As a young photographer I was not interested in nor informed about the world of politics. My world was filled with more important things such as myself. I lived through momentous times without noticing much save that I wasn’t as important as I had initially imagined. And then I had left London, had left middle age and had realised how lucky I was to have made it this far without having ever having looked in my rear view mirror. Today, whilst rifling through the book shelves, I came across this picture that I had taken in the early 70’s.
The picture held memories for me as it was to be a cover for the iconic “Nova” magazine but it was the recollection of the process of creating the image that led me to write this post. On the day of the shoot the model duly arrived at the studio looking forward to being on the cover of the leading style magazine of the time. I remember she was very young and this was to be for her an important step up the ladder of recognition but, for all her inexperience, I could see that she was surprised at the lack of personnel present on such an important session. On such a shoot one would expect to see a stylist, a hairdresser, a make up artist together with the magazine’s fashion editor and her entourage of assistants and assistant’s assistants but there we were, the three of us….me , the model and the art director. And so the obfuscation begun. We were looking for a young natural look, which we assured her she possessed in spades, and which would be diminished by the primping and painting by so called experts in the field of beauty. Had she brought some clothes and jewelry for the shoot in line with our brief to her agency? Why would we want a stylist to provide clothes for a model such as her who, no doubt, had a wardrobe bursting at the seams with cool clothes…what do fashion editor’s know, for God’s sake? Having been assured that all she needed to do was to brush out her hair and leave the rest to the photographer she sat confidently in front of the camera and was surprised at how quickly the shoot was over. She was promised that she would be delighted by the result and it would change her life.
I believe therefore I am right……..ring any bells?