Don’t take your shoot too seriously… photoshoots are about having fun and making stuff. Yes, sometimes they have big budgets, sometimes they have ten clients on set, and sometimes they are for large audiences to look at, but ultimately the most creative space is a fun place.
I enjoyed this in the best of ways when photographing composer Kemal Yusuf. The fun Kemal had when being photographed was so infectious. His creative brain was fascinated by the lighting and the different outcomes that could be created in the same room. We started to talk about the similarities between creating music and creating pictures. He plays with sounds from new instruments, I play with light from new modifiers; he hits a cymbal in a different way and I throw wine all over someone. It’s all about giving it a go and seeing what comes out, then using that in the right way at the right moment. It’s totally infectious to sit opposite someone oozing creative energy in your direction, and it’s great fun.
I decided to bring along a new toy to the shoot - a massive machine that could fill a room in about 5 minutes with very thick smoke. In the spirit of having fun we proceeded to fill the room until we could only just see each other and then started taking photos. Neither of us had any idea what the outcome would be like, but we wanted to try it none-the-less. It turns out that it’s quite difficult to focus the camera in this situation, however, it’s totally worth it when you can: the room falling away into white with Kemal emerging out of it with an excited grin on his face.
Kemal is a composer who has just been given his big break - he has been commissioned to write a symphony for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and The Festival Chorus it looks set to introduce the world of classical music to Kemal’s talents. He’s also one of the nicest people around and infectiously creative. Check out his work on his website: http://www.kemalyusuf.com/