The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Photographing the Photographers...

In one of my biggest challenges yet, a couple of weeks ago I not only had to photograph a group of pro and semi-pro photographers, but I had to be in the shot too.

I recently teamed up with half a dozen other photographers in the area, with the idea to pool resources, expertise and marketing power. The theory is we could help make this area an attractive place for those interested in photography (buying prints or taking workshops) to visit.

It’s early days yet, and the aim is to officially launch next Spring, but things are slowly taking shape. The constitution is written, executive posts filled, bank account opened and the website is under construction.

It was decided it would be useful to have a group photo to go on the website, and to use for publicity purposes once we launch. As portrait photography is my speciality, the responsibility for the photo fell on my shoulders. Inevitably this presented several challenges.

An initial idea of an outside shot of us all against a backdrop of a beautiful Galloway landscape was quickly dismissed. It’s hard enough to negotiate a time and date to suit 7 self-employed people, let alone rely on the weather in Scotland, in winter, to be pleasant. We needed an indoor space large enough to fit everyone plus lighting rigs, and while my wee studio is fine for one or two people – three at a push – it’s not designed for groups.

Fortunately Allan Wright leapt to the rescue and we were able to use his gallery – a large white painted room – after he’d removed his framed prints from one of the walls.

But while composition and lighting are tricky enough, in order to be in the photograph myself, I couldn’t just click when everything was perfect. I had to keep setting the timer then run round to get into position and hope no one was blinking, or looking in the wrong direction, or leaning in front of anyone else, or pulling a silly face.

And when photographing more than about 4 people, crowd control becomes an extra necessary skill...

Even then, it’s one thing to photograph the general public – group shots are usually family gatherings where they expect to follow the instructions of the professional with the camera. But to photograph a bunch of people who make money from their ability to use a camera means the sense of scrutiny is cranked up to the nth degree.

Still, somehow I survived and below are the final images. One where we look very serious and professional, and one where we, er, don't...

As usual, feel free to click on the images for larger versions.

Left to right-ish (click on names for links to their websites):
Morag Paterson and Ted Leeming
Roger Lever
Phil McMenemy
Allan Wright
Kim Ayres
Ian Biggar


Anonymous said...

two great shots Kim...the "fun" one is perfect!

mapstew said...


I like the first one, cast of 'C.S.I. Galloway'! :¬)

hope said...

Ah, all Pro in the first shot....and all human in the second. Must be why the 2nd is my favorite!

Good luck to y'all!

Pat said...

The first ticks all the boxes. You didn't say there was a lady amongst you. How un-sexist:)

Titus said...

I like both. But why is there only one woman? Is photography in D and G primarily a male profession at the moment? Not challenging, just asking.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Lovely photos, both, Kim. But I also vote for the second one! Especially with the ancient camera in there.

"CSI Galloway" = "Camera Specialists Inc."? -)

Kim Ayres said...

Theanne & Baron - thank you :)

Mapstew - I like it :)

Hope - thank you :)

Pat - it didn't cross my mind :)

Titus - The truth is I have no idea about the male/female split in photography in the area. A casual scan of the internet seems to offer up more male, but then it varies on the type. I think the ratio of women is higher in portrait and wedding photography than it is in, say, architectural. But I've not done a proper study.

In the case of this group, it was someone else's brainchild and I was invited to join the core group. I think once it's launched and we can see how it's going to go, the idea is to be open to other photographers if they fit a set of criteria - although sex or gender are not a part of it :)

Ponita - thank you - and I like your acronym :)

Eryl said...

Another challenge valiantly met. They're both great, and I like the spark between the two, they work well together.

Anonymous said...

Great photograph!

Elfira Arisanti said...

its cool

i love it :)

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - thank you :)

Elfira - thank you :)

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