The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


Time seems to be passing both incredibly quickly and as slowly as moving through treacle.

It is now less than 4 weeks to the exhibition and I finally have all the images taken, and a printer sorted. There was one more I wanted to take from the time I first new I was going to do this, but I wasn’t able to convince the guy. He doesn’t like seeing photos of himself as “an old man,” and nothing I’ve been able to say has managed to sway him.

I have to let it go.

Meanwhile, as I don’t expect to sell the images in the exhibition, my only way to recoup the costs of printing and mounting the photos, is if enough visitors decide they like my approach enough to commission me to do their portraits too. In which case flyers for visitors to take away with them are necessary.

So I designed an A5 size leaflet (approx 15 x 21cm) and had 250 printed up for people to take away with them.

Here are images of both sides. You can click on them for full size jpgs if you fancy printing off your own.

I’ve gone for what I think is quite a bold approach. I fully expect some people to be completely turned off by it. But that doesn’t matter. The middle ground is already occupied by thousands of portrait photographers, and I don’t want to be competing for bland and uninspired work.

Quite simply, if I want to be able to do more interesting work then that’s how I have to pitch and target. And it will be those who are more excited by something a bit different who are more likely to approach me. Consequently the blurb reads more like a manifesto for change than a standard sales proposal.

Additionally, I’ve finally got round to setting up a Facebook page for the Portrait Photography. So if Facebook’s your thing, then do consider becoming a fan and tell all your friends.

And if you would like your portrait done by me, but live too far away - it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, if you can get enough friends and neighbours to club together to fly me, Maggie and the kids out for a couple of weeks, I’ll do photo sessions for everyone in return.


The Pollinatrix said...


Zaedah said...

May you receive more commissions and unexpected sales than you can fathom. Regardless, an exhibition is something that should evoke a sense of vast artistic pride and your faithful readers are proud of you!

savannah said...

well done, sugar! imagine my surprise seeing my face, too1 ok, i'm a fan, not a subject, but could happen! xoxoxoxo

Ron Tipton said...


Funny thing, I was just thinking tonight about who I would get to take a serious portrait picture of me as an old man. I get my Christmas card pictures taken at J.C. Penney but I can't get that serious, soulful portrait which I have yet to manage in my 68 years on this earth. At Penney's there are too many screaming kiddies running around. The portrait photographers here at the shore specialize in "sand" shots of the whole family (dog included) all dressed in white (except the dog of course but the dog preferably should be a blonde dog.) If I had the disposable funds I would definitely transport you and your family here to the states (probably Washington D.C.) to take portrait pictures of your many Yankee fans.

I wish you much good luck in your exhibition Kim. Your talent is way overdue to be discovered.


Nitewrit said...


I like your approach. The last portrait I had by a professional photog just looks bland and I hope I'm not quite that bland. Then for an extra charge he would remove all the wrinkles, blemishes and blotches it has taken me a lifetime to earn. Why in the world should one wish to pay a photographer to present them with a portrait that was someone else? You want to catch the character of the person, not the caricature. I've worked hard all my life to develop this mug!


Jayne Martin said...

Bold is exactly the way to go. Those who try to be all things to all people end up being nobody to no one. Your work is amazing. I'm so excited for you, my friend. I'm betting you're going to be the new toast of the photography world soon.

Pat said...

Arresting and honest. I'd love to have been in on the shoot.
'Just take a bite and let it dribble on your chin.'
Shows great trust - the mark of an ace photographer and boy does it work.

Chris said...

I hope it's a success, Kim. The flyers look fab also! Good Luck!

Kim Ayres said...

Pollinatrix - :)

Zaedah - thank you :)

Savannah - I'd love to take photos of you and MITM - you have faces of life and depth :)

Ron - the thing about white-out photos is everything is really bright. This means wrinkles and perceived "blemishes" all fade back considerably, and so are considered more flattering. And throughout history, portrait artists realised if they flattered their subjects, they sold more. As such, my approach is riskier, although I believe ultimately far more rewarding for all concerned :)

Nitewrite - it's amazing isn't it - we'll make you look bland, and for more money we'll make you look blander! But so many people are scared of their faces (see a couple of posts ago), they would prefer blandness for fear of standing out

Jayne - I don't think my photography is different enough to take the world by storm, but hopefully it is removed from the majority of conventional portrait photographers

Pat - as a model yourself, I really appreciate your comment - thank you, Pat :)

And yes, it was a fun session - the biggest problem I had is reflected in the folder full of photos I have of her cracking up laughing :)

Chris - thank you :)

Eryl Shields said...


Charlie said...

I applaud your vision, Kim, whether or not it turns some people off. You know that you cannot please everyone, you have found your niche, and you are sticking to it.

The drawback, as I've always seen it, is your location—it is somewhat off the beaten path. Edinburgh, on the other hand, has people who desire more than what Walmart has to offer.

Mimi and Tilly said...

I wish I was close enough to come to your exhibition... Maybe another time. I hope it is a huge success for you and that you have an abundance of lovely folk booking you for portrait sittings! Am off to become a fan of yours on facebook.

Katie Roberts said...

Awesome statement Kim!

hope said...

Maybe if we put Savannah in charge of your Southern US tour, we could see you. :)

I LOVE the brochure because it does set the right tone. Best wishes for a long line of clientele.

Someday..... said...

I will add you to my facebook page once my home computer is debugged!! Can't access that site from work....
Your flyer looks awesome and I can't wait to hear how you do. I wish I was independently wealthy, because I would love to "sponsor" you and your family for a trip to Texas. We have the "best" faces here - :)
Good luck -

Sarahlah said...

I am one of those critters, who avoid unflattering images of myself. But I admire your quest. As soon as I surrender my vanity, I will be able to appreciate the magic nature has wrought with the passage of the years.

Lynn said...

Love the marketing approach - best of luck on the show! I'm sure it'll be amazing!

V said...

Looks great Kim!

Tiffin said...

Terrific, Kim. I think your flyer really works. I hate those studio type portraits where everyone sits looking like they have a broom up their backsides or they're at a funeral. And those portraits where the person sits holding their chin...don't get me started on those.

pilgrimchick said...

I'll consider that offer. There's a "just for the fun of it" element to it.

Kim Ayres said...

Eryl - Keep May 1st free for the opening :)

Charlie - it's true there's considerably less population to sell to round here. However, there is a high percentage of musicians, artists, poets and storytellers around here, who are more likely to be the kind of people interested in my style of photography. Then again, all the ones I know have no money...

Emma - thank you :)

Katie - I'm glad you like it :)

Hope - well, if you can start to coordinate your efforts...!

Someday - sounds like the premise for a TV show - "We sent portrait photographer, Kim Ayres, across the US to see which state has the 'best' faces..." :)

Sarahlah - it's not about surrendering your vanity so much as changing the idea of what is beautiful and interesting. When you look at other faces, don't you just love to see the character in them? So, it's time to embrace and enjoy the character in your own :)

Lynn - thank you :)

V - thank you :)

Tiffin - what, like the one I have as my avatar? ;)

Pilgrimchick - it should always be fun :)

Attila The Mom said...

Wow---I love it!

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Attila :)

carlie_star said...

i like it we got to accept who we are not try and be somebody else good luck may you be blessed with enough work to keep you busy but not frantic!

Kim Ayres said...

The people we always find most beautiful are those who are accepting of themselves and others - it shines through. The surface beauty of youth is a very narrow definition to base our ideas on

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