Geoff Franklin

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Tony Benn 1925-2014

Tony Benn 1925-2014

RIP Tony Benn 1925-2014

On beautiful autumn morning I drove up to Holland Park to make a portrait of Tony Benn at his house.

I was told I had to be quick as I had only 5 mins to set my lights and 5 mins to make the portrait.

This can be normal and fully expected it to be an in and out job.

I had photographed Tony Benn before at Party Conferences and public meetings but never a one to one portrait so I was looking forward to it. When shooting speeches at conferences concentrating on making images I hear what is being said but rarely listen, Tony Benn was one of those people to whom I listened. He was one of the great communicators of our time.

Knocking on his front door I was greeted with a warm smile and invited in where there was a large pot of tea waiting.

What I found was a really lovely person. My 5 minutes turned into two hours and I was invited to lunch but my parking meter was long up and I had another assignment to go on to, so sadly I declined.

Most of the two hours were spent talking, every now and then shooting a few portraits. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say and responded with questions and his own thoughts.

It was one of the most pleasurable two hours and relaxing shoots Ive ever done.

I feel I was one of the lucky ones to have met him and had the opportunity to make his portrait.   14/03/2014