Archive: Death stalks these streets. The streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. I’d just come off a train and lo behold there, up in front of me is a guy carying a huge fibre glass skull on his shoulders. I ran a few steps, to get side on and then in front, photographing a few frames. One thought I’ve never been able to shake though is that this guy was on the same train as me, in a different carriage- Can you imagine what that scene would have been like, him sitting in the carriage, massive skull blocking the aisle of the carriage ? Damn. Now there’s a picture which would have been worth having.
You just never can tell in this game, this job, profession. You never know what’s next, what’s round the corner. One month it’s quiet, next month everyone wants you to be everywhere shooting everything. Then you get an email, a famous and respected photo agency is closing- gosh, jee, bad news for the industry, for your colleague, and you think to yourself “is it bad for me ?” Might be is the answer. But for the time being you’re busy, up to Tokai for nuclear engineers one day, down to Nagoya for rice scientists the next, then frivolities with geisha in town, a quick search with Google Japan over in Shibuya for business pages, a shot for a whisky company, and Sunday dinner date for pics at Nobu but no dinner. And then there’s always next week, next month, next year in this game, what will it hold ? It’s changing so fast, tumultuous times, hold on. To know the answer you have to consult your Miracle Fish, find out your fortune…
And then of course, just after Di and Dodi’s car hit the tunnel wall, the sh*t hit the fan for photographers. In the days and weeks following the crash the public blamed not only the photographers who had been following Princess Di at high speed, but all photographers….and there was the inevitable backlash against snappers. It was at that time that I was given this sheet of stickers, ‘Hands Off The Paris Seven’, in support of the seven snappers detained and questioned after the Paris crash…..
Ever since Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert set the benchmark for sartorial elegance for journo’s and snappers, in Roman Holiday, there’s been a lot to live up to. Gone are the suits and stylish rain macs of yesteryear, nowadays it’s all denims, Merrells and black gore-tex’s, de rigeur for the press snapper about town. Gone is the elegance and style.
So imagine my pleasure when looking through a big box full of Subbuteo teams, to see which teams I had, only to find these two elegantly dressed snappers. Now I never did football shifts, only the once or twice against my wishes, but I still feel an affinity for these little press guys with their 5×4’s, their bulb flashes, and their sore knees….stylish in their shirts and ties, and rain macs.