I have been very fortunate to photograph Sean on quite a few occasions. This was the very first press of the shutter on 'Big Tam' the legend of the streets where I grew up in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh in the 60's and 70's where he could be fleeting glimpsed as he visited his mum in the sounds and smells of the pubs and the clubs and the bingo and the brewery and the rubber plant and the coop and the tenements and the gangs and the primary school Tollcross where he was the stuff of spies astronauts and Bond, my name is James Bond haha.
I waited patiently as the excitement built in The City Chambers, Edinburgh. We were waiting for Edinburgh's son Thomas Sean Connery to be bestowed our city's highest honour; The Freedom of The City. There I was poised in the knowledge of where and when he would enter. I was guid pals with all the employees of the Chamber and spent many happy times in their company meeting and greeting the visitors from all over the world. I had one shot, using the Hasselblad, pre focused in the darkness before he arrived to a bank of flashes and camera's. I am very happy with the photograph.
Five Scotsmen in a lift in Aberdeen sometime later, my guid pal Mik assisting with my gear, Alex Salmond, Mike Russell and that Sean Connery accused me of being an anarchist, asif, haha.
More on 'Big Tam' and an Independent Scotland to follow.
I was so lucky to work on a campaign with Edinburgh District Council Public Relations Division in 1995 in association with the magic Disability Discrimination Unit to promote the new legislation giving much needed legal rights to People with disabilities. Me and my colleague Barbara Chalmers, Head of Graphic Design at the time and the team spent so much time on trying to get the wording right. We settled on; People with Disabilities Face Discrimination Every Day of Their Lives All of Their Lives (we were really messing about with the english language and punctuation of the time , a sort of homage to Nirvana , that I have repeated throughout my work). With the final statement; Fight Discrimination Now. We really liked the over use of capitals and decided to keep it pure black and white. It was published full page in all the daily newspapers of the time together with a poster and leaflet campaign.
I nearly got in a wee bit trouble for this photograph. For the obvious reason of taping up a baby's mouth. There was a situation that was current of the time where this tragically happened with dreadful horror. On reflection I do not regret my use of the media at the time. For me the imagery fits the words.
I confess that at the time, I might have said the image was produced digitally, when I was a bit enthused by the new technology and it's possibilities haha. It was an easy excuse to save me from folks that didn't understand the magic haha that I created to get the wee kid to have a bit of tape loosely applied to it's mouth for a split second to create a controversial image to highlight a major legislative achievement. The photograph was taken on the floor of the City Chambers in the City of Edinburgh on a the very plush carpet. A fantastic cosy space surrounded by the portraits of our great citizens of my city. Anyways the kid and his parents came along about 1pm, was needing a feed, had one and fell asleep for about an hour, was not up for no photographs, nor me slapping a piece of tape over it's mouth.
By the way whilst I interject. The parents were right up for the photo, were braw folks and got what I was trying to do. It would be good to find out how the kid is doing?
I was ably assisted by my YTS, the young Stephen White … more of him to follow on this site haha,
The kid woke up.
The lighting and camera was ready.
The tape was prepared.
With one hand behind the kids back with a cable release and the tape in the other.
I placed the tape on the kids mouth for a split second and pressed the shutter on the Hasselblad.
my life my journey my work