Poet and Financial Journalist Emma
Emma got in touch with me after I had photographed her at a poetry reading at the Phoenix Artist Club in London’s West End. Already an established financial journalist, she was about to publish her first poetry collection through, appropriately enough, the Emma Press. She needed portraits done for possible use on the book back cover and other possible blurbs and asked if we could meet for a shoot.
This kind of portrait photography is not a standard white-wall headshot. For book covers, I find that authors and poets are generally looking for natural portraits, often a little bit quirky, sometimes gritty, occasionally with a particular link through place or background to the content of the book.
Emma suggested we meet in the Waterloo station area. It was convenient for us both, and gave a wide variety of potential backgrounds and lighting. We worked in a pub (with permission), under the railway arches and on the Thames embankment. Images were delivered, as usual, in colour and Black and White. It was a pleasure to hear Emma read again at the launch of her book and see which shot she had chosen!
For this kind of portrait photography I always tend to take far more lenses than I actually use! In the end all the shots were done with the 50mm 1.4, the 85mm 1.8 and the 70-200 2.8 zoom.
Portrait shoots of this kind take one to two hours. With a fairly narrow focus on the type of shot we are looking for, it isn’t as broad a project as a day spent working on someone’s persional branding and is economical as a result.