I was desperate to do this shoot.
I lifted my head from the Patisserie Valerie table, wiped the pain au chocolat crumbs off my forehead and made the call that yes I was available to do it. Rewind to an hour earlier and it had looked unlikely. I already had a shoot on the same day with a clashing time so I had to do the freelancers juggling act (which I absolutely HATE to do) of seeing if the other shoot could be moved slightly either side. An hour of constantly refreshing my email app, checking my phone had reception, stuffing pastry down my face and hoping I wasn’t being a complete pain in the ass to my other client (who it turns out is actually an ANGEL), and finally bleakly resting my head on the table as David Baddiel walked by (I was in Hampstead at the time). I still get the stress sweats as I think of it now.
I was so desperate to do this shoot. Having been a fan of The Office- the Christmas party kiss between Tim and Dawn is one of the greatest TV moments ever in my opinion- to be able to photograph the man who created it and of course David Brent was a dream.
Ricky’s own office was much more sparse than I’d expected. Framed pictures leaning against the wall, mismatched office chairs strewn around not pertaining to a desk of any sort and a few filing cabinets stuffed in a corner. A mezzanine upstairs with a wonderful view hosted Ricky’s own desk complete with guitar and sofa, but still no pictures. Are you moving out? No, we moved in a year ago and haven’t got round to sorting it out. He’s a busy man I guess.
The space was perfect for the shoot however, I made use of the office furniture as the feature was promoting his new film ‘David Brent: Life on the Road‘, and the sparse white walls were an ideal backdrop for the cover shot close ups.
He’s so professional the shoot was over in twenty minutes pretty much. He asked what I wanted and worked out the best poses to achieve this, he really left me with little to do other than capture his spontaneity, direct him a bit when I needed to and enjoy the shoot.