|SILENT MOMENT by Katariina Jarvinen|
Not that this was a noisy shoot but we did put on a record - I think it was "Dreamer" by Supertramp - to which I danced in our sitting room either before or after this was taken so this image did mark a silent moment in the day. Katariina lives locally but I cannot recall exactly how her work came to my notice but come it did in the early summer of 2015. She said that she had not really photographed men before and also that she would like to meet me beforehand so we arranged a meeting at the cafe at Hove Lagoon but, unfortunately, it was the school holidays and, therefore it was full of children who were really not that noisy but loud enough to make it difficult to relax but we were able to begin to get to know each other. Nevertheless, it still took another meeting, this time at my house, to enable us finally to begin to plan the shoot. Katariina had two shoots in mind, one interior probably our house and the other exterior in a morning or evening or even a daytime mist. By this time (late Spring), there were not so many misty days so we put the exterior plan to one side and Katariina came to the house on 9th May 2016 and shot me inside. We spent most time in the sitting room and, as is the usual custom, I put on a vinyl record and that prompted Katariina to suggest that I danced which I did.
Katariina also took some shots through the mirrors - I couldn't take a shot through a mirror for toffee but I do feel that sometimes shots through mirrors don't always work maybe because it is a method often used by portrait photographers. That is not necessarily a bad thing but I think it is important to bring something different to shots like these. Well, as you can see, I ended up choosing such a shot as Katariina's photograph in my project. There are three main reasons for this. First, I love the stillness of the picture. It is quiet and subdued; there is a silence in that it doesn't clamour. Secondly, although it is a strong image, it is passive and my face is without expression; it gives nothing away and I like that because it keeps the viewer guessing. Thirdly, and in some ways, this was the clincher, I love the reflection of the pink of my skin along the right hand side of the shot showing the blurred features of my face squeezed into the bevelled edge of the glass. These factors all combine to make this photograph special and they all come from the delicately probing mind of Katariina who had the skill and acumen to see it before her and to capture it in this wonderful image.
She took some more photographs in other rooms as well as some of me on the balcony (one of which replicated an old photo of a maid standing on our balcony in the 1800s - see above). It was not necessarily an easy job to choose just one shot - I would have been very pleased with a number of others but this was the one I kept coming back to. How lucky am I to have met Katariina? Not only is she an exceptional photographer but she is lovely, friendly person with a smile as warm as an Irish whisky on a cold day; one cannot help but smile back. She is delightful.
"And what is more, we still have a misty shoot to come!", he declared as he danced around the room