‘Hammer’ was the last shot at the end of a long and, at times, stressful day. The last location was Granville, apparently only metres from where the Granville rail disaster took place. By this time the light was fading fast – fortunately I had purchased a ridiculously long power cord the day prior and the very obliging owner of an adjacent workshop allowed me to power my studio flash unit.

Originally the image was of just the model and building behind (no hammer) and it lacked the strength I was looking for. Then the word ‘perestroika’ hit me and I went back to ask the very obliging workshop owner for ‘a large tool, preferably a hammer’.

As this image was for my portfolio, I had arranged a contra deal with the modelling agency – use of the model’s time in return for images for her portfolio. Proudly showing the agent the final images, I found that she disliked all of them except one – after a day of shooting 100 frames of 6×7 film I had, to my embarrassment, taken only one of her smiling.