Today I was going to a shoot with a model named Chloe - Chloe wanted to have some portrait shots taken in a meadow full of cowslips and buttercups. It had been raining most of the day and we had to scale a wall topped with barbed wire to get into the field. The wild flowers were quite deep and our legs were soaking as we set about our shoot - we needed to suffer for our art.
A few minutes passed by two men approached us from the road and I half expected to be told we were trespassing on private land. Instead, Sean one of the two men, asked what we were doing and wanted to know if the photographs were for sale. He explained that today was his father's funeral and they had been holding the wake at his mother's house looking out onto the field. They thought a few of our photographs would be a nice memento of the day and I was more than happy to send some.
Chloe and I thought it would be a nice gesture to go up to the house and photograph the family too which Sean was delighted about. We were introduced to some of the family members and offered drinks and food and an opportunity to dry off.
All the guests were ushered into the garden and I got them arranged for a group shoot (Sean insisted Chloe join the group too. It was at that point I made the terrible error of judgement of saying "OK everyone smile" to which someone replied "It's a funeral" at which point the whole group cracked up laughing. So I asked them instead to pull a sad face which some of them were happy to attempt while the others kept on laughing at the situation.
This set of photos show that people can be very resilient in the face of death and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the break from "normal" behaviour. A truly surreal end to our day and a chance to meet some genuinely lovely people.