Had lunch with Sven yesterday

Had lunch with Sven yesterday

Hadn’t seen the man in years (literally). It was strangely reassuring - he hadn’t changed a bit, still the same high-energy unstoppable force of nature :-) He has moved on from being London’s top celebrity photographer to television director which is pretty darn exciting as this is basically his life-long dream. Sven’s wife Mandy (Amanda Burton, the actress) and girls are good too - his wee baby is now a teen-ager (shudder).

I did say I wasn’t going to focus on memory or reminiscing, it’s just that the sun was shining and we talked about people we worked with together (Jen and Will finally managed to reproduce and have two lovely kids) and it all got me thinking.

I can’t believe I missed his Stay Still ten year bash - it was apparently a major drunken and glittery (in that order?) affair and he had one of my prints for sale (a 45 inch close-up of Jack Dee’s right eye). His picture editor handed me a huge bag of outtakes which I went through when I got home. It is quite bizarre looking at transparencies and not even remembering shooting them.

In among the dross was a little snap I did at Barnsdale, Geoff Hamilton’s garden, for the Christmas issue of the Radio Times (1995?). What an amazing day that was. I drove for miles to get to his place up North with Gemma Day (who is now a fully-fledged photographer) to photograph Geoff’s flower arrangements. When I got there, he walked us through his (giant) garden, cut a few tons of greenery and left it all in a big pile. He then fucked off to choir singing leaving gemma and me to turn it into a styled interior shot of beautiful flowers.

It was bloody frightening, but we fudged it ok in the end and drove home our hands full of thorns. Geoff died in 1996.