In one of those little side excursions of mine I found myself at the David Lloyd Leisure club in the West End of Glasgow. I'd answered an invite for photographers to provide their skills in creating a calendar for Erskine Hospital. Naturally, the organiser, Murray, had also arranged for 12 models to come along and be the months of the year, roped in the salon Sculptur to help with hair and the SPL cup to turn up with it's guardian.
I found myself lost in Anniesland, but having planned ahead, arrived in plenty of time for our 6pm start. I met Murray at the reception and one of the early models, Steph. She'd made it over from Edinburgh, thanks to her Sat Nav.
Folk started to trickle in shortly afterwards, with the other photographers, models, assorted others turning up. The cup turned up, which pleased the Scottish contingent. I got my picture taken with it, just for the sake of it, though football is not one of my ruling passions.
I finally got to meet Alexandra Prior face to face. A beautiful young lady who had graced the catwalk at a fashion show I had been to, as well as 10 other ladies, who also had names, but god help me if I can remember more than 1 or 2 of them.
It took a good while for the models to escape the clutches of the salon and we photographers had to fight the fading light to get the group shot with the Erskine banner, cup and girls in football strips. Being ignorant I had asked why they had a Union Jack with them, rather than a Scottish Saltire flag, given it was the SPL cup. But it did finally dawned on me as the ladies all put on their deep blue "Erskine" shirts.
The girls were freezing, waiting for the last of their number to turn up, so they had a bit of a kick around, much to the bemusement of the folk in the next tennis court. It has to be said that some were more proficient than others when it came to passing and receiving the ball and I'm sure at least one of them kept hitting high to take out the competition!
We then split into smaller groups with each photographer going off with some of the girls to get pictures out and around the leisure centre. In the gym itself, it was a bit of a scrum, and there seemed quite a tendency to cluster. I got a few good shots, but hindsight has me wishing I could have just borrowed a squash court and done something there instead. The main halls with indoor tennis courts were impossibly yellow and unusable.
So a panicked 40 minutes later and the ladies ran back to get their evening dresses on. I did join the bar room brawl of photographers baffling the models with cries of look at me, but soon tired of this and got some pictures on the stairs instead. Once again, hindsight has me setting up somewhere else with my own lights and controlling things a bit more (shooting with a wall as backdrop so full length shots of the dresses could be taken, rather than a waist high projector screen for example).
From my perspective the girls all did a 10/10 job, but I was maybe only a 7/10. I could put it down to the evening, tiredness and hunger, but I think panic set in when I saw all us photographers paparazzing the group shot. 4 or 5 togs all taking the same picture with slightly different settings and fractionally different angles. The worst kind of photography (from my point of view) with no room for creating your own vision. Then the 40 minute scramble in the gym just added to the fuzz in my brain.
All the shots here are the behind the scenes ones, which I can publish. The final images for the calendar will of course remain under wraps until they are published.
Next weeked sees another networking day, this time at Eglington Country Park. A much more relaxed, creative and laid back event if I have anything to do with it!