Monday, 19 December 2016

Florence & Finch - Wedding Photography

Galloway Photographic Collective members, David Moses and Holly Burns, have joined forces to create a new Wedding Photography Business: Florence & Finch

Hi there, we would like to introduce ourselves, we are Florence & Finch Wedding Photographers. We are a male-female wedding photography duo who offer a full wedding photography service throughout Scotland.

We will provide you with a bespoke selection of photographs that you can look back upon 50 years later and reminisce fondly on one the most important days of your life.

What can Florence & Finch offer you?

Well, as the name suggests, there are two of us, both on hand during your wedding day to capture all of the magical moments that ensue. Through our close teamwork we can ensure every aspect of your wedding is considered prior to and during your day. Throughout the wedding, we take up a variety of different positions, allowing for comprehensive coverage and a more dynamic telling of your story.

If you have ever been involved in a wedding, you will know that things can get pretty hectic and unexpected surprises can occur. You are, of course, marrying your best friend and the love of your life and you should be able to relax and enjoy every second of this celebration. You can entrust our photography team to suitably respond to any challenge and still deliver a wonderful album of photographs.

An often overlooked point is that energy is important during the day and by sharing responsibility we can keep fresh and motivated for the entire duration of the wedding. Our method ensures that all aspects of the event receive our full and undivided attention.

We offer a variety of packages tailored to suit your needs, from the earliest stages of getting ready right up until your first dance or indeed for however long you need us.

Similarly, we have a host of products to choose from including albums, digital files, framed prints and canvases and we will provide straight-forward advice and hold your hand through the whole process, making it stress free and simple with no hidden costs.

If you are interested in discussing available spaces for 2017 please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Florence and Finch
telephone: 07826 099669

Monday, 12 December 2016

Kim Ayres - Creating a Christmas Selfie

For most people, a quick snap with their phone while wearing a Santa hat is all that's needed for a perfectly adequate Christmas Selfie for their Facebook page.

Unfortunately, when you're a professional photographer, especially when you're known for moody portraits, everyone's expectations tend to be bit higher...

So last year I found myself setting up off-camera flashes on stands, getting tangled in a string of fairy lights, adding coloured gels to the flashes and playing with textured overlays in Photoshop afterwards.

I have a top hat and round glasses that I wear on stage when I play in my band The Cracked Man. I decided stringing a set of fairy lights around the hat ought to do the trick.

It took about 15 shots to finally get one I was happy with. Part of the problem with doing a self portrait with a DSLR camera, rather than your phone, is you can't see what the image is going to look like until after you have taken it and walked round to the other side of the camera to take a look on the screen at the back. Consequently it takes a few shots just to get your head and the lights lined up where you want them

Once I had a shot I was pleased with, it was into Photoshop to crop it, remove the cord running down from the back of the hat over my shoulder, and add a couple more lights to fill the gaps.

Then it was a case of finding a processing style that would fit the mood I was trying to create. In this case, it involved playing with the sharpness, colour, saturation and contrast, highlighting some areas and darkening down others.

Next I wanted to place the same image into the glasses, instead of having the reflection of my studio floor in them (and the same image within the glasses of them too).

Finally I created a textured overlay to add a bit more mood and atmosphere.

For a bit of fun and silliness I was quite amazed at the response - it became my most popular avatar ever - until the one where I was wearing a turban on a camel...

Whatever your cultural or religious beliefs and practices, and whatever the weather is like where you are, I wish you all the very best over the festive season and for the year ahead!

Kim Ayres

Monday, 5 December 2016

Tom Langlands - A Hot and a Cold Snap for Christmas

As it is now December I feel that it is reasonable to talk about Christmas. They say that you should never work with animals or children. I never work with the latter but as a wildlife and nature photographer I spend a lot of time around the former. However, I don't often get asked to work with animals as such but there were two occasions this year when that changed.

Back in June I was asked if I would judge the Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre's photography competition. These were all images of much loved dogs that would form the Centre's 2017 calendar. I was also to select an image that would be used as a Christmas card. It was a great day and it was a pleasure to look at all the photographs of these well loved family pets.

I had been asked previously if I would also take a photograph that could be used in another Christmas card for the Centre. Having given the matter some thought beforehand I went prepared to photograph one of the Centre's dogs at an old style window - the type of window that I knew the centre had. To my horror, when I arrived I noticed that the centre had replaced all of its old, traditional-style windows with modern ones. Undaunted, the centre agreed to bring a dog over to my home the next day where I had an outbuilding with the type of window that I wanted to use. I went home and as I planned the shoot I suddenly remembered that a friend of mine had a Santa Claus outfit that I persuaded my wife to wear.

The following day 'Misty' duly arrived complete with handler and my wife donned her Santa outfit. It was June and the hottest day of the year! Working with animals is never easy and although Misty was a lovely dog it was difficult to get her to pose just the way I wanted. I wanted to create a sense of anticipation and excitement on the part of the dog but also with a glance to the viewer in order to draw them into the story. The sun beat down and my wife sweltered. We took a few breaks but eventually I got a shot that I was happy with.

It has now been turned into a Christmas card to raise funds for Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre. If you want to support this very worthwhile cause then the calendars and cards are available for sale from any of the Rescue Centre's outlets across Dumfries and Galloway or by contacting the Centre direct.

This is a scan of the finished card.

Misty and Santa

In stark contrast to my Christmas card shoot in the height of the summer, the second effort at working with animals took place on a cold winter night at the end of October. Not only was it cold but it was also wet and windy. On this occasion I was asked if I would shoot a Christmas scene with 'modern' shepherds, a 'modern' angel and a flock of sheep. If that wasn't challenging enough it had to be shot in the dark. It was to be used by a local church for a Christmas leaflet outlining their services over the Christmas period.

Thanks to the local church a volunteer angel - who was appropriately called Angela - was found and thanks to the help of Annandale Young Farmers a farm with two young willing farmers was soon located. A third young farmer who was a genius with a sheepdog and a flock of sheep was also located. Conscious that I didn't want people hanging about in the cold any longer than necessary I went to the location in advance to decide where we were going to take the photograph and how we were going to light it.

The farmers were fantastic and after discussion two large tractors with floodlights were brought into the field. Bales of hay were positioned and after various test shots the sheepdog was put into action. I needed the sheep to be positioned in one specific spot in the background - between the angel and the shepherds. I also wanted them to be facing the action so that they became witnesses of the drama. It was a dream to see the shepherd and his sheepdog work their magic in the black of night. Bearing in mind that the rest of the field was in darkness the sheep had to be located, rounded up and driven into position. The whole exercise only took a few minutes. Somewhere behind these sheep in the darkness is a dog and off camera are various umbrellas and warm coats. Everyone was terrific and it really didn't take that long to get the shot I wanted.

The finished photograph was given to the Church's graphic designer who added the stars and the angel's scarf before forwarding to the printers. Below is the finished cover of the leaflet.

An Angel visits Shepherds tending their Flock.

Two entirely different Christmas shoots with different themes and each providing a unique challenge.


Tom Langlands