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Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes

I'll rest when I'm dead!

Although I am at heart a bit of a lazy so and so, there's a part of me that is driven and always has been. Whether it was doing the paper round, stacking shelves, dishing out petrol or working as a waiter while in my school days, working my holidays as an activity leader at a language school while at university or since picking up the reigns on my photography career.

I guess this last week or two have really put that drive to the test. Following the fabulous day at the St Enoch's centre on the 14th I received a last minute invitation to come and help out again at a John Hartson Foundation Event up in Glasgow on the 17th. This was a talent show at the Thistle Hotel featuring a few local notables as judges and some young and talented acts belting out tunes and dance routines. The final winner was Colby Reid with a very theatrical rendition of one of the songs from the musical Wicked. I was also very impressed by the runners up though, a trio called Dave and the Turtles who did a sweetly melodic grassroots piece (Dave being the ukulele and the Turtles being the girls in the band), Here's the winner and runners up posing with the judges. Also a picture of one of the dance troupes with Rewind,
Dave and the Turtles and Colby with the talent show judges at the John Hartson Foundation


Rewind and the dance troupe unwinding after the talent showOn Wednesday I returned to Dreghorn Photography's studio to try out a new lighting set up that I'd had in mind for a forthcoming commercial shoot. It was a great chance to work again with Nicolette McKeown (shortly to be seen in a starring role in Metalhedz and previously seen as Lara Croft in my previous shoot with her). This was also a chance to break out the dress I'd acquired from Psychomoda a while back and that had been sitting forlornly waiting for a shoot.

Nicolette McKeown helping me test a lighting set up
For the photographically minded the set up was quite simple. A bare light with barndoors shooting through a gap in two flags at the side and a beauty dish with grid shooting down from above. There was also a reflector off the far side to throw a little detail back.

Following the shoot that Wednesday I adjourned to Merchant City to catch up with familiar faces at the monthly Scottish Creative Network meeting.

Also sitting forlornly at home were some swimsuits that I'd kindly been loaned by forluna.co.uk. This was for a shoot concept I'd hatched a while back and that had then promptly been foiled by adverse weather...this is Scotland after all. With the prospect of a sunny Saturday and a temperature just this side of hypothermia I pulled the shoot back together, picked up some Champagne and some delectable cakes from Nardini's and headed down to Ardrossan beach, scene of a past shoot or two of mine. I collected the first model, Sarah Stitches, from the train after she'd made it all the way from Aberdeen and then met the rest of the team along at the Waterside Inn. Several rounds of coffee later and after hair and makeup we stepped out onto the beach.

David Montgomery as a butler serving cakes on the beach...why not?
So the idea, as with most of my ideas, was to approach the traditional swimsuit or vintage swimsuit shoot with a slightly different slant. So we ended up with Sarah and our other model, Karlyn, playing two friends meeting at the beach for a picnic of Cava and Cakes (yes, I was too cheap for Champagne and my Spanish influences always incline me towards Cava if given a choice). Sarah arrived accompanied by her butler, the actor David Montgomery providing a more sedate butler than in his previous role in a horror short.

Sarah and Karlyn in swimsuits by forluna.co.uk, enjoying a tipple
Despite the cold brisk breeze it was a fun shoot and we all got a bite of cake. I was very impressed by both models' ability to thole the cold and be professional in such conditions. David was a great help, having brought along windbreaks and an art deco tray to give the shoot shelter from the wind and a place to put the cakes! Hair was by Christine Thompson and makeup by Naomi Baxter. Thankfully, aside from the wind and the resulting wayward hairs the weather was kind to us with glorious sunshine and blue skies!

Karlyn on the beach in a swimsuit by forluna.co.uk
And I wasn't done. I rushed home, swapped beach photographer for wedding photographer and made my way along to the Chartroom in Inverkip. Eunice and Callum had been married in Mexico but were having a little shindig back home for friends and family. Lots of accessories, sombreros and a Mexican themed buffet provided a background for a relaxed informal evening reception. A chance for me to brush up on my reportage skills a little but to also get some fun shots of the guests.

Eunice and Callum - First DanceEunice and Callum's guests getting into the spirit of things
Sunday was most definitely a day of rest, with some editing of course. This coming weekend sees the start of the Largs Viking Festival with the big Valhalla Day battle the following weekend. Lots of fun happening locally.



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