8 Feb 2008

Humour in photography

It is always a mistake to assume that everyone shares the same sense of humour as yourself. In fact there are lots of people who have no sense of humour at all. I try to avoid these people whenever possible... the exception being pompous people, who I find hugely amusing and funny.

I have always enjoyed injecting a gentle sense of fun into my photographs. In fact, when I was working for The Daily Express, I got a reputation for what we called affectionately the ‘Silly Jobs Department’.

Over the years I have been commissioned to photograph some profoundly silly things.

I was once sent by a highly prestigious magazine all the way to Fiji with a life-sized pot replica head of the of the captain of the England rugby team. I remember it was in a very large and heavy box. England were due to play Fiji in the Rugby World Cup, and I was told to get a photograph of the Fijian front row players sat around a cooking pot in which they were boiling the English captain’s head. No, jobs don’t come any sillier than that. All very non-pc these days. If you would like to see the results of this extraordinary trip, you will have to put your requests in the comments and say please – I don’t show these pictures to just anybody! It can be all too painful to me. Still, I got well very paid and the pictures were given a tremedous spread in the magazine.

I’m delighted to say that even quality newspaper are not immune from having a little fun and I have posted a photograph I took for The Daily Telegraph here in the UK, together with a copy of the newspaper cutting showing how they used it.

The secret to success is to be 'gentle' with your subjects. I find nothing in the least funny about about crude and obvious jibes.

Well, you’ve got to laugh, it’s better than crying.

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