More Delegation

Bernard and Rachel poring over the display on his camera, with Nefertiti on the easel to be photographed.

Before Christmas, but still, thanks to an arm injury earlier in the year, very much later than I had hoped (remember the original report, on the first photography session, was in April!), I took the remaining Amarna pieces to the wonderful Bernard Rose for their portraits to be taken.

In fact, we had a great time, because although it’s fair to say I was delegating everything about the photography to Bernard, he took a very collaborative attitude. He was interested in the stories I was trying to tell, and the impressions I was trying to convey, and that meant that, rather than just going “point and shoot” (albeit with better equipment and lighting!), he put great effort into bringing the best out of the various pieces.

The first of the main panels, set around the Map of Amarna, is set up vertically on a table, and the gauze overlay of Nefertiti is suspended from a framework of pipes and clamps. You can just see the photographer to the side and frome the back.

Although, halfway through the morning, as he tried to develop a structure from which we could hang one of the overlays, he did comment on the level of puzzle-solving being demanded of him, which is apparently not entirely usual with other clients!

It’s a good thing that my arm injury is reduced to a mere occasional twinge, though – there was quite a lot of heaving things around, and the two main panels, now consisting in each case of four wooden frames screwed to a half centimetre or more of MDF, are really quite heavy and awkward.

The Nefertiti Shawl swathes a metal mannequin, set in front of a sandy coloured background

The mannequin belonged to him, too. The battered paintwork helped to bring out the idea of something inspired by archaeological discoveries. And the fabric drapes beautifully, in spite of the heavy embroidery, and the additional layer of the lining.

So I think all the photography is now done – although I will be writing a bit more about what I observed and learned during the two sessions.

That’s a relief!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    The shawl looks amazing on the dress form. It brings out the softness as well as showing the patterns as they look in life. You are very lucky to have inspired such a clever photographer!

  2. Jillayne says:

    A job well done then – love the shawl – it looks wonderful draped on the mannequin like that.

  3. I am sure most professional photographers want to do more than just ‘point and shoot’. As this is a commissioned work Mr Rose obviously needed to know what you wanted.
    Also, these pieces are not just samples of ‘pretty embroidery’ but are of academic interest. Surely anyone would be interested to know more about the background and do a great job.
    The shawl drapes beautifully.

    I hope your arm is recovering steadily.

  4. Lin says:

    Great to have someone so interested taking the pictures and yes, the shawl does look lovely!

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    This post takes me back to my days in fashion when we would do photo shoots for advertising and catalogues.
    I learnt early, you leave it to the expert. He/She sees it with a different eye and most times gets just the right shot.