extreme sports.
  • “Surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing”.
  • Shooting before digital.
  • The internet boom devaluing the work of images.
  • Shooting Sylvester Stallone in his plus 4s.
  • Moving between worlds as a photographer.
  • Shooting big name celebrities: “there’s a lot of things that can go wrong”.
  • “Every photographer has a million stories behind their photos”.
  • The art of blagging.
  • Shooting Ron Howard.
  • Shooting Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine for The Defiant Ones.
  • “Experience really does pay”.
  • His process behind shoots with little control.
  • Vinny Jones’ portrait.
  • Signed with a new agent.
  • “Photography is a changing market”.
  • Negotiating industry changes.
  • “As a photographer all you want to do is take pictures”.
  • His relationship with social media.
  • “The still image is still needed”.
  • Taking iconic shots.
  • Starting out as a photographer in 21st century.
  • Being a triple threat before going niche.

People Mentioned

Places Mentioned

  • Innsbruck
  • Maldives
  • St Agnes, Cornwall
  • Lanzarote, Spain
  • Capbreton, France
  • Hossegor, France
  • Biarritze, France
  • Colliers Wood, London
  • Rhode Island, New York
  • Canary Islands, Spain
  • Putney, London
  • Indonesia
  • Chamonix
  • Munich
  • Friedrichshafen

Companies/Brands/Organisations Mentioned