Thursday, 20 August 2015

AT THE DOUBLE with Suzanne Plunkett

Suzanne's photo of me and "my" photographers at The Lightbox Gallery Woking 2nd February 2015
Suzanne works as a photographer for Reuters and I met her through Joanna Burejza. Suzanne photographed me for my project in Kensington Gardens in 2011 and afterwards she approached me with the idea of her photographing me being photographed by other photographers. She had spoken to Reuters and they seemed quite interested in doing a feature about it online.

The first shoot she covered was the second shoot I had with Joanna in London which took place in a machine room at the back of a cafe where Joanna worked. I was a little nervous being photographed by two people at the same time but because she knew Joanna from old and also because she is such a pleasant person anyway, I soon relaxed as Suzanne clicked away in a very professional and discreet manner. As I have said so many times before, I love the shoots most of all and to see these photographs by Suzanne was very exciting for me. For example, to see Joanna crouching down intently to photograph me as in the picture above is strangely moving.

Joanna and me

Me and Joanna

The next shoot which Suzanne covered was with Milly at her home studio in London. Milly is very much concerned with women's issues and indeed when she heard that, in the past, I had wanted to be a woman but remain heterosexual and  that therefore I was in fact a lesbian, she was delighted. You will see that this is reflected in the shots below. Again, Suzanne was very discreet and, in fact, had to leave before the end of the shoot which enabled Milly and I to have some time working only with each other.

 Mannequin, me and Milly
Milly applying make up for the Femina photo

The next photographer who was covered was Liz Orton who not only produced the fantastic Box photograph but also made the contact between me and Sarfraz Manzoor which led to the feature by him in The Guardian and also on the The Culture Show. She continued to photograph me after our first shoot together in 2010 in Milford, where we used to live. I think it was the third shoot this time at a studio in North London where Suzanne was present to take the brilliant photograph shown below.
Liz and me

Me and Liz's light meter

Coincidentally, I was photographed by the charming Tess Hurrell quite near the studio where Liz Orton had photographed me. Unfortunately, I had not met Tess previously and this was the only shoot where perhaps it might have been better if Suzanne had not been there because, no matter how discreet she was again (and she was), Tess and I were not able to enjoy that special intimacy that exists between Photographer and subject. But then again, I would not have these great photographs from the shoot. As it happens, Tess has now moved to Brighton and we have arranged a second shoot together so all's well that ends well.

Tess and me

Tess and me

Paul is a very successful photographer in London whose work is featured regularly in many National newspapers and their supplements and I am not surprised because he is not only extremely talented but very engaging as well. Paul was working on a commercial shoot at a very nice studio in London and fitted me in which was very generous of him and he was equally gracious in agreeing to Suzanne taking photographs on the same day. What strikes me from a lot of these pictures is that there are a lot of smiles both by me and the photographer and that shows not only what fun we have but also how nice members of the photographic race are. 

Paul photographing my awful feet 

Paul giving direction

I thought it was the right time to revisit the earlier years of my project and in particular to publicise Suzanne's great idea and her work in the process

Thank you, Suzanne.

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