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My favourite portraits and candids of 2016

With the year end approaching it becomes glaringly obvious I need to produce some content to round it off and maybe convince you to work with me in 2017. 

Luckily, 2016 presented me with a wealth of great opportunities to use my camera and here's a collection of some of my favourite portrait and candid shots from this year. (For more gig photo related stuff check out this blog right here.) 

Dan Stevenson warming up backstage at UK Tech Fest 2016

I really love this portrait. Taken backstage at this year's UK Tech Fest in the van with just some natural morning light coming through the door on the trusty 50mm it really captures the insane amount of focus and dedication that Dan puts into music. 

For those who have seen his live performances, the calm determination of this photo is a stark contrast to the ferocity of his time on stage. Super stoked I'm continuing to work so closely with a band as cool as Frontierer. 

Portrait of Erin Donnachie of Banshee immediately after a set 

Banshee are one of the constants in my journey into photography. With any luck, they won't get sick of me next year and they'll continue to give me the kind of access they have so far. That allows me to grab intimate portraits like this immediately post-show. 

Part of why I like this is that I shot it all natural light at the exact moment the house lights went dark to change from performance lighting to change over lighting. Far from the ideal moment, but I still really like how it captures the calm after the storm. Also, sweat.  

This was used as a part of my A Series of Awkward Poses exhibition. Read the full piece with Erin here. 

The engagement part of Sandy Barclay and Amy Moore 

Love is nice isn't it? Sickening at times, but also nice. Attempts at cool cynicism aside, I really like getting to document love. As previously mentioned, love is nice. As such, documenting it is really easy and very pleasant. 

It was wonderful to be trusted by my pals to photograph their engagement. And capturing this spontaneous moment of shared joy from everyone in the room was pretty special.

Textile artist Heather Shields shot for my A Series of Awkward Poses exhibition 

The pictures from my first exhibition, A Series of Awkward Poses, are going to be a recurring feature of this blog.  The afternoon I spent documenting Heather was fascinating, I love learning about the creative process of others. 

You can see the full exhibition piece on her and her textile work by clicking here. 

Surrealist painter Callum Byng photographed for my A Series of Awkward Poses exhibition 

Another one from A Series of Awkward Poses, I really like vertical nature of this portrait and how that it sort of draws your eye to the paint brush and the absolute engrossment of Callum in his work. 

You can see the full piece on him on the exhibition site by clicking here. 

A piece from the A Series of Awkward Poses entry of painter Martyn McKenzie 

This is one of my favourite images of the year by a long way. Martyn painted this reference piece in about 20 mins flat and then I photographed it against the backdrop it's based on. A real coming together of two disciplines which is quite nice. 

I decided to use this one over an image for Martyn because a) his talent here is obvious no need for you to get distracted from my work by how handsome he is as well and b) it summed up his part of the project the best. 

You can see the full piece on him here. 

 

Paul and Tylan McCue at the later's naming day

Back to all that sappy love stuff, here's a photo of father and son at his naming day earlier this year. First time I'd done an event like this, but it was such a genuinely lovely day. Humanist events FTW.  Parental love is a totally unique thing. 

Turns out it's also the wee man's first birthday at the time of writing this as well. Here's hoping he had a blast. 

Michaela Steele at Lunderston Bay for A Series of Awkward Poses 

Candid moments after often my favourite ones. Which might make me a creep...or a sensitive artist. Too close to call. 

This moment in amongst all the incredible shapes and leaps Michaela pulled really stands out to me for the gentle calm of it all. 

You can see all the pieces with Michaela on A Series of Awkward Poses by clicking here

Michaela Steele for A Series of Awkward Poses 

I adore this photo. Seemingly so does everyone else. It's my most liked post on Instagram to date. 

Hopefully I get to explore some more yoga and physical expression based stuff in 2017. 

Young love at Brew at the Bog 2016

All my pals are getting engaged or married and I'm sitting in myself writing about my own photographs...but when they're photographs of moments like this I'm ok with it. 

Think this was just about a year married for them. She'll realise he's punching above his weight before much longer I'm sure...

Marc Strain with his kitten 

This will be the first piece on my new Tumblr for 2017: cute guys in bands with cute animals. 

Nah, it won't. But it is a nice moment though. 

Erin Donnachie at Brew at the Bog 

Decided to hang onto my camera even when I was shooting Banshee at Brew at the Bog to document the whole thing through some candids too. Caught this one of Erin when were all drunk dancing to the La Fontaines. 

Rock on bro. 

Gavin William's going crowd swimming at Brew at the Bog 2016

In a return to his swimming days Gavin decided to go crowd swimming to the La Fontaines at Brew at the Bog as opposed to crowd surfing. 

Behind the scenes candid from "Starts With One" video shoot 

This could be in the running for my favourite portrait of the year. Sneaky 85mm shot in the mirror of Erin prepping that pretty incredible mane of hers to rock out in front of the camera for the latest Banshee video shoot. Bokeh + mirrors + red hair = victory. 

On set snap from the "Starts With One" video shoot 

Couldn't not feature this one could I? Just managed to catch those petals falling at that perfect moment. I really like the impact and the colours of this. 

Crashes promo shoot Nov 2016 

I actually don't do many promos, but this set with Crashes recently was a lot of fun. They turned the front of Gourock into a lovely winter wonderland. 

What a heart warming moment. I'm sure one of their inevitable Christmas cards is on it's way to you as we speak...

Behind the scenes of Toasted Fiction Theatre for A Series of Awkward Poses 

Here's another from the A Series of Awkward Poses project and this time it's of writer/director Christopher Patrick during his Toasted Fiction Theatre project. 

Theatre is a fascinating thing to watch come to life. I'd love to document that more. Getting to shoot in a brand new venue like The Beacon Arts Centre was also nice. Made for a pretty dramatic image. 

Find the full piece with Chris on A Series of Awkward Poses here

Erin Donnachie at Alba West Biker festival 

Alba West festival was a totally garbage festival. But it did allow me to take this super rock 'n' roll portrait...so there's that I guess. 

Chris Carmichael before his wedding 

I got to shoot my first wedding this year which was a lot of fun, a lot of work and a lot of making it up as I went along. I liked this wee candid of the groom getting ready though. 

Clearly mirror shots are something I'm drawn to. 

The first dance of mr and mrs Carmichael 

First time photographing and a first dance and this was actually the very first frame of the dance I shot and it turned out to be the key one from the dance. 

Once again, natural light wins out over flash for atmosphere. 

Mother and son at mother's wedding 

Back to that parental love theme again. I am genuinely so pleased I managed to capture this moment. That the parental love is somewhat enhanced by the romantic occasion really adds something to it. And that everyone is so colourful doesn't hurt either. 

The wedding of mr and mrs Carmichael 

This is my favourite image from the wedding. I can't take credit for the idea I'm afraid, but I really like what I caught with the camera here. It's easy to forget how beautiful where I live is, and how beautiful moments are only enhanced by natural beauty. 

Also, apparently it was a "contentious"photo that caused some slight outcry somewhere. I don't know how, but that gets me extra edgy points so double win for me. 

You can see a full blog about shooting this wedding by clicking here.