|WISE UP by Kenny McCracken|
I first met Kenny at Create Studios in Brighton when he helped Patrizia Burra to set up her shoot with me and we got talking and, as a consequence, I looked up his work online and I really liked his style. His style of photography I mean, although he is a very stylish person in other ways. He looks so cool with his white blond hair and his magnificent quiff and beard. I wrote to him after Patrizia's shoot and immediately he came back and said yes.
Kenny is a very organised guy - I suppose you have to be when you run a successful photographic studio - and on the day of the shoot, I arrived to find that everything was ready. He is a very good person to chat to because he has interesting things to say about all sorts of subjects. He used to be a full-time musician and periodically plays with a band to this day and so we were treated to some good music whilst we were there.
The shoot was quick and easy and we tried some clothed shots first and then I posed topless. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the images from him. First of all, I loved the silvery tone to the pictures but then, the more I looked, the more I saw. My crooked mouth, the default mode of which is downturned due to my condition. Also, the tiny crease in my skin on the left hand side of face just below the crooked bit of my mouth. My late sister, Janet, had little creases behind her ears, something I noticed on her death bed (although I had seen them before). I said goodbye to the creases as well as to her strong straight nose, her little flat mouth and the bony hands which had encased her head only a week before as she sat in her chair in the hospice, feeling miserable and ill. Why is all this relevant? Well, because the more I am photographed and I examine the person I see, the more I understand about whom I am and where it all comes from. Janet and I were quite similar in looks and thoughts and my daughter is the same and she identifies with Janet most of all amongst her many aunts and uncles.
Kenny knew nothing about my relationships with these people but he was astute enough to search for (and find) something true in me which was the character inherited from the father I never knew but passed on by him to Janet and myself and which comes through so vividly in his shots. He works very quickly but he doesn't miss anything as one of the very best portraits taken of me clearly shows.