BE­FORE AND AF­TER

Through th e NCTJ Pho­to­jour­nal­ism course, his tw o years with THETIME S and day-to-day work on th e st reets , Leon has list ened to many ex­pert tips , but th ere’s one he alw ays prac­tises him­self

NPhoto - - Interview -

What is the best piece of ad­vice you’d pass on to some­one start­ing out?

For get­ting re­ally in­ter­est­ing pic­tures, I would say the most im­por­tant part of any job is the bit be­fore it starts and the bit af­ter it fin­ishes – and this is some­thing that I try to act on all the time. Say it’s some­body about to make a speech: as they walk into the room all they’re think­ing about is: ‘How is this go­ing to go down?’ They’re not con­cen­trat­ing on how they’re look­ing, so as they ap­proach the podium you might get a wave, or a wink, or a scratch of the nose, then as soon as they start they are in their com­fort zone be­cause they start talk­ing, do­ing their power ges­tures and they have a nice script in front of them, they know where they are. Then as soon as it fin­ishes and the ap­plause be­gins, they’re off-guard again and you might get some odd ex­pres­sion. I guar­an­tee that at both of those two points, whether it’s Labour Party con­fer­ences, Tory con­fer­ences, big an­nounce­ments, any­thing where some­body is in the spot­light, the best pic­ture and the one that will inevitably be used the next day will be from out­side the part you were sup­posed to be look­ing at.

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