“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:19
This portrait of fashion designer Katharine Hamnett was for Red Magazine. It was a very simple, easy experience. Ms Hamnett arrived on her own, had her hair and make up done and then came over to my camera. We talked a lot. We probably did more talking than we did photographing, but that to me is why I love doing what I do. Talking and listening is how I like to arrive at a portrait I’m happy with. I’d find it an efficient yet perfunctorily hollow life if all I did was take the pictures and never have any kind of conversation with the people I have the privilege to meet.
I have photographed a lot of people from the punk generation and they all seem to have a similar attitude when it comes to interacting with someone like me. They are, as representatives of a generation, incredibly cool and by cool I mean they treat me as an equal, someone to open up to, collaborate with, engage with and, above all, as someone that they trust to be honest with them in return for their honesty with me. Even after 40 odd years of being around, they are a tribe who seem to eschew the neuroticism of other tribes by allowing people like me to open the door to the house and have a good wander round the place, as if they have nothing to hide at all and to look like they have is just too uncool.