This is an early studio shot where I was trying to create something a little different. Neil was often unshaven and I had this idea of peering out of a jail window. I then evolved it into him trying to look out of a print mount. It was a bit of fun to do.
I used to work with Stan Samalionis and this was one of his natural poses that prompted me to ask him into the studio. He loves this shot. It was taken on medium format and printed on fibre paper in the darkroom. The hand was burnt in a little since it was closer to the light source than the face and caught the light a little more.
Actually, this is Eileen and she is from Jamaica but she went to Nigeria and bought this outfit and wanted to wear it in the studio. It may look like an outdoor shot but the background was black and I replaced it with a small slice of the left-hand side of the image and applied a generous amount of blur to it.
Charles Rush was an artist with a great sense of humour. He kindly modelled for me a number of years ago. This image was actually shot on 35mm film (FP4) and was one of my early successful images. Sadly, Charles is no longer with us.
With Laëtitia, I wanted a 1920s look. She had the clothes and we found the props. A little work was needed in Photoshop to give the muted colours of a hand-tinted print.
Her real name was Dolly but Dolly didn’t seem right for somebody with a complexion like this and dressed in a sari. It somehow made me think of a cloned sheep! I renamed her ‘Ramani’ which is Indian for beautiful girl.