Thursday, July 28, 2016

Coming Soon...

Manga, Owls, and attempted product placement by a hairdresser...

Things have been busy of late, and I'm aware the blog is in danger of being frequented less often. A few times blog posts have slipped from being weekly to fortnightly, and if I'm not careful might end up monthly.

This week, then, I thought I'd do a teaser post - as taste of things to come. There have been a couple of wonderful projects I've been invovled in, but won't be see seeing the light of day for a few more weeks.

First of all - Moniaive Manga

Collaborating with Ralph Yates-Lee of Basement 20 Hair Salon, and makeup artist, Jade Jamieson, early last month I was involved in shoot inspired by Japanese Manga/anime with models being made up into characters. This all took place at Moniaive Comic Festival. So not only was I creating photos, but 3 cartoonists were also sketching them, and 3D prints were being made of their heads.

An exhibition of the photos, sketches and 3D busts will be on display at The Stove in Dumfries during the 2nd half of August, with a preview on Thursday 18th. You are, of course, very welcome to attend - it would be lovely to see you.

Having fun creating a poster that looks like a comic cover

A couple of weeks ago I was out at Comlongon Castle, again with Ralph and Jade, only this time we were photographing singer, Robyn Stapleton (who those with a good memory might recall I did the photo for her debut album, Fickle Fortune last year).

Ralph and Jade sort out hair and makeup on Robyn

This time we were in a 14th century keep, with a large fire, lots of candles and an owl.

"Willow" is from the Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre. You can also hire her to swoop down the aisle and deliver the rings to the best man

My friend Mark was shooting some footage for me, so I'm hoping in the next few weeks to be able to show you a little behind-the-scenes video.

Ralph recently got on board with Unite hair products, which he now uses in the salon. On a couple of occasions I saw him surreptitiously trying to ensure they could be seen in the video and photos...

Ralph's subtlety is legendary

More on both these shoots coming soon...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Castles, Butlers and Tea on the Lawn

Simeon Rosset is a freelance butler - the real kind, not the strippergram, although he says he periodically gets enquiries about it. He served his time as head butler at Leeds Castle and now hires out his services for events such as exclusive gatherings, weddings, and shooting parties, and can be found butlering anywhere from Scottish castles to European palaces to Super yachts.

Our paths crossed when he was looking for a photographer for a particular event, and although I was unable to help him on that occasion, we subsequently met up for morning coffee, which merged into lunch. What was going to be a general introduction to each other turned into a few hours of questions, storytelling and idea swapping. It wasn't long before we started talking about creating a butler-in-action shot.

And so a couple of months later I found myself out at Craufurdland Castle near Kilmarnock.

Although this castle was built in the 18th century, the land has been in the family for nearly 800 years. The current descendants/owners/custodians are Simon and Adity Houison Craufurd and their two daughters, Indra and Manisha.

We decided to do the shoot in the library, as a wall full of books would make a timeless backdrop. Many of those tomes dated back hundreds of years.

Simeon also runs a Butler School service, training potential butlers to the high standards required. On this day he was completing the training of Alistair, which gave us a 2nd butler to include in the shots.

The shoot went well. Everyone adopted their roles and got into the part, and it wasn't long before I managed to get a couple of photos I was really pleased with.

And what better way to end the day than butler-served tea on the lawn?