At Home With… Tea & Books

IMG_0057Well, mix up Helmut Newton (his nudes all around me on the walls at this location) and A God of Small Things (excellent and playful book, studied at uni, fatefully spotted on photographer’s shelf) and you somehow get a very Sunday-at-home sort of feeling; reading and brewing tea on the stove… Today’s update is from two (of several) scenes shot by Tony Ornstien recently. I can’t wait to show you even more (as Tony has so kindly sent me bucket loads), but feel I should pace myself (no idea why, really, but there you go).

I absolutely love working with Tony and his wife Jennifer; they are wonderful individuals and so much fun. I love Tony’s interest in small details, mannerisms and candid moments. As I told him, the ten thousand outtakes he will get of me (blinking, pulling weird faces, etc. etc.) are unavoidable when he shoots so (deliberately) arhythmically; there’s less posing than just good old-fashioned existing. Working like this makes me realise how well and naturally I’ve learned over the years to time my posing with the rhythm of the photographer, knowing when to blink and when to hold a pose or move, with almost a psychic sense which is adjusted for each person automatically. Working with Tony is so different: when the timing of the camera clicks are so unpredictable, you don’t really know where you are in the shoot, and you end up half posing, half not… But this is precisely his point, and also seems to be a very effective way of organising chaos. He doesn’t want posing as much as realism. I think he finds the idea of perfection quite boring. When I bite my lip or look confused or laugh hysterically, the camera keeps clicking (usually faster!), and what you then get (alongside the comedy gold) are some interesting images that are really very natural and free. It’s actually a real pleasure to work like this and is an approach which stands out among my many shoots.

More of this style soon, and more to be produced, since I’m sure I’ll be working with Tony again soon…

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