Maddy is doing photography AS Level at school and mentioned to her teacher that her dad was in the business. About three nanoseconds later I was invited to give a talk about my life behind the lens. I was really looking forward to it, and only had a few hand-shakey moments before getting into my stride in front of about 20 seventeen year olds.
I took in lots of old portraits from my magazine days and talked a bit about film and polaroid (blank faces there), but fortunately I have photographed a lot of celebrities who are still current – Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley, also from Harry Potter), Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester (Hustle), Terry Gilliam (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Chrissie Hynde and Anthony Hopkins.
I also talked about the craft of photography – looking for the light and getting the right exposure. Trying to explain f stops and apertures is very tricky!
I have to say I really enjoyed the experience – it was a great pleasure to give a little bit back, and I hope to be able to do some more classes, perhaps at other schools and colleges as well. The two hours flashed by (sorry, no pun intended) and Maddy’s teacher Liz (and Maddy too) seemed pleased and relieved that it had all gone well. In fact Liz was keen that I should immediately sign up for a PGSE course!
Maddy’s feedback? It was really really really good.