Philip Berryman


Brooklyn Beckham

I’ve photographed quite a few book launches and many have been books created by great photographers. This book launch was for the world’s newest photographic talent Brooklyn Beckham. Announcing his career as a young photographer and showing his skills in a new book 'What I See' Brooklyn chose to sign copies of the book at the Ralph Lauren store on London’s Regents St.

In a basement nightclub only a few doors down from this very store Brooklyn’s mother and her gang of Spice Girls decided to playfully beat me up on a shoot once. I used to be Michael Roberts assistant back in the 90’s. Michael Roberts is true fashion royalty and has an impressive background working as a fashion and style director for Vanity Fair, illustrating countless covers for the New Yorker Magazine and shooting incredible fashion photography for many great publications, not to mention his books. He is a powerhouse of talent and fashion knowledge and being his assistant was a real privilege. Working for him was always an unforgettable experience. I have many fun stories from those days working for Michael. I assisted him on all the London shoots for the legendary 1997 Vanity Fair issue of London Swings Again with Patsy and Liam on the front cover. At nine in the morning we created a real kicking party in this Regents St. basement club including champagne, dancers and some loud music. As Michael snapped the Spice Girls dancing, who at this time were very much at the height of their fame, I sat frantically loading roll film backs at a hundred miles an hour, kept an eye on the flash system and continued to measure the lights with my meter. Basically getting on with my duties as a good assistant. I was possibly the only person on the shoot not glugging champagne and I tried to remain focused. At some point one of the Spice Girls screamed out that Philip the assistant was being very boring and they all promptly ran over and sacked me. I was bundled to the floor by all of them and playfully beaten up. Not sure who was the most aggressive! I bet not many people can say they have been beaten up by the Spice girls!

I didn’t mention any of this to Brooklyn on this shoot as he kept countless swooning teenage girls happy with his charm.