The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Rebecca Writes...

In the last post, I wrote about the photo shoot with Rebecca and put up the first of two images we shot, along with a behind-the-scenes video. In this post, not only can you scroll down and see the second photo we did with the same set, but you get to read Rebecca's account of being photographed by me.

Rebecca doesn't have a blog of her own (although I'm trying to make encouraging noises), but she rather wonderfully offered to write me a post about being on the other side of the camera.


"So," Kim said with his characteristic optimism, "the possibilities are endless. You can be anything you like!" I nodded (I hoped) thoughtfully. Meanwhile, the voice inside my head was screaming, "Anything?! You’re never going to come up with anything. Never mind anything.”

I got off the phone and quietly panicked. I started a tentative list of things I could dress up as. Then the mischievous voice whispered, "You could be a can-can dancer". This was the starting point and from here I looked online at photographs of dancers, Toulouse Lautrec and Degas paintings and film stills from Moulin Rouge and Black Swan.

The next week, we had a long chat over the most delicious hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted (In House Chocolates, Castle Douglas); in fact, I’d had difficulty concentrating for the first part of our meet-up. Through talking with Kim, I realised it wasn’t the bright lights and glamour I was drawn to, more the backstage, off-duty side where things were darker and less perfect.

After calling in a huge number of favours from family and friends, we were ready to go. I was pretty nervous on the morning of the shoot, wondering if this would turn out to be a daft idea after all. Me, a performer? Who was I kidding!

However, Kim couldn’t have been more calming and encouraging. We built up the set with various props and costumes that I’d borrowed and it already began to feel like I was backstage in a seedy theatre. One of the most useful things Kim had suggested over hot chocolate was writing a paragraph about my character.

My friend’s five-year-old puts on her pirate costume and immediately knows who she is, how she spends her days and the name of her cat. Most of us lose that ability to play and free our alter egos. It was fantastic to have this opportunity to daydream and create a different reality.

This really was a collaboration. I’d never have explored this fully on my own and at the end of the shoot it was fascinating to look back at the 60 or so shots Kim had taken and see the journey of the day. Each subtle change in lighting, pose and angle brought us closer to the final image. Kim has a gift for building rapport and trust so that I felt comfortable at every stage of the process. As a result, the final images are so much more than I could have imagined. Thank you, Kim.


As always, click on the photo for a slightly bigger version. And do feel free to leave a comment - I'll be letting Rebecca know to come and read them.

In Preparation - the second of the photos we did last week - shot through a net curtain on the same set


hope said...

I'd say she not only accomplished that daydream effect with your help, it had an almost storybook quality to it.

Standing ovation for both of you!

Seashell said...

Really beautiful, capturing exactly what you set out to. I love the use of the mirror.

Hindsfeet said...

Absolutely *Gorgeous*....(um,how exactly is it that she is still single? what a goddess...)

I *love* your creativity, Kim....your story telling ability....truly saying a thousand words with one picture.....I'm really enjoying journeying along with you in your endeavor; thanks for inviting us all along.

(and brilliant idea having her write a paragraph about her character....reminds me a little of the morning pages we were talking about a couplea weeks back....wonderful to see what that paragraph would unearth for your subjects....)

Rab said...

Both images are really beautiful in their own way. You have produced a really fantastic set of images of late which have been a joy to look at but these two in particular I really liked- I think I have a thing for reflections.

The video though was really eye opening. Naive old me didn't think much about what goes into these images. I guess in my mind you turned up with the subjects waiting, clicked and wandered back home again. Only a point and shoot mind would think like that, which is what I do with minimal patience, so I really found the video of real interest.

Great. Not much more I can add. :)


Attila the Mom said...

That is just incredible! I'm simply in awe at how beautiful it is.

Claire Tilley said...

Oh my… it takes my breath away… ! I have been wanting to do some photography of more mature women to show their beauty especially when we are bombarded here in NA with images of 16 and 17 year olds and are expected to emulate that! This is truly lovely. Food for thought. Well done….both of you.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - thank you :)

Seashell - thank you :)

Liz - the writing a paragraph idea just popped into my head and felt right. I now have to remember to suggest it to other clients in the future :)

Rab - reflections are great things - other worlds that are like ours, but not quite... :) And I'm glad the video had the effect on you it did - I think most people assume I just turn up, go click and leave again, so I'm pleased to finally have something that gives a taste of what's invovled :)

Attila - thank you :)

Claire - thank you :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks, everyone. I think you can tell from my blog and the video how much fun this all was and how delighted I am with the end results. x

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