The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Facing The Weekend

Photo taken by Rogan

Over the next day or two I will start taking down the 130 or so photos stuck to the walls of my studio from last weekend's Spring Fling Open Studio event (see previous couple of posts).

It was a success on every level I can think of - in terms of response, feedback and keeping up my energy levels. Before I began, I thought perhaps I might be able to photograph 80 people over the 3 days. Secretly I hoped for a hundred. As I closed the door late on Monday afternoon, I had photographed over 170.

Amazingly, more than half of all the visitors who walked through the door agreed to take part. And the feedback and enthusiasm I received was wonderful.

This is what the first ones faced as they entered my studio (click on any of the images for larger versions):

1 - PHOTOS - not wanting the first visitors to face a completely empty wall, I figured having a few photos up first might help encourage people to take part. This included one my daughter, Meg; two of my son, Rogan - before and after his dramatic haircut; one of me, taken by Rogan, and 4 photos of friends who helped me 2 days before when I decided to dry-run the system - Graham, Danny, Mark and Ken. Andrew also helped, but the printer started playing up so I didn't get a photo of him up until later.

2 - REFLECTOR - the back of the reflector used to bounce a softer light on to the other side of the face - see below for more details.

3 - COMPUTER - bridging the photo between camera and printer, allowing me to convert the image to black and white and email a copy to anyone who wanted it.

4 - CHAIR - in order to minimise energy expenditure, I spent most of the weekend sitting down.

5 - OLD PRINTER - ready as back-up in case the new one failed. After all the hassle I'd had with it on the dry-run, when I discovered the new printer would only use the black ink cartridge if I lied to it, I thought it was wise to have one in reserve. Fortunately I didn't need it.

6 - STACK OF BLACK INK CARTRIDGES - I had no idea how many I would need. In the end, I only used about half the number I bought.

7 - OLD LAPTOP - used for displaying a slideshow of photos. However, it became clear quite quickly that no one was bothering with it - partly because it was too low down to see, but as there was no room anywhere to put it at a higher level, we didn't use it on Sunday or Monday.

8 - STEPLADDER - used as a seat for my assistant (my wonderful friend Mark, until about 3.30pm on Saturday, and Rogan the rest of the weekend), or for sticking the photos on the higher parts of the wall.

9 - CUPBOARD - stuffed full of miscellany not intended for display, so hidden behind the assistant/stepladder.

10 - TABLE WITH FORMS - so I could use the photos of the people, I had a Model Release Form for each of them to sign. It's a legal grey area, so this covered my butt. It also allowed people to leave their email address if they wanted more information about the book I'm going to create (see further down the page).

11 - VISITOR COMMENTS BOOK - and a bowl of sweets to encourage people to leave nice comments. However, only 16 visitors left a comment in it, and one of those was my daughter.


Those who got their photograph taken would sit in the chair with their body facing the window, which acted as the main light source, then they would turn their head back to me and look into the camera. The textured backdrop worked as a background more interesting than white and not as ink-heavy to print as black. The reflector cast a softer light on the other side of their face, lifting it out of the shadows.

This set up allowed me to be at the right height to photograph them while sitting in my chair, and it removed the need for lights, which would have taken up more room and run the risk of getting knocked over, or bulbs burning out.

It was all about trying to keep things as simple as possible.

Below are a couple of photos of the studio after the weekend, with all the photos on the walls.

The exhibition was intereactive and grew as the weekend progressed. At 5.30pm on Monday, it was all over. However, this is not the end.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be putting all the images into a book called "Facing The Weekend", which I'll be publishing on for anyone who's interested. More on that when it's complete.


Jyoti Mishra said...

this is amazing !!

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Jyoti :)

Anonymous said...

Cool photo's. You set up the top photo?

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - more or less. I showed Rogan what I wanted and he took several shots :)

hope said...

You're a good teacher and I'm jealous that I don't live in your neighborhood!

angryparsnip said...

Isn't it great when you have an idea and it works, as your did so well.
Your studio looks fabulous !

cheers, parsnip

debra said...

such a cool idea, Kim! I am so glad it went so well

Guyana-Gyal said...

I love the energy.

Parsnip's right, you have a great studio. I like the view through the window. I feel as though I'm there, looking through the window too.

Carole said...

Looks like it turned out great. However that is not surprising. So much of what you do turns out well. Nice going.

Anonymous said...

As I said on Facebook...great stuff!
(Well something like that anyway :)

paolo1 said...

I assume that your weight loss drive is over because you look as fit as the proverbial flea ( cff issues aside- sorry I think I got the acronym wrong).

erika said...

This is really awesome! And by the way, you look so good, Kim! So slender and handsome :)

TalesNTypos said...


Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like that would have been immense fun. I only wish I could've visited. *sigh*

Rogan's a darling eh.

Eryl said...

So glad to hear it went this well, and you didn't suffer too much, at least you don't look like you did. The studio looks great in the shots too. Well done that man!

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - I'm looking forward to the day you come to Scotland, or manage to organise some neighbours to club together and fly me over, and I can take your photo :)

Parsnip - it is great when a plan comes together and works. I've been having periodic *smug* moments all week ;)

Debra - thank you :)

Guyana-Gyal - :)

Carole - so much of what I write about turns out well... you're only ever getting the edited highlights on this blog :)

Theanne & Baron - thank you :)

Paolo1 - I've got a bit sporadic with the weight-loss blog of late, it's true, but my eating habits are something I will always have to keep an eye on. As it is, I'm about 12lbs heavier than I was before Christmas.

Erica - you're lovely - you can come again :)

Adila - I wish you could have visited too. And yes, Rogan is a far more decent and wonderful lad than anyone could possibly expect from a teenager - he's a great deal better than I was at his age, although don't tell him that...

Eryl - thank you. It was such a shame I didn't get photos of you and Stevie over the weekend. I saw you behind the crowd at one point. Mark said you even popped in a 2nd time, but it was really busy at both points. If I do it again, come on Monday, which is always the quieter day :)

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Wow Kim what a successful projects. It'll be nice to have all the images in a book.
I just love your work.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Gillian :)

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