The wonderful thing about studying for a creative type of degree in London is that there are lots of opportunities for research. One still has to do a fair bit of travelling, I work on the premise that if I know where I am going it takes about an hour, if I don’t I’d best allow an hour and a half, it seems to work!.. Getting back to the story, as always there is research to do this term. We have been asked to look at details of jackets. Which for me, based on other research I’m doing means taking photographs of suits in a department store. Which can be easy or tricky, depending on who’s on the floor.
I have worked out a plan though. I used to use the honesty method, it doesn’t work. I still need the research even if they say no and it all becomes exhausting.
So my method of choice these days is to find myself in a space without shop assistants. The emptier the better. Start snapping.
The flash gives it away but with a fair wind, bright department store lights and work fast, you can get thirty to forty photos very quickly. Then I act surprised, apologise profusely and offer up that I am a student in need of primary research from the University up the road and they’ll normally let you carry on and trot off at that point. Be under no illusion, this is a trap and it is generally short lived.
Keep snapping, do not stop as before you know it, someone more senior will arrive and ask you very gently if you could stop. By that time you should have more than enough research under your belt and you can smile sweetly, thank profusely and leave.