The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

2018 in Photographs (and Videos)

This will be my 10th year posting my favourite photos from the past 12 months.

You can find earlier years' selections here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Not that I really expect anyone to go and look through all the previous years' photos. In this day and age there are a billion other things on the Internet to waste your time with. But for me it creates a quick shortcut to past years where I can see how my photography has been progressing.

2009 was pretty much the first year I really started using the camera in earnest, so I can see how my eye and my ideas have developed in the intervening decade.

Below you will find a varied selection - so hopefully something for everyone. I'm always interested in feedback, so if you'd care to leave a comment about which one(s) are your favourite, or any personal observations, it would be warmly appreciated.

As always, you can click on the images to see larger versions.

Set in Stone

This was in fact taken late in 2017, but didn't go public until 2018, so didn't appear in last year's highlights. Set in Stone was the Castle Douglas High School Young Enterprise Group. They had created candle holders, paperweights and decorations, created out of concrete and cement, to sell to raise money for charity. I was asked to help with the promotional photo, which we did at the forge of artist blacksmith, Adam Booth. The brief was to create something that looked industrial and entrepreneurial. It ended up on the front cover of Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:


Lighting: terrible.
Camera: just a phone.
Reluctance of my siblings to be in the photo: massive.
Being able to get a rare pic of me with my brother and sister: priceless.
Sometimes even a dodgy snapshot can be a precious thing.

The Usual Place

When 2 members of The Usual Place (an amazing cafe that trains up young adults with additional support needs) were invited to the Royal Wedding, I was asked by Dumfries and Galloway Life to create a cover photo for the magazine. As Meg works there it somehow wasn't too surprising that she managed to find her way into the shot (far left).
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Alex McQuiston

I was doing a few portrait shots for Alex McQuiston, the director of Absolute Classics. One of my favourite was this one where I pulled back and revealed the portable studio we had set up.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Moving Stories

There is no "us and them" – there is only us, in all our exquisite diversity.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:


Kasama are a young, energetic local band making waves in the music scene. They wanted a promotional shot featuring the radio masts at Skyreburn in the background. Brodie Donohoe took some behind-the-scenes video footage for me, which I turned into a wee video using a Kasama soundtrack:

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Andrew Livingston

Andrew Livingston is the 4th generation of tailors, and trained in Savile Row, London. This shot was commissioned for Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine but took far more thought and planning that you would ever guess. Getting that balance where you can see not only the contents of the shop window, but the reflection of the typically Scottish town buildings on Castle Douglas High Street was anything but simple.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

My Wife, The Artist

In September 2018, my wife, Maggie Ayres, had a solo exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries. Over a year in the making, she poured her heart and soul into creating the most astonishing collection of abstract wall pieces and boxes. Realising she was going to need some photos for publicity I did some headshots (above) and studio shots (below) so Maggie could have a collection of images to use as needed. But photographing my own wife was one of the most sensitive shoots I've ever had to do.

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Another poorly lit, out of focus phone shot that means the world to me as I stand with Maggie in the exhibition space.

Blood Bikes

Another photo shoot taken in 2017, but not made public until a year later. To date this photo I created for Dumfries & Galloway Blood Bikes is still the largest shoot I have done in terms of the number of people involved. Knowing it would be difficult to ever explain to anyone the scale of it, I dragged a couple of friends along to do a bit of behind-the-scenes video footage for me. Thanks to Allan Wright, Drew Johnstone and Jessica Lee

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Bald, Bold and Covered in Paint

"How about a nude model, covered in paint, sitting among the cushions or fabrics?"
Once again, a photo shoot that was done in 2017 but took a year to surface. Looking for something new to do for promotional photos for textile designer, Morag MacPherson, we came up with the idea that she would throw paint onto a model to fit in with the set of fabrics she had created. When I saw on Facebook that Zoe had shaved her head to raise money for Cancer relief, I knew I had to ask if she'd be up for taking part. With thanks to Kelly Hamilton for shooting the footage that allowed me to put together another behind-the-scenes video.

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

The Great Moniaive Comic Con Con

This was the 3rd Moniaive Comic Festival in a row I've worked with Ralph Yates-Lee, of Basement 20 Hair Salon, creating characters that look like they could have stepped out of a comic book. This year moved up a level when a) we were joined by stylist Trae Corbett, and b) legendary comic book writer, Alan Grant, actually wrote a comic book featuring the characters, and I had to create a cover image for it. Once again I dragged my photographer pal, Allan Wright, along to shoot some footage so I could put together a behind-the-scenes video of it.

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Fitch & McAndrew

I did a set of promotional photos for potters, Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew. This photo, in its unedited state, was skimmed past and not included in the final selection. A wee while after the selected images were edited, placed on a memory stick, and delivered to them, I was scrolling back through the folder and this one caught my attention. In its raw state it was unbalanced and way too dark, which is why it had been missed the first time round, but there was something about the back-light from the window that made me open it up and start playing with it. When I'd finished with the editing process it turned out to be my favourite of them all.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Peaky Blinders at Rosefield Mills

When I realised I had the opportunity to photograph 10 people in 1920s outfits, plus a horse, in an old abandoned warehouse, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. I knew I wanted to do something a bit more cinematic so used smokebombs, and coloured gels in off-camera flashes. Once again I dragged Allan Wright along to get me some video footage, and managed to rope in another photographer friend, Andy Jardine too. As well as giving me 2 camera angles to chose from with some scenes, Andy also employed his drone, to give the outside shots of the building.

For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

David Mark Williams

My friend, the poet David Mark Williams recently released his 2nd book, Papaya Fantasia. Looking to do some publicity shots he suggested the word "Melancomic". I felt this one fitted the bill quite well.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

Artists at The Nail Factory

I've often been told that some of my photos resemble paintings, but on this occasion it was actually the brief I was given: I was to photograph a collection of artists and make it look like an old master's painting. I really enjoyed the planning and design of this image, and everyone was just wonderful to work with.
For more about this shoot, click through to this blog post:

I hope you've enjoyed my selection - please leave a comment below with any thoughts or observations, and let me know your favourite!

Wishing each and every one of you all the very best for 2019.


daisyfae said...

Thank you for the retrospective! As always, i appreciate not only the beauty of your photography, but your ability to share the process and let us see behind the photos! Here's to a great year ahead of you! Cheers!

Kim Ayres said...

Many thanks for your kind words, Daisyfae! Wishing you all the very best for the year ahead :)

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