Not so Common

Now it’s been officially released I can let you have a peek at an extremely fun shoot I was commissioned to do for the Royal National Theatre’s production of Common back in January. It stars Anne-Marie Duff as Marianne and is set around 1800. They wanted to portray it in period and on location. Logistically it was decided to shoot it in London so I had an assistant recce  a few spots that would give us that wilderness look without an epic amount of travel. So thats how I ended up getting the sleeper down from Edinburgh to be picked up by assistant Keir then off to Chingford Plain on a chilly morning in the first week of January.

There I met up with Liam Relph and Ollie Wisner the creative team at NT. We stomped about and found the right location before Anthony turned up with his mighty fine crows fresh from a stint with Doctor Who. After a good while for costume, hair and make-up I got to meet Anne-Marie out in the field. Straight away it was apparent she’s very down to earth and great to work with. We took shots in a couple of locations , which took a while as I had to cater for  the dread, ‘side of a bus’ and ‘drop banner’ crops, every photographers nightmare!. That’s why the shot below is a stitch of about 6 shots to cater for the huge crops.

Apart from the laptop dying of cold half way through we had no mishaps. The crows performed right on cue every time which helped reduce much need to photoshop elements after. Anthony even had a choice of crow if we wanted one to fly, flap wings or just sit still. I made the shoot much less stressful than I anticipated. I think thats ‘Flamingo’ on her arm.

It’s not on till May but if you want to see it here’s the link

Anne-Marie Duff in the National Theatre's Common

Anne-Marie Duff as Marianne in the National Theatre’s Common


Assistant Keir providing me with blue screen assets – or is it an i-D magazine shoot?


Anthony Bloom with one of his crows

Anthony Bloom with one of his finely trained crows


Ollie Winser directs the birds

Angel (NSFW)


Been busy with commercial work in the second half of last year and got a bit frustrated at a lack of personal projects being ready to go. Especially over the Christmas holiday with so much free time. So I decided to do a few more in my nudes series as it’s so quick to put together and still a highly creative process. I planned a shoot with a model who shall remain nameless, who decided to bow out late the night before. Then totally by chance another model announced she was free, in Edinburgh the next day and would I like to shoot? Curious that her model name is ‘Angel’.

I had always planned to try out more experiments with projecting images. It’s tricky as even with a fancy powerful projector the light level is remarkably low requiring high iso and wide aperture, not the usual favourite of photographers unless you’re looking for that. Regardless I like the results and will continue the series some more. I’d love to be able to use flash with projected images but I’ve never heard of a system that allows it. Anyone?

Nude B+W woman with projected dots in the studio

Nude B+W woman with projected dots in the studio

nude woman in studio with projector light

nude woman in studio with projector light

nude woman in studio with projector light

nude woman in studio with projector light

nude woman in studio with projector light casting stipes

nude woman in studio with projector light casting stipes

nude woman lit with a lightening stripe projector in a studio. Black and white art nude

nude woman lit with a lightening stripe projector in a studio. Black and white art nude


So I’ve been shooting an ongoing project for several months. A lovely commission to shoot many award winning apprentices for Skills Development Scotland. This recently involved a road trip up to Inverness then onto Aberdeen and then a hop over to Shetland. I’m not long back and can’t yet share any of the images from that shoot as the campaign isn’t up and running yet. However, I did manage to have a few hours spare at the end of the Shetland shoot before flying home.  I asked some locals where the most dramatic bit of coastline was within an hours drive. They pointed me in the direction of Eshaness in the north so thats where I headed with my camera.

I realise now I never quite arrived there, after 50 minutes of driving across a beautiful barren landscape of deserted homes and sporadic colourful villages I turned a corner and found the bay overlooking Hillswick from Urafirth. It was so beautiful and dramatic looking into the light that I was happy to stop there, get out and explore. To be honest I didn’t at the time know if this was Eshaness or not, what with no mobile reception and scant road signs. With the wild remoteness of it all it seemed fitting not to know quite where I was.

I wandered down past a abandoned house complete with a very creepy pair of children shoes left at the end of the road, like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. I wondered if it was something thats done to mark an abandoned home, then realised I was being too dramatic and it was probably just a forgotten pair of shoes. Spooky and poignant all the same.

I walked along the clifftops for an hour or so with a wild wind forcing foam and rain up the wall of the cliff into my face and lens, then the clouds would part and it would be perfect sunshine for a minute before returning to a torrent of rain again, then back to sun again, over and over. I found my eyes constantly being drawn to the Jagged rocks breaking the surface of the sea in the distance, the light changing the same view dramatically every few minutes.

I had a two hour drive back to Sumburgh for my flight and managed to check my bags,  just allowing time to take the hire car down to visit the coastline by the monumental lighthouse nearby. Despite being the most notable spots to visit I saw not another soul out walking,  the only tourist about I was aware of was me.

Definitely have to go back and spend more time exploring. It’s bleak and barren quality is weirdly compelling and Lerwick has some beautiful wee corners. The whole island is a photographers dream.

Looking across to Hillswick from Urafirth

Looking across to Hillswick from Urafirth

Lerwick. Like it's a perfect Scottish town film set!

Lerwick. Like it’s a perfect Scottish town film set! The locals really do wear fair isle jumpers and sport enormous non hipster beards.

To enter or exit Sumburgh airport you have to drive over the runway!


Sumburgh lighthouse at the extreme south of Shetland.


looking west from Sumburgh in the last light.

The rather creepy childs shoes.

The rather creepy childs shoes i found in the long grass.


Here be monsters.

Lots of lonely isolated houses, many unoccupied.

Lots of lonely isolated houses dot the landscape, many unoccupied.


I just added a few of my remaining Shadow double exposure portraits to my website so I just thought Id mention it on my blog. I haven’t really done more work on this in quite a while but there are a few that haven’t been added to the site and every now and then I think of an idea and will often return to the basic portraits and try to combine them with something different. That produced the shot of Anaa-Lena with the feather Head dress. I  felt it suited a much more muted tone too, sometimes I feel my images are too literal and I just can’t stop experimenting. I know that can mean it’s hard to maintain a single consistent style but for me that comes second to the pure creative process. If it feels right to me it goes in.

See the whole series on the website here

Prints of many are available on Artfinder or contact me by email

Double exposure female nude of Anna Lena with feather head dress

Double exposure female nude of Anna Lena with feather head dress

nude double exposure of a woman with branches

nude double exposure of a woman with branches

nude girld double exposure with building

nude girld double exposure with building

double exposure nude of a woman with fabric

double exposure nude of a woman with fabric

double exposure nude of a woman with a metal structure

double exposure nude of a woman with a metal structure

Ben Turner

I took shots for the Lyceum Theatre’s production of the Iliad a while back and Ben asked if I’d take a few shots of him when I had time and he was still up here. We managed to squeeze in a quick session at the end of the run of the play. I knew he’d be a good subject after our rushed poster shoot, he’s an intense person and thats how I like them!

I shot him with dramatic lighting and a harsh process, rather in a similar style to the great Anton Corbin. It gives a Lith printing feel to the shots.

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Roarie Yum

I was recently contacted by Roarie, a free spirited world wandering model and creative muse. She would be in the UK and did I want to work with her? She herself picks the people she wants to work with and her motivation is first and foremost the creative process and will readily turn down a photographer if she isn’t inspired by their work. I’ve never worked with a model quite like her before but loved the edgy energy she brought to the shoot. She’s constantly on the move and is full of ideas and where I find I’m often trying to create a certain edge in images, with Roarie it was more like trying to contain her intensity.

I’m all too aware that shooting nudes can be a bit of a cliche but the process of working on this theme has been one of the most creatively satisfying projects I’ve worked on. I love that there’s nothing to clutter the image, just form and light, it feels like when I used to do life drawing with a huge piece of charcoal and work really fast. I love the speed and freedom. No clients, no brief, just pure creativity and beauty.

Prints for sale on Artfinder or direct.

Roarie Yum seated nude with stripes projected on her naked body

Roarie Yum seated nude with stripes projected on her naked body

Roarie Yum holding up a hare mask. Spotlight in the dark

Roarie Yum holding up a hare mask. Spotlight in the dark

Nude - Roarie V Roarie VI Nude - Roarie IIX Nude - Roarie x Nude - Roarie XI

Roarie Yum, seated nude woman in a studio. spotlit by a low light.

Roarie Yum, seated nude woman in a studio. spotlit by a low light.


I had the pleasure of shooting a wonderful Glasgow based model, the eclectic Miranda. Amount other things she’s a fine art student and a life model.  This really helps me when I’m exploring slightly offbeat themes. She was as enthusiastic as me about what we were trying to achieve and brought her own form of creativity to the shoot. I thought she had the perfect expression to capture that certain mythical, feral look I had imagined. To be honest I based the shoot on her look. I’m hoping we can shoot together more in the future.

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with the shadow of antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with antlers

nude female model as mythical god cerynitis with antlers

Ben Turner as Achillies at Lyceum Theatre

Ben Turner as Achillies at Lyceum Theatre

The Iliad – and the question of art direction

I recently shot these images for The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh’s production of Homers The Iliad. It’s Mark Thomson’s Final show as artistic director there and quite the epic to end on.

Right from the start I pictured a form of multiple exposures to show the main characters in not overly dramatic poses but also showing the chaos they create by the use of blood. I could see it in my mind but I couldn’t show it to the client in advance. Fortunately, Ben Jeffries, Director of Communications at the theatre, was trusting enough to let me try this approach. This is hugely appreciated! It highlighted to me the lack of faith I feel there can be in photographers abilities to bring their own vision to bear on a creative project that all too often can be entirely art directed in advance of any communication with the photographer themselves. There are times I feel it would be more appropriate to don a white lab coat in the exercise of ‘now copy this,’ style of uncreative art direction. The best course is a balance, bringing the ideas of the art director at the early stages of a project to the photographer to see how their creativity together can help create something greater than the sum of the parts. Often a final photograph is the best idea of a non photographer. I wouldn’t dream of telling a designer how to layout their page, it’s not my speciality. So why does it happen the other way around!

Poster for The Iliad at Lyceum Theatre by Homer. Ben Turner as Achillies, Helen by Ameira Darwish and Thetis by Melody Grove

Poster for The Iliad at Lyceum Theatre by Homer. Ben Turner as Achillies, Helen by Ameira Darwish and Thetis by Melody Grove

America Darkish as Helen in the Iliad at Lyceum Theatre

America Darkish as Helen in the Iliad at Lyceum Theatre

Melody Grove as Thetis at Lyceum Theatre

Melody Grove as Thetis at Lyceum Theatre

Conemen ride again

Yay! Just opening tonight, (12th March 2016) is the New York Times Art for Tomorrow conference being held in Doha Qatar. Louise Hunter from Summerhouse media was kind enough to invite me to exhibit there alongside some world class artists. All the framed prints were collected the other day and shipped out.

I’m showing five of my Conemen images as well as The Watchers (from Mythoslogos). Sad not being able to attend but hope the work is well received.01The-Watchers-Laurence-Winram- 02Conemen I-Laurence-Winram- 03Conemen IV-Laurence-Winram- 04Conemen III-Laurence-Winram- 05Conemen-Dragons-III-Laurence-Winram- 06Conemen-Dragons-II-Laurence-Winram-

Saving the World isn’t just for the movies!

Being a photographer you used to being asked to do some pretty daft things. But when I was called up by Jim Swan at the Leith Agency to discuss a shoot that involved a car blowing up on behalf of the Scottish Government  I was a little surprised and well interested. When I saw the visuals I loved the environmental concept and the film poster style of the campaign, something that suited my more theatrical approach to photography.

I did start the process of researching literally blowing a car up, which no matter who you are, let’s admit it, we all want to do! However, the client wanting to use a £70,000 Mercedes lead us down the retouch route.

The shoots themselves were relatively straight forward, especially after getting my assistant Elliot and friend Mihaela to run through the actors rolls with banana and croissant in hand as well as getting Elliot swinging around in a harness. That meant I was all prepped for lighting and the crucial comping angles to match the backgrounds. Thanks to Sarah Lauder for her epic production skills!
greener-banana greener-car

Harris Distillery Portraits

These are shots of Donald and Peter, two of the new distillers at Harris Distillery. After taking shots of all the distillers in their work at the distillery I took shots of them going about their own lives.

Donald like most folk on Harris has a boat and does a bit of fishing so we took a wander down to the bay by his house. Like a lot of folk on Harris he was very laid back and perfectly at ease in front of the camera.

Peter is a coastguard so he can be got up at any hour of the day or night to deal with emergencies. He easily wins the award for the most enthusiastic member of staff, I couldn’t get him not smiling. I took shots of his stepson, Cameron with his ducks the last time I was over.

Shooting on Harris was the most rewarding job I’ve done last year, especially at the end with the amazing ceilidh with the band Skipinnish for the grand opening. As I had to meet and photograph so many people it felt like a big family get together with over half the population along for the night. I so hope they ask me back to take more images, it’s a job that feels like a holiday!Harris distillery portrait Harris distillery portrait

Movember shoot

Get yourself a Movember portrait!
Send your Movember ‘tashe pals along to the studio (63 Brunswick Road Edinburgh EH7 5PD) on Friday 27th November between 5pm – 10pm for your very own Movember hi res Football card portrait wearing one of my provided vintage Toffs football tops.
Add yourself to the event;
(please no beards! It’s a ‘tashe thing) Mo sistas welcome though, I have fake ‘tashes for them.




From a recent shoot in the studio. Still trying to explore nude photography. It’s hard not to repeat yourself and you need to be very organised in advance with what you want to do otherwise it’s easy to waste the time you have with a model.

I especially like the effect of the tilt shift lens, it lends a slightly more impressionistic slant to the shots.

Some of the images are for sale on Artfinder

nude girl standing with a black fabric like mask over half of her

Emma VI

nude girl crouching B+W

Emma I

headed naked girl

Emma IV

naked girls back

Emma V

Ayla Rose Nudes

Ayla Rose – Nudes

I have been shooting a few more nudes recently on the back of my Shadow project. Ayla Rose is the first professional nude model I’ve photographed. The shoot worked out very well, it made a real difference having a model who was so familiar with the process and who was so professional. I love the opportunity to be completely free with form and light. I’ve always felt more in tune with painters than most photographers and I feel photographing nudes for me is about as close as you can get to painting.

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So Nikita is a model I shot for a client of mine the other day. She was very into doing some personal photos and came to the studio for a session. We spent ages messing about with double exposure, fabric, feathers, the lot! I love experimenting, especially when the subjects are into it. Shot a few of these on my new 85mm tilt-shift lens which I totally love. The crow was shot with daylight alone, a nice change for me. Nikita and the crow is for sale as a signed edition print on Artfinder

The double exposure image, Nikita II will be added to my Shadow series. It’s also on Artfinder

Nikita and the crowNikita II

Double exposure prints for sale

So I just added this image, ‘Mihaela I’ and a few others for the time being to the Art Finder website. It’s available for sale as a signed edition of 30. They have been selling at the exhibition in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but an online gallery is good to offer this to a wider audience. This one out of all the images in the exhibition seems to be the favourite. I’ll post a few others that may not have been seen. Check out the Artfinder site here. I’ll be adding to that gallery a lot more.Mihaela I

it’s all in the stars….

Filmed this in the grounds of Menzies Castle by Aberfeldy in Perthshire. 13th August 2015
The sound you hear I recorded on my phone at the time I was shooting. I thought it was a deer but I’m not sure. Any thoughts?
It was wonderfully spooky, especially with the mist rolling in. The traces you see are satellites. The occasional flashes are the meteors.

Shot as single frames on a Canon 5D Mk III then put together in Final Cut pro X

Exhibition looms!

I have been asked to exhibit some of my work at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in July. I am intending to show the images from my recent Shadow series, mostly double exposure nudes. To that end I’ve been shooting for this in my free time. It’s a lot of fun playing with ideas and creating just the feel I want. A lot of the images have been of Sophie who originally modelled for me in commercial projects a few times. I didn’t realise at the time but she was the perfect model for this series as she has worked as a life model in the past and is an artist so understands the creative process perfectly. That makes a huge difference when you’re working on something personal as it often involves a fair degree of searching around to find the right direction.

Two of these have been shot on my home-made tilt shift lens, I love it’s etherial quality. The double exposures are easy to produce but very hard to get just right.

Anyone women interested in modelling for the series please email me on


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I was filmed in an interviewed the other day by a friend of mine Les Stelmachowski for one of his Fitness Soul podcasts. We do discuss sport as that’s how I know him, but mainly it’s all about my photography. Click on the link below, (not the image)

My interview with Les

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 15.03.02

Public Talk at Napier University 

I’ve done this kind of thing before, a talk in front of a roomful of semi interested students who don’t always have the choice about whether they want to be there. It’s actually generally a fun thing to do. I feel a strong sense of obligation to help out students as it was professional working photographers visiting and talking at my uni that made all the difference to me. It left a big impression. So that’s why I like to do the same for students now and it usually ends up with me blurting out every possible bit of advice and pitfall to avoid I can possibly muster in a non too eloquent manner.

This time though, Sophie Gerrard, photography lecturer at Napier Uni has asked me to talk to her final year students but has also made the talk open to the public…. and they’re calling it a lecture….. It all sounds a bit grown up and serious! They’ve even made a poster for it! (At least I’m looking svelte in it, being taken 12 years ago – with me standing on the bubble cable release)

It’s supposed to be about being a commercial photographer, which is fine although I’d much rather talk about personal projects as they consume about 98% of my brain. However, I’ll strike a balance and go over both. One of the problems is that it takes many hours to prepare properly for a talk and I’m always so busy! I’m trying in my spare time to collate new info and images to make it as fresh as possible but if you’ve heard me talk in the past you can cough loudly and yawn when I start telling one you’ve heard before. Questions at the end.

My biggest fear apart from the nerves is that it’s full of photo nerds that want to talk about gear! Zzzzzz. sorry guys!

If you want to attend this stream of consciousness then you need to RSVP Sophie Gerrard the lecturer co-ordinating it at Napier.

RSVP for a seat

Where Napier University, Merchiston Campus lecture theatre B2

When 5.30pm 26th May 2015



Having a look at a few more from our shoot the other day. I don’t seem to remember her having horns at the time. I think they suit the low lighting.


a nude girl crouches in a dark studio with animal horns

The Dorcas Creed

My good friend Matt Armstrong came by the studio with his new  partner Helena the other day and this happened! Fortunately Matt and Helena are broad minded and creative people who embraced the notion of a portrait like this. I stretched invisible head across the set passing it through the middle of a single candle. I didn’t foresee the image being exactly like this but when Matt held the horns in front of the candle it became clear what would work. I can’t decide if Matt looks just like Gilbert of Gilbert and George fame, or is it Philip Larkin? Regardless I think they look suitably bohemian and members of a group of whom’s creed it would be ne’er impossible to fathom. The style of the shot I thought was reminiscent of Man Ray. I’ve always loved that period of surrealists and Dadaist art.

In an earlier incarnation Matt was a member if the most excellent Kaisers and is always dressed immaculately in threads of a vintage no later than 1974.BLUE3493-2-candle-lit-portrait-with-horns


Recently I’m becoming aware just how much a sitter brings to a shoot. If someone is happy to sit for me then I’m happy. But I’ve found that when they share something of a similar artistic nature it adds so much more to the image. I suppose that would seems obvious to most but for whatever reason I’m now becoming much more aware of it.

Sophie is an illustrator and her artwork has a pretty dark feel with a heavy dose of weird, so she was well in tune with how I see things. She didn’t have to have to play a part in our shoot, her strength of character loomed large the whole time, in fact I’d say it dominated the shoot. I did intend to use some of these for my double exposure series but it soon became clear that there would be way too much going on to add anything else to her images.  I wish all my sitters brought this much to a shoot!

Prints of these and others available direct from me or on the Saatchi website. Once again, any women happy to pose do get in touch.

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