This shoot was a lot of fun, but probably the most eccentric assignment I’ve been given so far! Also one I was strangely qualified for as I’d photographed Elvis impersonators before, by chance, on the Southbank. The concept and brief had already been thought up by the Equality and diversity team at St. George’s University of London, so the task was to make sure I could capture it effectively on the day. They were after a series of striking headline images for the front page of their new Equalities & Diversity website, and had settled on the idea of different members of staff playing Elvis. I have to admit the route from the most impersonated person in the world to what I imagined would still be a rather formal Equalities website, was a little unclear to me. The pitch from the team was that there was a unique phenomena to Elvis, where age, disability, gender, race and ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation weren’t a barrier to people impersonating the iconic singer. The members of staff who took their turns playing Elvis were all game and didn’t take too much encouragement to pull off different poses, although only one was brave enough to try the wig! I like to shoot with the minimal equipment, so I improvised the backdrops using the brightly coloured lift lobby areas (I wish I could’ve got the reactions of people passing by!) and a flash gun. There was some manipulation to saturate the backgrounds to get the Elvis suit to pop out a bit.
The link to the website, which now only features one Elvis can be found here.
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