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Iain T

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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Iain T

17 Mar 2022 8:14AM   Views : 527 Unique : 179

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How do you write an obituary for someone you have never met, and who most of the people you are writing for will never have heard of?

I know about Iain Thompson because so many models have spoken well of him: a genuinely nice chap, who had followed an arc from being a keen amateur to being a full-time photographer, and then out of the game and into a car business.

The good things: he was good to models, paid well, and worked efficiently. He was a whizz with lighting, and won the respect that really tells from his customers, in the form of a constant demand for more pictures. He will be missed by all who knew him, and some who did not.

The bad: I sensed, from reading his blog several years ago, that he was a professional photographer who would not be taking his camera on holiday. There was a weariness showing through, despite his good reputation. And the problem was what so often happens: mission drift. He had started out as a professional shooting erotic nudes: he found that his customers were consistently asking for raunchier material. He wanted to make beautiful images: the clients wanted pictures that would attract their customers to pay for website membership.

He brought real honesty to his job, even then. The guidance to models given on Purpleport is drawn (with Iainís permission) from what he used to have on his own website. The first comment about getting naked on the internet: DONíT. Society at large canít tell the difference between art nudes and porn, and so every model who has ever appeared naked in print or on the web has lost reputation, and may have some sorts of employment blocked. Put it another way Ė how would you react to your childrenís teacher having been a top shelf centrefold?

I know from experience how judgmental the world can be about this: it is far, far worse for those who stand in front of the camera than those behind it. Iain was singularly clear to potential models that the plus of a big cheque for a dayís work might be balanced by worry and risk later in life.

A good bloke: the thing I remember most about him was that I picked up from his blog that a specific videographer in Yorkshire had an appalling track record of abusive behaviour to models, and was actually a convicted sex offender. I worked with a model who was about to travel there, and after checking with Iain by email, I was able to warn her of the potential problem. She worked with Iain several times Ė I donít know if she cancelled her trip north, or whether she took additional measures to protect herself.

In a sequel to Chinatown, The Two Jakes, Jack Nicholsonís character, a private detective who specialises in marital work says ĎWhat I do may not be reputable, but I am. Iím the leper with the most fingers.í If that seems like faint praise, please go back and read the previous paragraphs. Every model Iíve met who worked with him speaks highly of him, regardless of the sort of pictures they posed for. Not every photographer gets that.

Two or three years ago, he retired from the treadmill of feeding websites quite suddenly, and devoted his photographic energies to high-end tuition with his model partner. I suspect that change had been coming on for several years, and we exchanged messages again: my impression was that he was much happier.

Iain T died before he reached 60, and had, apparently, had a heart condition that had failed to slow him down or douse his energy. Iím so sorry that I never met him Ė I think he would have been excellent company. I feel desperately sorry for his partner (who is very well-known as an art nude model), his family, and his friends Ė they must, I think, be many.

Comments


ugly Plus
14 9 58 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2022 8:50AM
It so sad. My best wishes go to his family.
I understand his pain from other people.
I think sometime it Jealousy from people they want but can not do.
Iain knows how to blend a person with nature the rough with the smooth.
Magic work great skills he will be mist.
17 Mar 2022 9:16AM
Very well written and expressed John. Paul.
17 Mar 2022 11:07AM
Hi John.
I heard this sad news from Alya (who I worked with last week) it was brought up in conversation after I mentioned about booking on one of Sarah's all inclusive model holidays.
Like you I had never met him, but got the sense that he was a great photographer well liked by all models.
Andrew Appleton was the same, although I did go onto a couple of his workshops.
cooky Plus
18 6 6 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2022 10:41AM
To be so well remembered by his contemporaries and spoken highly of by his models, speaks volumes John. Lovely tribute to Iain.

Kath

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