Friday, 17 June 2011

Portraits: 16

Bob Hoskins, actor/director, members club, London, 1990
This was one of the shortest shoots I did. I arrived at the club and checked my watch to see I was on time. When I was back on the street – having met, found a place on the club stairs to photograph him, packed up and exited back onto the street – little more than 5 minutes had passed. Hoskins was an amiable sitter with a knowledge of cameras and lenses. I took this close-up only inches from his face. "'ang on a minute," he said, "you're distorting my face, right." I said no, just getting a close-up. "Let me see," he said, and took the camera and looked at me through it from the same distance. "Oh, right. That's OK. Good lens," he said and we carried on. For City Limits (and for which I designed my first cover with the selected photo.)

Joe Humble, priest, outside his church, London, 1994
I photographed 70-year-old Joe for Nursing Standard to be featured in an article about the fact that he was HIV positive (contracted during a gay relationship 8 years before). The fact that he was an older man, when HIV interest was concentrated on the "young", and that he was a priest were the centre of the interview and report. I don't know what happened with Joe since – I can find no subsequent information on him since that time. I remember talking about freedom with him and quoting the song "Me and Bobby McGee" to him - "Freedom's just another word/for nothing left to loose" – which he definitely disagreed with.

For more on these portraits, see here, and the Portraits tag at right.

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