Always nice to score a hat trick of portraits of Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, and be assured a winner. As a documentary photographer my days of chasing the news on a daily basis have receded into the earlier part of my career. But none the less it’s enjoyable and important to still be documenting our times, and sometimes this coincides with news cycles.
Take the past few weeks for instance as the Scottish National party took a hard look at itself and reimagines itself for the next few years. Nicola Sturgeon suddenly resigns after 8-years in the hot seat as First Minister of Scotland, taking over from her predecessor and mentor Alex Salmond. And then a new contest to find her replacement as leader of the SNP and as First Minister, enter stage centre left Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf, all chasing the top job of Scottish politics.
As a photographer with an already established archive of our times, now housed at University of St Andrews photography collection, it has been enjoyable through recent assignments to meet with these three political hopefuls, to shake their hands, to sit close as they get interviewed and to examine them through my camera lens, watching them answer, watching them squirm under the intense questioning of my esteemed journalist colleagues. I get to see them up close, to talk to them, to see how they treat me, and to make up my own mind about them. It’s always fascinating, and always a privilege to be a photographer with a ringside seat in history.
As we now know, Humza Yousaf won the leadership campaign, and yesterday became the first Muslim leader of a national political party, and in doing so was today elected First Minister of Scotland in Scotland’s devolved parliament. Congratulations to him, he’s got a lot in his inbox.