Thanks to some amazing inspirational photographers on Instagram I have been trying out a bit more street photography, really looking for the light and what its up to.
It’s coming up for a year now that I have taken at least one portrait a day. I have found this ongoing project so enjoyable, I have met amazing wonderful people, been to many events I would not have gone to without this driving desire not to miss a day
“In 2014, Ruby Shorrock, then a veterinary student at the University of Glasgow, formed the founding committee of The Trusty Paws Clinic.
Ruby became concerned about the homeless and their pets in Glasgow after discovering there were no hostels which allowed dogs, or any accessible veterinary care for them. Taking inspiration from a similar charity at Nottingham vet school, Ruby and her peers soon had the first clinic up and running!
Trusty Paws now has another branch in Liverpool. They have connected with various homeless charities along the way and are continuing to expand their team of dedicated volunteers.
Trusty Paws has come a long way since 2014, with Ruby being awarded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). We can’t wait to see what the future will hold!”
Back in 2014 I approached ruby, having heard about her idea and said I wanted to be their volunteer photographer and so I started documenting their clinics and have been doing it regularly ever since, something I really enjoy and I have built up a wee rapport with some of the regular clients.
One of those clients is the lovely David who has been coming with Casper from the start
Some more of the lovely clients and their dugs
That’s all for now, but there will be more!
Nadine Gorency, Govanhill Baths Community Trust , by the murial she helped create, next to the baths.
Earlier this year I was really thrilled to be commissioned by Strathclyde Student Union, to take a series of portraits that celebrated people from an African / Caribbean heritage, for an exhibition during Black History Month. Most of the participants were friends and I felt so privileged that they agreed to be part of this project. I asked them to pick a place that was important to them. Here are some of the portraits.
Tawona Sithole, Poet, playwright, mbira musician, educator and facilitator, on the roof of the St Andrews building, part of Glasgow University.
Solomon Bright near his home in Govanhill
Songi in front of the Beresford building where he lived as a student when he first came to Glasgow.
Olivia Ndoti in George square, scene of many protests and demonstrations she has been part of.
At the beginning of the year I was one of the facilitators at a series of workshops, “Changing Lenses, Glasgow stories of integration” with Migrant Voice.
“Photographs are brought together with writing in this exhibition which features work made as part of the Changing Lenses project which delivered a number of workshops and discussions by the photographers Karen Gordon and Robin Mitchell, the Turner Prize artist Duncan Campbell, the writer’s Ruskin Gammon and Samina Chaudhry and the filmmaker Amparo Fortuny.”
“Migrant Voice is a migrant-led organisation established to develop the skills, capacity and confidence of members of migrant communities, including asylum seekers and refugees. We work to amplify migrant voices in the media and public life to counter xenophobia and build support for our rights.
Migration brings a wealth of benefits to Britain. But public and media debate routinely leaves out migrant voices, and can be toxic, misleading, and damaging to community cohesion. We believe the best antidote to divisive rhetoric is real stories, told by real people. ”
This was such an enjoyable project and I made some really good friends through it. The mix of people was diverse and super interesting with people from all walks of life coming together through art and trying to make the world and easier place to navigate.
After each session I invited participants to help me shoot portraits of everybody and perhaps learn a wee bit about my lighting style and my approach to portraiture.
They seemed to enjoy it!
Below is a selection of those portraits.
Back in July I was asked to take some portraits for a singer Warren, who’s band is called Starry Skies, they play quite a few gigs around Glasgow and beyond and have a new single out “Be Kind” just released.
We decided to get up early and get some early morning shots at Gadloch, near Auchinloch close to where he lives.We met up in the dark for the relatively short walk down to the loch and hoped for some nice skies.
For the shoot I was using 2 Yongnuo YN560 1V’s with Yongnuo triggers, one with a brolly and the other with my Calumet Speedbox, with my Canon 5D 111, Canon 16-35 2.8 and the Canon 70-200 2.8 lenses
I was quite pleased with how these turned out, blessed with great weather and a super location, I think I managed to get a sense of the wonderful West Coast light and just make Warren ‘pop’ a bit, and hopefully “wrapping” the light around him.
I was excited to be going to see this man yesterday, and hopeful of him being my “A Portrait a Day” , my project on Instagram. I had heard lots of really positive things about him even before his book “Poverty Safari” became the massive hit is has now become. I had watched some You Tube videos (My number one source for all my research) of his, he has been pretty prolific of late, and really loved his way of thinking, and he does a lot of thinking! This particular talk was taking place at the prestigious Strathallan School
“Strathallan School is situated in 153 acres of picturesque, rural Perthshire and is within easy reach of Edinburgh and Glasgow with their international airports. Our safe, green setting and our stunning campus provide the perfect environment for an all-round, progressive education that is focused on bringing out the best in every pupil.”
I arrived and parked up in the massive grounds and asked a group of 3 young students where the theatre was. They were lovely and said they would take me, as we chatted I learnt that the one girls parents were working in Saudi Arabia, so you get the set up.
Darren commanded the room of mainly 6th form pupils very quickly, building up a rapport, a skill he sees as one of the most important factors in getting people from different communities to talk to each other , and that in turn is how some of the anger the poor and disenfranchised feel towards the wealthy, and the apathy and contempt the better off feel towards the poor, can be somewhat dissipated.
I love how he covers all aspects of inequality calling himself out for his mistakes and shortcomings while asking us, his audience to do the same of ourselves.
Diplomatic and wise, sometimes controversial , (always for a reason, I feel) I really enjoyed the talk and Q and A , he has a lovely way with him, sometimes answering in different ways, showing how the same things can look different depending on your point of view, and when he laughs he really laughs, his face opening up in a wide grin.
As with all the pics in this series , I do it real quick. At each event I get my camera and flash out as the event is about to end, and as discreetly as possible get it ready, then I assess how much time I have to get the shot.
Last night had to be real quick, Darren was on his way out so I had to jump in and ask before he left, he was lovely and said “sure where do you want it?” Red/ black curtain behind where he stood, thought get him in middle to try and show that dichotomy he sometimes has when addressing issues. Corny? Maybe, but I am trying to think more about backgrounds if I can.
And if it wasn’t for this project and the self imposed rules I would never have had the courage to ask him in the first place!
One love all
Last week I had the immense honour of photographing another of the many wonderful productions from The Citizens Theatre. I have said before I look upon this work as therapy, because I am much more than a photographer at these events. I am a willing participant in the healing power of creative pursuits, whatever they are. As the women (this was an all woman show) open up with their fears and traumas I connect and it really helps me process my own life in a strong positive way.. The love I get from these participants is overwhelming and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to being part of something so positive and energising.
This particular idea was brought over from Rotterdam by Kaat Zoontjens and Inez Schatz (second and fourth above) from Women Connected, www.womenconnected.nl and adapted by Community Drama Artist Elly Goodman (Third) and Community drama Worker Carly McGaig. Community Artist does not cover what these amazing women do. They inspire, encourage, and open up opportunities at better lives for hundreds of people, me included.
So, how to start these things, already been sat here for half an hour thinking about it, and been actually thinking about starting this blog for the past year!!! then I thought JUST START ALREADY! So here goes. I am going to use this blog post to chat about my photography, which along with life in general, I am so enjoying right now, I feel happy and grateful for what I have, which compared to some is very little and to others fucking huge, its all about perspective. Not just the glass half full idea either, its so much more than that, we don’t see things as they are, but as we are. (You will have to put up with my musings on life too, deep man)
I am not a writer and I am lazy, so if you are looking for flowing creative grammatically correct verse, look away now lol!
Just going to write it as I say it, unrehearsed, unpracticed just as is (little bit of editing) and hopefully the sentiment will shine through and compensate. Otherwise I am just not going to do it!
“A Portrait a Day” on Instagram
Back on the 5th May this year I started my project “A Portrait a Day”, the rules are
1. I must ask permission and take a portrait of at least one person every day, (Can be as many as I like, but at least one)
2. I only use my Fuji X-E2s camera and 35mm 1.2 lens, with a speedlight and Roundflash modifier.
3.I make it as quick as possible, with the least interruption possible to the person.
4. Upload to Instagram before midnight each day.
I started this project as a way of making myself get out there every day, explore whats going on in Glasgow and meet great inspirational people and record them for prosperity, and practise my art, photography.
I chose to do it on Instagram as I find it a great place for photographers at this time, I was turned on to this fact from blogs and groups I was and am following, I will get some links in at some point. There is so much free inspirational stuff out there, and the posts I loved the most were ones that had a wee story with them, so armed with Facebook and Eventbright I started to register for free events who’s subject matter I was drawn to and just started getting out there. Now the fear of not getting the portrait overwhelms the fear of getting out there and asking!
Best thing I ever did and am enjoying it so much, meeting truly wonderful people, doing what I love most in the world.
(Only had one refusal in all this time!)
Some of my faves so far……..
To see the stories behind the pics and see a new one every day check out my instagram
Hope y’all will come along for the ride, get chatty and comment , whatever, as long as its kind, nonjudgemental, anything we say does not make it the truth, just our truth at that time and certainly doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, as Mack Miller said (RIP) “It is what it is till it ‘aint”
Peace, love and musicality