This is my first foray into sheduled posting, I tried it once on my last blog and managed to post at 3.16AM and since then I have been wildly unsuccessful, but there you have it.
I wanted to share a couple of shots from my shoot at the V&A last week. I was contacted by the lovely Jude Hunt, who arranged a shoot, surrounded by “artefacts of inspiration”- Well, I put it like that- In reality, the V&A on a Sunday, on the wettest, coldest and rainiest day of the year has so many people in it we were lucky not to be separated from each other by the tide of tourists.
I am very used to how people behave around a camera, I have learnt that people are always a bit nervous to start with and that the best shots usually happen around 30 mins in, when everyone is relaxed. Anyone who has ever worked with me will know I talk a lot, this usually serves the purpose of distracting the subject and (without sounding too wanky about it) making people see through the camera.
So while I am busy breaking down barriers between photographer and subject, that does not include the countless members of the public. I know I cannot moan about a shoot in a public place and really, I’m not. I consider it a skill to make it look as though the place is deserted, otherwise work with the crowds. The thing is, you are never really prepared for how people act around somebody with a camera. I have had people wander into shot, oblivious and hastily tiptoe back out making an exaggerated, pained expression. I have had people stand politely back and observe, or cut a berth around me and my model so wide that it seems to all concerned that we have terrible B.O or something. And then there are the people who believe themselves to be invisible, they walk boldly into shot, often up close to the subject and begin unpacking their sandwiches, talking on their mobile or picking their nose. Very often they will actually LOOK at the photographer for some time, right into the camera, challenging you to take their photo. On Sunday this happened to me with an entire family of hirstute Italians with yellow rucksacks.
But what can you do? I lower my camera, curse the loss of light, tilt my head and adopt a very patient impression.
It’s all you can do.