Jacket Required

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…

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

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.

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

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 Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013.

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.

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