I recently was commissioned to photograph a portrait of Anas Sarwar, member of Scottish Parliament and leader of the Scottish Labour Party, for the Financial Times.
The portrait shoot took place here in Glasgow, just after the interview for the same article. As ever I arrived early and had a scout around the neighbourhood, to assess suitable locations for doing the shoot. It wasn’t the greatest of locations near his offices, and not many of the options felt suitable for the article, there was a nice lane behind his office, but covered in murals and graffiti- maybe nice for some other shoot, but not quite what I was looking for on this portrait occasion. Or outside and nearby there was a little elevated area overlooking the motorway, but the gate was padlocked and closed, access denied.
But then, with Anas, he’s a charming affable chap, so first names are fine I feel, we took a short walk and we came across this wall, with the blue’ish bricks, matching his suit, and giving a dignified backdrop. Nice, clean, stylish and letting the portrait of him be the dominant feature.
This wasn’t the first time I’d photographed Anas Sarwar, having spent time photographing with him in Glasgow during election campaigns. It’s always enjoyable to meet politicians, listen to the interviews, listen to them talk, and to get time to see them in action, how they deal with and speak to people. The beauty of photography really, getting you up close.