Read about Richard's first photo shoot and win one of the original photographs signed by Richard Hingley and Michael Williams.
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When the day arrived I was really apprehensive, everyone has had their photo taken but never before had I been quite the main attraction, I say the main attraction as i'm not sure I could ever quite categorize myself as a model. From the first day I embarked on this project I knew I would need to get a few publicity photos taken at some time but deep down I knew I would get a little bit embarrassed by the whole occasion.
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Choosing the right photographer
I had spent quite a bit of time researching on the internet looking for a good photographer who specialized in photographing artists / musicians, I wanted to make sure that whoever I got to do the job understood the image and mood I wanted to try and achieve.
The name Michael Williams had come up quite a bit and when I saw his web site www.michaelwilliams.co.uk I knew that he was exactly the right person for me. He was also recommended by the nice people at the Unsigned Guide a true resource for all things to do with getting a music career off the ground.
I rang Michael and immediately he was pretty keen to try and do something, I sent him over some MP3's (unfortunately crashing his already full email inbox) of the tracks so he could get a feel for the style and image I was after. I was very surprised and impressed at his willingness to listen to my thoughts and really try to make the photo shoot a success for both of us, after all I am an unknown singer / songwriter and with his credentials I was expecting a little bit less of a constructive process. He had a locations in mind , a place he had wanted to try for a while. We fixed a date a couple of weeks ahead giving me a little bit of time to think of the image and yes - outfits!. me a catwalk model huh, I think not.
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Choosing the right look
I have never really thought about an image for myself before as the music has always been at the fore. I crawled the internet looking for ideas and was left with more confusion, although would one of Kylie's dresses fit me?. I needed an image right? or did I, after all it is only just me. After some thinking and deliberation I worked with some ideas of looks and styles and then went shopping, wow I love credit cards sometimes. As I only had one day for the shoot I wanted to make sure that I could get as many different shots as possible. I tried a few different looks and combinations, some good, some bad and some just damn right scary!!! ( I have the photos, maybe one day they'll surface on this site ). but I eventually narrowed it down to three main outfits with some alternatives if needed. As I said I took some photos these I would take rather sheepishly along to the shoot for Michael to laugh.... er look at.
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The day of the shoot
The day finally arrived, so off I went clothes and guitar in the boot and a trusty old A-Z to meet Michael at some underground station i'd never been to before. The thing was I had obviously talked to Michael on the phone but didn't have a clue what he looked like, it felt like a blind date although looking for someone with a tripod in hand rather than flowers. Actually someone outside a tube station with a tripod is pretty easy to find. It was nice to eventually put a face to a voice, we drove to the first location and at first I was really disappointed, I just couldn't see at what Michael was getting at, but this is when I had to trust his experience, for once I had to let him guide the proceedings. Just as we were about to start shooting the heavens opened, Michael was delighted as we ran to the car, not because we were stopping the shoot but as he explained as we cowered for cover, after rain light bounces of wet surfaces in a unexpected way creating looks that are very unusual . So after about half an hour we ventured out back to the location, this time with fresh eyes I could see what he was trying to get at, I relaxed and my model days had begun. Trying to look natural and un-posed is difficult when you are anxious and a but nervous. Michael's experience came to the fore again as he just started talking and saying he was sorting out some settings, little did i know he was shooting all the time. swine :-).
Off to location number two, just a short car ride away, when we arrived the rain had started again so we opted for lunch instead. It was good to just sit and talk about shared experiences within two different sides of the music industry. Fully re-fueled we ventured out again and fortunately the rain had stopped and we could begin again with a change of clothes for another look. I was starting to relax now and I think this helped Michael a lot. He seemed to be getting through a lot of film, do I pay extra for that I thought? Finally off to location number three, by now I was starting to feel a little bit weary, after all believe it or not I find it is hard to look moody all day. Another outfit change and although we would have to be quick as it looked like it was going to rain again. Before you could say how about an outfit change it was all over.
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The agonizing wait
This then became the most frustrating time of all, as Michael wasn't shooting digital ( off course, why would he?) i couldn't see the results there and then so I left feeling a little flat, Michael assured me that he was confident of a great set of images, I would have to wait. Michael was off on more assignments for a couple of weeks so the wait seemed like for ever.
Three weeks later we met in Soho, London to look over the contact sheets, Michael had already picked his 12 favorites and had them already enlarged, wow! - they looked great, I was delighted, more than I could have hoped for, so pleased I ordered some extra shots in addition. I was right to feel that Michael was the right photographer for this set. The results speak for them selves.
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Can anyone tell me the exact locations used for the shoot, the first person to correctly guess the locations used will receive a signed photograph from myself and Michael. Ok i'll narrow it down, it's in Europe, another?, OK. England, OK, OK North London and that's as much as you get. The street names will be sufficient, send your email to;
The title "See yourself in the spotlights glare" is a lyric of mine, but from which song does it come from?, no prizes for this one but the answer is on the web site somewhere. why not post your answers to the forum.
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Finally a couple of thank you's, the first is obviously to Michael for his professionalism and enthusiasm on long wet day, secondly to Natasha who battled the weather to assist me with wardrobe and telling me to relax. - thanks so much to you both.
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© richardhingley.com 2005