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Matt Seed Shoots Man Con

Published on November 2nd 2005.

Things that I hate; the smell of coffee, how wet the bottom of my jeans get when it rains, my little fingers, mascara goop, having to pay for a train that takes me to work, Jim Carrey, my parents always being right, the smell of aeroplanes and having my photo taken.

Now, I can’t do anything to stop a Starbucks popping up on every corner, just like I can’t stop the rain, and whilst I hate my little fingers, I’d only start to hate my hands if I cut them off. Mascara goop happens, the law of averages means that you can only ride your luck dodging train fare for so long, somebody somewhere (although god knows where) will find Jim Carrey amusing, being right is just what happens when you become a parent, and whilst aeroplanes stink I’m not not going on holiday. So out of all the stuff I hate, the only thing I can avoid is having my photo taken and from the age of 13 I’ve kind of managed it!

Not too sure why I hate having my photo taken, I think it started from secondary school photos taken, the height of your geekiness and plummeting self-esteem caught in a single shutter click. Wonderful. So, when it was decided that the workers of Manchester Confidential needed to have their photos taken for the website, you can imagine my lack of enthusiasm. It’s bad enough having friends and family see old school photos, but for gods sake, 30,000 people read Manchester Confidential! My only hope was to bribe Gordo, and whilst intense negotiations went on for a few days, there was no way out.

So, the dreaded day of the photo shoot came. Me and Faye headed off to the studio of Man Con’s favourite photographer, Matt Seed. Matt’s studio is just off Deansgate, desperately easy to find there was no chance of me getting ‘lost’ on the way there! Gordo had decided that he wanted some ‘quirky’ photos of the team (to show our ‘creative’ side) as well as the usual corporate head and shoulders shot.

Matt must have sensed we were both a bit nervous as he set us at ease by showing us some of his portfolio and the kind of stuff we’d be doing. Matt doesn’t go in for the usual corporate shot that comprises of cheesy grins and tired 50’s looking mottled backgrounds. With 14 years experience of fashion photography Matt knows how to strike the right balance between creativity and good representation to get you a corporate shot that you won’t want to hide away in the bottom of your desk.

Faye bravely went first, managing to muster up her inner supermodel she pouted and posed her way through the quirky shots, after a number of shots, Matt let her view the photos he had taken so far. We all liked a Saturday Night Fever style shot of her, so it was on to the head and shoulder shot which went fine. Almost too fine, as it seemed to be my turn all too quickly.

Matt however was great – knowing how awkward I felt he had a few tricks up his sleeve to get me to smile and to bring me out of my shell. So from karate kicks to kicking a football I managed to find a shot that I was happy with. I did find the traditional corporate shot slightly harder to do as you have to stand very close to the camera and whilst it may feel like a lifetime it really is all over in 5 minutes!

Matt was busy photographing the Man Con team all day, and whilst some of us loved it – a certain MD thought he looked like a supermodel, Kelly enjoyed flashing her legs as much as she did her jaffas, and Lindsay loved it so much she went twice – those who hated having their photo taken as much as me still managed to come away with shots that they were more than happy with.

So, the final photos are up on the site and I have to say we all look pretty good! And, whilst the odd spot, wrinkle and bald patch has been airbrushed away, we all actually look like ourselves. Well, everyone apart from me, since the photo shoot I’ve changed my hair colour, and although Matt is fab, I’m in no hurry to go back. Charlotte Church, your crown as the most photographed woman in Britain is well and truly safe!

All these pictures can be found on our Contact Us page, which means you can now happily contact all of us at your leisure.

Pam Wood

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