FIFTY SHADES OF CRAIG

He may look cuddly but we wouldn’t recommend giving CRAIG FLEMING a hug this month. Or ever…

And so the summer has arrived, and in the style of a true Brit I’ve celebrated this once-every-four-years event by getting sunburnt and catching flu, along with a chest and an ear infection. I spent three hours in A&E with a suspected perforated eardrum sitting alongside various ‘salt of the earth’ types. One of them was swigging on a can of Strongbow and shouting at his own shoe whilst another was trying to dance with the vending machine. To be honest I know the NHS is at full stretch but quite frankly I expect better from my doctors. It was at this point where I discharged myself and walked back to the car. I say walked. It was more of a comedy hobble as apparently your ears control your balance, a nugget of wisdom I learned from a rather pretty nurse. Presumably Prince Charles has the balance of a mountain goat then.

Following on from last month’s rant about copyright theft, you’ll be glad to know the two parties involved have done absolutely nothing about the stolen image. The image is still up for free, high-resolution download to anyone who wants it, and the publishing company hasn’t paid their invoice I sent them. Neither party has returned my calls or made any attempt to discuss the matter via email. I am actually stunned by their ignorance over this, so much so that my face almost showed it. My face rarely shows anything.

Many people say I would be a fantastic poker player, which is until they try and explain the rules to me and very soon realise that I do in fact have the numeracy skills of a Bird’s Trifle and also the attention span of a gibbon swinging in a tyre. Quite how I ever Learned to use a camera is beyond me. I will get my head round copyright law though.

I’ve been shooting outside a lot lately, given the onset of summer, which by the time you read this will probably be a distant memory. I’m a fan of the LA style of shooting models, using the beautiful light and just shooting them in everyday places. The trouble is we only get that light for about an hour at the end of the day, and that’s if we’re lucky. We probably get it at the beginning too, but getting up early is one of the biggest causes of afternoon nap syndrome in the civilised world. I made that up but I think it’s true. Basically this magical hour means I have to fit a lot in, get the model to the location with make-up done, and shoot. I’ve also started to put less effort into directing them and oddly I now tend to have more keepers from every shoot than I ever did before. The moral to this story is, ‘put less effort in, for not as long’. It’s a mantra I’m transferring to the rest of my life. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m like a photo hippy but with tidier hair.

I’ve just been asked to photograph my brother’s children. They have two, one’s a male of the species and can walk but can’t talk so I’m guessing about six years old… oh, he’s 18 months I’ve just been informed. The other’s a woman-child of about nine who likes to hug me. I’ve discussed ‘personal space theory’ and also the fact that I have a tropical disease, which means anyone who gets too close will actually turn to porridge within a week. This so far hasn’t worked but I am working on a low voltage tazer. Nothing too intense, just a quick zap that will keep her at arm’s length. Why they want me to photograph them I’ll never know, I don’t work well with bin lids. It’s the same on my normal shoots too. At the end of every shoot there has to be the compulsory hug off. Make-up artists, stylists, models… they all bid their farewell with open arms and puckered lips. No wonder I’m always bloody ill. Honestly what’s wrong with people these days? What’s wrong with a wave and a smile, and a distance of about three feet? Or better still, just go home and text me a goodbye later… or don’t. There’s far too much hugging in the world, it serves no purpose at all. Unless you’re trying to put an ‘I’m a dick-head’ sticker on someone’s back in which case it’s the only way you can get it on securely and discreetly.

So to re-cap then. NHS at full stretch. Prince Charles should be good at high wire. I can’t count but I do know copyright law. Don’t work hard… or for long, and don’t work with children. Oh yeah… and hugging is punishable by tazer. I think I’ve pretty much covered my last month there… Take it easy photopeoples..

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