Environmental Portraits Series – Shoot 2

The second in my 2020 project on Environmental Portraits. When Andrew first got in touch to volunteer for a shoot and informed me that he was a working actor based here in Belfast, and when I had a look at his website, which I have to say I found very impressive, a shoot plan started to develop.

I was inspired by a portrait of the actor George Cole taken by the great photographer, Brian Griffin. The shot was in a dressing room setting and made use of the dressing room mirror and the lights that surround it. In that shot Cole is intensely staring at himself in the mirror and the portrait is the reflection with Cole at the edge of the image, his face almost lost in the intensity of the lights. These days, that blown highlight approach would likely be technically frowned upon, but Griffin is not a photographer tied to conventions, neither then nor now.

I didn’t set out to try to replicate Griffin’s work but I have done a theatre setting before, and I did like the idea of the dressing room setting for an environmental, actor portrait. We managed to grab a few other shots as well.