Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes
I was halfway through a holiday when the urge to go back into the studio hit me. With the help of the models, Jamie Hillen and Anna Elizabeth Elliott and the talented brushes of the makeup artist Elle McMillan I was able to fulfill the urge last Thursday. Unlike some of my other shoots in the recent past, there was no grand plan or story behind the shoot, just a chance to play with some lighting ideas and work with some nice folk. C.Watson saw my call for a makeup artist (always in high demand these folk) and tagged along on the shoot too with her daughter and some of her latest designs. Unfortunately all these designs had been conceived with a particular petite model in mind, so Christine's daughter stepped into the limelight for this little mini shoot within a shoot. It was interesting directing a non model, I found that by adding motion, jumps and spins we got some dynamic and fun shots which we never would have thought of or tried with generic model style poses.
It was a fairly relaxed afternoon with the rain tanking it down outside in Glasgow's streets. Jamie revealed that he fills up on a single banana and can do a passable impression of a vampire.
I'd met Anna briefly at the Oohfashion launch
last year and with the peace following exams reigning she was back in the modelling world. She's a lovely and engaging young woman with striking looks that Elle brought to the fore with the 2nd more adventurous makeup look.
Anyway, 3 early samples of the resulting images to show you what you can do with the simple addition of some gels to the lights on a white backdrop.
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!
, General Photography
, Model Shoot
, Erskine Hospital
, Radisson Blu
, The Only Way is Glasgow
, In the Company of Wolves
, Perfectly Petite
, We Love To Boogie
I thought I'd take a little time to talk about feedback, good news and confusion.
Feedback- Often when I bring the proofs for the wedding back to the couple they are still in the first flush of post wedding excitement, thrilled to relive the moments of their day in their pictures. So face to face you get good feedback. But the insecure voice in my head always wonders if they are like the average British person in a restaurant, telling the waiter all is well whilst vomitting into the nearby plant pot.
So, every now and then it is nice when someone drops by, sends a note or just generally gives you the nod after the fact to let you know that all was well. The other day, one of my customers dropped by with a couple of canvasses that she'd had done from the photos I'd taken at the first communion of her twin children. She'd been showing them round her office, telling everyone who was the mastermind behind the photos etc! Great news and great word of mouth that money and advertising can't buy.
Further to some of the fashion work I've been doing lately I've also had a few people approach me about working together, or just giving me good feedback about some of the resulting photos. Some of the fashion shows I went to lead to the designers borrowing some pics for their own blogs or sites and even made it into an online paper, The Edinburgh Reporter.
Another piece of good news as well is that three of my pictures will be appearing in the RSEA charity calendar
, including the much sought after cover page. So even my 7 out of 10 days can be good!
As to confusion. I'm helping to run a shoot in a week or two for the models from Perfectly Petite
, me behind the camera, them in front. We've had a quick change or two with models and MUA's dropping out, but so far I think we are on track. The designers have been very supportive in providing some of their wares for the shoot, and Karen Reid Designs is very enthusiastic in her support as she is petite herself.
And this weekend? Well it was going to be quiet again. But now I'm dragging Gary Somerville out of his bed and taking his makeup skills to the big city of Edinburgh, where Nicole and Gemma will be decked out in the best that c.watson has to offer, plus maybe a quick shoot with some designs by nicci.n who is launching in the same shop. Some Edinburgh designers don't like capitals... I like the irony there.
Fingers crossed for dry weather!
So here I am, a little closer to the 19th November shoot with the ladies from Perfectly Petite. To add to the fun, we will probably have a little light press coverage of the event and one of Nicole's friends videoing bits of the shoot.
Life is starting to calm down and go quite smoothly for the shoot ahead, give or take the occasional flaky makeup artist and last minute model swaps. I'm working on a press pack/release that we can send out with some pictures post shoot.
So, all quiet. Until an Edinburgh designer contacted me about using some of the photos from the Oohfashion show for her forthcoming shop launch next Friday. Now my photos from the catwalk show aren't all that bad, but I thought I'd grab the opportunity and offer my help with an impromptu shoot. A chance to spread my wings in Edinburgh.
So the clothes were organised by default, with a meet up at the shop, De La Sole, on Rose Street in the morning. A quick shout around and a very accommodating designer and Nicole and Gemma were signed up as models. Another call to Gary Somerville, who had helped out on two of my recent shoots and we had our makeup artist as well.
Here's hoping for dry weather on the day.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 19th keep on ticking over.
Following my recent excursion to Edinburgh, I took advantage of the offer of a press pass and dragged my cold filled head back to the capital for the Oohfashion Fall/Winter show. I was quite proud of my pernickety self for not cornering the organiser, Gary, about the use of Fall vs Autumn.
I managed to find the venue, The Green Room at 14 Picardy Place, with relatively little fuss, I even found somewhere to park the car. So bright and early, I arrived at the tail end of the rehearsal. This was a good chance to scout out the best seat in the house for pictures. A couple of other photographers had already nabbed the top of one aisle,so I found myself, slightly worried for my hearing, parked with my head next to the speakers.
The organisers had chosen to create a square of chairs facing out and in, with an aisle between, to allow the models to walk between the rows of the audience. I really liked this approach, it grounded the fashion and personalised it, so you still had some of the theatre of a catwalk show, but you also got to see the designs up close and get a feel for how the styles might fit (or not) into the real world.
Gary, head honcho at Oohfashion, was wandering in a frenzy, with his clipboard, with occasional cries of “I need to pee” and “I’m hungry”. Various helpers strode up and down the rows of chairs to ensure programs and other leaflets were all in order.
Once the beautiful people of Edinburgh began to arrive, the glamorous setting of theGreen Room really began to feel like a grown up fashion show. The only minor flaw was that due to the limited size of the venue there were a number of people stuck in the bar on tiptoe or climbing the walls to get a view of the fashion.
So a little after 8pm, after chatting to fellow photographers who had settled around me in my perfect spot, I was all ready for the show to start. (as a side note I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Daniela Flores, who was sat beside me, we’d sat next to each other at The Only Way is Glasgow, so it was onlypolite to introduce ourselves).
Firstup on the parade were the designs from Jenivieve Berlin Millinery, showing herLace and Chain collection. Having seen some of her work at TOWIG it wasinteresting to see some new designs.
Next up were Christine Watson’s designs, under her brand C.Watson. I had only ever met Christine in the company of Nicola Napier before (the designer behind Nicci.n), so it was fun to see some of her own work on display.
21st Century Kilts brought around the first appearance of the male options for theday. Tweedy and stylish looks with a minimalist nod to plaid.
Ness was up next, a familiar brand from shops here and there in Scotland. It was fun to see the styles and combinations on the models here, which gave it a younger look than I had imagined.
Nicci.n’s designs then hit the catwalk and caused the usual stir with the mix of styles, cuts and the lace masks for some of the models.
Those Were the Days Vintage Boutique provided the next range of outfits, for men andwomen. The first thought that hit me when I saw the first male model in his green overcoat was a reinvented Crusty(think back to the early nineties and the grungy, dreadlocked folk with a dog on a string). The boutique managed to create some interesting looks for the rest of the models too.
Rene Walrus had had a few pieces at the Ooh Fashion launch, so I had had a preview. Using some of the same ingredients as the other milliner’s on the day they also managed to make their own stamp on the occasion and had some veryindividual styles. I really liked the berets with spikes, which seemed to be the kind of hat that you could see onthe high street, if people still wore hats.
Megan at NutMeg Couture brought her Goddess Collection to the show. It was great to see these dresses again, and get a better angle on them. If only Scotland had a proper film industry,with regular premieres, because then all you would see on the red carpets would be dresses from NutMeg.
Meloosha, a boutique in Alva Street showed some of their Autumn/Winter attire. This range of different outfits gave a stylish nod to winter, with some dresses for those Christmas do’s.
Karen Reid Designs brought a bit more fun and colour to the evening, starting out with some more feather creations before moving on to colourful discs and wild explosions. It ended with a giant bow and long veil for the alternative bridal touch.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I’d accidentally met the designer behind Sweet Danger’s outfits during my recent dealings with Obscure Couture. Leelah was working as their intern when I dropped by to pick up and drop off the clothes we borrowed. She came out with her own distinctive range of looks andstyles, which nodded occasionally to more extreme fashion, but also presented some interesting approaches to nightwear.
By this time my bum was going numb and I had been hit on the head a few times bythe Hungarian photographer behind me, it’s a sign that I was enjoying myselfthat I hadn’t expressed variousexpletives at full volume.
Kakao by K and Lady Jojo’s were next up. Kakao had a classic approach to their collection, whilst Lady Jojo’s went for a range of distinctive tea dresses thatcrossed over from the 50’s with a healthy dose of the 21 Century.
The lady behind Tea at Aunties was sitting two seats away from me and while, as their name suggests, there was a retro touch to the looks, they were still contemporary, with some nods to wool to keep you warm in your minidress.
21Century Kilts made a second appearance, just to confuse me. I wasn't entirely sure if this had been planned ahead, or if the changes for Psychomoda were taking longer than expected.
And finally, Psychomoda through their hat into the ring. I’d also had a preview of one of their outfits at the Oohfashion launch, so it was interesting to discover some slinky gowns to compliment the bigger wilder outfits. There’s a heavy Scottish influence in some of her outfits, so it is fun to see the traditional touches brought screaming into current times.
All in all it was a good night, and except for a couple of technical glitches(someone forgot to bring a microphone), the organisers ran a slick event. Kudos to Gary Anderson and his crew.
With no stage to climb the models also had a smoother walk, with less chance of tripping on or off the catwalk, they just had to brave the gauntlet of the audience’s feet.
Being a school night, and loaded with the cold, I did a runner at the end of the night. The little shining light at the end of night was stopping off at at a takeaway on Broughton Street and being served by a lovely young Spanish woman who was also a graduate of my university in Spain, ICADE. She was in the UK to brush up her English and start work as a social worker, so best of luck to her!
More pictures from the show can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photographybyduncanholmes/sets/72157627808459153/
This is a little time travel. I had errands on Saturday, relating to Sunday's shoot. I met Domonique in Glasgow just after 9:30 for a quick visit to Melissa Amy Hopkins to pick out a couple of dresses for the shoot. I was then to go and vsit Melle Cloche just before closing, to borrow some accessories for the shoot. This left me with the whole middle of the day to kill.
I'd heard about the Oohfashion event launch on the Blank Canvas group on Facebook. I decided a wee detour in the rain wouldn't go amiss, especially with some promises of models sporting designs from their forthcoming catwalk show. The weather dried, as it often does, on passing Harthill services.
I took the park and ride to avoid the perils of Edinburgh parking and tram diversions, changing buses at the zoo due to a nutter threatening the driver with death for not stopping to pick him up at the Haymarket. It takes real determination in your average nutter to pursue a specific bus across a city just to make threats and then run away.
Calm restored I got off the bus and made my way to Braughton Street and the Union Gallery. I lurked for a little while, drowning in orange juice to restore my fluid balance after a hard walk across town.
I then introduced myself to Gary, head of the Oohfashion event team. A charming young guy with a real passion for his work. He was enthusiastic and really happy to welcome random passers by, such as myself, as well as more leigitmate visitors, friends and colleagues. He introduced me to the three gorgeous models who were sporting designs by Kakao by K and Psycho Moda, along with some hair pieces by Rene Walrus.
Brazen photographer that I am I then swept them away one by one for a wee mini shoot in the immediate area around the gallery. First up was Anna in an outfit by Alison at Psycho Moda. We tried a few odds and ends of looks and shots and ended up with these ones. I was quite chuffed when the designer contacted me later about using some of them! Next up were Bex and Lynn, before finally stealing them from another photographer for a shot of all 3 together.