THE FULL PICTURE - CLARE HEWITT

''Often I think of my camera as an extension of my arm or an amplification of myself. When I’m shooting and it’s going well I can feel it, hear it or sense it, and the same thing happens when something isn’t quite right.

''This happened when I’d been commissioned to photograph actress and singer Charlotte Ritchie. It was just a couple of months after I’d stopped assisting and started working independently. Whilst photographing Charlotte above a restaurant in Soho, each roll of film seemed to wind on and on unusually, advancing past the twelve frames that I was used to. It was only my third or fourth commission and I was nervous so I kept making pictures, silently praying the problem was in my imagination.

''When the contact sheet came back from the lab I realised I’d somehow shifted the dial on the side of my Mamiya to its multiple exposure setting, and I’d been shooting over the same frames twice during the time I had with Charlotte. I apprehensively sent the portraits to Annalee Mather, the picture editor at the Independent Magazine. She was wonderfully open and supportive, and went on to publish one of my technical accidents rather than one of the usual single exposures, much to my happiness.

''Sally Mann once said, ‘I depend on serendipity…I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance,’ and after my shoot with Charlotte I’ve stopped being too concerned with control and have wished for the same as Mann ever since.''