Recently I got around to arranging a photo shoot as I needed a picture to send out with my bio details for work. It’s taken months for me to get around to this as a) I am the least photogenic person in the universe, possibly because b) I hate getting my photo taken.
Anyway a photographer whose work I really like, Ferg Campbell, happens to live locally so he and his is able assistant Paul Le Comte came by and did their best to capture me on film. I say did THEIR best because I inadvertently did my best to squint, slouch and look angry.
Part of the deal though was to recreate a ‘famous’ New Zealand photograph. I hope that the original photographer takes this as a compliment or at least doesn’t cringe.
Pauline and Florence (2013) Ferg Campbell [click pic for larger image]. Ferg created a B&W version too but I like this one.
I love the symbolism that the blurb on the Govett Brewster page attributes to this photo
“Self-portrait with Rooster has a brooding anxiety that is offset by a touch of the theatrical. Man and rooster look equally ill at ease. With an injured expression, Peryer clasps the rooster to his chest protectively. Roosters, with their associations of virility and machismo, are usually depicted strutting proudly, displaying glossy plumage. The rooster that Peryer clutches so anxiously seems rather bedraggled. As well as their popular association with male sexual potency, roosters also suggest the Biblical story of St Peter. When Jesus was arrested, St Peter escaped arrest himself by fearfully denying his relationship with Christ :before the cock crowed” as Christ had predicted he would. The two Peters, photographer and saint, are conflated into a tragic-comic figure who stands, back against the wall, as if before a firing squad, glaring anxiously down the camera’s lens.“
As for my photo, I am a midwife and I am holding a hen. Hens lay eggs, eggs are fertility symbols. As an aside, Saint Bridget is the patron saint of midwives and poultry farmers (and lots of other stuff). I’ve recently found out that her feast day is my birthday. You know…whatever.
And yes we got a few great shots that I can send out with my work bio, but I am really tempted just to go with the chook photo.
NB – all my best wishes and love to Peter.