Monday, 1 December 2014

MY TIME HAS COME by Jacqui Booth

MY TIME HAS COME by Jacqui Booth

............and I said to Jacqui as we made our way back to her house,
" I have always wanted to be photographed on a railway track...". 
She looked at me and smiled. 
"There is one on the way home" 
I smiled back.
"Let's go and have a look" she said.
And we did.

As it was a Monday, the line was closed and so there was no danger of being run over by an old steam train. Nor was the Fat Controller on duty. We reached the railway and passed through the gate leading to the pedestrian access over the line. A couple of schoolchildren and a man with a dog walked over the track to the gate on the far side throwing cursory glances at a photographer and her model further up the track, the former with a camera and the latter first crouching and then lying on the sleepers. I thought about lying with my head on the track and even of undressing but my nerve failed me and anyway, I thought being clothed would be a better shot. And it was. The hand says it all. It rests gently on the cold metal as I stare blankly up to the grey December sky. The last dregs of the fading light catching my skin and highlighting the different blues of my clothing that contrast so beautifully with the stones pressed down between the concrete sleepers. Luck has been defined as when preparation meets opportunity and what a stroke of luck this was.  We were both ready and took our chance.

I had come across Jacqui through Twitter. She had a quirky way about her that was very appealing. I saw that she was a photographer and asked to see her work and she referred me to her photostream on Flickr. The pictures there spoke to me of a love of life and an interest in things whether they were stones balancing on others or insects - they seemed to remind her of important thoughts and feelings and events in her life. Each one had a resonance. Eventually, we arranged a shoot on 1st December 2014. Jacqui met me at the railway station. She looked slightly awkward and shy but that wore off pretty quickly as we walked to the building where the shoot was to take place. We talked some more and then got started. The first shots involved some wool which was twisted around me in a full body version of 'cat's cradle'. Then we went into the garden without the wool for a few headshots and afterwards, we went round the corner to a huge deserted church next to two beautiful town houses and wandered into the churchyard where I quickly undressed and posed against the beautifully old stone and flint walls. 

By then, the light was going and it was at that point I mentioned the railway shot. 

The shot above of my legs is beautiful and I love the light on my face in the close-up below but I had to choose the railway shot for my project didn't I?

Look again at the hand on the track. Wonderful. These were all part of one of the most inspiring set of photographs I have ever received. They all had something - something loving and earnest and real. You cannot just pretend to be like that, you have to feel it in your bones as Jacqui does.

We have talked of working together again. Yes please.

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