Farewell Suzanne

Suzanne Salandy was not, I have to admit, someone I would describe as a friend.
She was, however, very much a business acquaintance and someone who had earned my respect over years of work.

I'd met her six years ago when she began working at Gayelle in programming. Like many jobs at the television station, she was called on to do different things and one of them was herding new hosts down to my studio, which through a happy accident of geography was a couple of hundred yards away from Gayelle's St James offices.

I'd undertaken the work as a pro bono project, providing photographs for promotional use in return for an opportunity to record the performers, artistes and personalities who were participating in the formation of the new broadcasting concept.

From there, Suzanne went on to GISL and I lost track of her for some years before meeting her at a funeral one hot morning. We chatted, I gave her my card and was pleasantly surprised to hear from her in October last year.
We shot a project that month and I had a great time working with her again, shaping images for a project using members of staff from Parliament where she was working as the Director of Corporate Communications.

This photograph is part of an entire class of portraits that I take from time to time, test photographs done before the subjects come in to check how my light meter readings actually play on a person. Over time, I've sent off photographs to tea ladies, executive assistants and PR officers who might otherwise never have ended up before my lens as a thank you for their impromptu modeling.

I was surprised when she actually agreed to stand in during my final tweaking of the lighting and this photo is so very much the way I remember her, cocky, constantly evaluating the situation and looking right back at me with a look that says nothing more than, "Really, Mark? Really?"

After I got over my shock on hearing of her passing two weeks ago, I went rummaging in my files to double check whether I remembered correctly. I had. Suzanne had consented to stand for three photos, one an uproarious laugh that was so very much her and this one, which I think will always be the way I think of her.
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