Who is Michael valentine?
Robin Francis (aka Michael Valentine) started Michael
Valentine Studio just before his 40th birthday (not that long ago).
He was unemployed at the time after 18 long soul destroying years
in the IT industry. They were financially rewarding years, however,
Robin felt he had reached a stage where he just needed to do something
‘and be involved’ in something he was passionate about.
In 1996, Robin was fortunate to be able to talk to composer / pianist
Joe Sample. Robin had brought his bulky Mamiya 645 medium format
camera into the Jazz Café, Camden during Joe’s gig
and was lining up a great photograph. Unfortunately (or fortunately)
the camera battery died on him at the very moment he was eyeing
what would have been a great shot. He recalls that heart sinking
“I could have cried at the time, there I was right in
front of one of my favourite artists with hundreds of pounds worth
and I had forgotten to re-charge the battery!”
Fortunately, Joe was kind enough to speak to Robin
after the gig and after hearing of his stupidity… ‘Or
misfortune’, he invited Robin back to his hotel for a second
chance…“If you can get up very early in the morning,
you can take photographs of me before I leave for Paris…!”
He said with a warm smile. Robin admits that he never slept that
night in fear of over sleeping and missing the opportunity.
Robin never forgot Joe Sample’s kindness
and how much he enjoyed the brief conversation about music, his
son (Nick) and his journey. However, it would take redundancy in
IT ten years later for Robin to finally reach his epiphany. Music
has always been a major part of his life. Photography has always
been an art form that intrigued him. “Why not combine
What is Michael Valentine
“There are many great photographers around
today. There are millions of great photography galleries on the
web. I wanted michaelvalentinestudio.com to say a lot more than
just musician photography. Yes, ‘a picture paints a thousand
words’, however; I wanted to share much more with viewers.
This would in turn help to promote the musician, educate the viewer
and in turn sell more great music. I also believe it is important
to promote the gigs I photograph, so I run a gig guide page and
newsletter. Hi-Fi is also an important factor in my music listening
experience hence the Hi-Fi reviews. What I did not factor in all
the above was the time it would take for ‘me’ to complete
I am a control freak with regards to this baby.
I am not affiliated with any institution
and most probably never will be, until I find one that I feel does
not attempt to exploit the few skills I am fortunate enough to have
gained over the years!
Photographs are available to artists, PR companies,
record companies, music venues and collectors. Finance collected
through sales is used to manage the website, camera equipment etc.
I am not sponsored by Nikon, or Canon yet!
Most artists understand and respect the time and cost involved in
running this website.
Artists who have been extremely helpful
Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Tom Brown, Chris ‘Snake’
Davis, Frank McComb, Terri Walker, Roy Ayres, Danilo Perez, Randy
Jacobs, Peter White, Jaared, Madeline Bell Mindy Abair, Ian Shaw
PR companies who have been amazing
Venues who have regularly opened their doors
to me to date
PizzaExpress Jazz Club, 606 Club, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre
& the Hideaway
C/o Michael Valentine Studio Ltd. Reg No. 05698566
Last update 16 October 2015