Of everyone I photographed for this series, Adam posed an interesting challenge. I've come to know him over the years as being easy-going, open, and a great laugh. I assumed that these qualities would fall naturally into place to make for an uninhibited shoot. But from the outset I got a feeling of restraint - that he was holding back.
Adam's appearance has changed quite a bit since 2012 thanks to his beard. I decided to make it a focal point of his portrait but after an hour or so it wasn't working out quite as I wanted. I got the sense that he was always very aware of the camera's presence, even if he didn't say it, and catching him with his guard down was proving more difficult than I had anticipated.
In the second half of the session I thought I would mix things up and ask him to do increasingly exaggerated expressions and actions. One of these was him furiously scratching his beard. What surprised me was that the more of these shots we did, the more I could see traits of his character coming through - particularly his humour.
And this is why this photograph works so well. The clenched teeth, narrow eyes, and titled head are full of expression but it does not come across in an especially serious or aggressive way. Instead it has a comedic element to it.
The earlier poses we attempted were not demonstrating, to me, the depth of Adam's personality - someone who can be very animated, passionate, and witty. For all his wariness at the beginning of the shoot, it took this moment of playing up to the camera for Adam to forget it was there.