I watched from the wings as Harry Duns, the red-hot photographer, wove his magic at the Brewery Theatre, Bristol.
Harry is technically gifted, that’s for sure. And he has a distinct, signature style. People seem to be drawn to the images, they have such a dramatic, almost theatrical quality.
In the run up to the event, I had built a buzz around this, Harry’s first Bristol portrait shoot. Our subjects for the day – actors and performers, with a smattering of business people, too – were all hungry for the ‘crazy, once in-a-lifetime offer’ I had posted.
“Beautiful portraits from a rising star in UK photography – yes, I want some of that.”
They knew that it was going to be special.
There’s a lot of drama in a shoot like this. The room is darkened to give the photographer maximum control of his own lights. There’s a bit of a wait in the dressing room. It all serves to ramp up the excitement. I think, for our sitters, entering the room was a thrill.
But we are all snap-happy these days, and most of us can take a half decent pic, right?
So, what sets a maverick photographer apart from the rest?
It is the rapport between photographer and subject. Harry knows how to make people feel at ease, and calms the nerves with a big “Hello!” For a few moments, each sitter is a supplicant, willingly putting his or her trust into Harry’s hands. It’s a pretty intense human experience.
Please get in touch to discuss an individual portrait sitting.
- Emma Newman, the Bristol author who was photographed by Harry, has written a fascinating description of her experience.