A wonderful day for a walk

Came across this majestic looking tree. There was fresh snow from the previous night which was just beginning to drop off the tree as the sun warmed the air. It would have made a good portrait backdrop. Can I use it in a composite image, I hope so.

Happy New Year 2019

Wishing everyone I know and have worked with a Happy New year.

Lets see what can be achieved in 2019.

Working with Composites

The first composite to be added to my portraiture is keeping with the Enchanted theme. The first is one of adding a fairy portrait to the Fairy in a Jar concept. It is a lot of work putting a composite together but the result is worth it.


Happy New Year 2018

After a lot of unexpected events in 2017, 2018 is already shaping up into an exciting year with time to spend improving my business. Really looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Adding the Enchanted Forest Fairies & Elves into our Studio Portrait Sessions

After a few months of planning, we are excited to add the Enchanted Forest – Fairies & Elves to our Portrait sessions. These are some of the images from our first session with two sisters who after changing in to the fairy costumes, added wings and floral headbands to become the beautiful fairies below in the Enchanted set. All you need is a little imagination and belief and wonderful images are created which captures that moment in time that passes so quickly with children growing up. These are photographs that will hold memories for ever more and become stories for your childrens, children.

 A fairy trail, as another fairy visits the pool in the Enchanted Forest.



 A quiet time in the forest as more glowing fairies appear by the pool.


 Two young fairies rest by the Toadstool



Chasing my dream series Part Three

Part 3 of my series shows some of the work achieved, whilst using mainly natural light and an introduction to basic studio lighting. Working with a different model, adds a new look but also means you need to establish a rapport very quickly. It is not always that easy, when your mind already feels overwhelmed with everything you need to think about to achieve the image you want. This was October 2013 and there is still a lot of learning to be done.

The next session was also in October 2013 when I visited Kilmarnock and met up with Tommy Cairns to continue my training.

Client Video’s

Three new videos have been added to our Client Video page this week. The first two were commissioned by Poppy Design & Graphics for popupdesigns.co.uk.

Andy Cox started a small business in 2012 to raise funds to support two children a year (or more) through compassion UK. In the Summer of 2015, Andy and his wife Fiona left teaching to concentrate on the business of Pop Ups.
These two video’s for their new website, show how the popup is produced using one of their laser cutters and how easily the popup is assembled. Andy’s humour comes through at the end of the assembly video of the Highland Coo, when some of the other popups come and join in.

The third video is for the Elgin Pro Shop showing some of the images produced for Michael McAllan, Golf Professional at Elgin Golf Club. The images were commissioned by Michael to showcase the variety of items available to buy in the Elgin Pro shop.

Click here to view Client Video’s

Working in a small studio and capturing different styles with Sarah

This session with Sarah was continuing with trying out different looks, with natural window light and various studio lighting modifiers. Once again Sarah was full of enthusiasm and did a great job in producing the looks I was after.

 The first image is a head and shoulders shot from about 3′ away. The natural window light was coming from a north facing window. The camera settings and position were chosen to give a shallow depth of focus and a dark background. The narrow depth of focus can be seen as her hair and shoulders quickly lose focus.

Image 1 Natural window light


 Studio lighting was used for the second image. Sarah was lit from the front using a diffused beauty dish and a gelled spotlight was used on the background.

Image 2 Studio 2 light setup


  The lights were changed on the third image and a diffused Octagonal softbox was used as the key light, camera left and a diffused square softbox for the fill light, camera right. The key light was positioned to give the required shadow detail to help contour the face and to give a deliberate light drop off to the base of her dress.

Image 3 2 light setup

The next session is planned to be outdoors in a forest location, so fingers crossed that the weather remains dry.

Chasing my dream series Part Two

This next video in the chasing my dream series, shows a few of the images taken whilst training with John Denton at Calf House Studios in Beverley, Yorkshire. This was the first session with John on a one to one one basis, having met him a few weeks earlier at a workshop in Inverness. Luckily for me, Nikki Hafter, had also been there and was going to do the modelling throughout the day, so at least we all slightly new each other. The day started with John and I, mug of tea in hand, scouting out the location, to decide where we were going to work throughout the day and what lighting we would be using. Meanwhile, Nikki was left to change her make up and clothing ready for the first shoot.

The session began with natural light head shots. This helps to keep things reasonably simple, allows you to gather your thoughts, set up the camera and develop a rapport with the model. As the day progressed we added the use of indoor and outdoor lighting to the set-ups. Apart from it being a great learning experience, I can remember thinking that there is so much to learn to be able to take good intentional images, how will I remember it all and this is just the beginning.

Like so many other things, training helps to speed up the understanding. However there is no substitute for putting what you have learnt in to use, sometimes failing during the process, learning from this and to continually PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE. It was a great beginning and it was going to push me, even more than I envisaged. This is why I chose John as a mentor, originally for his style and obvious knowledge but latterly, for his great training ethos, Yorkshire humour and friendship, all of which became stronger throughout these sessions and at various other places where we bumped into one another.
The next session came in October 2013 when I visited both Kilmarnock and Beverley to continue my training.

A portrait session with Sarah

Some images from this weekends portrait session. The aim was to try some different looks and styles using both natural and studio lighting. Sarah did a great job modelling the different looks, varying clothing and selecting make up to achieve the style we were aiming for.

 The first image with her reflection in the mirror is purely natural window light coming from camera left. The window is south facing and the image was taken early afternoon with a sunlit sky.

Sarah-008 webfullsig

Image 1 Natural window light

 This second image is also using natural window light, taken a little bit later than image one. This time its coming through a North facing full length glass door at camera right. Decided not to use a reflector to fill the shadows, there is good definition achieved over her face but without it being to strong.


Image 2 Natural window light

 The third image of Sarah was created using a 3 light set up. This allowed some filling of the shadows to make a softer looking image and brought in a hair light to give some separation from the backdrop and some added glow.

Image 3 - 3 light setup

Image 3 – 3 light setup

I think she enjoyed the session, her smile says a lot.