This post is about portraits. I am inspired, currently by older women and how they continue to dress well, work well, have elegance and wit, or quirkiness and style. This first portrait is all about elegance and shyness.
I have tried to persuade this woman to let me take some pictures of her for three years or more. I managed to snatch a few while we sat outside a cafe in London which were cluttered and in really bad light. She, quite rightly wasn't impressed. So when I asked this time if I could do a proper session at her home I was so happy when she said yes. We took quite a few and there are some good photographs of her but this one seems to highlight her introspection while her elegance still shows clearly. It is a quiet portrait of Moira, with a sense of stillness and contemplativeness that I like very much.
The next image couldn't be more of a contrast. We had only just moved here when I spied a newly opened tattoo shop that I like the look of. Even more so once I'd gone inside. The woman who ran it was welcoming the room was airy and comfortable and the whole place said safe to me. The other thing was that I wanted to take a photo of this woman. Not a snatch but a proper set up with off camera flash photo. In contrast to the previous sitter this woman had to be photographed in colour, her hair, her tattoos, her dress and the room all required colour.
I wasn't feeling particularly confident that day and I was, and still am, aware that I haven't got all my equipment back from Thailand yet so whatever I am doing now has to be kept very simple. I left, but a week or so later saw a picture in the local paper of the same tattoo shop and the couple who own it standing outside. Suffice it to say it wasn't the best of photographs. That galvanised me to go back in and offer to take some pictures that the couple could use for publicity. They were thrilled by the offer and after a slight stumble we found ourselves in the shop, and I was able to take a whole set of photos for whatever they want to do with them. That is the story behind this next photograph of Betty. I particularly like the echo in the image behind her.
The last shot is another complete tangent. This older man is often around the streets of St Leonards and I have discovered that he is not the 80 years old I thought but simply a ravaged 70. This is here-say so I do not know it is true, but the same source told me that he has been a session musician all his life and has played with some big names in the music business . All I know is he is quite extraordinary looking and I saw him on the street and asked him if I could take his picture. He was quite content to let me. This is a natural light picture, on the Fuji, 18 - 55 lens whereas the first two were taken with the Nikon with a 24-85 lens. The look is totally different but I like this one too because it is a captured shot and he was so benign and gentle.
So three very different portraits for your enjoyment. Thank you for reading this. Another blog with more pictures of the coast and surrounding views will be coming soon.