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My Portrait Bucket List

I’m sure that every portraitist has a bucket list of people whom they want to photograph. I know I do. It grows and shrinks over time — though not, yet, because I’ve checked any of the people off it. When it shrinks, it does so largely because I start to consider a person out of my league, I think.

Anyway, here’s the top five from my bucket list right now, in no particular order.

  • William McCarthy: Long-time readers will know that I’m a huge Augustines fan, and I’ve been supporting Bill through his Patreon since he set it up. I’ve photographed him several times when he was live on stage, but never in a portrait setting, and I’d very much love to do that.
  • Guy Garvey: Another person whose music changed my perception of the world. From his work with Elbow through to his solo material, I think that Guy is one of the great lyricists of our time.
  • Maxine Peake: I had the great pleasure of watching Maxine Peake’s Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in Manchester a couple of years ago and was absolutely riveted by her performance as the Dane. I’d love to explore with a camera all the characters she can be.
  • Kate Tempest: I first came across Kate’s work in 2015, when I photographed her at Kendal Calling. I was struck by the rawness of the emotions underpinning her work. Let Them Eat Chaos is one of the finest pieces of modern culture that I’ve had the pleasure to come across.
  • Lemn Sissay: I think the first time I came across Lemn’s work was on the wall of Hardy’s Well in Rusholme, which I would pass sometimes on the way into Manchester. He has a fascinating and inspiring life story and is the current Chancellor of the University of Manchester.

Okay, I’ll admit it, these five were harder to pick than I thought they would be. I seem to have gone for 80% poets and 100% performers, which doesn’t wholly surprise me.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to photograph these people, but as it happens there’s a quote that rather fits the pondering:

Reach for the top of the tree and you may get to the first branch but reach for the stars and you’ll get to the top of the tree.
~Lemn Sissay

Better get started with climbing, then. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from a recent test shoot with Savanna of J’Adore Models.

Savanna of J’Adore Models, in the studio