This is something many people don’t understand about photography, that the kind of camera is so important to even how the experience of making the picture will be. I think this is the amazing thing is that you have all this equipment and all this kind of kit around and it’s quite complex, and yet maybe in a little way that’s something you learned from the ‘Living Room’, you don’t feel the intrusive presence of the photographer. It doesn’t seem as if there’s so much intrusion.
I think that is extraordinary, because we did all forget extremely quickly that that was going on. And actually the process that Nick’s just described, I had no idea and I was there the whole time. So that, I guess, says something also about the sensitivity, and goes back to the idea that Lee only worked with people he connected to, and he clearly had a connection with Nick, as he did with everybody else in the room, because nobody felt at any point that there was anything intrusive about it.
There’s certain ways of working where you have to be there but not be there. And I was very conscious when I started that people were informed that they weren’t really to talk to me. I wasn’t really there to kind of make friends with the staff. A lot of the staff, the first time I spoke to them was at the party after the show in the evening. I’m just kind of there but I’m not there. I wasn’t to be spoken to or befriended in any way. But then you’ve got to do that to get this type of picture really. It’s not easy.
It’s interesting, it’s not something that you can teach people to do, because I’ve tried that and you can’t do it. It’s funny. You can make this type of work or you can’t.