Chloe described how she retrained with a year’s course at the London College of Printing and then started out in freelance photography, covering family portraiture, weddings, corporate assignments and, of course, travel photography. Reflecting on her own successes and challenges, she offered nuggets of advice to others: be bold, confident, quick, discreet, respectful, friendly, curious, patient, inventive, whilst at the same time checking the lighting, settings, equipment and results! She also said we should be' a thief and a copycat’, in so far as looking at other people’s work and taking from it pointers and ideas to adapt to our own approach. I think the example of ‘just be bothered’ that we will all remember is how Chloe, on a student assignment, realising that she had spent twenty-five minutes of a precious shoot with Cherie Blair without a film in her camera, ‘bothered’ to ask for Cherie to return for five minutes more. She got the shots.
Alan Larsen specialises mostly in underwater photography and his joining Chloe’s trip to India was to explore and improve his other interest, travel photography. He found the greatest challenge was to work with the camera off a tripod - part of what he described as a huge learning curve. He started his presentation with a five minute slideshow and then used specific images to illustrate how he used Chloe’s advice to get in close, to try a wide-angle lens, to look at differential focus and to interact with people to capture more engaged portraits. This seemed to involve some time sitting on a traffic island, where he became something of a point of interest to passing motorists. It was really interesting to see images from both speakers taken at the same time: watching a man washing clothes by hand, for instance, and waiting for the right alignment of colourful laundry and flying soapsuds nicely demonstrated the ‘be patient’ advice. Similarly, we all became familiar with the interior of a particular barber’s shop, as Chloe and Alan circled around, looking for the right uncluttered background and satisfying composition.