11 Dec: Portrait Shoot with Maggi & Ken


Maggi and Ken lived in a very small thatched cottage so space was very limited.  As I wanted to use the ambient light as far as possible I was restricted to taking the images in the small living room.  I began with Maggi who did not seem too happy to be photographed despite them being neighbours and my knowing them well.  I was suffering from a bad back and under normal circumstances would have rescheduled the shoot, but it has taken several weeks to arrange so I felt that if I had postponed then it might not have happened.   This is when having an assistant would be great and so that nothing is left to chance and no bending down is involved.

So I kept things as brief as I could and under different circumstances would perhaps have spent longer with her. She wanted to wear a hat as her signature object,  and I found it worked better when I moved her chair so that I was able to use the mirror on the wall to show her reflected back view.  This also prevented the images being too over exposed.


I rejected the above image as although her face is sharp, it has lost the definition on her top and collar.  I also felt that although I wanted the background to be out of focus he need to be more defined and to reduce the exposure in the patch of green to the right of her reflected image.


When it came to working with Ken he spent most of his time with his eyes looking at His wife, so I had to work to get him to engage with the camera.  He was very happy to talk about what he done during his working life and again gave me stories which will possibly be able to be utilised for the proposed book.

I rejected the following image as Ken was not looking at the camera but talking and engaging with Maggi.  I also feel that he is taking up too much space in the frame.


I have now taken images and interviewed nine people, but planned to do one more and use these for the book.  However my last subject John is ill with gout, so if he does not make a speedy recovery I will need to find one more man to fit the bill.

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