Saturday, August 18, 2012

Le Weekend Part 2

Le Weekend Part 2

Kim  said it had been three years since he, Rogan and I last met and as our reunion was probably going to be a photo shoot I warned him that the last three years - MTL’s illness and all - had taken its toll.

Kim said:
If you have ever fancied being photographed like one of the classic movie stars, or in any other context, then just send me a link to the kind of image you like and I’ll work out how I would need to light you to get the same effects.  Let’s have a bit of funJ

 And then I went a bit bonkers! All thoughts of a serene, dignified and aged persona flew out of the window as I remembered the spiffing fun we used to have in the Oast Theatre days, and images abounded of Blanche Dubois, Marlene in shirt and tie, Scarlett in the turnip field, Lady Macbeth holding the crown aloft, Her Maj in the Annigonni painting – there was no holding me.

An image of Gloria Swanson getting ready for ‘my profile Mr de Mille.’ floated into my consciousness but was quickly slapped down again.  In the end some sanity prevailed and I suggested that if we made asses of ourselves we should at least keep it in the family.

Meanwhile I was mustering a crown and gown for Lady Macbeth, a turnip for Scarlett, ceremonial robes for her Maj, and a fag for Marlene (in the end I bought a pretend one which tasted foul).

 Kim and Rogan arrived with beautiful flowers and a stone from Maggie - Kim’s wife, for my fountain; both of which Kim nearly forgot to give meJ

After a relaxed coffee (or hot water with a tea bag dipped in for Kim) Maggie’s boys met my boys viz MTL and our French son M.  I think they all would have happily chatted for hours but there was much to do with lunch imminent and siestas to follow, so I gently cracked the whip.

 Kim chose the drawing room as a studio, rather than the family room as the light was easier to control.  Rogan was the most able, amiable of assistants and it was great to see father and son working so well together.  I ventured the Marlene photo would be the most difficult so perhaps that would be best to get out of the way first – also I had the clothes on.  I had forgotten how long it all takes to get pose, model and lighting all working together.  The camera was attached to a computer so we could check the shots as we went along.  Glasses off, glasses on, back to the pose and on again.  Just to make things more difficult I had provided a mirror image of the actual shot which when Kim pointed it out just confused me so we ignored it.

 I told Kim if we got one photo we were both happy with it would be great.  Back in the day the photographer would shoot endless rolls of film for one shot.  Eventually we stopped for a lazy lunch and then we all went to different parts of the house to recover.  Later MTL woke me to say Kim was in the garden doing Tai Chi. Either we did Her Maj in her ceremonial robes then or perhaps we did that before lunch?

In any case we had to enlist M to kneel – all 6’2” of him, holding the end of the cloak to give it an Annigoni flow.  MTL had been useful constructing the Order of St John from my old leukaemia badge (which I received from Sir Ian Botham for doing a walk with him) and glue and gold paper.
Next it was Lady Macbeth: I put on the borrowed gown and a strange thing happened: my spirits plummeted and I told Kim I would have to take it off.  Maybe it was the Macbeth Curse but it was a great relief to be out of it and we decided to scrub Macbeth

. By this time we were all flagging a bit so we relaxed and Kim very kindly took endless trouble taking a family photo of MTL and me and one of father and son.  Then M took one of Kim and I in the garden and we called it a day.
After dismantling the studio we decided to drop down to Minehead on foot and grab a bite there.  To my embarrassment all the places we tried were either closed or not serving food – in the height of the summer season.  Very Minehead!

Apart, that is, from the Chinese restaurant so we thankfully ate quite well there.  MTL hadn’t felt like stirring so we returned to the house and chatted more.  By the time Kim and Rogan left I felt we all knew each other quite well and I was happy that MTL and M now realised that the bloggers I had already met were not an exception and the majority were decent, interesting people.



Granny Annie said...

Wonderful experience. Love, love, love the pictures, especially the last one.

Sharon Longworth said...

Sounds like proper fun - and what an interesting way to get to know people better.

Now I just want to see ALL of the photos.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you once again for a superb day, and it was great to meet YTL and French Son too :)

Her Maj was done after the siesta. I'll be starting to edit that photo later today. Before lunch but after Marlene, we attempted Anna Karenina but had to stop when we realised we couldn't reconstruct the railway station in your drawing room :)

You were a delight to photograph, Pat, and if we can find the time to do it again, I would love to :)

Pat said...

Granny Annie: there was a feeling of relief and satisfaction that we had acheived something and it was fun!

Sharon: as my mother used to say -driving me mad in the process -'We'll see!'

Kim: you mean before I kick the bucket? It's a date:)

mapstew said...

What fun! :¬)


angryparsnip said...

Love Kim's comment about constructing a railroad in your living room ! Would love to have seen that !
So cute !
what a day you had !

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Map: 'twas.

Mage said...

What a magical time you have had. Pictures to prove it too. Just flat out wonderful stuff. :)

Pat said...

Parsnip: yes it was time for a reality check:)

Mage:it was great the way the family entered into the spirit of the day.


what a wonderful day - and experience - for all, pat!!! i had mental images floating 'round as i read your very descriptive post! so wish there were a video of the whole event!!! ;)

kenju said...

What Granny Annie said!!!

Scarlet Blue said...

Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing Kim's pictures.
I'm wondering if he's going to have a blogger exhibition, since he's already taken some wonderful pictures of Eryl and Daphne as well.
I wouldn't mind posing with a turnip.

Pat said...

Gypsy: I think shooting a video at the same time would have been astep too far:)

Scarlet: he's putting ours up quite soon. Sadly the lovely ones he took of MTL and me I won't be allowed to publish - but they are lovely to have.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I'd forgotten how long photo-shoots can take, it was the nicest part of my job in adverting, being out of the office ALL day watching the photographer, haha.

It sounds like a fun time, very relaxing.

Haha, Kim's comment about reconstructing the railway station in your living room makes me think of what some photographers in Africa do...they have the most amazing backdrops, it's becoming the 'thing' here too.

Yes, the majority of us bloggers are quite all right. We're even real people :-)

Pat said...

GG: I'm not sure Kim found it all that relaxing; he had a mammoth task but hopefully rewarding. It certainly was a highlight for me.

About Last Weekend said...

Wow, that photo of you is beautiful and I love all those behind the scenes piccies too. Isn't it an amazing process these days with the computer and merging photos etc? (and now I have to have a marathon of those batty old dames Hollywood movies, love all those women.)

Pat said...

ALW: you are very kind:)
Batty old dames? Marlene, Joan C, Bette D, Claudette C,Jean H, Rosalind R?
Now you come to mention it I suppose they were a bit fruitcake.

rashbre said...

What a brilliant idea and such fun. You seem to have created an very effective studio at home too!

Nea said...

Nothing wrong with a little bit of fruitcake now and again ;)

It sounds like fun, but I'd much rather have Kim's job than your job.

Love the shot of you and Kim together, two happy bloggers.

Pat said...

Nea: I know what you mean. I had a moment of cold feet but it was worth it for the fun experience.
and Kim has the perfect persona for a photographer.

Pat said...

Rashbre: the idea was far too ambitious in practice but it was well worth doing and I now have some lovely shots of MTL and me.

Eryl said...

Have just seen the photos on Kim's blog, they're fab, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Pat said...

Eryl: you certainly know what a fun experience it is to be shot by Kim. And I believe he is getting better all the time. He actually got MTL to relax on camera. Unheard of.