Over many years of experience taking portraits for national newspapers and prestigious magazines, one learns that sometimes as a photographer you only have seconds to achieve your client’s brief- especially when dealing with well known personalities. I was on assignment for the wonderful Everyman Cinema group, who were expecting a personal appearance from actor Ralph Fiennes following the showing of his new movie, Coriolanus.
I’d always been an admirer of Ralph- from his roles in Shindler’s List, The English Patient and of course Harry Potter. I was told that I would be given less than a minute to take the pictures, under the large ‘Everyman’ sign outside the Maida Vale cinema. The lights had been set up, test shots taken and now we awaited the arrival of Voldemort, sorry, Ralph Fiennes. A member of the PR team came outside and informed us that this shot would not be acceptable in terms of branding so we had to find another location- and that he would arrive very soon!
Three frantic minutes later and I was in Screen 2, having set up two lights fired one test shot at the Head of Communications for Everyman, in order to have a rough gauge of how the shots would look. In walked Ralph Fiennes, who was very pleasant and spoke softly. I then had around 35 seconds to create as many varied, interesting and dynamic pictures of this Academy Award Nominee as humanly possible. Luckily, when dealing with an actor, they generally know how to look at the camera and how to hold themselves, which is very useful when things have to be done extremely quickly.
I was very happy with how these pictures turned out, and most importantly so were the clients.