Shooting with a former Miss Reading and Miss UK contestant presented an unexpected challenge. Now it’s true that Clodagh looks fantastic and is a true professional. She’s fab to work with and delightfully hospitable and friendly – I can’t wait for the opportunity to work together again. She’s also very experienced in front of the camera, but that’s where the challenge came in. I’d no more than set up my kit when Clodagh started throwing shapes and striking a new pose every second or two. I remember thinking (or maybe even asking), “What are you doing?” Then I realised what was happening. Clodagh was ‘modelling’, and I had to ask her to stop.
It was David Bailey who said that, “I figure I don’t take pictures. I make them”. This has become a bit of a mantra for me. In fact this has burned its way into my very soul. I’m really not interested in taking pictures of people, and I think I’ll write another blog about that or this will turn into a rant! As a photographer I take full responsibility for the final images but it was clear that Clodagh was used to having to do all the work in front of the camera, leaving photographers with little to do but press the shutter. But I didn’t want the pictures that they’ve already got so I had to work with Clodagh to make the images I was after – working together collaboratively to get the desired results. And that’s where the magic happens – where the unusual and the compelling images develop. It totally transformed the shoot for us both. Old habits die hard and it became a running joke between us as I would repeat myself throughout the shoot: “Clodagh, stop modelling!”