PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER FEBRUARY 2011 ● GILLES BENSIMON ● TERENCE DONOVAN ● CHRIS CRAYMER ● LIGHTING TRICKS REVEALED ● BUSINESS SPECIAL Keira Knightley INSPIRING • INFORMATIVE • HONEST • ESSENTIAL by Gilles Bensimon FEBRUARY 2011 ONLY £3.99 WWW.PROFESSIONALPHOTOGRAPHER.CO.UK IN THIS ISSUE: TERENCE DONOVAN REMEMBERED, REAL-LIFE PERSONAL PROJECTS, LIGHTING TRICKS REVEALED & BERT STERN PROFILED “If you want to be a different fish, you’ve got to jump out of the school.” Captain Beefheart LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS 10-PAGE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT PLUS: HEAR DIRECT FROM THE BEST IN THE WORLD ON HOW TO SHOOT RIOTS, FASHION, STILL LIFE, PORTRAITS, FILMS & REPORTAGE AND SURVIVE
welcome february When we came to putting this issue together and deciding who we wanted to feature and why, a few names from my past came to me that I felt had perhaps been forgotten but that deserved to be revisited. Our industry has an unpleasant, insatiable thirst for the new, the young and the latest fashion, often at the expense of the great and the established. Bert Stern and Gilles Bensimon certainly fall into that category for me. If you’ve never heard of them, nor seen their work, I hope you find them interesting and inspiring. If you are aware of them but not heard from them for a while, I hope you enjoy reading about some old friends. On a similar theme, this month’s Being There on Page 23 allowed me the opportunity to talk about another great photographer and a friend, Terence Donovan. I hope that you enjoy these snapshots from my photographic past and that they give you an insight not only into my career but also into the business as a whole. If you have ever wanted to know what makes a good agent, how to get one and what they can do for you, then you could do no better than hear what one of the most established and best has to say. Find out all this and more on Page 45 in Frontline. Someone working without an agent but getting by (just!) is awardwinning photojournalist Peter Dench, our regular columnist and bon viveur. This month he not only brings us his monthly Dench Diary on Page 38 but he also goes back to college at our request to find out why he hasn’t been succeeding in the Taylor Wessing Awards recently. You can read what he discovered in Educating Peter on Page 72. While we were sending Peter to college, students were protesting on the streets and news photographers were trying to capture the action. We spoke to Eddie Mulholland, senior photographer with the Telegraph newspaper group, to find out how he manages to work among the civil unrest in I Predict a Riot on Page 62. One of the most unpleasant aspects of being a freelancer is the financial responsibility which you have to bear for your business. This is the time of year when we should all have submitted our tax returns and be ensuring that our paperwork is in order. To help you with this we have taken some of the most useful articles from our sister title Turning Pro to create anTHIS IMAGE / COVER IMAGE: GILLES BENSIMON all-in-one Business Special on Page 91. I hope you find it interesting and useful.EDITOR’S IMAGE: MATT HALSTEAD Someone who has made a success out of his work as a still-life photographer for many years now is David Parfitt. Find out how he has remained inspired and creative in Motion Pictures on Page 84. It’s a tough business we’re involved in and the more help and advice you get can only help. We just make sure it’s the best. Grant Scott, Editor
NEW PHOTOGRAPHY 8 Portfolio The best of our readers’ work. 53 Exposure We take a glimpse at an online archive of great contents february magazine covers that inspire us. 72 Educating Peter Peter Dench finds out how today’s photography students are being prepared for the real world. NEED TO KNOW 23 Being There PP Editor Grant Scott recalls a shoot with iconic 1960s photographer Terence Donovan. 30 Dispatches Clive Booth talks about a Scottish island that has inspired his photography for many years. 38 The Dench Diary This month photojournalist Peter Dench takes to the skies on assignment in Africa. 42 The World of Convergence Film maker John Campbell’s regular news-packed look at the world of convergence. 45 Frontline We talk to photography agent Mark George. 51 Guess the Lighting Ever seen a great image and wanted to know how it was lit? Ted Sabarese explains all. 66 Bangers & Crash PP Editor Grant Scott recalls an early personal project centred around the world of banger racing. 114 Legend We look at a living legend, Bert Stern, whose commercial images changed the advertising world. Vision and determination have shaped Chris Craymer’s career. Read more in our interview on page 78. INTERVIEWS WITH... 84 Motion Pictures Photographer David Parfitt talks about the 21 Diary Our pick of this month’s photographic exhibitions 34 Watching the Wheels inspiration behind his unique still-life images. around the UK. We revisit the winner of our 2010 competition, who got a £5,000 budget to shoot the Land Rover Discovery 4. 103 Stop Press... BUSINESS SPECIAL The latest essential news, gossip and kit from the EXCLUSIVE... 92 Go Compare The world of photography insurance explained. pro world. 54 Gilles Bensimon on the Phone Editor Grant Scott has a conversation with the 96 ...And Nothing but the Truth KEEP IN TOUCH legendary French fashion photographer who Protecting your good name and business. 26 Subscribe has created timeless images of some of the most Check out our latest subscription offer so you’ll beautiful women in the world. 98 Copy Cat never miss an issue of your favourite photography How to protect the ownership of your images. magazine again. 62 I Predict a Riot Telegraph press photographer Eddie Mulholland 28 Podcast discusses shooting the recent student riots. NEWS & REVIEWS Every month we go online to discuss the world of photography and you can hear our debate for free.CHRIS CRAYMER 78 Make it Big 14 Click Julia Molony talks to Chris Craymer, whose vision This month’s line-up of the best news, dreams, 49 Feedback and determination have carved a successful career. themes and photographic schemes. Your thoughts, your opinions, your page. . www.professionalphotographer.co.uk 5
PORTFOLIOEach month we share the best of the latest postings from our online portfolio with our magazinereaders, so for your chance to appear in Professional Photographer, go online and start uploadingyour best images to www.professionalphotographer.co.uk. If you want to see more of anyphotographer’s work, go to their online profile to access their website details. TIFFANY IRVING, UK STAN PEACH, UK PIOTR STRYJEWSKI, UK8 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
PORTFOLI RAYMENT KIRBY, UK BOURNE, UK10 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
MARKUS VOETTER, IRELAND CHRISTOPHER WAUD, UK ANDY FORD, UK REKHA GARTON, UKJONATHAN CARVAJAL,COLOMBIA www.professionalphotographer.co.uk 11
PORTFOLI SASA HUZJAK, SLOVENIA REKHA GARTON, UK DARRAN ARMSTRONG, UK STEPHEN BOYLE, IRELAND ANDY FORD, UK12 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
click Coastline No.2. the latest photographic news, dreams, themes and schemes. edited by Eleanor O’Kane Third time lucky One of the 20 Bad Girls of Photography from our November 2010 issue, Bettina Rheims shocked religious groups by portraying Jesus as a woman and shot portraits of a Russian oligarch’s wife that border on the pornographic. Following limited and art editions, which were priced at £1,250 and £650 respectively, publisher Taschen has released its tribute to Rheims, Rose, c’est Paris, as an unlimited edition at a more modest £44.99. Available from February, the monograph is accompanied by a feature-length film on DVD and tells a story that weaves fashion, erotica and film noir in Rheims’s signature sexy and stylish tableau that features, among others, Naomi Campbell, Charlotte Rampling and Monica Bellucci. Rose, c’est Paris, by Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly, published by Taschen, £44.99, ISBN: 978-8365-2785-9. ZHANG XIAODerby days In the beginningFORMAT, the Derby-based international festival of contemporary photography and related media, In photography it often seems that the discovery ofis back for its fifth year. With a theme for 2011 of Right Here Right Now: Exposures from the a box of long-forgotten plates or prints casts a newPublic Realm, the festival celebrates the resurgence of street photography with a host of events light on the work of an artist. Renowned as adedicated to candid photography. One of the highlights is the FORMAT11 Commission, from pioneer of colour photography, William EgglestonMagnum photographer Bruce Gilden, which will be exhibited in Derby Museum and Art Gallery. originally worked in black and white, photographingFor the commission, the American master turned his lens on Derby. Brooklyn-born Gilden suburban scenes in Memphis in high-speed 35mmonce said: “I’m known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the closer I get.” As part film; compositions that would go on to informof the exhibition, a video of Gilden getting up close and personal while shooting in the town will his later work. The discovery of some of his earlybe aired. prints at the Eggleston Artistic Trust in Memphis The festival is not just limited to galleries. Large-scale works by seven leading Magnum has led to Before Color, a new book from Steidlphotographers, including Chris Steele-Perkins, Bruno Barbey and Trent Parke, will be on show that features work datingalfresco in Derby Market Place. This outdoor show of from 50 years ago,street photography will be touring the UK once the scanned from vintagefestival is over and you can also catch it at London plates developed by theSt Pancras railway station later this year. photographer in his ownFORMAT International Photography Festival 2011, darkroom.Right Here Right Now: Exposures from the Public Before Color, by DOUGIE WALLACERealm, will take place from 4 March to 3 April in William Eggleston,various venues across Derby and beyond. published by Steidl, £40,For more information visit www.formatfestival.com. Blake 7. ISBN: 978-3-86930-122-8.14 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
BETTINA RHEIMS , COURTESY GALERIE JÉRÔME DE NOIRMONT, PARIS Monica Bellucci, Tenue de Gala, Hotel Le Meurice, Rue de Rivoli, Paris, February 2009 .
Leaning to the left INEZ VAN LAMSWEERDE AND VINOODH MATADIN / NOWNESS First published in 1956, Love on the Left Bank provided a snapshot of the creative scene among Paris’s Left Bank artistic community during the early 1950s and was considered a classic of its time. Now back in print, this facsimile edition features the work of Dutch photographer and film maker Ed van der Elsken,Candid cameras who inhabited this offbeatA new short film by fashion photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Parisian quartier when heVinoodh Matadin caught our eye. Featured on the lifestyle site NOWNESS, moved there in 1950 to further his photography. He took a job inthe film crosses the line from reality to a surreal world using illustrations by Magnum’s darkroom where he developed the prints of Robert Capa andartist Jo Ratcliffe. Shot in secret by the pair using four hidden cameras on a is said to have impressed Henri Cartier-Bresson with his streetBalmain fashion house shoot featuring Kate Moss, the film also stars surreal photography. He went on to have a successful career in stills and film.serpent-like creatures that creep up on Moss while she’s in repose and Love on the Left Bank, by Ed van der Elsken, published by Dewi Lewis,a soothing soundtrack by Antony and the Johnsons. www.nowness.com £24, ISBN: 978-1-899235-22-3.18 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
click New views of New York For its first show of 2011, the Wapping Project Bankside is featuring striking images by CINDY SHERMAN German photographer Christopher Thomas. Shot using a custom-made large format camera andWho do you think you are? long exposures, the 30 large-scale pictures showWe chose New Yorker Cindy Sherman as one of our a more tranquil, less frenetic20 Bad Girls of Photography in the November 2010 side to New York. A vintageissue for her uncompromising method of working, which feel, coupled with famousexplores the idea of identity. An exhibition at London locations devoid of life, showgallery Sprüth Magers presents new work by Sherman. another aspect of the cityIt is the way we’re used to seeing her – as the subject of that, it seems, does sleepher own images – but this time these are displayed as after all.large photographic murals rather than framed prints. New York Sleeps: Photographs CHRISTOPHER THOMASThe theme this time is ageing American socialites and is by Christopher Thomas,as challenging as ever. 2001-2009, until 26 February, Radio City.Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers London, until www.thewappingproject19 February. http://spruethmagers.com bankside.com www.professionalphotographer.co.uk 19
THINGSHAVE CHANGEDWhen PP editor Grant Scottwas asked to commission aphotographer to shoot theactress Kristin Scott Thomas as dusty faded sense to the whole place. There was and that it was his portfolio images that provedJackie Kennedy he recognised no natural light and a claustrophobic feeling him as a serious photographer. about the small upstairs office where his faithful Funnily enough I was talking recently to theit as a chance to work with studio manager was based. photography agent, Mark George, who becamean icon of the 1960s and a The ground floor was the studio, narrow, the Terry’s agent at this time, about the holiday snaps width of a carriage in fact, but long enough for and how great they were. He had had exactly thefamily friend. him to be able to shoot full length against a same reaction to them and as Terry’s agent had Colorama. However, the lighting equipment was forced him to show them as his portfolio. The world of as old as the cameras he was still shooting with. I believed in Terry and his work, despite the professional His large, cumbersome power packs and unwieldy impasse over his portfolio and constant references photography has lights filled the space. Remnants from the 1960s, to how his Robert Palmer video Addicted to Love, always been made up they still worked well but added to the feeling of changed the world of cinema and wanted to give of a small and being in a particularly sad time warp. In a small him a chance to bring his great photographic eye interconnected series alcove to the left of the studio, piled high in back into a commissioned project. So when I was of relationships, both brown archive boxes stacked to the ceiling, were asked to find a photographer to shoot the actress personal and work Terry’s holiday snaps, as he called them. Kristin Scott Thomas as Jackie Kennedy, the based. I cannot tell you Beautiful images all in black and white and sepia, 1960s fashion icon, I instantly thought of Terry.how many coincidences and mutual friendships many of 6 x 7 prints taken on his holidays. It seemed worth the risk. I thought he could bringhave occurred and been revealed over the years on They showed him as the great photographer his understanding of the era and photographicshoots around the world. But I suppose that one he was, but he wasn’t showing anybody these reputation to the shoot. He was always asking,of the strangest connections I ever had with the pictures at the time. “What are they bringing to the party?” whenphotographic world came via my first wife, Instead he was showing a box of laminated discussing new young photographers, so I thoughtwhose father was Terence Donovan’s images of girls in lingerie getting out of cars this would be the perfect opportunity for him tophotographic assistant throughout the 1960s. (some of these are on the Donovan Archive show what he could bring. Because of this relationship and the close website today in a nudes portfolio and with I talked him through the idea for the shoot andproximity of Donovan’s mews studio to Vogue hindsight feel a little too reminiscent of the work he was up for it. We would shoot in the mewsHouse in Hanover Square, where I was working, of Helmut Newton), alongside overly controlled studio. Terry played it down, just another shoot,we became friends. To some extent I also became celebrity portraits. They were of a different time but I felt that it could be more than that.someone he could connect with who was in a and had no relevance to the work being created at The fashion editor compiled a wardrobe ofposition to commission photographers during a the time during the mid to late 1990s. He couldn’t Jackie-Kennedy-inspired clothes and accessoriesperiod when he was finding it hard to get work understand why and despite my constant attempts and we brought in hair and make-up people withand relate to the changing landscape of to explain that the images he should be showing the right gravitas to work with Terry. He couldphotography at which he had both excelled and to get commissioned were his holiday snaps, be abrupt and intimidating, and the shoot wouldachieved wealth and fame. (The scene in the 1966 he continued to believe they were just for fun be no place for beginners.film Blow-Up when David Hemmings is drivingaround London in an open-topped Bentley withwads of cash was based directly on Donovan’s “The ground floor was the studio, narrow, the width of a carriage inbehaviour at the time.) From the outside the mews was unidentifiable fact, but long enough for him to be able to shoot full length againstas a photographic studio. It still retained the a Colorama. However, the lighting equipment was as old as theoriginal double garage doors, and the internaldecoration was exactly as it was when he had first cameras he was still shooting with. His large, cumbersome powermoved in during the early 1970s. There was a packs and unwieldy lights filled the space.” Grant Scott www.professionalphotographer.co.uk 23
Kristin Scott Thomas flew in from Paris, whereshe lived with her surgeon husband, for the shoot. “The day and the shoot had been a disaster. My gamble had notShe’s a serious actress and it was obvious from paid off. The day had been filled with sadness for me, seeing athe start that she would want a say in how she wasgoing to be photographed. Her first decision was photographer and a friend I admired fail to understand how muchthat she was not going to be dressed up as JackieKennedy. She knew nothing of the theme for the the industry had changed since his heyday.” Grant Scottshoot and she was not happy. Communicationbetween the fashion editor, Kristin and her agent editor could be in the studio space, but only if she put up too much of an argument. I never workedhad obviously broken down somewhere and it was stood hidden behind one of his monstrous light with him again.not a great start to the shoot. She did, however, stands and remained quiet. The atmosphere on the As I mentioned earlier Terry was taken on byagree to be photographed in some of the outfits shoot was now at rock bottom and nobody was Mark George (previously agent to Richardthat had been supplied for her. enjoying themselves. Avedon and still carrying out that role for Don Meanwhile, Terry had turned up at the shoot in With Kristin in place in front of the Colorama McCullin) and returned for a brief spell to classicone of his trademark grey suits. He was a big and everyone placated, Terry began to shoot and portraiture shooting a Best of British Iconsman, a judo champion and smart dresser, but the his assistant took the first Polaroid from him as he portfolio for GQ magazine. Sadly, his careersuit he had chosen that day was as faded as the passed Terry his special glasses for looking at never recovered the energy and vibrancy that hisstudio – baggy at the pockets and torn on the Polaroids. These were large metal-sided jeweller’s old mate Bailey had managed to sustain.seam of his trousers. His assistant was the same glasses that were held on his head by a wide Terry took his own life in 1996, aged 60. He leftone he had used in the 1970s but had not worked elastic band and which were usually used to see behind millions of prints in tidy little boxeswith for some while. Everything felt as if the the fine detail in precious gemstones. It was all over his studio and his two houses. They werecobwebs had just been dusted off. There was no all part of the theatre of working with Terry but his holiday snaps.energy and my heart sank as Kristin came down it just felt out of step with the times. I attended the memorial service held inthe stairs for the first shot. We raced through the shoot with little St George’s Church just around the corner from Immediately Terry demanded the studio space enthusiasm and said our farewells swiftly at the both Vogue House and his old studio. It wasto be cleared of everyone except Kristin, himself end of a very short day. The day and the shoot had packed with photographers, fashion editors, artand me. He didn’t want people hanging around or been a disaster. My gamble had not paid off. directors, family and friends, including Princessgetting in the way. This did not go down well with The day had been filled with sadness for me, Diana and Margaret Thatcher. His daughter Daisy,the team, who were used to pampering and seeing a photographer and a friend I admired fail who went on to become a famous televisionprimping the subject throughout the shoot and to understand how much the industry had presenter, gave a speech that moved everyone tohaving an input into how it was going. Terry was changed since his heyday. tears. What a shame that he had not been able tofrom a different time and he wasn’t going to A few days later the prints from the shoot were see that he wasn’t as forgotten by the industry aschange the way he worked for anybody. delivered but they were unusable. It would not he thought he had been. PPTo prevent the shoot falling apart completely I have been fair to anybody involved to allow themmanaged to get him to agree that the fashion to appear. I explained this to Terry and he didn’t www.terencedonovan.co.uk GO ONLINE FOR MORE EXCLUSIVE TALES FROM THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY, VISIT WWW.PROFESSIONALPHOTOGRAPHER.CO.UK24 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
SUBSCRIBE GILLES BENSIMON ONTHEPHONE Gilles Bensimon has spent the past 40 years photographing some of the most beautiful women in the world in some of the world’s most beautiful locations, helped to define the visual identity of ELLE magazine, married and divorced Elle Macpherson and appeared on America’s Next Top Model TV show. PP Editor Grant Scott managed to catch him on the phone in Paris to find out more about his life, times and photography. Grant: Gilles, when I was art directing business. Then I worked with a photographer for ELLE magazine, I always loved your work, a very few months and then after that, very and your style of photography was strangely, I started to work for ELLE magazine. synonymous with the original French But from the beginning they didn’t really want me weekly version. How did you get involved to do what I wanted to do. with them in the 1980s and start taking Grant: Your photography at the time seemed those kinds of images? to be very ‘non-photographic’, very natural. Gilles: I must admit that when I was young I Gilles: I’m happy you recognise that but at that never wanted to work. It’s every kid’s dream to time people didn’t think what I was doing was become somebody, and I went to art school, then trendy, you know. I was never obsessed with the army and when I got out I realised that I was trends. I think that photography should be obliged to do something. I thought that a drug timeless. It’s like cooking, you do not want too dealer was a good job but it had disadvantages. many ingredients. People talk more about my I never did become a drug dealer, but when work now than they did then. Grant: You were shooting a lot of images on GILLES BENSIMON a friend was trying it out as a business, I said to him that it seemed like a good job for me. He said he didn’t think so. So I tried to become some sort of artist, because my family were in the art Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. 56 www.professionalphotographer.co.ukSubscribe today to 12 issues of Professional Photographer byDirect Debit for just £29.99, saving you 37% on the cover price,alternatively subscribe for £34 by credit or debit card, saving you 27% Receive a FREE copy of The Photographer’sPLUS: Guide to Turning ProIT’S EASY TO SUBSCRIBEVISIT: www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/pp/02PACALL: 01858 438840 and quote 02PATerms & Conditions: Professional Photographer is published 12 times per year. Savings based on the cover price of £3.99 per issue. For overseas ordersplease call +44 (0) 1858 438840. Please allow 28 days for delivery of your first issue. Offer closes 23 February 2011.
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podcastON YOURWAVELENGTHEvery month we record a free podcast discussing, debating and chatting around a subjectfeatured in the magazine. We post them on our website and you can subscribe for freeand download them via iTunes. So if you haven’t listened in yet, why not give them a try?THIS MONTH’S PODCAST Photographic Portrait Prize and whether there is the PP’s support group, the United States ofFebruary Issue such a thing as a formula for winning. Photography, which was launched in theTHE BUSINESS SPECIAL September issue. They talk about the origins ofThe regular podcast team talk tax, finance and November Issue the USP, which was a response to an article onmarketing to coincide with the business special SEXY OR SEXIST? the loneliness of being a freelance photographer,in the February issue. They look at whether Grant Scott, Eleanor O’Kane and Peter Dench report on its reception among pro photographers,possessing business and photography skills go discuss why some images are seen as sexy while and examine its aims. The team also asks ifhand in hand, discuss potential areas where others are labelled sexist. photographers are becoming increasinglyseeking professional advice could reap rewards isolated in a digital age and why support groupsand ask if current photography students are October Issue are more important than ever.aware of the importance of business skills when THE SECRETS OF BEING A PROchoosing a career as a professional photographer. This month Grant Scott, Eleanor O’Kane and August Issue Peter Dench discuss the secrets of professional THE BAD BOYS OF PHOTOGRAPHYAND THOSE YOU MAY HAVE MISSED… photography. Veteran pros Grant and Peter relate The 25 Bad Boys of Photography list in theJanuary Issue their experiences of working alongside other August issue is discussed by Grant Scott,ICONS OF PHOTOGRAPHY photographers and how these have influenced Eleanor O’Kane and Peter Dench. The debatePP Editor Grant Scott and deputy editor Eleanor their working practices. With the days of the centres on the diverse lives of the photographersO’Kane are joined by regular columnist communal darkroom and lab long gone, the in the final list, including Guy Bourdin, Davidand photojournalist Peter Dench to discuss the opportunity to share news and advice in person Bailey, Helmut Newton, David Hockney andimportance of learning from the masters, has disappeared. The team also discusses how Wolfgang Tillmans. All 25 have broken the rulesthe point at which a photographer becomes an photographers are sharing information in the in one way or another. The podcast team looksicon and their own personal favourites. digital age and looks at new ways of networking, at whether being a ‘bad boy’ is merely a facade including the PP’s United States of Photography. for some photographers.December IssuePHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITIONS September Issue You can subscribe for free and download theGrant Scott is joined by Eleanor O’Kane and THE UNITED STATES OF PHOTOGRAPHY podcasts from iTunes by typing professionalphotographer Peter Dench to discuss the world of The regular podcast team of Grant Scott, Eleanor photographer into the search tab or listen viacompetitions, the contentious Taylor Wessing O’Kane and Peter Dench discuss the creation of www.professionalphotographer.co.uk. PP Get the latest issue of Professional Photographer delivered direct to your door! Every month you can buy Professional Photographer online with free delivery to the UK. There’s now no need to leave the comfort of your own home to find a copy, because your latest issue is only a click away. To order the latest issue go to www.professionalphotographer.co.uk/current Free delivery to UK, £1 to the rest of Europe and £2.50 to the rest of the world. Please allow up to 10 working days for delivery.28 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
dispatches Clive Booth tales from the frontline of professional photography It’s the first official working day of 2011 and favourite, and inspired me to take a closer look I’m in the midst of organising new shoots; at my home county and get out and shoot stills and video, professional and personal. landscapes, which I do with a passion to this day. This year I really want to do more with both still And yet it was hearing Paul discussing his imagery and DSLR video. Professionally, there’s new work, Corridor of Uncertainty, that really half a dozen projects in the pipeline, but it’s the gripped me. personal ones that have been occupying my mind ‘Bereavement, for me, is being between two for the majority of a flu-filled Christmas and New states: what has been and what may take place in Year. Personal projects are often what define us – the future. The work that I have made mirrors our interests, style, opinion – and it is so often the this interstice. I was greatly affected by the deaths case that clients are drawn to us having seen our of my parents and close friends, but the deathThis month: personal work. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be so busy that there is very little room for such projects. of a spouse is overwhelmingly different. I had no map, as I had obviously never been here before. To pick up a camera is not the normal thingClive looks at the impact Yet if we choose correctly, they should burn to do when confronted by a family tragedy, even if like a fire within us; sometimes an ember, you are a photographer like me. But it wasand effect of a personal sometimes a blaze and sometimes a raging surprisingly the most natural thing for me to do. ’ inferno. I was struck by a comment made at I sat there transfixed listening to Paul talkproject and explains Canon Pro Photo Solutions 2010 in an interview about how he had felt at the time of shooting thishow one particular place by this magazine with Zed Nelson, when he made a point about how much more interesting it is to set of pictures. This touched me in a way that I will never forget, and reopened my eyes to theand its inhabitants never see a photographer’s personal work. I had recently been to a lecture by Paul Hill. power of the still image. It seems to me that in times of deep despair and pain, as creatives wecease to inspire him. He has given a great deal to photography and taught many big-name photographers in his long are often drawn to somehow search for an explanation, understanding or acceptance through career. His book, White Peak, Dark Peak – a the medium in which we feel most comfortable; series of black-and-white landscapes taken in the whether it be paint, the written word or, in Peak District National Park – is a personal Paul’s case, photography. For the majority of the time I am shooting fashion, beauty and portrait – both stills and now increasingly DSLR video. I love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing. Yet there is a yearning deep down to extend myself, to use the skills that I have worked so hard to perfect and refine and channel them into meaningful, personal project work. I have a number of ideas that I want to explore this year, and yet this must be balanced with making a living. Of course, motivation is at the heart of all we do, so whatever project I choose it must be interesting, involving and come from the heart. Committing oneself to an idea is just as important, and once chosen we are then able to focus. As I said, there are several possibilities on the table. But one stands out above all, and whatever I choose to do this year, Left: Creel fisherman Alec ‘Nazza’ Campbell. CLIVE BOOTH Opposite page: Photographed as he opened the door in November, Callum Anderson, the first commercial ships captain to sail into communist China.30 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk
“Nearly 20 years ago I made a filming trip that quite literally changed my life, and it was the place and the people that have become a major part of my life ever since.” Clive Booththis place and its people will somehow be a part shoots on Hoy, in the Orkney Islands, and on the isles, shooting from the top of yachts’ masts,of it. Eiger in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland for BBC off the sides of lifeboats and from the water Nearly 20 years ago I made a filming trip that Television. This budding film career may have around the nets of local fishing boats. All thequite literally changed my life, and it was the even blossomed into a profession had there been shoots back then left a huge impression on me,place and the people that have become a major the technology we have today. But alas, compact and yet it was this one shoot on a little Scottishpart of my life ever since. Back then I was video was used only when a Betacam (the island that sowed the seed for a lifelong loveshooting film stills and compact professional professional standard of the time) could not affair with both the place and its people. If life isvideo (Hi8 and S-VHS). My shooting was be carried into hostile or inaccessible areas. about experience then this one trip opened mysemi-professional, as was I. For more than a As exciting as climbing on to icebergs, filming eyes to the possibilities that travelling, places anddecade I remained a graphic designer, even polar bears or scaling mountains was for me, people can offer to all of us, at any age. I knew asthough I had already spent two months in it was a surprise trip to Scotland that was to we waved goodbye to this magical place and itsSpitsbergen – a group of small islands in the change everything. friendly, solid, kind and mischievous people, thatNorwegian Sea, north of Norway – where I In September 1994 I first set foot on the Inner I had found another home. In fact, to this day Iwas shooting a documentary of a scientific, Hebridean island of Islay. I was there to know more people on Islay than in the townenvironmental, research expedition. I also had support a film crew sailing around the Hebridean where I live, and Islay feels very much like a www.professionalphotographer.co.uk 31
dispatchessecond home. Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’) isknown as the Queen of the Hebrides. It is thesouthernmost island of the Inner Hebrides. It liesin Argyll just west of Jura and around 25 milesnorth of the Irish coast and Rathlin Island. It hasjust over 3,000 inhabitants, a third of whom stillspeak Gaelic. With a total area of almost 239square miles, its main industries are malt whiskydistilling and tourism based largely on whiskyand birdwatching. Needless to say, the place andits people have had a profound effect upon me.The best way to explain this is simple – go there! “Quite simply, Harold and move down the list of possible personal projects, Islay and its people appears, and will remain,In the meantime, to get a feel for the island witand atmosphere, there are few better examples his wife Margaret are the near the top. But it’s what I do with this association and unique connection that isthan the 1954 British comedy film The Maggie;the story of a clash of cultures between a reason I have this bond the biggest challenge. Will it be master distiller Jim McEwen,hard-driving American businessman and a wilyIslay steamboat captain. with the place and its creating vatted malts and talking with tears in his eyes of Islay and its people, both past and present, Islay is a community unlike any other I have people. An unlikely with an unrivalled passion and emotion earnedever encountered. People rely upon each other in from nearly half a century of experience withina way that we have, for the most part, lost or friendship, fisherman and the whisky industry? Or the gentle and kind creelforgotten in mainland Britain. Over the past 16years I have forged great friendships and shared photographer, separated fisherman, Alec Campbell, known affectionately as ‘Nazza’, hauling off the south side of Islay andin some of the happiest and saddest of times.Indeed, it was Islay that played a significant part by 400 miles, and yet we catching bait off the back of the boat, only to give it all to the rather large and ever-hungry grey sealin me turning professional; shooting three charitysailing expeditions in 2003, 2005 and 2007. speak nearly every week; named by the locals as Rupert? (Nazza once fed him 40 large mackerel, just to see exactly howMany of the islanders turned out to support us aswe rowed and sailed Irish skiffs alongside a usually me from the car many fish he could eat at a single sitting.) Will it be retired policeman Ian Smith, walking his dogflotilla of fishing boats from island to island, and and Harold from the boat.” Ben and then teaching me how to sing traditionaleven across the channel to Portrush, picking up Scottish anthems back at his flat? Or Jimwhisky from some of the world’s finest distilleries Clive Booth McFarlane, fisherman and historian, regaling meand then blending and bottling it for auction. with the local fishing history and attempting to If I could pin down my long association with many Ileachs. On first impression he is laid back, teach me Gaelic over several drams in his frontIslay, and the key that has unlocked the door to disarming, charming and yet, underneath, there is living room, overlooking Port Ellen harbour?this second home, it would be in the form of one a strength of character, depth and a fierce pride Or Kevin ‘Cloudy’ Campbell, Lagavulin distilleryof my closest friends, scallop fisherman, of place that I can only assume comes from a man and charity fundraiser, playing Englandcoastguard station officer and submarine liaison, lifetime at sea and living on an island. Wit and versus Scotland pool tournaments in his shed,Harold Hastie. Quite simply, Harold and his wife humour are at the very centre of the people, and it or peat cutting at father-in-law AlanMargaret are the reason I have this bond with the comes quick and often. It’s a humour that is hard MacDougall’s croft. Or Duncan McGillivray,place and its people. An unlikely friendship, to explain in words, but must be experienced distillery manager, indulging his passion forfisherman and photographer, separated by through the soft Islay lilt and in the twinkle of400 miles, and yet we speak nearly every week; the eyes. I suppose it’s obvious, but neverthelessusually me from the car and Harold from the worth mentioning, that as photographers and Above left to right: Rupert the grey seal; 4.30 on a July CLIVE BOOTHboat. Many of the residents of Islay have film makers we cover subjects that are close to morning; Retired policeman Ian Smith admires the viewnicknames. Harold’s is ‘Kamikaze’. Need I say us and generate opportunities from our personal over Port Ellen harbour while enjoying a glass ofmore? Well yes actually, because Harold is like connections with people and places. And as I Lagavulin; John Martin, charity sailor and oarsman.32 www.professionalphotographer.co.uk