My year in a fashion
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Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes

My year in a fashion

It all began with a desire to create some images, usingmodels, that I could use to promote my wedding photography business.  The search for models lead me onto the sites Model Mayhem and Purestorm, both of which offered castings as a way of joiningup models, makeup artists and photographers. Through castings on both sites Igathered together a range of potential models, which were then whittled down by myself and the dress designer who had agreed to loan her dresses for the shoot.
Whilst browsing the forums on Purestorm I spotted an open day shoot for a Red Nose Day shoot at Dreghorn Studios, announced by Gerry Quiff and indirectly from that found out about the Scottish Creative Network.
Also whilst browsing castings for photographers I happened upon a request from Punk Morvs and discovered the band I’m Sick. I even had some fun taking pictures of them at a gig they were doing and again at a later gig.
During the Red Nose Day shoot I shot pictures of AdeleRobertson in clothes by Nicola Napier (nicci.n) and also met a couple of fellowphotographers.  I also got to meet,albeit briefly, Miel (Lisa Heidinger) who had also answered the casting for thebridal shoot.
From conversing with Adele following the RND shoot I was able to do some photos of her catwalk show at Inspire the Attire and thereby bump into requests to share photos with some of the designers and models involved on the night.
One of the makeup artists for the bridal shoot mentioned a night at the Oran Mor, where students from James Watt college were showing their end of year work, inspired by film for the most part.
My bridal shoot allowed me to meet five lovely models, a couple of makeup artists and whilst it was not entirely without hitches, it did give me a lot of confidence for the future.
I organised a mini shoot with some outfits from nicci.n and with Camille Young, a catwalk model from Inspire the Attire. A rainy day in the Botanic Gardens with makeup by Hayley Robertson.
I went along to the Hidden Lane and managed to boldly grab some photos of Silvia Pellegrino’s Chouchou Couture catwalk show, along withsome group shots of the models in an alley in the rain. Once again I’d found out about this via announcements in the various networking sites such as SCN or Blank Canvas.
I answered a casting call from Susie B in Perth and travelled North to grab some shots at Perth railway station with hats from Hat in the Cat, makeup by Susie and hair by Michelle.
I answered a casting call from a makeup artist, Lynda Joyce and we had a lovely afternoon at Dreghorn Studios with 3 models with  Stefan, Flora and Macoula.
In a moment of further madness I decided to try my hand at my own networking event, bringing together 3 photographers and 3 models (we’d hoped for more of course) and a range of vintage outfits and bridal outfits from A J Rendall. It was a fun day out in Mugdock park. This was also a chanceto take pictures of Punk Morvs with her model head on! I also met Jackie Clark,a stylist, who helped us organise the outfits and match them to the models onthe day.
During my search for bridal suppliers I had seen a dress onone of the Chinese wedding dress web sites that I really wanted to shoot. Afterannouncing my intent I teamed up with Miel again to shoot some pictures in thedress at Sloan’s ballroom in Glasgow.
An answered casting call for photographers to shoot a charity calendar lead me to arrive in a Sports centre with a half dozen other photographers, a dozen models and a brief to take pictures in Rangers Supporters Errskine Appeal football strip and evening dresses.
Another studio networking day and I finally got to meet the lovely Nicole Abbott, who’s portfolio I had been admiring from afar.
Another fashion show, The Only Way is Glasgow and I encountered the amazingly talented Megan, the lady behind Nutmeg Couture.
Another networking day at Eglington Park, this time with outfits from Jayne Faye, as well as some of the models' own. Neil MacMillan made it along again with a couple of new faces and models, Jane, Claire and Edmee.
Learning of the Oohfashion Autum/Winter show in Edinburgh,and having time to kill on a Saturday afternoon, I went along to their launchday at a gallery in Edinburgh. I met three lovely models in outfits by Kakao byK and Psychomoda and got some nice pictures. This earned me an invite to theshow itself.
That same day I had been picking up wedding dresses with amodel for a shoot on the Sunday and also visiting a shop in the afternoon toborrow some accessories. This was a shoot I’d signed up for with the ScottishCreative Network at the Radisson Blu hotel. A new call for models had brought me Dom Wilson and Emily Morton, both incredibly talented and beautiful young women and a new call for makeup artists had (I thought) brought me Katie Ford and Cat Gatenby. Cat had an emergency on the day of the shoot though, so Katie was left in the lurch a little. The kind and beautiful Sarah Berens gave us a hand with hair in our extremis and Emily’s contacts brought us Gary Somerville, hot footing it from his Sunday lie in to help out in the afternoon. The morning shoot with the wedding dresses went very well, but the afternoon shoot with the outfits by Obscure Couture and the spectacular work by the two makeup artists really gave the two models a chance to shine and I was incredibly pleased with the final results. I should mention here that Jacki Clark was managing to sneak into our shoot now and then to provide her input again.
Megan of Nutmeg Couture was then kind enough to loan some dresses for a studio day that Neil MacMillan and I had organised for ourselves.This was also another chance to work with Carol, who had modelled for me at thebridal shoot as well as meet some new faces, Priya, Lauren and Rachel.
A night out then in Edinburgh at the Oohfashion show andsome more networking links with designers involved in that one, includingAlison at Psychomoda and C.Watson, a friend of nicci.n.
My earlier contact established with Nicole Abbott now paid off as we decided to have a monster shoot with the models from PerfectlyPetite. This is a group of models that are seeking to broaden the spectrum of women on the catwalk, in magazines and in the media.
Christine (C.Watson) was launching her line in a shop shortly afterwards, also playing host to nicci.n’s works at De la Sole in Edinburgh’s city centre and had asked to use some of the catwalk photos for her launch night. I offered to shoot the clothes properly as I had a weekend free.
The call for this reunited me with Gary Somerville and also Nicole Abbott modelled with another PP model, Gemma Chan. We had a successful day of shooting in central Edinburgh before I ran away in the cold. The only down side of this shoot is that Christine downloaded the pictures to her phone,instead of a PC, thereby rendering them useless for the banners on her launchn ight, though one photo of Nicole did make the discount leaflets.
Another fashion show, the darker halloweenish In the Company of Wolves and I encountered some new designers, the fabulous designs of Velvet Elvis and the classic dresses from Eleanor’s Riot. Some weedling, begging and persuading and with the additional help of Karen Reid Designs and Psychomoda(oohfashion) we had outfits arranged for the big Perfectly Petite shoot.
Once again at Dreghorn Photography, with Gary and 2 newmakeup artists, Poppy and Carla and a hair stylist I had encountered working onone of the other groups at the SCN Radisson Shoot, Lesley we took pictures ofthe 9 models from PP. A contact from the oohfashion show meant that a reporter,Jill, from the Edinburgh Reporter was along, as well as folk from the GlasgowGuardian student paper, who had been in touch with me following the Only Way isGlasgow.
We ended up with some fun, weird, daft, stylish andbeautiful images on the day, but I did have a brief collapse around 3pm so Iwas grateful when Stuart, the studio owner, could step in for a few moments andtake a few pics of his own. He’s an affable and engaging host, even as weturned the studio into a scene of chaos and disarray.
Once the dust had started to settle from that shoot I realised that I was actually starting to get people asking to work with me,rather than me always going round with the begging bowl. This lead to a shoot at a new studio (for me), Contrast Studio. With Hazel and Ashleigh as models and clothes by ten30. Cat Gatenby, the makeup artist who had had to fight holes in her roof during the Radisson shoot, was able to help out with makeup and Lesley Docherty came along again to give us fabulous hair. The two models were spectacular on the day, with Ashleigh being made up with white makeup and Hazel a more androgynous black. I even commissioned some specific jewellery from Mhairi at Bonnie Bling, who’s work I had encountered through Obscure Couture and someof the fashion shows.
So the last shoot of the year was in answer to another FBcall from a makeup artist. The chance to shoot vintage clothes from We Love toBoogie Vintage’s pop-up shop and 5 models was not to be sneezed at. It was acold bitter day in Glasgow last Sunday, and the light soon fled the scene afteronly starting at 1pm, but I am quite pleased with the end results here too.Four of the models were new faces from a Glasgow agency, and it was interestingto see how their different personalities were reflected in their poses  when they weren’t shivering in the cold. Themakeup by Siobhan Keenan and Lynsey MacDonald was spot on and the simple buteffective hair styles suited the chosen outfits.
And somewhere in between all that I’ve been doing my regularwedding photography, 1 communions, family portraits and payingwork!
My advice to folk trying to break into this lark (you must be mad)...
Don’t be afraid to talk to folk, don’t be afraid to ask and take lots of photos cos now and then you’ll get one that really takes your breath away!

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