The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

JD Keys

JD Keys in Castle Douglas is where you get your shoes repaired and keys cut. Unlike the various chain stores supplying this service in the majority of towns and cities, this one is completely independent. The JD is Joe Donohue – it’s his name above the door and his skills and customer service that have built his trusted brand over the past couple of decades.



About 3 years ago, on the run up to Christmas, I had the brilliant idea of offering gift vouchers people could buy to put towards a photo shoot. I was convinced this would bring me in tens of thousands of pounds of extra income.

It didn’t.

In fact, I only ever sold one voucher, and that was to Joe’s wife, Margaret, who bought it as a gift for Joe.

At our original meeting, Margaret and I had chatted about cool ideas, outfits, locations, storylines and the infinite possibilities of a staged narrative photo shoot. However, it turned out this just wasn’t Joe’s style, and it all got put on the back burner.

To be honest, I’d pretty much forgotten all about it but the shoot I did with my old friend Douglas in his shed doing screen-printing earlier this year (see - Handcooked) caught Joe’s attention. A man in his workplace appealed far more than dressing up and being a hero in an epic scene.

And so a couple of Sundays ago, Joe and I met in the shop and did a shoot that embodied the man in his environment.

Here are a couple more of my favourites.





While I do love doing the big epic shoots, it's also lovely to be reminded how much I enjoy the more intimate one-to-one photo sessions too.

6 comments

hope said...

I love not only the concentration in the first of your favorite shots...but the number of keys! Impressive.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - he also does number plates, engraving, house signs and passport photos. In fact if I get enquiries about passport photos, I usually send them there as he has the set up for it, whereas for me it would require getting out all the equipment, finding a space, lighting it etc, which would cost any client way too much :)

Ponita in Real Life said...

I love the textures in that top photo!! Such a busy space but in B&W, it is such a rich background. Lovely shots.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Ponita. We looked at the photos on my laptop at the end of the session and I did a quick B&W conversion to see what they looked like. It gives them a much more timeless sense, which we both really liked :)

Pat said...

I love these - I bet Margaret does too. Ponita is right - it is a rich background and its a space one wants to keep investigating.
One of my favourite people was a shopkeeper - my Grandad.
What's odd is one can sort of smell it.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - I've heard it said smell is one of the most powerful senses for evoking memories :)

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