Our blog has moved

Please click here to see the new blog for animals in photos and my personal blog is here we will no longer make updates to this blog. Thank you.

New blog

Hello dear readers.

There has been a lot going on what with AIP and alibullock.com being re-designed and all the work that I have been doing on these and so with all this I have decided to move this blog.

Please subscribe to the new one here:


animalsinphtos.com redesign is completed

The new site has been a while coming but I have finally made the final touches to the site and its done. You can see the results here:


I'm really pleased with the results and even though this is just an update of the existing design I think it works so much better in terms of design and the layout of the content. As always the feedback from various people was essential and I think you really see the enhanced user experience in the site.

Someone asked me whether I would be doing photography full time. My reply (as always) is no. I like the day job and it pays well enough that I have no complaints. The photography remains non-profit based for the foreseeable future.

First photos from the Animals Asia bear rescue 2009

These are the first photos from the AAF rescue that I covered up in China. My thanks to the AAF team for making me feel so welcome and I hope to shoot some more shots of these wonderful bears very soon.

Full sets of photos will be up on FaceBook, Flickr and animalsinphotos.com this week so stay tuned.

Copyright: ali bullock / AAF

AIP is undergoing a re-design

In 2007 I published my first book with HDKR and as it went on sale we were pretty happy. In 2008 we all came back for volume 2 and made a bigger, better and more profitable book that sold out (and that of course means more money for the charity.)

As we enter 2009 animalsinphotos.com is getting a re-design and some new staff/volunteers to help push the site and services forward. We have a lot to do and some great initiatives under way. You can see the new site here: www.animalsinphotos.com

Caz is organizing a company structure to help us with billing and the roll out new products and services for the clients and charities that we work for. Mandy Chu has joined as a photographer to help me get the photos.

So about the new projects: Well there are a number of new projects that we are excited to be working on. A few examples of what we will be up to:

HKDR :: see more here ::
- 2010 calender / 12 scenes of Hong Kong with the pooches taking a staring role
- Hong Kong's only Dog Guide (2009) / Everything and everywhere in HK that is dog friendly
- The diary 2010 / Another puppy diary on the way and even better than last year

Animals Asia:
- Heading up to China to photograph a key bear rescue in the first week of Feb

SPCA :: see more here ::
- We will be working with SPCA on a book all about the charity and work that they do

- We already have people lined up for personal shoots and I will be posting photos and updates as those happen here on this blog. Enjoy the photos and do get in touch if you want to set up a shoot.

I am sure that there will be more happening so please check back on the blog to see all the latest photos and news.


Before you go all Web 2.0

Before people tell you to go "all web 2.0" (and lets remember that I am the guy that was around in the web 1.0 days.) Learn one lesson and that is that you should not store your files online.

Lets forget the whole security issue and just think about this - It doesn't make money. And when something doesn't make money, someone finally decides to pull the service.

And so this has happened at Yahoo who will now be dropping their online storage service Briefcase.

As a client of a major media agency I know SEM (look it up if you don't know) and online storage along with a host of other online/web 2.0 services (shock) doesn't make money. So before you trust all your files to MSN, Yahoo or Google think about that...

Anyway, rant over. Goodnight to Yahoo's briefcase: read more

If you want something that works, try dropbox - It syncs files over the internet but it doesn't hold them. Simple and effective. If only Yahoo and others got this. See their excellent service here: www.getdropbox.com

Web 2.0: How not to market your brand

I have made several postings recently on Virgin Atlantic's now famous letter of complaint featured on the telegraph and even BBC news. What started off as a hilarious email to Virgin by a customer disappointed about their food is fast becoming something of a PR nightmare.

Why? Because in the web 2.0 world you should never lie -You'll get caught. HollyMoly has posted that the "complaint email" was fake (read the update here.)

Now if this is true then it means Virgin, once one of the web 2.0 viral champions has well and truly fallen on its face. Not because they did something un-funny or violent but because they lied and then lied again.

Oh Virgin - How could you get it so wrong?

Simple -They forgot the golden rule of marketing in the web 2.0 environment - Be open. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to shout your brand across an advert or YouTube snippet, but it does mean that you need to own up to what you do. And most specifically, don't build another lie ontop of the one that you have already told as they have done here.

Thats the great thing about the internet - The truth will out.

(With that in mind I will state that I work for an airline in Asia, and none of my views represent that airline in any way. This is purely a personal kicking for the Virgin brand that I think they royally deserve.)

Letter to Virgin – possibly the best travel complaint letter ever

Dear Mr Branson,

REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it:


I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the dessert?

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a dessert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a dessert with peas in:


I know it looks like a bhaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn’t custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started dessert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So let’s peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a 12-year-old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.


Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Bhaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard, Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to its baffling presentation:


It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass, Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous on-board entertainment. I switched it on:


I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:

Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.


My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Bhaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your bhaji-mustard.


So that was that, Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you

live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to its knees and begging for sustenance.

Yours sincerely…