Friday, January 19, 2007
Herald Photo Shoot and a New Book
I think it was just natural energy and adrenalin I get when these things occur. I decided to try and use it to my benefit, to make it work for me today, in what is perhaps the most important piece of promotion I've bagged yet.
Thinking back to the interview last night, there are things I do wish I'd said. But I can't blame myself because between getting the email and making the call there was no more than 60 seconds to spare. I had no time to prepare, so with that taken into account I think I came across very well yesterday.
Today was all about getting a good selection of pictures. They gave me a couple of ideas of what they wanted over the phone, more really to do with location than anything else, but it made it clear to me what kind of thing they're looking for. I nkew I would be in the hands of a professional, so I had no worries on that score. I just needed to relax and enjoy.
The photographer, Steve, rang me in the morning to double-check the meeting details and I met him outside the World's End pub on the High Street. He made me feel immediately at ease, chatting about the book and what the paper wanted the pictures to include. We walked up towards the main section of the High Street after the North Bridge, and started off taking shots against the old blue Police phone box at Hunter Square.
Then we moved into some of the closes (alleys) for atmosphere pictures, up against some wall shots, and ones taken in the old red phone boxes with the buildings behind. There were long shots, close-ups, shots of me peering round the side and over the top of the book, shots of the book halving my face, at an angle or of me reading it. I was glad there was such emphasis put on the book itself, so hopefully the picture they finally choose for the article has the book cover clearly in shot.
I was told I didn't need to smile, which was fine by me because other than the fact I'm a grumpy bastard, it meant I didn't feel I was posing. Although the pics were posed, they felt more abstract or mid-motion, as though I was doing something else. In some I had to look directly at the lens, others at certain points on the horizon or to the side. Occasionally Steve would just tell me to freeze what I was doing and he would snap away, sometimes only pausing to change a setting on the camera.
It was all over in about 40 minutes. We swapped cards and Steve said the paper would more than likely be able to accommodate my request for copies of some of the proofs for my website and press kit. There wasn't any time for a pint since the paper was after the pictures as soon as possible.
Overall it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. I discovered I'm not as self-conscious as I was during my first photo shoot (for Fringe Fantastic), and the fact that people are intrigued over what is going on doesn't bother me any more. Having it all done by such an experienced photographer as Steve obviously is, was undoubtedly a large part of that. He mentioned he does a lot of work with politicians, other authors etc. so it was great to be involved and see how it all works.
Now I wait until Sunday, and hopefully the article will make it all worthwhile.
Finally, I'm delighted to announce that my new book, Poolside Poetry, is scheduled for release on March 2nd, 2007! I've decided now is the time to set a date, particularly in view of events that took place today and last night. I updated the website to this effect.
Poolside Poetry peels away the different layers of Cyprus's personality to bring it to glorious life. Not only does the book celebrate the country's beauty in the form of poetry, but it describes the daily torment and struggle of what it is to be Scottish, pale, and holidaying under a 100 degree sun.
It's as funny as it is thoughtful.
Poolside Poetry is published by Smashing Press, and you can pre-book a copy by going to the website at: