David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

As I said before, the perks of the job. You just don't realise how many stunningly beautiful girls there are around until you become a photographer.

I used to cover fashion quite a lot for the London Evening News. This shot was for a bikini feature. A couple of times a year I'd be sent to Paris for one of the fashion weeks. I hated it. It was bedlam. You'd go from show to show, elbowing and fighting all the way for the best catwalk position and between times going back to the wire point to ping your pix back to london for that day's paper. The fashion writers seemed all to be highly strung and socially anxious creatures. They'd get into an awful state, poor loves, and all their expensive education and upper class family did little for their self-confidence.

At that time, everyone, models, photographers, writers, would go in the evening to La Coupole, in Montparnasse. There would be an 'in' drink every year and everyone would drink it. There would be 'in' food and everyone would order it. There would be 'in' words and everyone would utter them. It was awful, pretentious, cringe-making bitchiness and insecurity. It brought out the bitch in the nicest of women. It's hard for me not to like Paris and France in general. I like the French, in general, too. And the French towns and villages. In fact, I'm a lifelong Francophile. Except Paris fashion week. The French and the Engish at their very worst

I have plenty of good memories of Paris fashions, though. I had been taking some pictures at Ted Lapidus. They needed some pictures done urgently, that minute. They were in trouble. Could I help? My answer should have been no, I didn't have time. But I pushed myself to help out. When I took the pix to them they were very grateful. Pick anything you like off the clothes rack, said their PR. I said there was a suede bomber jacket that I liked. Take it, she said. No wonder I liked it. It was priced at £350 equivalent. About £3,000 in modern money, I'd guess. I sold it ten years later, for £120, to a second hand clothes shop in Sloane Avenue.