Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Portraits: 33

Time to catch up with some "S" entries:
John Sessions, actor and comedian, London, 1991
At this time, I knew Sessions' work only from TV's "Whose line is it Anyway?", a theatrical, improvisation comedy show. Knowing little else about him, and not being a fan of using lights, I opted for a simple spotlight to match that: "Very theatrical, darling", Sessions mocked, but anyway went along with it. For City Limits.

Andy Sheppard, saxophonist and composer, both backstage, London, 1991, 1993
I took a few portraits of Sheppard over the years – solo and with his band or with band members. Here is a solo promotional shot and another (promotional or for The Wire, I can't remember) with fellow musician, Carla Bley. Always easy going and approachable, he was easy with being photographed, and although neither of these were used (other shots from both shoots were chosen) both seem to reflect in different ways that attitude.

Jim Sheriden, filmmaker, editing suite, 1990
This was taken for The Village Voice in the editing suite where director Sheriden was working on In the Name of the Father (a line of riot police/army from the film is freeze-framed on the editing screen behind him). Other shots show him with an almost impish smile, but mostly his ambience was somewhat doleful – or perhaps just serious and tired. Nevertheless, he was happy to be photographed on 35mm, medium format and with my Russian panoramic camera. The Voice – always on the look out for the best shot rather than the most standard – opted for the panorama. I also liked this medium format shot.

Hank Shocklee, music producer, his offices in New York, 1990
I knew the name of Hank Shocklee only vaguely as Bomb Squad member and producer of Public Enemy. Ahead of his time, perhaps, he had just signed white rappers The Young Black Teenagers to his new label. For a magazine portrait, you have to sum up your impressions on meeting someone instantly as you often have only a few minutes – and I wanted to get something of the understated, lean, calm-yet-sharp, casual businessman who walked in and about whom I previously knew nothing. For Soul Underground magazine, who used this inside, and went with a more "hip hop" colour portrait on the cover. I photographed The Young Black Teenagers out on the street, where they were asked, "Are you the Beastie Boys?"

For more on these portraits see here and the portraits tag on the right

No comments: