I never met Ian but I know I would have really liked him.
Ian was a gentleman and a wonderful eccentric with a warm personality.
He wore a monocle for many years (to the embarrassment of his kids) because he had poor eyesight in just one eye. He only replaced it with glasses when both eyes needed a little help. He was one of life’s real characters and I don’t think we have enough people like Ian around any more.
He was a lover of music and poetry and words, eloquent in writing but sadly like many men of his age not one for talking about his feelings. So when he took his life last year his family were shocked and devastated.
Ian’s daughter contacted me to tell me all about him and her difficult grief after the nature of his death. She had his remaining possessions and hoped that a still life photograph would restore some dignity to them, help with her grief and leave her with a keepsake that she really could treasure.
So here are my portraits of Ian, a man I never met but wish I had:
I had very mixed feelings about this commission, I went from excitement at the creative challenge, to a worry that I may not do justice to the memory of Ian to a great sadness when I sat and looked through the box of belongings that had just arrived.
When I’d finished, I actually felt emotional looking at the images, I felt as if I’d really had known Ian so I had to trust that I had created what his daughter had hoped for. I needn’t have worried, in her own words: “The results have left me speechless. It’s as if he’s just walked past and put his glasses down, or hung his jacket up. She has captured not only his dignity but his character so perfectly – his love of music, his intelligence, his warmth, gentlemanliness, and his eccentricity.”
I chose to use the Lensbaby Velvet 56 for these portraits, I felt the softness perfectly complimented the sensitive approach that the images deserved.
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