The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Kasama - Promo Shoot

Kasama are a young, energetic local band with great potential.

In recent months they have been recording their new EP, Noisy Neighbours, with Marcus – the other half of my own band, The Cracked Man, who's also a sound engineer.

While the songs all sound great, they needed some strong images to promote it when the EP was released.

Their initial idea was to have a photo of them next to the radio masts out at Skyreburn, but when they had tried being photographed standing directly underneath the towers, it hadn't worked – primarily because of trying to fit it all into one image – either the tops of towers were cut off, or the band looked too small next to them.

At a bit of a loss what to do next, they talked to Marcus, and Marcus called me to ask if I could help out.

I met up with a couple of members of the band for coffee, and realised the best approach would be to shoot further away from the radio masts, so they appeared on the top of the hill behind them, rather than directly above them. We set up a Facebook group chat to get everyone involved in honing the concept and working out what props we would need.

Before long, the idea of a semi-domestic scene – based around a coffee table and sofa – but out in the hills, started taking shape. Each person would be doing something different – playing the guitar, switching on the radio, eating a bag of chips etc.

When we arrived, it was blowing a gale and one of the original ideas of someone playing football had to be discarded.

It was also a dull, overcast day with very flat light, so I had to set up a couple of off-camera flashes to add a bit of depth to it

Despite frozen hands, ears and noses, the guys threw themselves enthusiastically into the shoot and in the end we got the first image we were after.

When the EP was released last week, the local papers did a feature on them and used this photo to headline their out-and-about section, so it was good to see it being used.

With that in the bag, we decided to go for a really close up shot using the wide-angle lens. It didn't take long to find the overall look I wanted, but I couldn't quite get the shape right of Andrew with his can of beer on the right. I was trying to get him to be looking off to one side and taking a swig, but the angles of his arm just weren't giving me the lines I wanted.

Suddenly as I counted them into a shot, Andrew shot his arm out, pointing his finger directly at the camera, can still in hand. A moment of inspiration that completely made the photo.

A few days before the shoot I felt it had the potential to have a good behind-the-scenes video, so I put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to come along, experience what it's like on a photo shoot, and do a bit of videoing. I had a few responses, but went with Brodie Donohoe – a young photographer who had previously come on a workshop I'd run a few years back.

With Brodie's footage and Kasama's track, Holding Up The Sun, I was able to knock together this short (about 90 seconds) video which gives quite a good sense of the session.

It also seemed like a potential opportunity to film a video for the track, so after we'd completed the photo shoot, the guys got their instruments out of the back of the van and we shot them playing the song.

Brodie then took all the footage of the day and created a music video for them

For more about Kasama, follow them on Facebook -
Or to buy a copy of their EP, follow this link:


Pat said...

That's a good strong beat - worthy of your inspired photos.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Pat :)

daisyfae said...

Love this! Once again, you bring the insights and back story, while your subjects are talented and fun!

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Daisyfae - every shoot has a story behind it, so it's always good when I get the opportunity to relate it. :)

Viji said...

You create music with your photographs as well.. In sync.. You are a musician yourself and your arrangement is pitch perfect

Kim Ayres said...

Viji - being a musician as well does help a bit when photographing bands, as I have an understanding of the desire to look cool, even if you're not feeling it :)

Alan McClure said...

Excellent pictures as always, Kim! If anyone wanted to know a bit more about the band there's an extended interview with them here:

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks for the link, Alan - I'm looking forward to listening to it :)

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