Yesterday I did a shoot for The Mail.
Nothing that unusual in that, except that this time I was in it. As in, I was the person in front of the camera.
I’ve spent most of my career styling/directing other people, so it was a bit strange to be the one standing on that gaffer tape mark under the lights.
Hips forward, legs straight, chin down. You know the drill.
It’s not where I feel most comfortable, but as a first person writer it’s become more and more part of my job.
But now image is so important to us all, how controlling is it acceptable for the ‘talent’ to be? I know I’ve asked models (many times) to sport weird hairstyles or pull funny faces or wear something they hate.
(I’ve also asked Sophie Dahl to cavort on a beach in a swimsuit in 13 degrees. And Cameron Diaz to wear the briefest of bikinis.)
But can you ask the same of a celeb, or even a journalist?
How much discomfort should you ask them to suffer?
How much should you ask them to step out of their comfort zone?
(N.B. I was very much in my comfort zone on The Mail shoot -everyone kindly asked me if I liked the outfit, the hair, the shot).
I guess like anything, it’s about compromise.
And it’s in no-one’s interests for someone to look rubbish in a picture, right?