Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes
We Love To Boogie
Being the careful planner that I am, I had planned a shoot indoors at a local barbershop. I'd arranged things in advance for an early morning start on a Sunday so that we could fit in with the shop's opening hours. It being winter, I figured a nice warm indoor shoot would be just the thing. The potential venue had a lot going for it, with a retro look, freshly repainted and a checkerboard floor.
So the cold Sunday morning found me bright and early in Greenock. I'd lost one makeup artist by the wayside due to ill health, but had planned ahead and had two more people coming with hair and makeup skills. The lovely Katie Ford came to help out again and a new face (for me) Melanie Watson
, who was one of the makeup artists I'd seen at the James Watt College show last year.
Both arrived outside the shop to keep me company, which was when I got the text from 1 model, saying she'd been up sick all night and was off to hospital. A deep breath and a confirmation that our second model was on the way, and I was still feeling positive about the shoot. Jamie, our talented male model was next to arrive, shivering and trembling off of the slightly delayed train from Glasgow. Aimee, our remaining female model, and her mum were then next on the scene, with my assistant for the day, Billy somewhere in between.
Notice that I have not mentioned the barbershop owner?
At 8:40 or so, it was time to gather my horde of teeth chatterers and come up with a backup plan. Billy suggested the train station at Wemyss Bay and it proved to be a great choice. We jumped in cars and convoyed to Wemyss Bay. The Seaview Cafe played inadvertent host to us, but they were very accommodating, and did not object too much when we took over their toilet for changing and makeup. They even let us plug in some tongs in the kitchen (though don't tell the other clientele that!). After coffees and a slight warm up, makeup was commenced.
Some days later we rapped on the door and got Jamie done quickly so that I could start shooting. We dragged him out into the cold and he gave us some mean and moody looks around the station and down on the wee beach beside the ferry landing. He's a very versatile young man and looked the part in the leather jacket we'd borrowed from We Love to Boogie's Vintage shop.
We went back to the cafe and waited some more until finally Aimee was presented to us in all her retro (and slightly pinned) glory, in one of the fabulous dresses from Psychomoda
. The picture above shows some last minute tweaking by Aimee's mum as she fixed the petticoats).
So we continued shooting, with two pauses for dress changes, through the next couple of hours or so, around Wemyss Bay station and down on the beach Aimee and Jamie shivering in between shutter clicks, and being totally professional the minute the camera came up to my eye. There was a little patching to makeup, smudged by dabbing at running noses (it's all glamour), and tweaking of hair disturbed by the arctic breeze.
This post includes some preview pics from the shoot. I'm quite proud of what we achieved in the face of such diversity. Everybody really pulled together and hopefully I didn't drive anyone else into hospital post shoot!
Next week should be the second of the barbershop shoots, for which a barbershop is a key element in the plot and poses. I'll do my best to coordinate it better and smooth things over for that shoot, either that or I find a new shop/salon to try my luck with. Also need to find a suit for Jamie...busy week ahead.
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'd answered a call for a photographer for a shoot organised by Stephanie (hair) and Siobhan (makeup) and using the clothes from We Love to Boogie's pop-up shop.
I arrived in plenty of time, laden down with lights, camera equipment and my laptop. The shop was fairly bear bones in it's pop-up guise with improvised lighting and heaters scattered about, which immediately put paid to any hope of using my IR and Radio triggers inside the shop...best laid plans of mice and men.
After nipping out for a coffee, a sub and a bun, I was back in plenty of time for folk to start trickling in. We ended up with 5 models on the day, new faces from one of the agencies in town, all frozen to death in Glasgow's warm embrace, huddling round the heaters as they awaited their turn with the Siobhan and Lynsey for makeup and Stephanie (with hairspray) and colleague for hair.
Nadia, and later Greg, played hosts and were quite understanding in the general chaos and mayhem we inflicted on their S. Frederick Street shop.
My first shoot was with Erin, dressed in a black dress and white fur coat (the fur coats were very popular on the day!) and we grabbed some shots outside the City Chambers in George Square as well as a couple of live mannequin style shots in the window of the shop itself. Next up was Emily in a very 80's flamenco inspired red dress and black fur. We had a climb around the pillars on the G1 building until we got a stern finger wagging from the security guard inside.
Last to brave the outside world was the one suffering most from the cold, Nicole. She breavely gave up her coat for a few of the shots, dressed in a black bustier top and a black skirt with red flowers.
The light was quickly disappearing, so the last two models, Michelle and Hazel managed to stay in the warm of the shop and pose around in the chairs and in front of the changing cubicles.
We rounded the shoot off with some group shots with all the models together, in and out of their coats, before packing up and hitting the road.
It was a new perspective on shooting in winter... the need for good heating and blankets and the importance of modelling garments appropriate to the weather.
I'm liking the results of the shoot, the models all gave their all when they were in front of the lens, but I still feel slightly guilty for subjecting them to near arctic conditions in and out of the shop.
Well, after the spectacularly successful shoot last weekend with Hazel and Ashleigh and the clothes from ten30.co.uk
(still in editing for these, so busy week of that ahead), I am going from contemporary fashion to vintage this weekend.
I have the minor distraction of a quickie, service only, wedding on Saturday. A shy couple too, so no more on that and no pictures either. Just praying the weather perks up a bit.
Sunday though is a trip to Glasgow in the afternoon for a shoot with models in clothes from We Love to Boogie's
vintage pop up shop on South Frederick Street. This pop up shop is open until the new year and has been decked out with a range of vintage fashions, which will be adorning several models. Makeup and hair will be rustled up by a talented team to suit the occasion, so it will likely be a very crowded shop, even if there are no customers on the day.
And except for Chris, who helped on the ten30 shoot, I will be shooting with a completely new team, so it should be fun making new connections and finding new looks on the day. Who knows, if the weather's good, maybe we can have a go on the merry-go-round in George Square, though I have a sneaking suspicion that another vintage brand has pipped me to the post with that idea.