This was one of those typical editorial jobs you get assigned to if you shoot for dailies or even weekly publications; very last minute, seat of your pants type stuff. This particular shoot was for the Financial Times and came in a few hours before the shoot; when I got the call I was on a rare day off, covered in mud excavating part of my garden! I dropped what I was doing grabbed my kit and headed out for the job. On the way to the job I was phoned by the publicist to tell me that they were running late and that I would have less than 5 minutes with the subject as he had to go on stage to do a talk. Not what I needed to hear at that moment – but this is the nature of the beast.
When I finally arrived at the location I had limited time to find somewhere to shoot – the venue did not lend itself and most areas that might have worked were too public and there were queues of people there to see him. Shooting out in the open would have meant people interrupting or standing in the background taking photos – not ideal! I found one small room that offered a glimmer of hope. One of the walls was covered in posters, another was large and magnolia with a giant heavy sofa in front of it and the other had a large mirror and air conditioning unit attached. This was the room I had to make it work in, so I reaaranged what I could and lit it to minimize the distracting background. In the end I had maybe 2-3 minutes with the talent and had to get what I could.
In the end Mohsin was a charming sitter and somebody I felt I could have had some very interesting conversations with. If you haven’t read the ‘Reluctant Fundamentalist’ or seen the film, I urge you to seek them out.
Just to give you an idea of the room. Lit with 2x Profoto B2’s and brollies.