The Photography Show, Birmingham 2017

I had a great time presenting my work at The Photography Show in Birmingham, which is the largest photography show in Europe. I hadn’t expected such a large crowd so it was great to meet so many great people who really, really love photography.


Albert Watson was on before me and Nadav Kander was on after and he said to me “When I first came to England I wanted to be your assistant….and how come you look so young”. I did point out that I started very young and thanked him for the compliment.


Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson Black Raincoat.New,Arrowsmith.© 1

I photographed Nigella for The Mail on Sunday colour magazine. It was styled by the fabulous Damian Fox. The room set was built in pale grey, with a table and a vase of red roses.  Damien broughta vast selection of amazing fitted black dresses and props, plus a pair of red patent shoes that had the highest heels I’d ever seen Nigella put the shoes on and she literally  had to hold on to the table to stop herself from falling over.When she saw the published artical, she said the photographs where great, but looked like a  James Bond sexy spy, in this trenchcoat.

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono

I was commissioned by The Sunday Times magazine to photograph Yoko Ono. Prior to my arrival and setting up, her P.R. person told me “you’ve got 10 minutes”.

Yoko came in looking very composed. There was a stillness about her, similar to that of many Japanese people I’d come across in the past on my visits to Japan…..a polite containment and dignity.

I asked her to stand on the spot my assistant had marked. I started to shoot, but Yoko remained unanimated
I said” Oh come on Yoko” in my best Liverpool accent,( as she new I had known John in my Art school days in Liverpool back in the day)
“Give us a song” she smiled “Ok I will “ she said I will sing the Beetles song,” When I’m sixty four, and I am sixty four”, we both laughed and she sang away waving her arms and really enjoying herself, ending with a bow, as my assistants and I applauded.


If you’d like to inquire about purchasing a print please contact me though my website at:

If you’d have a press inquiry contact Chilli Media who run my archive:
Tel: 01622 600491 /// Web: /// F. @CHILLIMEDIA Steve Tomkins

Layla Ali.

Layla Ali
I flew to NYC to photograph Layla Ali, the stunning boxer and daughter of legend Mohammed Ali.
Layla arrived with her entourage, swept into the dressing room, gave my assistants and me a fleeting glance. She was accompanied by some really tough looking boxer friends, who stopped and looked at me up and down, then one of them said “who are you then”?
“ I’m Clive Arrowsmith. I’m the photographer from London, here to photograph Layla, for this Nike promotion.
“Ok I’ll tell her”
We waited until Layla finally appeared again, dressed in a full length boxing robe. I was immediately struck her
beautiful golden dark bronze skin. She was stunning.
“Hi”, I said, “so great to meet you. How do you want do this? Personally I would like you to be in the outfits you feel really comfortable in. They should be like training clothes if that’s ok with you”. She agreed and went to get her make up and change.
Some time later she came back dressed and ready in a white vest and black training shorts. In her left hand hung some bright red boxing gloves. I remembered thinking, “Wow, she looks like an Amazon Warrior Princess. “
“That’s great”, I said.
We chatted as the scene was prepped and I showed her a picture I’d taken of His Holiness Dalai Lama and gave it to her as a gift.
“This is for you,” I said “I know your father met His Holiness and they got on really well”. She smiled a warm smile and we shot this picture.



If you’d like to inquire about purchasing a print please contact me though my website at:

If you’d have a press inquiry contact Chilli Media who run my archive:
Tel: 01622 600491 /// Web: /// F. @CHILLIMEDIA Steve Tomkins

Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler in a Black Hat

Liv Tyler DE Beers shoot
Liv and her mother BB Buell were in London and we met for dinner. I had met and known BB for a long time in the past, as she’d modeled for British Vogue and me back in the day. That week I was shooting an ad campaign for De Beers diamonds and I still had not found my model. The following day, I was having my Creative meeting with De Beers; we saw a lot of girls and hundreds of headshots and nothing still was feeling right. Suddenly I mentioned that I’d just had dinner the night before with Liv Tyler, “she’d be great for this”. They thought my idea was genius, and with that, we had our model for the campaign.

When we arrived at the studio for the shoot, my stylist had brought a wide array of brightly colored outfits and hats. For some reason, none of them looked or felt right.

I said, “I want her dressed all in black and wearing a great black hat too”.

The stylist made frantic calls and within an hour a huge selection of black hats arrived. I picked one out for her, she tried it on. The hat, the diamond necklace and beautiful Liv (and of course my fabulous lighting!!!!)….. That was THE SHOT.

A limited edition of this print is available at: