David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

I made this album cover for Justin Hayward in 1988. The orchestrations were by Mike Batt who I'd worked for many times. Mike was a man full of ideas and bounce. Although covers like this look easy, getting the lighting right can take ages. My own technique is to let the star relax while I use an assistant to get set up. Then the artist just has to come out and take their position.

Justin is a very laid back character anyway so jobs like this in familiar studios like Holborn where you know everyone including hair and makeup make for a very enjoyable day.

The opposite happens sometimes. I photographed one young actress who had just landed a major TV part. She came into the studio and we introduced ourselves. I said,"ok, I'll get set up while you are in make up." "I'm not being made up for the shoot", she said. Now any photographer will tell you that without suitable make up even the most fresh skinned young woman will look pretty pasty and lifeless under studio lighting. Any professional actress knows that and wouldn't dream of a shoot without proper make up. Some even bring their own make up artist. But this lady was adamant.

We argued over it until I eventually told her that if she wouldn't have make up done, we might as well not bother to do the pictures at all since I'd never be able to flog them. So there would be no publicity for her out of them. If she looked awful, it reflected just as badly on my photography as her looks. She agreed to 'light' make up. Sue Moxley did her usual great job, all the while emphasising how 'light' the make up was.

Afterwards, I went to lunch with the young actress. I asked her why she'd be been so difficult considering I was on her side, as it were. "Well, you have to", she said,"otherwise no-one will remember you." I don't think she ever did anything after that first series. Surprise surprise.