I needed some promo pictures done especially with the launching a new site and online shop. As it was coming up to the anniversary to the Horrorgami exhibition it felt right to do something a bit celebratory and tongue-in-cheek.
Before kirigami took up most of my time, I spent 8 years in the creative industry as an designer and art director. I'd come up with plenty of concepts for photo-shoots before so the idea of presented me as maverick paper cutting person came quite easily. I wanted there to be heavy references to horror / B-movies with strong lighting, smoke and of course a less than subtle homage to chainsaw wielding heroes and villains such as Ash in Evil Dead and Leather Face in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.This lead to the project being dubbed as Chainsaw Mascara by Alex Holmes who despite lacking in humour skills, used his awesome retouching skills to piece together the final image. Of course, having spent years behind the camera, it honestly didn't dawn on me until the last minute that I was going to have to stand in front of the camera and do this! Taking an occasional selfie on your phone is one thing...
The shoot was at the wonderful Seamus Ryan's studio in east London. Seamus is a very esteemed photographer, having a wide variety of clients such as: JWT, Publicis, BBH, McCann, Saatchi & Saatchi, The National Theatre, Yahoo, Sky, Guinness, British Airways and the BBC. I'd worked with Seamus on a shoot last year so knew he's really easy to get on with, not to mention hugely talented. Before the day we had some back and forth emails with scamps and reference imagery, eventually settling on the recent Westfield promo shot as a good starting point for us.
After looking very clumsy in all the pictures taken in the first half of the day, I eventually relaxed and the session turned into a game of 'on a scale of 1 to Cheese - How corny a face could I pull?' It's so much easier to goof around in front of a camera than it is to try and look good so this was the only way I was going to get through it. I think I managed it.
Either way the quality of the image surpassed any expectation I had for it.