Country Life - The Great British Hobby The original idea was to photograph people showing their hobby and where possible incorporate their job into the picture as well. This was only possible on a few occasions, my favourite of which is Andrew Gow who is a portrait painter who loves spearfishing. I decided to photograph him as if he was having his portrait painted in his studio complete with wetsuit, flippers, weight belt, speargun and fish. So having picked up a fish from Sainsbury’s on the way to the studio, we got to work. Everything was working well, the flippers were fantastically enormous but something was missing, the photograph really needed the finishing touch of the snorkel mask. Andrew had drawn the line at wearing his snorkel mask as he thought he’d look silly wearing it, so having let him do most of the shoot without the mask, I persuaded him to wear it for the last few frames, it was absolutely perfect and luckily Andrew thought so too. I met all sorts of fascinating people, one of which was Keith Schellenberg. A member of the British Winter Olympic Toboggan Team in 1964 he collects vintage toboggans. I’d asked him to wear something to give an impression of the period, consequently, he came striding out dressed in tweed plus fours, red socks, his original 1964 Olympic bib and helmet. A true British eccentric he insisted on having a couple of his Highland cows in the photograph as his brake men. ‘Never work with children and animals flashed through my mind’ but the cow and the massive bull that were brought in behaved beautifully, something to with the people hiding behind the hedge with food perhaps ? The project also gave me the chance to experience some very different working environments, the world’s largest vertical wind tunnel, were you had to empty your pockets, take any jewellery off and absolutely everything has to be securely strapped down and shooting from whilst flying with what looked like a giant desk fan strapped to the back of a chair with a canopy ! I could go on about huddling in the middle of a field with the sun fast disappearing waiting for a ton of horse to stop careering around, the sound of the bagpipes being played in the hire studio, going for a ride in one of the earliest cars, meeting a Kennedy and offering Tom Aikens a croissant from Starbucks, which he ate by the way. It was a brilliant project to work on and I absolutely loved it.