The Angry Corrie 13: Jun-Jul 1993

Great Photographers of the Mountains No. 2:
Lord Lichfield

As The 43rd Earl Of Lichfield and cousin of the Queen, one has unrivalled access to the royal lands and duchies. As Patrick Lichfield, top fashion photographer, one has equally unrivalled access to the world's top models. One is therefore often asked by one's top photographic chums, Bailey, O'Neill, Donovan etc, "why don't you put the two together and take some unprecedented photos of the world's top models disporting themselves in the glens and meadows of Royal Deeside?" get your subs to put in the scotch word for meadows. Well don't think one hasn't considered it. Often when taking those informal Balmoral family snaps of Diana, Charles, William and fill in ....... ... the other one's name for me I have mused on how Naomi Campbell would look posed in front of Lochnagar or Christy Turpitude in front of I don't know any more of the damn hills' names put in a couple for me. But that's exactly the difference between a top snapper such as oneself and the hoi paparazzoi cluttering outside Kens Pal with their fully auto Nikons. One knows in advance the shot would not work. There is a quality to the light found in Mustique which just cannot be captured in this country and certainly not in the scotch highlands.

Now some would say "what about that shot of the Duke of Kent in the Masonic Regalia? It was taken in Scotland". Two points arise. Firstly, my models don't usually get to wear anything as warm as the Masonic Regalia. Secondly, the Masonic brotherhood aren't scrutinising the location for glamour content. At least I didn't think they were at the time; subsequent events have caused slight doubts in my mind.

When shooting the Unipart calendar I have a number of criteria to satisfy and one of them is to make these garage mechanics good and jealous. And only half the job is done if they're merely jealous of me for ogling the birds. perhaps you can adjust "birds" to whatever terminology suits your reader profile. One has to be careful these days. They have to be bloody annoyed that I'm doing the ogling in the Caribbean too. And if you think that with my rarefied lifestyle I don't know tyre fitters, bear in mind that the Aston Martin can only spin out a Michelin Steel Radial for about 5000 miles, so I'm in Kwik Fit as often as I am the Cromwell Club.

Of course there have been occasions when I have used a scotch location. I recently photographed young Tanya Buchanan on the family farm for Harpers. She is a gem of a girl, straight out of the top drawer, but the drab greyness of the light and the scotch mist conspired to make an inordinately long day of it. If I hadn't had a hamper stuffed with pheasant and Bollinger in the back of the Range Rover we'd not have survived. How different from my recent Bacardi shoot with Yasmin off Port au Prince. And of course if one makes a positive editorial decision for mist there are very efficient machines for it.

TAC 13 Index