Just 2 days after photographing Jon Snow in a Warwickshire field, I photographed author Paul Dowswell in my studio. I’ve known Paul for quite a few years since we used to play in a band together and I’ve photographed him a couple of times before but with a new novel finished and scheduled for publishing, it was time to update Paul’s promotional photograph to be used by the publishers (possibly even on the jacket of the new book).
I think Paul’s main concern was that I wouldn’t make him look too much “like a sociology teacher”. I began with some one-light shots on an unlit white (and therefore grey) background and tried to capture as wide a range of expression as possible, some with glasses on and some without.
Paul has an impish sense of humour and that’s also something that I wanted to capture if possible but we knew that the publishers might prefer slightly more “buttoned up” poses. This is Paul’s preferred shot…
Then, with a change of shirt (for Paul, that is, not me), I added a second light from behind fitted with a honeycomb to add a little highlight to the right hand side. Again a mixture of casual and more formal poses.
Finally, for something a little different, we moved into the studio’s other room which has walls that were stripped for new paper (I’ll get around to it at some point). It’s a setting I’ve used quite a few times for more grungy shots.
Paul’s books have included “Powder Monkey”, “Auslander”, “Sektion 20” and “Cabinet of Curiosities”. He mostly writes historical fiction for 10+ to teenage readers but also non-fiction for adults. “Auslander” was published in 8 languages and was shortlisted for 20 book awards. His UK non-fiction publisher is Bloomsbury.
Look out for the new novel (title yet unknown) and maybe you’ll see one of my pictures on the jacket.