DAVID EUSTACE ( J I j - A \ . l
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Star of Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary 'People think he's just a heartthrob but he is a really nice, genuine guy.’
© 60 (NP.
10 THE IJST 10 Oct—23 Oct 1997
DAVID EUSTACE began working life behind bars. Now the ex- prison officer shoots stars for a living. Our cover star, This Life's Jack Davenport joins a host of other big names in Ego, a show of portraits by Eustace.
Words: Susanna Beaumont
Photographs: David Eustace
lT BEGAN WITH holiday snaps in Ibiza. David Eustace was doing the natural holiday- maker thing — taking photographs. A decade on, Glasgow-born Eustace’s photographs are more likely to fill the glossy pages of style magazines than the family photo album.
Ewan McGregor. lrvine Welsh, Mike Leigh. Edwina Currie. Eve Arnold. The list of Eustace’s subjects is index-linked to fame soaked household names. But as Eustace admits. with full-on frankness, his career as a photographer came as a bit of surprise.
There was a time when Eustace, raised in Glasgow‘s East End. knew more about ‘life inside‘ than light meters. A prison officer at the city‘s Barlinnie Prison for seven years, Eustace was more acquainted with the crime scene and custodial sentencing than the heady world of stardom. '
All that changed in 1988. Post-lbiza, Eustace became hooked on photography. He joined a camera club and quit prison life for a course in photography at Edinburgh‘s Napier University. ‘On the Friday I was at Barlinnie and the next week I was back at school,’ he says. ‘Here were seventeen and eighteen-year- olds telling you about life and I wasn't sure if you had to put your hand up to go the toilet.’
Eustace soon wised up to student life. After Napier. he kicked hesitancy aside and took on the heavy-weight glossy magazines. ‘It wasn’t a set-down plan like some military exercise and I had no idea how the industry worked but I‘d heard of Vogue and GQ.‘
Eustace is a man who understands tactics. He began beefing up his portfolio after dropping in a request at the stage door of an Edinburgh theatre where larger than life actor Robbie Coltrane had a one-man show. The manoeuvre was successful.
The rest. as they say. is history. After writing to GQ. Eustace was commissioned to take photographs of Japanese theatre director Yukio Ninagawa. Since then. his subjects have included Hugh Grant. Sir Paul McCartney. lman. Jack Davenport and a host of other stars.
‘None of them have been arseholes.’ says Eustace. ‘You are no threat to these people. You let them be themselves.”
Ego, a show of portraits by David Eustace sponsored by Kodak, is at MNS Photocolour. 263 St Vincent Crescent, Glasgow, Sat 8 Nov—Sat 31 Jan. For information, call Robert Montgomery 8: Partners, 0171 439 1877. See Jack Davenport feature, page 8.