Eamonn McCabe is a famous freelance photographer who works for national titles like the Guardian. He won many prices like the Sports Photographer of the Year and that a record of four times, in 1985 he was the News Photographer of the Year. Nowadays he appears regularly on TV or radio to talk about photography or he writes books.
I got him to know through one of his books “Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize 2014” where he presents the 14 best pictures for the (like the book title says) Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize in 2014 and let the photographer tell their stories about their picture.
McCabe himself tells a lot about his work in this book. He shares his experience from different sessions – good and bad ones.
McCabe describes the process of taking a portrait as an intimate one and as a really intimidating situation. His experience with the photography session with the actor Juliette Binoche was one of the stressful one. He only got 10 minutes in a hotel room for an amazing picture. But the room has the perfect lighting and a wonderful background, so there were few things less to be worrying about. After the icebreaker the session went down smoothly but nonetheless it was one of the more stressed events in his career.
One time, McCabe was asked if he took an image of beauty itself. He presented many beautiful pictures, even the one of Juliette Binoche, but none of them captured beauty itself but the picture of the writer Zadie Smith.
McCabe writes about this photograph too. He had no good start with Zadie, she was nervous and McCabe only had this chair as an interesting place in an otherwise boring hotel room. He took many pictures of her in this armchair but none was really that picture he needed, so he asked her, if she could lean back and she had done it and immediately, a more intimate atmosphere was created and a beautiful picture taken.
I think McCabe’s portraits are unique in a way that they show the person’s charm and aura and that one can really look at them for a long time though the reason I chose to present you Eamonn McCabe is because I like his experience and that he talks about it.
MCCABE, E., 2016a. Eamonn McCabe [viewed 15 October 2016]. Available from: http://eamonnmccabe.co.uk/
MCCABE, E., 2016b. Eamonn McCabe [viewed 15 October 2016]. Available from: http://www.eamonnmccabe.co.uk/biography.html
MCCLURE, R. and E. MCCABE, 2014. Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize 2014. United Kingdom: National Portrait Gallery Publications
THE GUARDIAN, 2016. Eamonn McCabe. The Guardian,March