I had a very brief opportunity last week to photograph Robin Williams and director George Miller, who were in town promoting Happy Feet 2 and gave an interview to Time Out.
It was one of those 1 minute shoots in a hotel bar type deals, with Robin and George on a production line from AAP to me, then on to the Daily Telegraph. But i’ve got to be happy with a brief window of face time, as often there’s just a mass media call where they plonk the talent in front of a Sydney landmark while dozens of photographers yell out to get their attention and eye contact down the lens. Or worse, the red carpet.
In terms of lighting this, i used my little photoflex octobox that mounts over my Canon Speedlite. It’s a nifty bit of kit because it’s so portable and light, doesn’t need mains power, and is super quick to assemble.
I’m a little disappointed in my shots with Robin. He’s such a livewire personality onscreen and i was anticipating catching an element of that in a picture. But he was really not in that headspace. He was extremely calm and measured and not giving much on camera. But perhaps a more introspective picture of him isn’t a bad thing?
Admittedly i was rather intimidated, its Robin Fucking Williams in front of my camera, so i was less pushy and creative than i might otherwise have been. Before i knew it the publicist was saying “last picture” and that was that.
I felt like i got just that little bit more from George Miller. He was very warm and happy to goof around with his glasses for me. It’s little moments bits of collaboration in a picture, where the subject brings something to the table that make me walk away from a photo feeling more satisfied.