I was sent by the Sunday Express to get a portrait of SNP Leader Alex Salmond a few days before the election (he is now Scottish First Minister). The agreed meeting point was a railway station that was to be part of his campaign trail that Saturday. The picture desk had already said they didn’t want any glad-handing or kissing babies just a nice, strong ‘statesmanlike’ portrait.
I had a quick look around the station and chose a couple of locations, which were far from ideal to be honest.
Then I waited. And waited. After nearly two hours with the desk phoning me every now and then in a deadline panic, he eventually breezed in surrounded by the usual hangers on. I did a quick few portraits in the waiting room because it had nice, old fashioned oak panels, and was the picture used on the front page.
After 5 minutes I started to get “Hurry up”, “Are you nearly done?” and “Mr Salmond has to go”.
So I took him outside and asked him to stand on the passenger bridge. The light was awful and with the hasslers behind me I looked through the viewfinder and saw that he appeared to have angels wings. I honestly hadn’t seen it until he stood there, but I really thought it went well with a politician trying to appeal to voters a few days before an election.
Of course the SNP swept into power in Scotland, and Alex Salmond became First Minister.
The Sunday Express used it on the inside page with an amusing headline (which escapes me now), which gave me great pleasure.
Simon began working as a professional photographer twenty years ago in 1988. He went the ‘usual route’ – local rag, national agency, then freelance. He now works in Aberdeen with mostly press and pr clients.
Photographer since 1988, EPUK member since 2006.
See more work by Simon Price