I have the lush excuse that my site was down last week so this weeks post will have more than one tale and a few pics to fill in the gaps. I wont reveal the image from this tale as it is still unpublished but will recall a specific story. The pastor and I text message and after a few weeks of diary clashing, traffic jams and cancellations we manage to meet. He is stern but kind, distant but occasionally warm and since I last first met him I have been curious to see if this shoot will be a challenge or if our bond will progress. When I arrive he seems annoyed by the inconvenience and keen to get the shoot out of way. I speak softly and insist on my part there is no rush; I can wait until he is ready.
After 40 mins I see the threat of rain and feel a tad anxious. I coax in some eager helping hands aged 8 and 9 and we pop outside to near a spot I have spotted that offers a little context. After a very rushed few shots we head back in to the church and talk a little more. The pastor transforms. He is warmer, calmer. He suddenly looks at me and says with a smile:
"Laura, I know why you're a photographer, it's a strange thing, but your attitude, the way you photograph.... you really love it don't you? When you take a picture, it's as if you're saying..."Come and get involved, this is great fun, join me"."
A little taken back, and flattered I respond. “But isn't it?"
We talk for another 30 mins or so and I do feel a little closer to him, it's nice. I'd like to return soon and meet more members of his group.
These two are of a lovely chap called Jamie Forbet. His firm asked me to do some portraits of him and much to my delight he shared my desire to shoot analogue. The heartbreak of the returned 5x4 film heavily underexposed was a bit of a gutter but even using the beast was a treat. One of the hardest things I find about a portrait is capturing an aspect of someone. People are so multifaceted that even when a glimmer of character shines through it can be tricky to communicate. Jamie's instant warmth and innocent humour was something I was instantly drawn to. Commercial portraits can sometimes look stale or rigid especially within the context of an annual report or an awards article. For this reason I wanted to get Jamie to relax, show a little personality and he was patient beyond words.
Lastly I'll leave you with a Polaroid from the desert. Scanning through all my Polaroid’s reminds me how much I love using the camera, it's so unpredictable. The sketchbook and tactile element of a Polaroid is such a lush object and can illustrate an emotional memory with such unique fragility. This was a great stroll...OAO xx