Thursday 28 August 2014

When everything clicks

Every now and again, the words (and indeed the music) take a back seat, and I take the opportunity to post some of my photography. I don't think the blog would display a fully rounded picture of 'me' if I didn't - and yet I always surprise myself when I realise how long it's been since I last shared any work.

My last three major outings with the camera have all been portrait sessions - my favourite kind of session. I often start with the germ of an idea, and then think about who I should ask to take part accordingly. But by the time we are a short while into the day itself, the 'subjects' are always fully-fledged collaborators and their ideas and enthusiasm helps the theme take off to in ways I could barely imagine when making the initial plans. I hope you enjoy these recent examples.

Ellie has taken part in past sessions, and my photos of her have tended to have quite a modern feel - partly due to her terrific energy levels, which could make even the National Grid seem a little 'underpowered'. To try something different, I kept in my head some old Hollywood studio photo sessions I had seen (in particular, one of the actress Deborah Kerr near the start of her career) and we settled on a floral outfit for E to wear against a leafy, city park location. Rest assured, however, that to obtain some of these vantage points, the model still had to clamber up low-level walls and benches... Many thanks, Ellie.

Louise and Robin are absolutely steeped in fantastical literature and lore, and highly active themselves in all manner of creative endeavours (I'm particularly familiar with Robin's painting and Louise's short stories, both haunting, arresting and amusing in equal measure). To do them justice, I aimed at a kind of potential narrative or suggestion of some otherworldly element, in the hope that you wouldn't be surprised to find these stills lurking in a vault gathering dust somewhere in the BFI. The park location was full of appropriate nooks and crannies, verticals and horizontals. And in any case, the pair looked magnificent. Thank you, both.

Last but ABSOLUTELY not least, I received an unusual commission - from Mrs Specs, who needed an 'official' photograph. Obviously, taking pictures of one's partner can come with certain risks (divorce, torture, Hobnobs laced with rat poison) but luckily these passed muster, and I still live. The National Trust property Nymans was my ally, providing lots of convenient framing trees and hedges.

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