The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Finding the story

Sometimes when I set out on a photography shoot, I know exactly what story, mood or emotion I'm chasing. This has usually come from a discussion between myself and the client.

Sometimes, however, the client doesn't know what they want and it's short notice so I haven't any clear ideas myself. I found myself in this position on Friday when I was doing a photo shoot with the young and talented, Georgia Gordon for The Mill Sessions. She was playing at The Mill in the evening and we'd agreed to meet up for the shoot in the afternoon before hand.

It was all a bit last minute and in the absence of any other ideas, and as it was a sunny day, the beach was chosen as a location.

The tide was on its way out and we headed for a rocky outcrop along a causeway revealed by the low water. Georgia stood calf deep in the sea with her guitar round her shoulder and the sun half behind her, while her boyfriend, Isaac, kindly held the reflector for me to bounce light back onto her so she woulldn't be completely lost in silhouette.

I took several photos with different angles and postures, but they just looked like a girl standing in the sea with a guitar round her neck.

Fighting off a rising sense of panic I looked up at the rocks and thought she could stand up there with a blue sky backdrop. The wind was catching her hair and I felt we were on to something. There was more of a mood, an attitude going on.

I then got her to turn her back to us and raise the guitar above her head and felt there were some lovely shapes happening

Back off the rock I did a few close-up headshots with varying degrees of moodiness and smiles, then we headed back to the cars and went for something to eat before the gig started.

The following day I downloaded all the photos to my computer and there was one that leapt out at me, or rather a section of it did - something that I'd missed just flicking through them on the back of the camera the day before.

When we were initially heading out onto the beach, I'd taken a couple of quick photos of the beach and sky, and Georgia took up a small portion of it as she was walking across the wet sand ahead of us. But when I zoomed in on the photo and got a clearer look of her with her guitar case in one hand and Doc Martin's in the other, I realised there was something special.

This was a photo that had mood, emotion and story to it.

Click on the images for larger versions

If only I'd realised at the time, I would have taken more like this...

For the full set of photos, visit the album on my Facebook page:


hope said...

And that last one was my favorite! Oddly enough, and with no disrespect to your lovely subject, the two most "moving" photos were the B&W shot, plus the guitar over the head shot.

See, you're a master storyteller even when you're not aware of it. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - the two you mention are the ones I was most happy with, but if you'd seen all the 150 or so photos straight out of the camera you'd have realised the pickings were thin :)

injaynesworld said...

I love that one. You're so right about it conveying so much. I also like the ones with her holding her guitar over her head.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Jayne :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes! That's the one! It looks truly musical.

The other 2 looked a bit cliche.

But this last one? Poetic.

Kim Ayres said...

Guyana-Gyal - so much of it is personal taste, though. She used first one as her Facebook avatar. Perhaps when you're 19 you've not had enough experience to feel cliche is cliche :)

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