|A BIG DEAL by Grant McLean|
Who is Grant McLean you may ask? He is not a professional photographer but, in my opinion, he is a very good photographer and that is all that matters. But who is he really? Well, look at the photograph above and look into my eyes. They are looking at him through the lens. They are saying "You are my friend... you are my brother...You make me happy... you make me laugh....I am interested in what you have to say....you are my dear sister's husband.....and...I love you". There are not many people you can say all those things to. He has been a special person in my life and in the lives of my sister and and her two children. He has photographed them too as you will have guessed. My first realisation of his talent as a photographer occurred when he sent us a photograph of our son Tom taken when he was a baby (Tom not Grant) and which is printed below (although the scan is poor as our scanner is playing up). It is a stunning photograph because it captured the essence of Tom - his seriousness, his wisdom, his worry about his life and the world as a whole. He saw it and caught it. That is what he has done with me - he has connected with my feelings for him and opened them up for all to see.
I first met Grant (or at least this was my first memory of meeting him) at a pub in Kingston where we were living at the time. I thin it must have been shortly before his wedding to my twin sister, Sally. He wasn't quite ready for English beer but he survived. He eventually met the rest of our family and won them over with his quiet charm, his droll sense of humour and fun and his interest in them and what they did. He is quite shy I think and needs to feel confident before speaking (this is beginning to sound like a school report) but when he does, his soft Canadian drawl puts one at ease immediately and you find yourself enjoying a sweet moment of conversation. He is a very English Canadian - in other words, he is a fan of both countries. He is clever and he is artistic but doesn't flaunt either virtue. He is a man of deep sincerity and humility but it is always ready to be punctured by a silly sense of fun.
So, even if he had never held a camera before, I might have been tempted to ask him to be part of my project. As it is, I knew of what he was capable and he proved it.
And one more thing, on the day he photographed me, his camera was playing up. There were two false starts and then it worked and he took this picture but the camera never worked after that. He had one shot and he got it in one. It was a big deal for him and a big deal for me.
So feast your eyes on portrait by a very good friend, a loyal loving husband, a caring father and an excellent photographer - John Grant McLean. Now you know who he is.
POSTSCRIPT Grant died today 8th April 2014 whilst my sister held his hand