Today marks the release of Pedro Almodovar’s new film Julieta and a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing him at the National Gallery before sitting in on an intimate Q&A with him in one of their magnificent galleries. The event was hosted by Time Out in collaboration with the gallery which allowed a lucky intimate crowd the chance to listen to him speak about the film surrounded by magnificent artworks.
The portrait shoot itself occurred beforehand in a back room of the learning centre, so not quite the elaborately beautiful gallery setting I had expected to find. There was one section of the room which was incredibly dimly lit but had a marble style wall which seemed quite a good option for a film noir-esque portrait with harsh lighting, then opposite was a cobalt notice board perfect for some daylight close ups. With his marvellous white hair, deep brown intense eyes and innate understanding of what a good pose would be, it’s quite difficult to take a bad photograph of him. We chatted about one of my favourite photographers Irving Penn who had taken his portrait for Vogue many years earlier, so I felt even more privileged to be there at that point directing him myself. My favourites from the shoot are the ones where we were chatting and those intense eyes flashed with humour and charm. It was a great experience from start to finish though having just started to learn Spanish, I wish I was further along with it so I could communicate in his native language. But you never know, here’s hoping our paths may cross in the future so I can say something other than ‘Mis Padres son Profesores’ (er, they’re not).