McQueen & Moss: a lesson learnt/Part 2

Arriving at the enormous venue with my assorted camera bits hanging awkwardly off both of us, we gained entrance and were shown to a drab entrance area, where the Taylor-Wood picture was mounted rather high up on a wall.

Now there's only so much you can do with one light, a battery system and a reflective background, so I set up in the only way possible-head on, and blast 'em with light. Camera on tripod we waited. And waited. Finally, Kate Moss arrives, looks at me, says nothing and walks on by looking around the various preparation areas for the models and make up. I waited a while and then went to ask about the shoot and where McQueen was with Miss Moss. Just then, the man himself arrives, looking shy and flustered.

Five minutes later and I have dragged two extremely reluctant subjects in-front of my set up. My goodness they did not want to do this-perhaps no-one had told them, but they just looked defensive and well, furious. 10 frames for the sweaty photographer and they are gone.

Not a great start, but hey, it can only get better. Except it didn't. Infant the rest of the evening was meant to be a breeze-celebs would be brought to me for a considered snap in amongst the throng of the party. Trouble was, by now I felt like dying and my dear old Pentax had decided to refuse to load any film. And then Kristin Davis, star of the top show of the time "Sex in the City' comes over.
" Hi," she says. " We have some photos to do?".

'Er, yes, I mumbled, as I crouched on the floor, camera in hand, in pitch black trying to get the bloody camera loaded. 'Any chance you could pop off for a bit and I will come find you?' I pleaded. And so with enormous grace, she did. She popped off, forlornly, glass in hand. I kinda admire her for not telling me that my time was now past, but that's a star turn in my books.

And so the evening never quite recovered-Tim Burton,Manolo Blanik..a passing group of the weird and wonderful and I am snapping with a useless piece of kit, knowing it is going to be a failure.

Jess and me retire for a think. 'Why don't we go and see if we can sneak into the fashion show itself?' I suggested. Jess looks at me like I am mad, but we gather our kit and creep in to grab a seat around the perspex box the will hold the event.

Ten minutes later and myself and Jess are being unceremoniously ejected from a back door onto the street, camera gear everywhere.

So there is only one picture I can add to illustrate this story. It's not the best I have ever shot, but I will never forget taking it (see Part 1).

This whole fiasco set a template for every shoot since-think and plan ahead, don't take too many chances and, just occasionally, you have to say no to a job that you can't do brilliantly.

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