Opening move P-Q4 (excitement)
I don't often receive portraiture commissions, so when I took a call from Liverpool Cathedral a few weeks ago I put the phone down in a state of mild excitement.
Justin Welby Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, is now Bishop Designate of Durham, and would need his portrait taking as Dean before leaving Liverpool.
Second move P-Q5 (inspiration)
The thought of a formal portrait filled me with some trepidation but on reflection I decided that if the sitting provided the opportunity of a more informal portrait in a setting of my choice, this was an opportunity not to be missed!
Third move P-Q6 (Reality)
The Dean's PA offered ten minutes for the whole shoot! I quietly pointed out that ten minutes 'would not be enough'. It was decided that to save time we would take the formal portrait in the Chapter House just before evensong when the Dean would already be wearing the correct vestments for the formal sitting. All I had to do now was introduce the idea that an informal shot somewhere of my choosing would be a great idea after evensong (fingers crossed).
Fourth move P-Q7 (Best laid plans!)
Choral Evensong is at five thirty every weekday and I had thirty minutes before the service for the formal sitting. Arriving at the Chapter House just after three in the afternoon would give me plenty of time to set up the lighting and take some test shots, that was the plan, but when I arrive at the Chapter House expecting the usual space I find that it's being used as the Choir changing rooms because of building work in the undercroft, no room to swing a cat!
Fifth move PxQB8 (Click Click)
After much cassock moving Justin arrives on time, he's in good form and relaxed, we quickly fire off several shots, reposition the lighting slightly and shoot again, a quick check and off to Evensong. Now move all my gear to the Lady Chapel gallery through the appropriately named Ambulatory whilst Evensong is in progress (why did I choose to wear leather soled shoes, noisy or what!) if you've never been to Choral Evensong at Liverpool Cathedral you don't know what your missing.
Now, would Justin be OK to sit in one of the arches overlooking the Lady Chapel, no problem, it turns out the Lady Chapel gallery is his favourite place as well as mine, job done.
Promotion should follow!