The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Portraits for a donation to Down's Syndrome Scotland

This Saturday (17th November), I’m going to be taking fast, fun portraits for a mere £10 donation to Down's Syndrome Scotland, at the Catholic Church Hall in Kirkudbright (on High Street, across from The Tolbooth) from 10am to 4pm

Stewartry Camera Club are holding an Open Day with an exhibition, slideshow, tombola, refreshments, home baking, and people to offer advice on photography. Because of the talks I have given to the club and a competition I judged for them (see The Challenge of The Self Portrait), they have kindly offered me a space to set up a wee area to do portraits to raise money for a great organisation.

I have to confess that at this point in time, I have no idea whether there will be queues around the block, or if I’ll be sitting there for 6 hours twiddling my thumbs, with only the occasional friend turning up to show a bit of support.

Despite the fact £10 is barely much more than having a passport photo taken in a booth, I’m not convinced most people understand the value having their photo taken by someone who knows what they’re doing.

The question is, when you and everyone you know has a camera on their phone with auto-focus, auto-exposure and even face-recognition, why bother parting with money to have someone else take your photo?

It’s a question all portrait photographers have to face in this instant, digital age.

The only real answer to this is - I have to go places the iPhone can’t.

That means it’s not about the technology – whether I have a bigger camera with fancier lenses and a higher megapixel count – because advances in technology will soon make any such advantages redundant. Your average camera-phone today is superior to a professional digital camera from 10 years ago.

Therefore, it’s about the vision; the creativity; the style. Of course anyone can take your photo, but can anyone take your photo like Kim Ayres does?

Although Saturday is primarily about raising money for Down’s Syndrome Scotland, it will be interesting to see how successfully I’m getting that message out there.

Do come along if you can, and bring a friend. But if you’re not in the area on Saturday, then feel free to pass this on to anyone else you know who might be.

And if you can't make it along, but would still like to donate (any amount - even £1/$1/€1), then please visit my page on -

I arrived to find the area I'd been allocated wasn't much bigger than the photo-booths you get at train stations. So a few members of the camera club helpfully embarked on various bits of display-board shifting and table moving and eventually I had a workable space.

It started off quietly. In the first 3 hours only 5 people decided to take part and I found myself wondering about all those who had unhesitatingly said on Facebook they would come along.

Fortunately the afternoon turned out to be much busier and in the end I managed to raise £200 for Down's Syndrome Scotland, with a further £50 £70 £80 £90 coming from donations to my Just Giving page.


Anonymous said...

If I'd live just a bit closer, believe me, I'd be the first one in the HUGE queue!!!!!!!!! So awesome what you're doing and offering there!!!!! Two thumbs up!!!!!!!! I already can't wait for the images!!!!

hope said...

You have a good eye.

It matches your good heart. :)

Good luck to you this weekend!

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Tell them you can make them look like people in glossy magazines, that should get their interest :-)

I hope there's a mighty long [but manageable] queue.

kriss said...

If I was well enough I'd turn up, despite my reluctance to have my face captured on film. You produce excellent portraits so I'm sure the queue will be round the block. Good luck!

Kim Ayres said...

Conny - if you lived a bit closer, I'd be pushing for us to be doing loads of projects together :)

Hope - thank you :)

GG - while it's true I can remove all the lines, wrinkles and perceived "blemishes" in Photoshop, these things take much longer, so I'd only be able to fit in about 6 people across the whole day ;)

Kriss - hope you feel better soon :)

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

No, no, I don't mean photoshop and removing the flaws...I was thinking more of those magazines that capture real-life in an artsy way.

Kim Ayres said...

GG - all the glossy magazines in the UK photoshop people until they look like computer generated, characterless androids...

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

What a shame, Kim. Are we so ashamed of flaws these days?

Oh, have you heard of Annie Leibovitz? Vanity Fair [in the US] use her work quite a bit.

Kim Ayres said...

GG - if the UK is bad for it, the US is even worse. Mind you, if you can point Vanity Fair in my direction, it would be appreciated... :)

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