Here is a conversation I had a couple of months ago.
ART MANAGER: “Hi, would you be interested in taking part in a new art commission?”
ME: “Sorry, you mean a work of art?”
“Yes, and the photographer is Venetia Dearden. You probably know her work, as she exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait will become part of our company’s art collection and you will also get to keep a signed copy of the picture. If it sounds like something you would like to get involved in, all you have to do is agree a day, time and a place in London that has a special meaning for you and where you would like to be photographed.”
I let you guess my reaction.
Fast forward a few weeks later and here we are. Venetia and her two assistants – James and Stuart – came to my flat on a Saturday morning, they help me choosing my clothes and style me. It is a cold day, so we opt for a coat, my grandmother’s mink scarf and a hat. I am not so sure about the hat, but Venetia is adamant. “It finishes the look, and brings an allure of European glam to life” she says. I love the lexicon of people who work in the Fashion industry.
She then spots my engagement ring and decides that it needs to be features in the shoot. “This is a great detail and it really captures the essence of this moment of your life”.
I cannot argue, she is right.
I choose the Chelsea Embankment and Battersea Park as a location for the shoot. We end up heading to Battersea Park and we shoot there, surrounded by the usual Saturday crowd of joggers, young happy families and dog walkers. People look at us, wondering what the hell are two people with two massive panel reflectors and a photographer are doing on a Saturday morning, taking picture of someone who is clearly not a model. I keep on smiling and let them fantasize.
The whole team is wonderful, they are talented, warm, and know exactly what they are doing.
Life like this is such a dream, sometimes! And I love the picture. I look like a spy.