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Friday, 05 March 2010


On the other hand, speaking of cruelty, English royalty, chatting people up, and portrait photography, there is always the Richard Avedon technique when he told the Duke and Duchess of Windsor that their dog had just been hit by a taxi.

What a great quote. I don't agree that it is cruel but other than that I totally agree. I wrote a post about a portrait just three or four days ago in which I said I like to goad the sitter. A friend of mine (not a shooter) said I was nuts and how was I going to get a nice smile that way!

I'm soooooo bad.

You know, my parents always thought I might might a sadist. Hmmmmm.

Hi I'm Tont

Well yes, but normally Milord rather than My lord

She's fine. Very merry. But no-one ever calls her Maggie.

Your Royal Hihgness, then Maam. HRH for short. Can we try for a shot?

Mustique? Sometimes when I have a few months to spare.

No of course I make my living through photography, the rest is just the icing on the cake. Feeling patronised enough? OK let's do that edgy shot!

Jane Bown takes a different view. Takes better portraits too.

That's what happens when you marry into the royals. Anthony Armstrong Jones would never have said such a thing.

Touché, old boy !

David Zivic's quote is much better than Snowdon's

Ha Ha David Z.

You change that to, everyone think about your parents having sex!

I was always fond of graciously offering to take people's tourist snaps and shooting just their feet of framing out their heads. Of course I would also take a normal one.

Methinks this not quite as funny in the digital age.

This reminds me of a story--a number of years ago I was taking a family portrait with a fairly larger number of people in it (maybe 22 or 25). I got the people arranged nicely and did some shots, and then a family friend offered to take a few with me in the group. So I told her how to use the camera and shoot the exposure. I had everybody arranged so that if you just pointed the camera at the group and centered the people in the frame, they would fill the frame--you'd see their whole bodies from feet to heads.

Well, after the shoot when I checked the pictures, our friend had taken all the pictures with the heads centered in the frame. So everybody was cut off at the hips and had lots of air over their heads.

I was just amazed. It never even occurred to me that somebody would not know how to center a subject that had already been centered!

I also had a friend years ago who did some shooting at a friend's wedding. His favorite shot was one of the wedding party lined up, but the picture was strongly angled and showed only all the legs and feet. He did a nice print of it and framed it and gave it as a present to the bride and groom...who were of course completely mystified. [g]

Still makes me chuckle. If that's not art photography in a nutshell....


You can still hear this interview on the BBC website. Probably only for another couple of days though:


As he says himself: An "ordinary, run-of-the-mill photographer". I would just add "Very" to the above and that just about sums him up.

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