I was asked to photograph Iona Barker for Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine last month.
Iona is "taking over the world, one stitch at a time" with her company, Say it ain't sew, running workshops on sewing, textiles and design in Glasgow, Edinbugh, Dundee and Aberdeen. She even spent some time as head of wardrobe at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow, where she worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Prince and Dolly Parton.
For the photo shoot, she managed to secure the use of a large room behind Maklab in Dumfries, which she is also involved with. At the point I arrived, she and her partner, Andrew, were busy pinning vast swathes of material to the wall to act as a backdrop.
Iona was warm, friendly and a delight to work with. It also helped she'd done a bit of modelling in the past so was comfortable in front of the camera.
She'd created an outfit for the shoot that had a mix of traditional and modern to it, and had made a sewers tool belt to hang on her hips. She had also brought along a tailor's dummy as a prop. We played with draping different materials over it, but once we put her leather jacket on it, the photo really came together.
Feeling happy we'd got something in the bag, we decided to see what else we could do. I had my large 6 foot softbox with me so went for a shoot with her standing in front of it. However, as she is 5' 11", we had to prop it up on an old extractor fan we found at the back of the room, to get the height.
At this point, it was approaching mid afternoon and I was beginning to flag. We had 2 good, very different images, and could have called it a day. But we were working well together and time wasn't tight, so I had coffee which kickstarted my brain back into action.
Iona let her hair down and I pulled out blue and yellow coloured gels out for the off-camera flashes.
To get 3 such very different styles of photo out of one photo session was very satisfying. I was delighted Dumfries and Galloway Life decided to use all 3.
I pride myself on being able to get a usable photo out of pretty much anyone I work with, but it makes life a lot easier, and more fun, when you work with someone like Iona.
Check out the May edition of Dumfries and Galloway Life for the full article about Iona.