Between the Lines - Portraits of Authors In 2009 I presented a concept to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This was to produce a ‘live exhibition’ of portraits of authors and exhibit them on site. The Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) is the world’s largest book festival and is part of the world’s largest festival that takes place annually in Edinburgh. After some logistical hurdles they kindly agreed and what has become an annual pilgrimage began. I describe the exhibition as a ‘live exhibition’ because it is shot on site and the work is uploaded, retouched and printed the same day ready for hanging the next day. It thus grows day by day with ever new work. The studio I work from is not, as has been suggested, a penthouse studio but an outdoor backdrop in the gardens of the Book Festival. There is no pretence or pretensions and the set up negates I work quickly and with a simple lighting set up. It is also a leveller for the great the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone is shot on the same background with similar lighting. ‘The studio’ is exposed to the elements has no privacy. As a result it allows extroverts a stage to be exposed, and offers little hiding for the shy. This combination of circumstances coupled with my own approach has produced a vast series of portraits unlike any previously seen of authors and has grown to become the largest live exhibition in the world. In portraiture I want to capture an element of humanity in the subject. My goal is not to flatter or deceive. I have anything from a minute to twenty minutes with each person. Often people have seen the work and ask to be shot so preparation can go out of the window and a lot of the success depends on the ability to get on with the subject. I do not like to have too many preconceptions of people but much prefer working one to one.