The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Pip and Ell Jewellery

There have been few (translate that as zero) clients asking for the kind of staged narrative photos I love to do, since the onset of Covid-19, Lockdown and Social Distancing.

And while much of my time has been spent looking into ways to increase my online presence and opportunities, I've been having periodic bouts of what are basically withdrawal symptoms. I love what I do and have been more than a little frustrated at not being able to do it.

A couple of months ago, I noticed Piper and Ella Booth had set up a  small handmade jewellery business, using polymer clay to create bold, colourful designs, called “Pip and Ell”
You can find the Facebook page here -
and their Etsy shop here - 

Piper was one of Meg's earliest friends when she started primary school shortly after we moved to this corner of Scotland. Even when she went to University, she would always meet up with Meg for coffee or lunch when she was back in the area.

Piper's younger sister, Ella, I first met when I did a photo shoot for the Castle Douglas High School Young Enterprise Group, “Set in Stone”, which ended up on the cover of Dumfries & Galloway Life magazine (see -, and is now studying Medicine.

Feeling at a bit of a loose end, I got in touch to see if they fancied a photo shoot to help promote their business. Fortunately they leapt at the chance.

We had a video meeting and I asked them to set up a Pinterest Board to develop visual ideas for the shoot.

It wasn't surprising to find most of the images they posted reflected the strong, bold colours of their jewellery designs.

At the next video chat we explored the ideas in-depth, and came up with the notion of them creating giant props shaped like their earring designs. These could then be used as part of a set they could build in the garden, so the shoot could be done under strict social distancing conditions.

I took all my equipment, along with a camp chair, packed lunch and a flask. There's no doubt it will take some time before I get completely used to the idea of not being able to accept an offer and tea and biscuits when on a photo shoot.

They also invited along their friend, Holly, to do some behind the scenes videoing for us. Holly is the daughter of Gillian, of the wonderful In House Chocolates and helped us film the behind the scenes video of the 7 Deadly Sins of Chocolate photo shoot we did last year (see - The 7 Deadly Sins of Chocolate)

It was a fun shoot, working with young, enthusiastic, intelligent, creatives, and was just the antidote I needed for the withdrawal symptoms I'd been suffering.

Back home at the computer, I worked on an editing treatment that ramped up the boldness of the style of their jewellery, making sure the colours really popped.

It then occurred to me this was the perfect combination of images and story for Dumfries and Galloway Life, so I contacted commissioning editor, Andrea, to see if she'd be interested.

She was. And the latest edition (Issue 155 – October) features a 3-page spread of my images and an interview Andrea did with Piper and Ella, as well as the main image at the beginning of the business section of the magazine.

Here are my favourite images from the shoot, and scroll down for the behind the scenes video.

Behind the scenes video of the photo shoot

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