I photographed Rankin at his studio a couple of years ago for The Times. As the most well known, successful, commercial photographer of his generation with access to the most famous and recognisable faces in the world, it is interesting to approach a subject with that kind of calibre burned onto his retina. Of course, like a murderer, you cannot necessarily see the history of a person from how they look but there are always clues to our nature and Rankin's performance revealed his understanding of the power of the camera. That's the problem with photographers as subjects, they know too much but with him that was the point.
I personally hate being photographed, it feels like a huge risk trusting someone with my image and I refuse to be photographed even casually by friends on days out. There is a sense of karmic revenge for my objectification of others that has led me to be uncomfortable about my visual identity. I am less uncomfortable about a machine capturing my image (see Photo Me blog). Perhaps Rankin would make me look fabulous; I still don't think I would risk it.
During our time together he showed me one of his many scrapbooks and inside was a card of my image of 'Woman in Backyard with Rocking Horse' . After the session, he gave me one of his books signed with the sentiment, "Thanks for making me look thin." in hindsight a reference to my interest in obesity and perhaps relief that that was not the reason the Times sent me.
Thanks to Hunger Magazine for the interest.
|Rankin © Richard Ansett 2013|