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Leicester City star Shinji Okazaki in Sunday Times

The Sunday Times had used my portrait of Leicester City star striker Shinji Okazaki over a half page and online here. The only location available to me was a meeting room at their training ground and had to fit in with various interviews. My three lights were set-up in silence during  TV interviews which meant I had no opportunity to test everything before Shinji was ready to be photographed. In all I took just 20 frames of him before my time was up and having checked the file creation times on the first and last frames shot they both read 11:13am so I did the whole job in less than one minute. This is a brilliant example of having faith in technique and knowing equipment inside out. There was zero time to fine-tune  so everything had to work properly (including me) and thankfully no bits of kit proved temperamental. Editorial portraits against the clock like this are almost always a case of making the most of a situation and getting something out of what often seems like nothing. In this case I read somewhere that Shinji Okazaki enjoys being on the dance floor so decided to make a feature of my own lighting rig. I did consider using coloured gels on the flashes behind him but thought that would be pushing my luck with so little time available. Maybe next time.



©Michael Powell /

Michael Powell on BBC One Show discussing photographing Donald Trump

Following on from my blog about the day I met Donald Trump (scroll down), the BBC One Show contacted me and asked me to take part in their feature about the new President. You can find it here. It’s the first feature on the show. I was filmed being driven around Gloucester in a custom Trump Cadillac limousine designed and built for Donald Trump in the late 1980’s while being interviewed on the time I spent with him at Claridges back in 1996. The car has an automated drinks machine fed by supplies of booze in the boot, fax, shredder, safe, NEC 9a phone and TV. Apparently Cadillac wanted him to order fifty but he stopped at just two. The interior is awash with varnished teak, leather, Trump logos and gold fittings. It has a 5 litre engine and unsurprisingly we had to stop for fuel while filming.

Weirdly, Donald Trump is not my family’s only link to the USA Presidency as my father found himself playing golf with Vice President Spiro Agnew in the early 1970’s. The President at the time was the infamous Richard Nixon. Agnew’s tenure was dogged by corruption allegations and he became only the second Vice President to resign from office. I don’t know if he ever cheated at golf but according to my father nobody lost a ball as the course was teeming with secret service agents operating as ball-spotters.

Michael Powell,Donald Trump,Cadillac limousine

BBC The One Show 19/1/17

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The day I met Donald Trump

Some chap called Donald Trump appears to be in the news rather a lot right now so I thought I’d search the archive for the shots I took of him back in 1996 for The Times. The now President Elect was on a visit to London during the week of his 5oth birthday. At the time he had ambitions for a London Trump Tower. It never materialised. I don’t know why but given the recent emergence of statement buildings on the London skyline he may have been ahead of his time. Unusually there was just him and me in the room for the shoot; no PR, PA or security. I suspect this may never happen again. I recall setting up my lights in a room containing a Trump Tower model so used it in the shots. He can’t have been in a hurry because we chatted quite a bit and looking at the shots again I had time to move my lights around. After getting the steely-eyed serious shots I needed I asked him for some smiles. He said I should tell him a joke. I can’t recall what it was but it worked as there is a nice sequence of him laughing to and away from camera. I tracked down my diary for that year and I shot The Donald late afternoon. My first job that day was a portrait of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts followed by the actress Eleanor Bron whose career includes a role in the Beatles film Help! and is said to be the inspiration behind Paul McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby. Quite a day. Look out for the forthcoming post The day I didn’t meet Bill Clinton. Really.


USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996.

USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996. ©copyright MichaelPowell /


USA President Elect, Donald Trump photographed with a Trump Tower model a week before his 50th birthday in June 1996.

©copyright Michael Powell /



©copyright Michael Powell /