Back in 2009 I was lucky enough to spend an evening with Sir Terence Conran and his wife whilst on assignment for The Daily Telegraph.
Commissioned portraits of the design visionary.
At the time, the UK was in the grip of the 2009 credit crunch. I joined writer Elizabeth Grize for an interview with Sir Terence at the Conran offices to talk about British culture, retail, and his latest restaurant opening in the teeth of the recession. Commissioned by the Telegraph Features supplement pages.
It is an advantage to have a few moments to recce a good location.
I remember on arrival to the offices I was instructed to take the portraits first. This can be quite normal. Although it is an advantage to have a few moments to recce a good location. The office was quite busy therefore I needed to simplify the setting. I noticed an old worn leather chair, placing it in front of some neutral curtains. Almost creating a studio setting isolated from the office chaos. Rapidly setting up my Elinchrom lights in a hurry, whilst Sir Terence watched over me enjoying his cigar.
2009 I was shooting on a Canon EOS 5D, still one of my favourite cameras. Full-frame CMOS sensor. For lighting I used two Elinchrom heads. It had to be a quick set up for the short time allowed for the portrait. I was pleased with the results. The best shot was him almost in profile with the Elinchrom light highlighting his face and cigar smoke floating around his face.
Sir Terence at The Boundary Restaurant.
With a fast pack up of my equipment we were on our way to The Boundary Restaurant. The newly opened restaurant where he oversaw the interior design. His wife Victoria waiting in the dining area and joining us for photos around the restaurant. I remember Sir Terence being equally keen to show me the striking ceiling murals as of the fresh oysters sitting in an ice tank. Enthusiastic and wanting to show me as much as time allowed.
The evening was a whirlwind photography commission. Looking back on this commission I now understand how lucky I was to of photographed Sir Terence Conran. RIP.