Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Rankin: ‘I see the person, not the celebrity’

Rankin is undoubtedly one of my favourite photographers. Not just because he makes wonderful pictures but also because he is a truly right on bloke. I found this interview with him in the Telegraph By

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The moment Rankin glimpsed the Queen laughing with one of her staff, he knew that was the shot he wanted. “I watched her walk down this long corridor at Buckingham Palace with a guy who must have been at least 6ft. She’s tiny, and she was looking up at him, smiling and chatting, and I thought, ‘You’re exactly what I want you to be. You’re a real person’. ”

But the photographer, who shot Her Majesty back in 2002 as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, had only five minutes, and was desperate to make her laugh again. “So I started saying ‘Ma’am’, like ‘jam’. ‘Ma’am, you have to smile, please’ – I was like Austin Powers. And she just laughed at me. She was really funny, making a lot of jokes – very dry. Photography is all about collaboration – and she gave it to me.”

The end result is the Queen grinning in front of the Union flag. “She wrote back to me, having seen the shot, saying, ‘I love the stitching on the flag’. That’s the Queen’s way of not having an opinion. That’s classy. It’s like saying, ‘I like the photograph, I’m just not commenting on myself’.

“David Bailey took a photograph of her last year and he made her laugh as well,” he adds. “His is better than mine. I was quite young when I took mine. He’s a bit nearer her age. His is so brilliant. But then, I made her laugh first!”

In much the same way that Bailey documented the Sixties, Rankin catalogued the Nineties, befriending the celebrities he shot – Jude Law, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue – dating models and generally having a very good time. This was partly aided by Dazed & Confused, the style magazine he launched in 1992, which was at the forefront of popular culture.

Read the full article here

Other articles about Rankin

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/rankin-todays-great-photographer-and-a-thoroughly-decent-bloke/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/america-in-pictures-the-story-of-life-magazine-by-rankin-on-the-bbc/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/rankin-hunger-tv/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/the-addiction-of-photography-rankin/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/lillian-bassman-talks-to-rankin/

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