I enjoy watching behind-the-scenes footage of photography shoots and although I've had my Sony a99 for nearly a year now I haven't really worked with it as a video camera. So when I heard that Brighton headshot photographer Mark David was going to take to the streets to spot essential body types and take on-the-spot portraits of them to use on his website markdavidshots.com to help explain an esoteric casting theory based on the Enneagram - a system that divides human personalities into distinct types - I asked if I could tag along in the middle part of the day for the purposes of a brief documentation. Mark had an assistant - Hungarian photographer Agnes Wonketoth - working with him and I'd like to thank them both for letting me film them as they worked.
The Body Types Enneagram is not to be confused with the better-known personality types tier of Enneagram theory. Mark's interest as a photographer is only in the physical characteristics of his portrait subjects. He believes that the Enneagram is almost always at work when casting directors make their choices. He uses an encyclopaedic knowledge of film and TV actors to illustrate the way complimentary body types and combinations - as set out in Enneagram theory - can be seen in everything from soap operas to Hollywood blockbusters. His unique 'selling-point' as an actors' headshot photographer is that, knowing this, he can accentuate the body type in his portraits to assist directors in their casting choices.
I was surprised at how few people met Mark's criteria sufficiently strongly for him to stop them and request 5 minutes of their time. But he reminded me that he was on the lookout for pure representations of the six essential types : Lunar, Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Mars, Jovial. Most of us are paired combinations of the six classic types. There are also triangularly-combined types, so it all gets a little confusing. He had me down as 'Jovial' with a mix of Saturn - or was that Venus or Mars, I don't remember.