‘My name’s Jamie – as you must have gathered,’ he said, ‘This is my dad’s shop and that’s Lucy, my mum.’ He pointed to the woman behind the counter who was now serving someone else. Lucy seemed to Mel to be about the same age as her own mum – perhaps a little older ‘Come with me and meet my dad, Tony, and we’ll have a chat about the job and why you’re interested.’
He led her using the doorway that he’d disappeared through shortly before, and then up some stairs via a small landing halfway. The landing at the top was long and narrow – made narrower by boxes stacked one side. Part-way along, he held open a door and beckoned to Mel to enter. The room’s use, she saw, was primarily a gallery displaying A3 size framed photographs of different types of subject – landscapes, street scenes, portraits, sports events and wildlife. An older man – tall, but slightly shorter than his son, white-haired and casually dressed – was standing by two comfortable chairs – side-by-side along the back wall. Another chair was placed nearer to her, about two metres away from and facing the other chairs.
Jamie walked past Mel to stand beside his dad.
‘Hello,’ the older man said, ‘Please sit down and make yourself as comfy as that chair allows.’ He pointed to the chair closest to her. ‘My name’s Tony Hannay. Did Jamie here ask you what your name is?’
Tony and Jamie sat looking at her and smiling. Tony had one cargo-pants leg crossed over the other at the knee. He rummaged in a pocket of the mid-grey fleece he was wearing, withdrew his spectacles and put them on. He tilted his head to one side while he waited for her to reply.
‘Er, Good morning, I’m Melissa Harrington,’ she said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m a bit nervous. I just came in on an impulse when I saw your card in the window. Is that alright?’
‘That’s what the sign’s there for, Melissa,’ he assured her. ‘Thank you for coming in and asking about the job. Obviously, if you’re interested, we’ll need to ask each other a few questions, but we won’t be trying to trip you up. Just relax and let’s see where that leads us.’
Jamie began by asking her age and where she lived, and then he moved on to her experience and qualifications. She explained that she’d studied at the nearby city University on a three-year BA Honours course in Photography and Moving Image. She’d left with an upper-second class degree. She’d hoped to find work in journalism or film production, but all the organisations where she’d applied had wanted a lot more experience than she could offer. She told Jamie that photography was also her hobby – and had been since she was at secondary school. The genres she was most proud of were her landscapes, waterscapes and cityscapes, but she also enjoyed doing portraits and wildlife photography. She said that she could email them copies or bring in her portfolio so that they could judge her work.
Tony said that he wouldn’t need to see her portfolio to help him decide her suitability, but that he would be very interested to look at them anyway. He then asked her what type of camera she used. Both he and Jamie were suitably impressed by her choice – some still living famous professional photographers had taken some of their best work on such a camera.
Tony asked what she’d been doing during the three years since leaving university.
‘I haven’t actually had a full-time job since then,’ she admitted. ‘I spent nine months or so job-hunting without success, then I decided to travel – backpacking with a friend.’
‘Right,’ said Jamie, ‘Tell us about that.’
I still don’t have any photos that would reflect today’s post about job-seeking so I’ve just included another photo that I took last Wednesday at Crosby Beach, Liverpool at sunset. The beach is home to a permanent installation of Iron Men statues by the sculptor Anthony Gormley. I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera paired with a Pentax 28-70 mm f/2.8 lens.
The EXIF data were as follows: Shutter speed 1/80 secs @ f/4 and 24 mm. The ISO was 100.