Last month the Galloway Photographic Collective (of which I'm a member) did a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Care. With framed prints, signed prints, calendars plus further items from several other local businesses, up for grabs via raffle tickets, we managed to raise £500 for this great organisation.
My donation to the cause came in the form of a photo shoot, and the lucky winner was Isobel.
When I went out to see her to discuss what kind of image she would like, it became clear she's a woman of the land. All her life in one form or another she has lived on farms, and she came to her current one when she remarried 13 years ago. During the conversation it transpired she still had her red velvet wedding dress and thought it might be quite fun to combine with her wellies.
We went for a walk a short way from the house where I saw a couple of old, gnarled hawthorn trees, and beyond was a wonderful view down the valley out towards the Solway coast. It was grey and overcast and the light was very flat, but I knew if the sun was out it could be quite spectacular. Red dress, hawthorn tree, wonderful view and a low winter sun - all we had to do now was wait for the right combination of weather and a day when we might both be available.
Since then it has been wet, grey and dull, and the rare times the sun has made an appearance the timing was bad. Until Tuesday past when conditions were ideal.
The temperature was only about 6 Celsius (43 Fahrenheit), and there was quite a wind blowing, making it feel several degrees colder. After about 20 minutes, I was feeling frozen, despite being wrapped up in several layers plus my coat and wearing 2 sets of gloves. Isobel, on the other hand, had her genes and life history on her side and wasn't bothered in the slightest.
Back at the house we looked through the shots. Despite the fact the last time she had any kind of photo shoot was at her wedding, she was quite relaxed and natural in front of the camera, which meant in a relatively short space of time we were able to get plenty of great shots, from the wistfully romantic to outright fun.
The one Isobel was most delighted with, though, didn't feature the welly-boots - in fact she wasn't even facing the camera. However, it did have a lovely combination the dress, the tree, the land and the light, which reflected how she felt about the place. And I have to admit I felt rather pleased with it too.