Archive for April, 2009

Dog Portrait – Randy Joe

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

This handsome chap turned up on our doorstep this morning, so I decided to do a quick dog portrait session while we tried to track down where he was from.

Border Collie Dog Portait

– Hello, is that the Mill Farm?


– I don’t suppose you’ve lost a sheep dog have you? We found one at our back gate this morning.

Oh, yes, the boys said they were missing one this morning

– A black and white Collie?

Yes. Emm… do you have a bitch in heat?

– Yes, I think Skye might be.

Ah, that’ll be Joe then. I’ll send someone to collect him.

Photo usage in ‘Virtuoso Life’

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I’ve just tracked down another usage of one on my  stock photographs sold through Alamy (er, yes, I was googling myself).


This shot, taken inside The Apartment Bar in Belfast appeared in the January/February 2009 issue of Virtuoso Life, “the flagship magazine of Virtuoso member travel advisors”.  Apparently Virtuoso is the industry’s leading network of luxury travel agents.


It is not the most exciting shot, but it is probably an unusual angle on a pretty common subject.  And for this article, is perfect for demonstrating that Belfast bars are not all about Guinness and old men in corners with fiddles…

This photograph was taken on the same photo shoot as my favourite takeaway restaurant photo (which sold again yesterday).

Puppy Portraits – Murphy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I’ve just uploaded a gallery of the cutest puppy portaits – this is Murphy, a new dog in our village.  He’s some sort of collie/terrier cross – he’s a rescue dog, so no-one is quite sure.

Puppy Portrait Photographs

Anyway he was a great subject for a puppy photo session.  Of course I did suffer the usual pet photographers problem of a lick on the lens, and then Murphy dancing on my head rather than posing for the camera.

Kingdom of Fife Dog Agility Show Photographs

Friday, April 24th, 2009

A lovely Saturday spent at the Kingdom of Fife Dog Agility Show held at the Lomond Centre in Glenrothes.1457-20090425-7157

I was shooting event photographs of the agility, and also got to see my own dog Nevis competing.  Nevis is an old hand at modelling (if not agility) – he always has his eye on the camera.Dog Agility Photos

With the nice weather, there was loads of light and so for a change I wasn’t having to shoot at the limits for my camera.  This gave me the flexibility to get a really high shutter speed to freeze the dog’s movements (about 1/1000 of a second), yet keep a decent aperture (f5.6-8) to ensure a reasonable depth of field.


There is a bit of a trade-off with depth of field when photographing dog agility though – more is great because you will get more dogs in focus at the critical point of the jump. The downside is that all the extraneous background clutter (other jumps, spectators etc) also has more chance of being in focus and distracting from the subject.

Dog Agility Photos

The small dogs are amazing to watch – they seem to jump many multiples of their own height.

In between classes, I managed to fit in a few quick portrait sessions – this one with a proud dad and three of his pups..

Dog Portraits

Wedding Photography Warm-up, Leith, Edinburgh

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Down to Victoria Park in Leith, Edinburgh today to shoot some lifestyle portraits as a warm up session with a couple whose wedding I’ll be photographing out in Italy next month.

Wedding Photography, Edinburgh

As usual, I started with some simple test shots in the house – working out if either of them has a ‘better’ side, or any features they would like to emphasise or de-emphasise.  The ‘best side’ issue fascinates me – many people have no discernible ‘best side’ but for some people it is immediately striking that they do.  These can be people who go through their lives hating every photo taken of them, just because no-one has spent the time in a relaxed environment taking shots from every angle to find the way they look their best.  Sometimes ‘best’ is only discernible to them, sometimes it is obvious to everyone – but you have to give people a chance to find what they are happy with.

Wedding Photos Leith

In this case the biggest issue we faced is that the groom is a good foot taller than his bride – not because she is short, but because he is very, very tall!  So we tried a variety of poses to reduce the height difference.  I find that this experimentation and dealing with specific issues helps get a couple more relaxed about having their photo taken in general, so that when the time comes to go outside and do some proper shots the smiles have relaxed and the apprehension about being the centre of attention has ebbed away. That’s why I think any decent wedding photographer really must offer some sort of pre-wedding session – you have to get to know the couple, learn what poses work for them, what they like to see in photos of themselves, and get them well used to having their photo taken long before the big day.


So when we did get out to Victoria Park we were just able to have a laugh together, and that’s when you get the best shots. Standing, sitting, walking, dancing in the daffodils… they did the lot.  Much to the amusement of everyone else in the park…


Environmental Portrait Photography

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Down to some  stables near Cupar in Fife today to do a photo shoot with an animal physiotherapist for her new website.

Animal Physiotherapist

It was a really fascinating session – just seeing the way she works which is very subtle and gentle but seems to have a dramatic effect on the horse.  I was trying to stay in the background and photograph as unobtrusively as possible – we didn’t do any setup shots, they were all taken in the course of a normal horse physio treatment.

Horse Physio

Animal PhsyioBack next week to do some shots of dog physiotherapy.