A Day with Photographer Bill Irwin
It always amazes me how by saying ‘yes’ to one thing, can lead to so much more. Last year I won a free entry to the Mount Somers’ Marathon thanks to Complete Performance, simply by answering a question on Facebook. Bill Irwin, a local photographer based in Methven, was taking pictures of the competitors that day, and ended up taking quite a cool one of me as I was just beginning the climb of death! Ha, it wasn’t actually that bad (I say now!), but I’m not too sure my smile would have been as quite as wide if I knew what I was in for!
I met Bill a few years ago while working at Latitude Media. He is an incredible photographer, better known for his amazing landscapes, but he also does stunning lifestyle images too. I first saw his work after he took some images of Austen Deans, a well-known artist in Canterbury (all you need to do is walk into a Woodhouse home and you’ll find half his collection) and a relative of my family. What struck me about these images was that Bill had managed to capture Austen exactly as I knew him, something easier said that done with portraiture photography.
So when a couple of days after the race Bill sent me a lovely email, asking if I would be keen to do a photoshoot with him, I was stoked. Not an email I get everyday (actually never), but definitely not an opportunity to pass up!
I met up with him near the end of last year for a day, firstly at his Studio in his house before heading outdoors for some action shots. The best part about this day was there were no real expectations from either of us. I had no idea what I was doing, and was more than happy to be instructed by Bill as what he wanted me to do, where to look, how high to jump!! I will admit it took me a while to feel comfortable, but having a laugh and making it fun took the pressure off. It works better for him that way too. He said, “trust me, I’ll come up with some images you’ll love.” OK!
In the past Bill has tinkered with portraiture photography, but he found it always ended up in the ‘too hard basket’ so he just kept on with his incredible landscape images that he knew worked. But the idea is still there, and hopefully he can build on his reputation and do more of this. The end result he’s after is not necessarily about ‘portraiture’ or just nice photos, but something unique, that captures the essence of the person in front of the lens.
The images that Bill took of me are amazing. And I’m not just saying that. While I love the studio images, it’s the ones outside that really make me smile. I don’t know quite what it is; the incredible colours, or it’s where I call home, or just the fact that I never thought I would do a photoshoot! Either way, you’ll find a few popping up around the place, like Say Yes to Adventure magazine! Thanks Bill, it really was an awesome day.
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Unknown