A little over a year ago, I was involved in creating some publicity photos for the Castle Douglas High School Enterprise Group (see A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party). Each year, the final year pupils have the chance to design and create products, which they then have to market and sell to raise money for charity.
A year on and I was asked back to help with the next group. This time they were creating pieces of art made from pebbles, shells, bits of driftwood and anything else they could find on the tideline, and they called their group, Coast to Home.
Ideas were discussed and they decided it would be fun to have a home-like setting, but on the beach, with a handful of them sitting on a sofa with a coffee table. One of the team said he could get hold of an old sofa and it wouldn’t matter if it got a bit mucky. In the end he also brought a coffee table and a standard lamp.
With the permission of the owners, we did the shoot down at Cardoness Beach, on a cold, damp, grey day. At one point it started raining and I was fearful as to whether we’d be able to complete it. However, amazingly the rain stopped again and held off long enough for us to do the shoot.
We started off several metres up the beach. As the light was really dull, I had another one of the team holding an off camera flash to one side, so I could get a bit of shadow and definition into the photo. I also placed another flash inside the standard lamp, which made it look like it was plugged in, and gave an extra glow of light on those underneath it.
Once I was happy we had a shot we could use, I then asked if it was really OK if the sofa could risk being trashed. It was confirmed it was not a problem, so we moved the whole set right down to the water’s edge. As the tide was coming in, it then washed around the sofa and the people on it.
Initially there were plenty of screams as the cold sea hit the feet of the teenagers, but kudos to them all, they managed to do several shots with smiley faces as the freezing water lapped around them.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots:
And rather wonderfully, Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine chose to use our photo for the front cover of their March issue