Portrait of a Friend

Staying with the theme of portraits, today we have Sam. I found Sam in the streets one early evening. Dirty, bedraggled and wet from the incessant drizzle of a miserable grey Berlin day, Sam was lying abandoned. At first I thought an errant child may have mislaid him, but it quickly became clear that Sam had been maltreated and required immediate care. His seams were splitting, and his insides leaked from his body as I lifted him from the pool of dirty water. Covered in grime, his fate was in the balance as I took him home and began to carefully wash him, all the while pushing bits of foam back into what at first appeared un-reparable splits. But later, after he had dried out and the seams carefully re-stitched, his body seemed to hold together so I made a place for him in my apartment and he stayed.

Quiet and contemplative, Sam is never in the way, always there when needed, a perfect friend really. It has been ten years since that fateful day, he’s still a little fragile and requires odd maintenance, but is never a problem.

For the shot Sam was sitting on an upturned soft-box set to very low power. Another flash, at 10 o’clock high with a white umbrella attached on camera left side, was the key light. Light was bounced back into Sam’s left side by a white reflector. The picture was processed to imitate the look of a Polaroid print to give the image a nostalgic look.


24-70mm, f5.6, 1/125sec, ISO160


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