Written by David Yarrow for his blog
When a known photographer leaves this world, there is never the time or the space to remember too much of his or her work. There tends to be just 3 or 4 iconic images that transcend over the overall body of work, that will always be remembered. It is these 3 or 4 shots that define a career.
I am not sure where my career will take me and I am not sure whether I have taken an iconic image yet – I will let others decide. But I do know that this photograph, which has been unveiled today as part of the TAG Heuer #DontCrackUnderPressure campaign is probably the most powerful shot that I have ever taken. Yes, it was a commercial shoot with one of the world’s most famous women, but I think it goes beyond that and the image will be coveted by collectors. It grabs the eye and then holds it in a vice-like grip. Everything about the work is viscerally powerful.
I look back on that day with great emotion and there are so many people to thank. None more so than the British icon that is @CaraDelevingne. She is – of course – stunning, but she is also authentic and intelligent and couples this with admirable work ethic. Furthermore, on this day, she was incredibly brave and fittingly did not “crack under pressure”. This image is not manipulated – there was 5 yards between her and the lion. At no stage did she show tension or anxiety and that made my job so much easier.
I think a key to the image was the reasonably powerful directional late afternoon sunlight, as the shadows on both Cara and the lion are so consistent that the authenticity of the image can’t be questioned. In the morning, the light was flatter and therefore the lion and Cara were not as visually linked as they are here.