Carlos Fuentes portrait – the “contact sheet”

Going back through an old portfolio I was reminded of a lot of portraits that I used to love. One of them is this session with Mexican author Carlos Fuentes shot at his London home in December 1999. He was both charming and cooperative and his home was easily spacious enough to set up as much gear as I had been able to carry up the stairs.

©Neil Turner/TSL. December 1999. London

He had already been interviewed by a reporter to whom he was obviously a hero and I had spent a while asking her about him and his work. These were the days when the internet was just starting to become useful for background research. The trouble was that this was a last minute assignment and getting on line when you were on the road was a very tricky task. These days we all have smart phones with Google and Wikipedia but back then it was a lot tougher to become an instant expert of your subject. I looked his CV up later and was a bit embarrassed that I had never heard of him. I read a coupe of translations of his books over that Christmas break and I hope that I will never get caught out like that again.

Techie stuff: Kodak/Canon DCS520 cameras with 17-35 f2.8L, 28-70 f2.8L and 70-200 f2.8L lenses. All lit with a Lumedyne Classic series flash and a 70cm shoot through umbrella with the hair light in some frames provided by a Canon 550ex flash unit.

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