Portrait photography in Clapham, SW London: Elvis

I had great fun taking these pictures – if in superfast 15 mins flat –  just before things kicked off for an evening of live entertainment courtesy of Book Slam at the Clapham Grand a few weeks ago.

I’ve seen Elvis McGonagall perform before – at Suffolk’s Latitude festival a few years ago and more recently at a poetry event at the Landmark Centre in Teddington.

He is absolutely brilliant –  and to sum it up this brilliance I would simply say go see him and you’ll enjoy that rare and winning combination of content and delivery –  hard-hitting, topical and very very funny poetry mixed with stand-up.

I met up with Elvis before the gig started and we shot these in rapid succession in a tiny corner of the courtyard at the back of the building.

I wanted to try to capture Elvis with a series of expressions that matched the multiple moods expressed in his poetry and we did this simply by me calling out words from a card in my pocket and asking him to interpret them. It was a bit like being back at school in warm up for a drama lesson but Elvis didn’t seem to mind!

In the next post I’ll follow up with some head and shoulder portraits that we took right at the top of the building next to the ladies toilets (the only place in the Grand with any natural light coming in) –  and some of him performing that night to the delight of the Book Slam audience.

A super bright, very funny poet – and a lovely man. Go check him out!



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