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.
Tara – Amazing shoot with Tara the other day. She was very clear about how she wished to be portrayed, in a strong and confident way. We had all kinds of ideas, some more impractical than others but when she turned up with this sheep skull I knew it would make for a powerful image. I also liked the more traditional seated pose. It’s not as dramatic but I think it still shows her strength of character. As ever, any other women who are interested in posing for this series please do get in touch.
Michael Wildman – Had the pleasure of shooting my friend Michael today. I first met him several years ago in the Cameo bar. I liked his hat and asked him if he and his partner would like to come down to the studio, the rest is history.
I’ve been looking to expanding my experience with portraiture and also wanted to see if I could produce images of him that lent themselves to my double exposure technique. I ended up not doing much with that as Michael has such a strong presence I didn’t feel anything other than straight images were what the moment suited. Michael is a fine art photographer himself with a strong sense of what constitutes a worthy image. This to me is a bit of a double edged sword that brings a lot of intensity to the moment but can feel intimidating too. As it turned out by the end of the shoot the direction of the images left both of us with smiles on our faces.
Such is Michaels presence I thought I’d shoot just the one wide view, those eyes seem to fill the shot! And of course this image might satisfy some of those lighting geeks curiosity. I’ll post a couple of the favourite ones later.
Another version of these double exposure images. I love working on these, I’m learning a lot about what works and what doesn’t. It’s amazing how the mood and feel of an image changes so much on the tiniest of changes. Once again, if you want to model for these do get in touch.
It makes such a huge difference when you have a team on a project like this. I love it when the actors turn up with a hair and makeup person as well as with just the right costume. It means I can spend my time on the lighting and feel of the shot and not be running about looking for safety pins and hairspray! And having a talented actor helps of course. Nicola had no problem getting the intensity of the character across. The students on placement seemed to enjoy standing in for Nicola too, bunch of posers!
Another for the Shadow series. Signed prints for sale on Artfinder. When I was out shooting the background bushes image I had some guy come up to me asking why I’m shooting ‘dead trees’. I did explain how it would be used but his face never gave that look of understanding of what the hell I was on about. I just have to live with it that someone out there thinks I shoot dead tress for fun. I just should have said I was a twitcher, is that less weird?
Amazing shoot in the studio the other day with my photographer friend Mihaela. We had no plan to shoot anything like this but I think that makes it all the more rewarding when you get a worthwhile result. I love working with arty people, they get what you are trying to do and add to it. She was the one who suggested using the antlers. I love how her neck almost forms a deer skull. #antlers Always looking for new models to work with, do get in touch.
I shot this quite a while back but never really looked at it. I think I like it more now. I find the majority of nude photography just a bit dull. I like playing with the shapes and turning the body into a bit of abstract form, largely inspired by the amazing nudes done by Irving Penn.
Well here are just a small sample from my shoot from the end of November celebrating all the moustachy for the Movember charity. We had a great night and raised £295 for the charity. I love how some of the characters that came along look totally convincing as criminals while others just look like someone having fun.
On Luskentyre beach. One of the hundreds of pictures of locals on the Isle of Harris I shot last week for the new Harris Distillery they are building in Tarbert. Joanna was very patient and understanding. I was really looking forward to shooting this portrait as I knew the early evening low light would combine with my lighting to give an effective image. I wasn’t counting on 72mph winds though! I don’t know how she managed to keep her eyes open, it was like standing in a sand shower!
Been shooting for Havana Club in Cuba. Huge amount of fun, lots of work though and tough in the heat. This is Havana from one one precious day off. There’s not much in the shot to tell you it’s not still 1959!
Between the crippling USA trade embargo and still being communist, the country is in a pretty desperately poor state. Beautiful though, especially the people.
Good friends of mine, Matt and George. Wonderfully creative people who tick the eccentric box so had no problem with my ideas for a photo. These are all there own glad rags too so it makes my job to capture their character a lot easier. Matt was pretty exhausted, it was a long day on the piste!
Fraser’s a friend of mine who worked for many years as an officer in the merchant navy aboard some of the world’s biggest tankers. He took his sextant into the studio and tried to explain to myself and my assistant Greg how to use it. I think we nodded and frowned at the right moments and I liked the bit about the moon and stars but frankly he lost me at azimuth.
I’ve had this sailor outfit for a while and figured Fraser was the right man to don it. This isn’t for a specific project but just for the sheer joy of creating an image.
This was a shoot from my time up in the North East of Scotland. A beautiful morning spent at the decidedly creepy disused Lido in Banff. The weather was spectacular and the location lent itself perfectly to the mood I was looking to create in the shots. These are part of my ongoing Mythologos project. The mask itself came from a tiny craftsman’s cellar workshop in a beautiful village in Tuscanny. I liked that the man I bought it from didn’t speak a word of English. There was much waving of hands.
I liked that the location reflected my interest in things we have left behind. The arrival of cheap flights to ‘The Continent’ cast the death knell of this lido and countless others like it. As a child I spent summers playing in the waters along the coast at Findhorn. With the gulf steam curling round to this unlikely coast the water was surprisingly bearable. Still, the Mediterranean it is not.
From a shoot up on the banks of Loch Ness in Autumn of 2013. Again we had two hour window on a job and myself and my good friend Iain sneaked away first thing to shoot these. I can’t explain how much I enjoy the preparation and build up to these kind of projects. The shoots themselves are usually a bit more fraught. I’ve always felt a bit unsettled by that but having watched a number video clips of other photographers shooting I don’t seem to be alone in this.
I made the wings over a week in a cottage on the beautiful isle of Lewis last new year. I loved seeing my sketches convert into the full size real thing. I now know the ins and outs of Krista’s sewing machine.
In case you wondered the name Otto is in homage to the legendary Otto Lilienthal a true pioneer of early flight. In keeping with dedicated slightly over enthusiastic innovators he died on one of his flights. I’d love to see a film of his life.