“I’m sorry that I’m a bit early,” says the Photographer.
I assure him that everything is all right. When you are taking part in a photo shoot it is very important to get on the right side of the photographer and convince him of your professionalism etc. so that you do not start off on the wrong foot and give him ideas that he might want to make you look an idiot.
“It’s just that I could hear you shouting ‘arghhh! arghhh! Oh fuck he’s coming!’ down the phone, when I rang for directions,” the Photographer continues.
I smile weakly at him. I must have forgotten to replace the receiver properly.
I make him a cup of coffee whilst we discuss creative direction (nb technical term.) Given the title of the book, he is keen to do some shots with me holding an electric guitar whilst pretending to play bowls. I also have some strong ideas. We discuss them for a while before finalising the concept: I will hold an electric guitar and pretend to play bowls. We walk out to his car to find a location.
“Isn’t part of the book to do with a period of time when you were a househusband?” he asks. “Maybe you could wear an apron and perhaps have a basket of washing as well?”
We get in to his car. I do not take an apron, nor a basket of washing.
Five minutes later, I am standing in a muddy field beside the main road on the brow of a hill. I attempt various poses, waving the guitar about and in the air and things whilst pretending to play lawn bowls. A man drives past in a manure lorry and sounds his horn laughing. I lift my foot in a heavy metal guitarist pose, which is wankery enough when you are resting it on an amplifier, let alone a bowls bag.
“Can you hold the guitar right up in the air by the neck?” the Photographer asks.
I hold the guitar right up in the air, and look moody at it. The Photographer snaps away. There is more hooting. The LTLP drives past, a startled look on her face.
We complete the photo shoot. There are all sorts of pressures upon creative artists such as me; I am pleased that I have retained my dignity.