This will be my 4th year taking part in the Spring Fling Open Studios event, where 90+ studios of artists and makers open their doors to the public for the long weekend of the 24th to 26th of May.
Because I offer a custom, tailor-made service rather than selling prints off the wall, in the past I have taken photos of people during the event as a demonstration of my skills. Last year, anyone who wished to take part could have their photo taken in a trilby and trench-coat as Humphrey Bogart. By the end of the Monday afternoon I had 127 Bogarts pinned to the walls of my studio ranging in age from 2 to 90 years old, 2/3 of whom were women.
While it was a lot of fun, I realised the drawback was I didn't really have time to explain to people what I actually do, and I think some left with the idea I was little more than a novelty photo-booth photographer.
In fact, what I do is allow people to become the hero, heroine, or villain of their own epic image. I meet with clients first to discuss what fantasy they would like to indulge - be it a scene from a film or a book, a line from a poem or song, or something else entirely. We then consider what outfits, props, location, mood, colour schemes etc we would need to make it look fantastic and set about bringing all the things together at a time and place that suits everyone for the photo shoot.
And it doesn't just have to involve one person. We can create a scene made up of family members, friends or even staff.
What I've come to realise is it's not just about the final photo - the experience of the process is also a richly rewarding part for everyone involved.
So this year I'm printing up large some of the fun fantasy scenes I have created with clients, and visitors to my studio will get to see what they are like and find out about the stories behind the images and processes of how they were made. I will be on hand to answer questions, explain what goes on in a shoot and bounce ideas about.
And as a complete indulgence, there will be a prize draw where visitors to my studio will be able to enter a competition to win an epic photo shoot for themselves and/or their family/friends.
I do hope you'll be able to make it along.
I'm Studio 24 on the Purple Route, which can be found towards the upper end of King Street in Castle Douglas, opposite the library and next door to the large, black Imperial Hotel.
A couple of photos that will be on display, printed up to A2 size
Video of a photo shoot I did earlier this year