Category Archives: Blog

All blogs go here

Chrissie Red at Kenmore

At some point, and I can’t remember when, Tim Pile said he was coming up to Scotland and would I like to have a joint shoot. What an excellent idea, one snag….where? And so it was that Chrissie and I went out on another location hunt. Previously we had gone through Glen Quiach and passed a forest walk just above Kenmore….it said the magic word ‘Waterfall’.

So in August we decided to pay it another visit and embark on said walk and see if we could find the waterfall as a possible location for taking Tim. It was kind of a dull day but not cold, just right for a little hill climb for the asthmatic and the smoker alike. The walk actually takes you right past the waterfall, had we not heard it we would never have found it. We had walked past it and had to climb down to get back to it, following our ears to the sound of falling water. We reasoned that it wasn’t enough of a location to take Tim so we ended up taking images there instead.

At the top of the waterfall was this tree seemingly growing out of the rock, like something from a fairy tale.

DSC_8310-EditDSC_8317-EditThis image below is taken right at the top of the waterfall, at the very edge! It’s actually one of my favourite images of Chrissie.

The Waterfall's Edge


Obviously right at the very bottom….fortunately not very deep.Somewhere at the Waters Edge


DSC_8352-EditAn interesting place…and actually a great walk too, very lush and very green. Even though it was a tad steep in place and made us puff and wheeze. Chrissie did well to brave the heights of the waterfall as it was fairly treacherous….a star as always.



Artemis and Chrissie Red

It’s always a pleasure to work with Chrissie but doubly so to work with her and Artemis together, this being my third shoot of August 2013. This time I had ideas!, shock horror and scandal…..ok maybe not scandal lol. I had organized to do 2 hour in the studio with both of them then head off to the beach to meet Nicola, who booked Artemis for 2 hours. I was then to have another 2 hours with Artemis on the beach, seemed like a grand plan. Here are the studio shots.



The Goddess and The Red



The Candy Floss Girls





And so to the beach to have a picnic and meet Nicola… has to be said that at this point Chrissie and I did our shoot thing at the waters edge where I’m afraid to say my hairy legs were bared and exposed as I was forced to enter the water to get the shot. Oh wait…that was the scandal bit!.


Red and Wet Purple





As you can see it wasn’t actually a very summery day, the sea was shrouded in low cloud but at least it was warm. And so on to my other idea…yes reader..I had more than one! Whilst Nicola was shooting Artemis I was digging a whole in the sand amoungst the dunes, big enough to bury Chrissie in. Hey…it’s plan!

Heat in the Dunes

No Shelter


Born of the Sand


Then Artemis joins in and Nicola becomes the lookout.


Red and the Huntress



Then we get a bit bad and erm…..’find’ a closed logging workshop, in which Artemis gets caught nude by a passerby. Fortunately he wasn’t paying attention and I don’t think he saw her…..however evasive action was taken, I’ve never seen anyone curl up into ball as fast as that before.





Unfortunately right after this the clouds emptied and the rest of the shoot was a wash out and had to be abandoned…..however fun times were had, as well as many images. The next time I see Artemis is at Chrissies wedding….but that’s another story 🙂


Tansy Blue

More July shoots in 2013 this time with Tansy Blue, the main idea was to start getting to grips with more studio and lighting work…with a black background. So first we did some studio stuff and I’m sure by now you can recognise a certain chair, the chair is becoming a bit of a challenge. What can be done differently with a simple scraggy chair. More to come in later posts with the chair.



DSC_6785-Edit Ground Work



Then off to the beach for a romp around in the sand, and of course an ideal operchancity to get Tansy soaked from head to toe. After all I have an evil reputation to uphold!



A good day spent with Tansy, bags of fun and splashes of salt water, at least it was warm water….ish.


In June 2013 I had a joint shoot with Nicola and we found that Tillie was in the area, a quick couple of emails later and Tillie was organized for a studio shoot. We decided to go for contrasty shots using a black background, we found the lighting to be quite tricky to get correct or should I say the way we wanted it. However in the end we both came out with more than a handful of fine images

The image below called ‘The Chair’ won a FIAP ribbon.

This image below called ‘The Studio Floor’ won a Salon Silver at Salon Kula

A further acceptance with ‘Pearls in Peril’

I have to say Tillie was excellent, very friendly yet professional. She knows exactly what she’s doing and takes direction easily and runs with ideas with ease. Highly recommended!
My ‘will work with again’ list grows yet again.

The Caterthun Stones

So May 2013 turned out to be a busy month indeed as this shoot with Chrissie Red was to be my fourth. It was one of those days where we had nothing planned we’d just go out in the car and see what we could find, although a backup plan was to head to GlenEsk. On the way there we saw a small sign post for historic Scotland…The Caterthun Forts…We had no idea what that was but we followed the road along small country lanes til we got to a small car park. The Caterthun Forts turned out to be two ancient hilltop forts with the road running between the two, one called the white fort and one called the brown fort. The white fort was closer but steeper so we had a wander up the hill, its a plateau ringed with boulders which at one time must have been quite substantial. It overlooked the mountains to the North and the farmlands to the South, East and West.

  This image was taken on the wall looking East.
In the middle of the fort was a large deep hole, grassy and wide. Strangely people had started to build a small cairn inside of it.
The Caterthun Stones – FIAP accepted image
On the way up to the top of the fort we past a  wooded area, now normally pine trees are planted close to together but these were spaced sparsely. Inside the wood was this fantastic glade, lush and very very green. Open to a lot of light and perhaps a lot of rain which was why it was so lush inside. It was one of those quiet serene places where you could just sit for hours.
Yes it really was that green!
A few B&W to escape from the greenness!
It’s amazing the places you can find if you just get out there and commit yourself to finding something. This location is definitely one worth going back to, so many possibilities and very very quiet.
After a while we headed back over to Brechin for something to eat and watch the auld geezers sail their boats on the pond at the Pictish Center. A good day out really!
Chrissie was amazing as ever.

Emma Willis

May was a busy month!, it also warmed up nicely and  by the time Emma WIllis came up to Scotland the weather was lovely and warm, I had decided on a 2 hour studio shoot then heading off to the beach. So Emma arrived at the studio, bouncing down the grassy track in her new car. Into Studio Roro with a roaring start….this is an image called Roses and Lace.

Next up is my old suit, sadly I’m too chubby for it now lol

The image below is one of my favs, it’s just a simple shot but I like it.
The suit comes off….

Well two hours goes by fast and off we went to the beach. And being the heartless photographer that I am I forced Emma into the water. How far in? she asks….erm all the way, completely soaked, hair n all. Oh how she did squeal in the cold water!..Muahahahaha.  This image was taken when she came back out after a few submerged shots.
Now Tentsmuir is a common beach for horse riding and Emma said she always wanted a shot of herself with a horse, so I asked a passing horse rider if we could take a picture of Emma and the horse.
The horse liked Emma but was a bit unsure of the camera, the focusing light sometimes attracts unwanted attention from animals and little kids. We got Emma dried off and headed over to the sand dunes and this was one of the last images of the day.
All in all a grand afternoon out really, Emma is good company and works her socks off, unfortunately she lost the lock for her tummy button jewelry. A little trip to St Andrews to get said lock finished off the shoot nicely , after setting her off in her car with a fond farewell you would think that would be the end of the day right? Well…no! I set off home and 5 mins into the journey I get a call from Emma, some local sod had driven her into a ditch. So back I go to find her, her poor new car was stuck in a water run rut, also she blocked up the road causing a small tail back…..I managed to get a rope from a nearby farm and eventually we managed to pull the car out without any damage much to the relief of a now ever increasing tailback. I had to laugh a little and called her a trouble maker, winked and said goodbye. An eventful shoot really 🙂

Boarshill with Chrissie Red

My last blog featuring Elle Black described how cold it was yet the very next day I had a shoot with Chrissie Red and fellow photographer Nicola Sheperd and it was very warm indeed, again a beach shoot only 15 miles south of Tentsmuir at a place called Boarshill Rock.
The sun was out and the small cliff face kept us sheltered from any breezes. The area around the massive rock is a combination of jagged rocks with a grassy beach and a sandy beach, its a little micro world on its own. It’s one of those place where you can return again and again to get different images and still find something new. The rock its self stands between the rocky shoreline and a short cliff face, wind and rain has weathered the rock into a bizzare shape, Chrissie calls it Elephant Rock and that is indeed its shape. The sun was out and it was a lovely day without the light being too harsh, so we parked our gear at the rock and got down to business.

The image below is a FIAP accepted image called ‘Boarshill Rock’
The image below called Red in the Rock won a FIAP award

Nicola wanted to do some ‘Big Dresses’ as she called it so Chrissie brought along some various dresses and got kitted up, The rocks near the waters edge were catching a bit of wind so we headed down, unbelievably Chrissie managed to traverse thru the craggy rocks in high heels. By this time you can see a small squall brewing over the water as if Chrissie is summoning up a storm.

Down where we kept our gear there was a natural inlet to a little sandy beach. The tide came in quite quickly there and some of our gear nearly floated away.

All to soon though time ran out, this location is definitely worth a revisit, there’s lot of little coves and rock formations, and of course the main rock itself. Chrissie as always was a star, she works locations and environments as if she has owned them for centuries, the mark of a true professional and creative artist.

Elle Black Returns

May in Scotland is very changeable weather wise and so it proved this day when I had organized a shoot with the lovely Elle Black, originally we had arranged a morning shoot but it didn’t tie in with a later shoot the same day for Elle so we made it an afternoon shoot. The morning started warm and sunny, a lovely spring day that soon turned horrible by the time 1pm came along. When Elle appeared bang on time it was gray and dull with a bitingly cold wind. I have to say I did warn her that it would be cold and that the sea would be freezing however like a trooper Elle got down to business….just in time for the rain!
The rain stops for a short time to get this beach shot.

Then the wind picks up and gets colder

The image below is a Salon Acceptance called Ran, depicting the Norse sea goddess who captures souls of dead sailors washed upon the shore.

We also did some shots in the water for a very short time but it was simply too cold to do much and we headed for the shelter of the sand dunes, amazingly it was quite warm out of the wind.

Using the debris washed up upon the shore

Finally heading into the trees to get a bit of shelter from the wind

I have to say this was one of the coldest shoots I’ve ever done and Elle did very well to cope with it, she struggled at times when many would have given in but she still came up with great poses and really pushed herself like a true professional. A highly recommended model.

The Charm

Piggin Hell!!…its been over about 4 months since my last blog and that was about a shoot in February with the ever wonderful Chrissie Red. Time to get my arse in gear and  describe my next shoot which was much later on in…erm, well March really. This is my second shoot with Rachelle Summers, I decided to book the Studio RoRo again as the weather was very unpredictable and a location shoot would have been a very cold if the weather was bad. I picked Rachelle up at the station and headed over, chatting about holidays and visits to Paris along the way.
The studio was nice n warm and once hair and make up ( not me) was done we got down to getting images done and trying out some of the new lights.

Now Rachelle has naturally lovely skin tones but she also suits B&W very well and in this shoot I seemed to have picked more B&W than anything just works.
This image below is called Pearls and Bows and  is a FIAP accepted image

I had some ideas for this shoot and one of them was to use some old style jewellry and an old fashioned shirt, I had the shirt which was actually my grandfathers but I paraded around the second hand store to find some unusual pieces….I originally wanted some stylish rosary beads but absolutely no-one had any, however it all came good in the end.

This next image below is called Filigree and is also a FIAP acceptance.
And once again the time went past too fast, and sooner than realised we had to leave the warmth of the studio and drop Rachelle of for her Aberdeen leg of her tour. Rachelle is one of those models that if you can’t get a good picture of her then you might as well give up photography, she is a delight to work with and super easy to get stunning images. More of Rachelle later in the year 🙂

Strathore Hospital

Back in February a fellow camera club member came across an old abandoned hospital in deepest darkest Fife, in fact the hospital had a bit of a reputation for ghosts and spooky goings on, it was in fact featured in one of those supernatural programmes on TV. Well anyway off Chrissie and I went to explore, meeting Nicola Shepherd on site, the hospital was just off the road but actually quite difficult to spot. It used to be a respite hospital in war time and after that a fever ward for children.

It has to be said it was a piggin cold day, not frosty but that damp cold bone biting way, the lighting was also very dark though the images don’t look it, Nicola manned the reflector but we are still talking very high ISO. We did a quick search through the rooms and decided what to do so that we could shoot quickly to prevent getting Chrissie too cold. In one room we found a huge tractor tyre.

These 3 images below have been accepted in International Salons.

Tread Abandonly


The walls were lined with old fashioned green tiles, that heavy glaze/gloss look from a bygone era. As such we used them to do another portrait and succeeded in another Salon Acceptance.
A Splash of Red
We rummaged around and found a shower area that was used for for patients, it was rusty and grubby but still had its shower curtain albeit in tatters.
We stopped for a break to get warmed up again for another shoot in a different part but by the time we went back out the chill had gotten worse and we decided to call it quits and return at a later date. We headed off to Balgove Farm for a well earned lunch and much needed hot drinks. Thanks to Chrissie and Nicola for making it a fun day 🙂