A while back Cath at Settle and Chase and Philippa at seascapesaus suggested Richard Cooper-Knight and I take photographs of each other at work. Despite collaborating on a fortnightly basis for six months, we had never met. That is until 8th November…
So, it happened at last – the meeting of the Richards, Guest and Cooper-Knight – and the ultimate in collaborations.
It was a great day, and we are unnervingly similar in our photographic ways (to the point of turning up with the same camera bags, and reaching to shoot the same thing at the same time on more than one occasion). I’ve said it before in my comments on Richard’s images and I’ll say it again – there is no way I could walk up to a complete stranger as he does and ask if I could take their photograph. I like the candidness of street photography, but doubt very much I would be able to pluck up the courage and go that step further.
The ultimate in collaborations, then, and probably the least comfortable for each of us… The portrait! We decided upon one formal and one candid shot each, and these are mine. The formal shot was taken outside the Tate Modern, as the afternoon was coming to an end and the darkness of an overcast November drawing in. The candid shot links in with Richard’s shot of Tim the musician, as that’s who he was photographing at the time.
A cool resolution to a great day, but no, I didn’t manage to get a shot of Paloma Faith (though I did know who she was…).
I met Richard in the Royal Festival Hall for a sandwich. After lunch, we decided to explore the South Bank – first roaming the South Bank Centre. I spotted a young couple who looked great and were obviously deeply into each other and asked if I could take their portraits. He said yes, but she said no, so it didn’t happen. Not the best start, but we were off, exploring the centre – it’s all concrete, metal and glass, and offers a nicely brutalist backdrop for candid shots.
I have to admit, and I’m sure Richard was doing the same I spent quite a lot of time watching Richard at work. And like he said we were often drawn to the same subjects.
As we made our way along the South Bank, we quickly fell into a pattern of talking, taking shots and surreptitiously trying to shoot each other. I took the candid shot of Richard not far from the National Theatre.
The next interesting area for me was the London Studios and the group of photographers pressed against the railings, trying to get a shot of Paloma Faith. A stone’s throw from there we spotted Tim, AKA Flame Proof Moth and I legged it down to the mudflats to photograph him. Meanwhile, Richard took some great shots of spectators.
After that we went off the tourist trail, down side streets and focused more on urban subjects, eventually returning to the Thames path and Tate Modern. There we agreed to take each other’s portrait.
Hope we can do it again soon.