This portrait of Swedish businessman Anders Hultin was taken during an interview for The Times Educational Supplement. He worked for a Swedish company Kunskapsskolan who were working in the UK and are hoping to take control of two Academies in the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames.
The interview took place in a small office in west London and, although his English was first class, he took time to consider the answer to each question allowing me to get a great range of thoughtful expressions from just about every angle. I chose this profile frame because I liked the blue background and its simplicity. All of the other angles had complex and intrusive backdrops which I used a range of lighting styles to hide. The available light was very good for a short period and so this is one of a dozen pictures taken without flash.
When I chose this picture for my portfolio it was one of three business style portraits that all had strong blue backgrounds. I like to pace the pictures in my folio and by having a small group of images with a theme it seems to give them more strength and help with the pacing of the selection.
Geek stuff: The whole shoot was done with two Canon EOS1D MkII cameras and my trusty set of three L series Canon zooms: 16-35 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8.
When the Conservative Government finally abolished the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) which had shared County Hall with the Greater London Council (GLC) Mrs Thatcher could finally look out of the House of Commons and not be reminded of the opposition that her party had faced from across the river. I was sent to shoot a picture of one of the last people still working at ILEA who had done an interview for the Times Educational Supplement about his work wrapping up the affairs of London’s last unitary body (until the Labour government reestablished a London Mayor’s office in May 2000).
I went equipped with a notional headline of “will the last person to leave County Hall please turn out the lights” and I was very pleased when it turned out that the desk where he was working was in a windowless room in the basement of the beautiful if tatty building. I was even more pleased when I had processed my film and had a look at my pictures.