If you don’t try it won’t happen. I remind myself of that frequently but never was it so true as when I photographed Raymond Tooth for The Sunday Times Magazine (the issue is out today - do check it out).
“Go photograph a top divorce lawyer in London” was my brief. I don’t know that many lawyers, but get the impression they are a completely different breed to photographers. I could only imagine how different a celebrity divorce lawyer would be to me. A little bit of research only increased the doubts - Raymond Tooth is known as “Jaws” in the legal circles and wins case, after case, after case. Daunting? Just a little.
In my head I had the grey suits and the polished wood interiors of his office and was wondering how far will I be able to push it with this man. Possibly not too far, but should that stop me from trying? On my way to the photoshoot I stopped by a toy shop and bought a latex shark mask. An outrageous idea, I knew, but who knows - maybe Mr Tooth would be up for it?
The moment I walked in, I knew I was in for a treat. Raymond is not just a natural born lawyer, but also a natural born model. A few minutes into the first set of images in his office (the polished wood just as I imagined) he suggested getting a cigar as a prop, always a great thing to photograph. Things just got better from there on. Near the end of the shoot when he was clearly relaxed I tried my luck with the shark mask. It worked - he loved the idea and we both had great fun trying out different poses. In fact, he liked it so much he asked me for an autograph on it and then went to show it off to his secretary.
I sent The Sunday Times Magazine a selection of shots not sure they would be as keen on the idea of the shark mask as Raymond and I. But if you don’t try, it won’t happen. And yet again I was greatly pleased to hear that they chose a shark photo for today’s edition.
Thank you to The Sunday Times Magazine team and to Raymond Tooth for the opportunity to make outrageous ideas happen. We need more people like you.
The Sunday Times Magazine is out today. Do check it out.