I first stumbled across Eli online back in November 2016, his PurplePort profile immediately caught my attention so I had to drop him a line. Alas he wasn't in the UK at the time, but stoked with the fact that he had returned my message I was keen to put something in place for his return. Several months later we eventually hooked up, he struck me as confident and ambitious with his feet firmly on the ground. After a brief chat putting "the plan" together we fixed a date and met one evening in June.
We kicked off at Smithfield Market, a place I'd walked through daily on my way to and from my day job. I always felt it would be a great location for a portrait shoot, with its airy industrial feel and partially open roof inviting the sky and plenty of natural light through. Being a grade II listed building I expected it to be riddled with security ushering us along, this wasn't the case, we had plenty of time to get the shots we wanted.
Our session led us onto the Barbican estate, another of my favourite haunts with its brutalist concrete facade and never ending walkways. I joked with Eli that he was secondary to the location but at times I literally had to reel my instincts in and return focus to my human model who, after all, was the real star of this show.
Overall I was impressed with Eli's professional attitude to the assignment, he turned up on time, was keen and ready to hit the ground running. He didn't need much direction, he's played this game before; for a photographer branching into pastures green this was a gift, putting me instantly at ease. His dark chiselled looks and moodiness goes hand in hand with my style of photography, needless to say future collaborations are definitely in the pipeline.
Smithfield Market / Barbican Estate