Other People's Jobs: No5 the photographer

IT'S ten o'clock. 'I get a lot of my business by pulling things round,' states Andy, setting up his big umbrella flash gun. 'I pull things round and help people out of the shit. You've got to do it. They're good to me. I'm good to them. It's only right.'

Andy, the Professional Photographer (established in fine premises called the Coach House; formerly, in fact, a cow-

shed), is moralising. He's moralising because he's just been on the phone and someone has asked him (successfully) to fit a rush job into his already rushed schedule.

The model ('I'm the sort of model who gets a lot of check-shirt jobs') crouches patiently by the open bonnet of a car. He's been wiping his hands underneath it to make them look nice and oily. 'Do you think my hands are oily enough, Andy?'

The idea is that Paul (the model) is a DIY car mechanic who spends time getting his hands nice and oily. But, no problem. Because now there's a new product: Spit and Rub (not its real name). You pour a tiny sachet of blue crystalline powder on your hands; briskly spit on them; give them a good rub. Dirt and oil falls off; your hands are left spanking baby-clean.

'Can you hold the spanner a bit more to the front? Give it more glint . . . Yeah, that will do. No, it doesn't matter that it's not connecting with a nut. It looks right.' But then the rush job arrives in the hands of a smooth, pink-shirted, slightly ruffled man. He wants some photographs copied. Suddenly there's a lot of bending and crouching in a different part of the studio. There's also a little bit of bantering of the tense and humourless variety.

Andy: 'Have a look Jim.'

Ruffled Man: 'It's all right, I'll trust you.'

Andy: 'You're the first person to trust me. Ha. ha. Ha.'

Together: 'Ha, ha, ha . . . ha ha.'

Back to the main job of the day. 'We need a bit more texture. A bit more mood,' says Andy. The model looks like a Vermeer painting with the addition of an axle-jack. Light is flooding under the car from a spotlight. The photographer's assistant, Mark ('This is a realistic situation. This is real. This is the real thing'), is busying himself removing fat cables out of the shot. Then the Creative Director arrives.

The Creative Director, wearing a shirt that looks as though a wigwam has collided with a vegetable stall, says: 'It's a lovely day,' in a dull voice. He moves to the darkest and coollest part of the studio to take stock of the situation, then hops around the set a bit: 'How are we doing then?'

'We're not a million miles away now,' says Andy.

'His hands aren't oily enough.' So we start again.

Three o'clock and there's a problem with the lighting. Creative Director: 'I want something really subdued. Really moody. Is there a problem with doing that?'

Andy: 'No problem, but his thumb's out of focus; it doesn't seem as crisp.'

Creative Director: 'Well kill his thumb then. But I don't want overkill.' Once everything has been killed and the test Poly (Polaroid) has come out okay, Andy loads a film and clicks. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.

It's half past six and after much clicking the job is over.

'Greeeeat,' says Andy.

'Yeees, greeeat,' says the Creative Director, not to be outdone.

'Ace,' says Andy.

'Bloody hell. Ace,' says the Creative Director.

As Andy flicks through the Polys, something strange happens. His face slips from its bearded pink to a bearded puce.

'I don't believe it,' he says.

'What?'

'No, I don't believe it,' he says once more. We wait. We wonder. Andy's jaw drops a bit. We continue to wonder.

Eventually he points to a infinitesimal bit of blue and red on the Polaroid. This bit of blue and red is wedged between tiny bits of green, orange and transparent things which are arranged on the amateur mechanic's work-shelf set up for one of the shots.

'What's wrong?' asks the Creative Director.

'That's the Polaroid box. It's in the shot. I left the Poly box on the shelf.'

'No one will know,' says the Creative Director truthfully, 'it's microscopic.'

'I know,' says Andy. 'But it's not professional.'

The young photographer's assistant who has spent his day 'dumping' power packs (which involves setting all the flash guns off so a little humble lightning fills the studio), shifting props around, fetching sandwiches and making coffee, looks admiringly up to Andy. Given the disparity in height he actually looks down admiringly on Andy but with a quotient of respect writ large enough on his face for everyone to be aware of it. He doesn't mind staying another hour, or another 10 hours if necessary. This man Andy is a Professional. -

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
TVDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories
comedy

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?