|RED BLACK AND BLUE by Alun Callender|
My long term memory is still very good but my short term memory not so good. I do not know whether this is because of my age (62) or my Parkinson's or what but the point of saying this is to explain why I cannot remember whether I met Alun inside Mini Click or outside. I suppose it doesn't really matter in the great scheme of things but it is something that concerns me from time to time - that is when I remember it is a concern. Either way, I did meet him and we chatted briefly about my project in which he seemed quite interested. However, it took a while to set up a shoot with him but, in the meantime, I looked up Alun's site and I discovered that he was an excellent photographer.
Eventually, we arranged a date for our shoot and, by coincidence, he chose the old Fruit and Veg market in Circus Street Brighton as the location only a few days after I had been there with Jim Stephenson. However, his backdrop was red whereas Jim's was white and he asked me to wear a dark jacket which would contrast with the red of the backdrop. He wanted me to appear as a sort of a ringmaster and so I brought with my Grandfather's silk top hat which has featured in a number of shoots and films over the years.
On the day of the shoot, I met Alun and his assistant, Charlotte Harber, at the market where they had already set up the set. Unfortunately, I was a bit shaky (as I was with Jim - that's Fruit and Veg for you!) and so I felt that the flow wasn't really there but Alun was very kind and it turned out to be a very jolly undertaking and it was interesting to talk to them both. Charlotte mentioned that she was a graduate of UWE in Bristol and I told her that her former tutor, Shawn Sobers, had filmed me in Brighton and had subsequently invited me to speak to the photography students there. We talked briefly about trying a nude shot but Alun was so pleased with what he had got from the clothed shots that we decided not to bother. We then went to The Lion & Lobster pub around the corner from our house and had a scrumptious lunch and a beer. I simply cannot go into a pub and not order a pint of beer. It has to be a pint too - half pints are not the same, even if one doubles up. Shortly afterwards, I received three images all of which I loved but this one stood out for me. Everything is right - the backdrop, my pose, the articles in the background and the colour. I was very, very pleased and so was Alun.
Isn't life wonderful? If I hadn't got Parkinson's, I would never have answered the advert in Time Out in 2007 and the project would never have started and so I wouldn't have moved to Brighton and gone to a Mini Click evening and bumped into Alun who would never have photographed me BUT I did get Parkinson's and consequently do all those things and that's why life is wonderful and strange and exciting and fun.