Saturday, May 23, 2015

H Craig Hanna

H Craig Hanna, artist, March 23, 2013.

I first came across the talented Mr. Hanna when Charllotte handed me his sketchbook. "Here," she said. "You will never believe what we found in Paris." In the warren of gallery spaces known as the Left Bank, on rue Bonaparte, she had found the Laurence Esnol Gallery. Hanna's work was visible from the street.

I did a little research. I looked him up online, trying to find out if he might be a good subject for a portrait. He looked like a pugilist from Hemingway's Paris. Not without a certain nervousness I contacted the gallery and introduced myself. Then the answer came: Craig liked the sample photos I sent him and was willing to do a shoot. Timing might be difficult. Was I flexible?

On the last day of my visit to Paris I got a message from the gallery. Could I be there in an hour? Indeed I could. I felt considerably out of my league. I was in Paris, five-thousand miles from home, with some black velvet cloth and a portable studio set-up in a roller bag. I had support though. My seventeen year old daughter, Esmé would be my assistant. Together we did a quick set-up in the gallery. The results were exactly what I wanted.

Photographing Craig Hanna in the Laurence Esnol Gallery. Esmé McLaughlin-Brooks

In the end I need not have been so apprehensive. Craig was humorous and engaging. Laurence Esnol was kind, generous and very accommodating. During the shoot I had talked to Craig about differences between photography and painting. Before I left he inscribed the front of my copy of his sketchbook.
A photo captures a moment in time.
A painting is time.