|NICE AND EASY by Omkaar Kotedia|
This was another one which took a long time coming to fruition, I suppose because both of us were busy. I think I contacted Omkaar through Gumtree but to be honest, I cannot remember. However, I can tell you that it was sometime in 2009. We began corresponding by email. Seemingly, we lost contact but he had not forgotten me and, out of the blue, I received an email asking if I might still want to be photographed by him. I responded positively and, eventually, on 22nd September 2011, I managed to make my way to his studio in West London for the shoot..
We hadn't met before but I had a good feeling about the shoot and about him - I suppose you can glean from lengthy correspondence by email what a person is like. I found Omkaar to be a very warm, easy-going guy whom, like me, has an interest in the cinema and so it was a very relaxing shoot because we had a lot to talk about. He asked me to wear what I felt comfortable in because he wanted particularly to capture my personality.
I really liked the collection of images that he sent to me subsequently - they are not as theatrical as some of my more recent shoots but I like that. Someone came up to me at the Lightbox exhibition and said that, of all the images in my project, he preferred the more conventional portraits and I knew what he meant. They have a peace and presence all of their own and are unique; the pose in the more conventional portraits is very similar but each one tells a different story. Furthermore, it takes great skill to draw a person's character out in such photos, especially, as in Omkaar's case, where he had only just met me. But he put me at my ease almost immediately and that is all part of the skill of a very good photographer.
And a very good photographer is what he is.