As a Photographer I find good pictures come in waves and like a Premiership Footballer (without the Ferrari) I suffer from spikes in form. A picture Editor friend of mine said that she found Photographers often take pictures that mirror their personality… what that says about Anreas Gursky I don’t know but in my case I’d like to think it means my pictures are fun.
One day in early October; while everybody in England basked in paranormal heat I was sat in a car with broken air conditioning in heavy traffic. I was on my way to Brighton Beach, the home of the great British weather picture, it was the hottest October day on record and I was asked to shoot a front page picture for The Independent on Sunday.
By the time I arrived and managed to find a parking space outside a bingo hall 15 minutes away, I was in a foul mood. A foul mood, with about an hour to get something shot. I retrospect there were probably pictures everywhere but I just couldn’t see them. Despite my impending deadline, I decided that I wasn’t getting anywhere and I went for an ice-cream and a sulk.
If I’m honest the ice-cream didn’t save me, I was still a bit stressed when found this but it was the first thing I shot that afternoon and everything fell into place once I had this one in the bag. The couple in question were sitting on the beach and a family came by and rested their dingy against the side, I quickly shot a few pictures. The couple noticed, asked me what I was doing and the moment was gone… sort of. Sometimes pictures need a bit of “helping along” so after explaining myself I hung around a bit longer and they thought it funny to put on a bit of a show. They kissed, which totally made a picture that I’m very proud of, and reminds me of one of my favourite photographers, Martin Parr.
I shot a few more pictures after this up and down the beach but this was the clear winner, so I rushed back to send it in. Thwarted only for a few minutes because my laptop was dead and I had to join Gala bingo to use their power; I made the deadline. The next day the picture was on the front page, I hope the couple saw it.