A Warm Welcome from the Iceland Boss


Thursday 15th March 2012


In the early 1970s, Malcolm Walker founded the high street food chain Iceland which he later sold to move on to other ventures.  Forty years after founding the chain, Mr. Walker and a business consortium have bought back the store chain in a £1.5bn deal…

I was commissioned by Andrew – Business Section Picture Editor – at The Sunday Times to photograph Mr. Walker for the Business pages.

The job was set up at 10am in a plush restaurant in Manchester city centre.  The brief was to get a strong portrait of Mr. Walker in the 10 minutes I was granted with him.  In these situations it is always best to be prepared early, ahead of the actual shoot, to make the very best of the timeframe.

Malcolm Walker Iceland - The Individual Restaurant Company

Upon arrival at the restaurant I scouted the ideal location – keeping the ‘set’ minimal – and I set-up and balanced my lights (a main shoot through brolly, a lower down fill light and a rear snooted highlight).  

Lights Set and Balanced...Ready to Shoot

I’m a little ‘old school’ here, and despite using the very latest digital cameras, I still rely on a light meter to balance my lights to best effect.  Once set, Mr. Walker was ushered in surrounded by his PR team…

A quick look at Wiki the night before had informed me that Mr. Walker had last year climbed the Northern Col of Mt. Everest and we were soon exchanging banter about mountaineering exploits, extreme sports and where the cup of coffee should be placed in the final shot!

Malcolm Walker - One of the First Poses

Mr. Walker was an absolute pleasure to photograph…my 10 minute slot soon expanded to 20 minutes, giving me ample time to experiment with set ups and poses.  

Malcolm Walker...Alternative Poses Were Tried

The resulting image was published in the ST Business section across 6 columns.

The Final Shot

My thanks go to Andrew for the commission – and to Mr. Walker for being so very relaxed and easy to photograph.