To take the portrait of Fergus Fung, the founder of the WOM Guide. The word of mouth guide ‘for those who love to eat’ was launched in 2005 to help guide those eager to delve into Hong Kong’s culinary scene.
I was asked to take Fergus’ portrait by Berry Bros. & Rudd, the family-run British wine and spirits merchant, during a visit to Hong Kong. The situation, as I walked into it, was the portrait to be taken during lunch with Fergus, a representative from Berry Bros and myself. The Berry Bros representative had brought with him several bottles of wine to taste over the meal, held in a restaurant located half way up one of Hong Kong’s many high rise buildings near Central.
Taking a portrait during a meal is less than ideal; the table setting, often immaculately laid, is normally disputed within seconds of seating. Composition is made even more complicated with the serving of food and drink let alone the actual action of eating, which is never attractive and should always be avoided. Long and short, a situation which may seem straight forward is in fact a situation which should be avoided if at all possible. In this instance lunch ran over schedule which worked to my advantage as it meant the restaurant had dramatically emptied with office staff returning to work and the staff had already started setting up the tables for that evening and dinner service. It was then straight forward to ask Fergus Fung to sit at a newly laid table and compose his portrait.
It is easy to become despondent if a situation is less than ideal. Sitting at the meal trying to find a shot was not a productive use of time. What was useful was recognising this early and then keeping an eye out for other locations and other instances where the portrait could be taken.