Michael Hulls

Photographer: Gavin Evans

Why did you choose the photographer you worked with?

I know Gavin, I like him and he’s a brilliant photographer.

I hate having my photo taken (I’m not very photogenic so usually I look like some rubbery-faced squinty-eyed oddity) so it was important to work with someone that I get on with and feel relaxed with.

How did you come across him/her?

I first met Gavin socially several years ago through Javier de Frutos who Gavin had been taking production and publicity shots for.

What was it that you wanted to express about yourself?
Why this photo/this composition?

I wanted the portrait to have atmosphere and texture which are very important concerns in my work. It also had to have very good lighting and a mixture of light and shade which again are extremely important in my work. That work is about creating theatrical dance worlds that stimulate the imagination so I wanted the portrait to have a theatrical and imaginary quality to it.

I wanted it to have a personal reference to my work which wasn’t about me being in my work environment, but about the moment when I take a quick break from that environment to nip outside for a sneaky cigarette.

I didn’t want to be actually smoking in the portrait so it’s a bit furtive, hidden, and I’m just seen in a smoky atmosphere.

This particular photo had just the right quantity and distribution of smoke, texture, atmosphere and light and shade. I didn’t look too rubbery-faced, nor like a version of the Elephant Man which some of the more densely smoky and obscuring shots did!