Debbie McGee? Dr Watson? Mutley?!!
OK, so my first foray into the glamourous world of "photographer's assistant" was an interesting one.
In an attempt to get some portraiture experience, Dade had advertised his services for free to anyone who fancied having their portrait done. The first respondent was a young guy called Alex, who asked if Dade could make him "look good".
I happened to be free on the afternoon they had arranged to meet and apparently an extra pair of hands might come in useful, so I tagged along. We waited in the pre-arranged meeting place, Add The Colour, wondering if a) he would turn up, b) how we would know it was him and c) what Dade would have to work with!
Only a couple of minutes later, a rather dapper young man entered, looking a little lost. Was it him? Aha - he went to the counter and said "I'm looking for Dade". Well, it was either him or a very spooky coincidence! Rather pleasingly, it was him. He told us a little about himself - half-French, half-English, cabin crew out of Heathrow, had lived in Canada and basically wanted some decent photos of himself as he said he usually didn't like being in photos.
We headed to the seafront and the pier, the chosen locations for the shoot. On the way, Alex stopped off at a florist's as he wanted a flower as a prop for the photos. The usual selection of roses, carnations and lilies weren't deemed suitable due to either their size or their colour, but one quite unusual one jumped out at us all - Alex went in to get one and discovered it was, in fact, an ornamental cabbage! On reaching the seafront, the shoot began.
Alex was a very natural subject, happy to be directed and had some good ideas of his own. My not-so-glamorous job pretty much involved carrying the camera bag and lenses, Alex's bag, coat and other paraphernalia and generally being vaguely useful. I must admit that had the subject not been so easy on the eye, I might not have lasted the two hours. It was getting a bit chilly, the sun was disappearing quite fast so it became a bit of a race against time to get the final set of photos under the promenade arches. As it got a little gloomier, I got a "real" job - holding the remotely-fired off-camera flash - I even occasionally held it in the right place! This was a particularly pleasant job when Alex decided he would rather like some shots without his top on. Sigh!
Anyway, it was a fun afternoon, Alex was very friendly and sweet, and it was interesting to finally watch Dade work properly. Alex loved the shots - so he should, they're really good.
If you want to read Dade's blog about it, and see the actual pics, head HERE