When my niece, Kesha, was still a teenager, she travelled halfway round the world to live in Indonesia. She'd visited there as part of a surfing team, fell in love with the place, and when she got back to the UK worked hard to save up the money to return to Bali.
In addition to being a surfing instructor, over the last few years she's been building up a formidable reputation as a DJ, and has been invited to play in other places throughout Asia.
Kesha standing next to a poster of her in Taiwan earlier this year
She flew back to the UK to spend a few weeks with her mother and sister, and during my recent trip down south it was great to catch up with her after nearly a decade.
Despite her usually living several thousand miles away, the wonders of modern technology and social media means I've been able to follow Kesha's career, and periodically she's asked my advice on images and to give my opinion on some photographers she's considered using. Needless to say promises were made that when we next met up I'd do some shots for her, despite the fact I've never been dancing in a night club so it's a whole scene I know nothing about.
I'd taken some of my photography equipment with me on my trip, but finding space to do a shoot was problematic. Quite simply, my sister's house doesn't have a great deal of room in it, and shooting outdoors comes with a whole set of problems - from hard shadows in direct sunlight, to getting wet if it's raining, to getting dive-bombed and shat on by the thousands of seagulls that live in the fishing town of Brixham.
The ideal solution turned out to be under an old bridge near the top of town.
Google Maps' Street View of the bridge we used for the photo shoot
Not only did it provide protection from sun, rain and seagulls, but acted as a bit of a wind tunnel too, so I was able to get some shots of Kesha's hair artfully moving in the breeze. And with coloured gels over the flashes, the old stone wall gave the impression of an underground basement night club.
Coloured gels casting a light on her hair and the wall behind
The only real problem we had was receiving a lot of strange looks by everyone who walked past us, and having to stop and get into the side of the road every few minutes when cars and vans drove past. However, Kesha reckoned that if we'd been doing this in Bali, within a few seconds we would be surrounded by a crowd of people watching the proceedings.
Standing in the middle of the road to take the photos
I'm changing the batteries in one of the flashes, while Kesha gets a shot for her Facebook page
Here's a selection of the final images. Fortunately, when it comes to genetic distribution, Kesha managed to avoid ending up with my beard and bald patch, which made my job of making her look good an awful lot easier...
The flash with the blue gel didn't go off, but I still liked the image
Kesha had the headphone covers specially designed
Very much a DJ shot... so I'm told...
I was pleased with the final set of photos, but the whole thing did make me feel my age...
If you'd like to follow DJ Kesha Ayres on Facebook, you can find her page here: