Friday, 26 May 2017


This is Rebecca Tun - a professional model and a photographer. In our initial correspondence, I explained to her that my photographic project, "Over the Hill", had come to an end in 2016, although I was still keen to collaborate with photographers. I was now approaching them on a slightly different basis; instead of looking to choose one photograph from a shoot to represent the photographer in my project, I would be looking at the shoot as a whole and examining my intellectual and emotional connection with the photographer. This has been questioned by some who feel that it is merely an extension of what happened before........well, I suppose they are right but I am pleased that "Over the Hill" has officially ended and I can look at different ways to become involved in artistic collaborations and, if this means that, on some occasions, I do what I did before, so what?

 I came across Rebecca recently on Twitter but then realised that I had written to her in 2011 asking if she would be interested in photographing me but had not received a reply. Rebecca is an interesting person. She questioned me quite hard at the beginning and said that this "new" approach sounded rather heavy and that one couldn't simply "go around collecting connections" and finished off by asking me point blank - why did I want to work with her? To a certain extent, the answer lay in her questions. She is astute and no fool as she had shown on Twitter and that intrigued me. However, I countered by saying that my approach was not as frivolous as she had suggested and I felt this was borne out by what I had said about my shoots in previous blogposts and that the style and verve displayed both in her photography and her comments on Twitter were justification enough for me to have asked her to collaborate. We each apologised for our bluntness but it augured well for our shoot which took place in my room at the hotel where I stayed whilst attending a Private View in Nottingham.

I arrived at about lunchtime, showered and then went down to the lobby where I met Rebecca. She is slim and she is slight and she speaks quietly and beautifully. We shook hands politely and a little over two hours later, that had changed to a farewell hug. The shoot went well - I had come up with the brilliant idea of pyjamas and brought along one of the two pairs which I had bought in 2014 for my stay in hospital for my DBS surgery - as Rebecca pointed out, the stripes matched up nicely with the lines in the carpet and on the table. This is exemplified perfectly in the middle picture above. I love the fact that the lines of the folds in the curtains, on the table and the carpet, on my pyjamas and even those formed by my lazy fingers all career off in different directions, everything in grey apart from the turquoise chair and my skin and all upset by the angle of the shot.


Rebecca has said subsequently that she decided to go for a completely unplanned approach to the shoot and use whatever the hotel room had to offer. She worked quickly and decisively as we tried a number of poses and positions in the corner of the room. Then we had a break for a cup of tea. I had told her of my silly films and she asked to see some and so we watched a few on her laptop and she liked them. We talked about family, my project and her modelling during the shoot and gradually, we relaxed with each other. I had thought she seemed quite shy at first but I was wrong; I misinterpreted her quiet thoughtfulness and, of course, I had never met her before so what did I know?  

Rebecca noticed the grey wall behind the loo in the bathroom and thought it would work as a background for a formal portrait - it is not the first time I have been photographed sitting on a loo seat but it is the first time that it has worked so well. We carried on by taking a few shots in the bathroom where I was alternatively topless and wearing my jacket and then we looked at them all on her computer and I was really pleased. I felt the composition was excellent and I liked particularly the use of the two mirrors which she had brought with her. Mirrors do not always work but, in this case, they did because they showed the subject (me) and the photographer/model (her/her) - they had wit and style as Rebecca does. I love it when I challenge myself in this way with an unusual choice of photographer and it works out. I offered to model again for her - I don't know whether she will want to do another shoot but who knows?

Rebecca packed up her things, put on her pretty jacket and left to light up a fag outside and then walk home whilst I got ready for the Private View at the castle.

Smokers are always interesting.

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