Soul Nation Choir, run by the incredibly talented Chris Judge, is a Scottish rock choir that blends pop, soul and gospel in their performances. The best of the best vocal talents have gone through its ranks: X-Factor contestants, Bafta winners, West End stars - you name it. I've been photographing them since the choir's inception some 5 years ago: from candid, behind-the-scenes moments to images taken on music video shoots and during numerous live appearances. It's always a joy to work with them, I've made some friends along the way and I thought it was about time I compiled and shared some of my favourite images taken during these past 5 years. Enjoy and catch them live if you get a chance - they'll leave you smiling for days.
Caezar are Joe Donnelly and JJ Gilmour (former members of Scottish band The Silencers). Their debut album "Time" has just been released and I was lucky to work with them on promotional images as well as a music video for the album's second single "Love Is A Reason". The photoshoot took place on a rainy May day last year in Glasgow (huge thanks to Sarah Kesson for assistance). We wanted an urban, gritty feel to the images and Glasgow has plenty to offer in that respect.
The video was a different bag altogether. The band's brief was "black and white, weird and without us in it". I have to admit, I panicked a little - I had done 2 music videos by that point, both pretty much performance-based and I'd never written a treatment for one before. In fact, I almost said no to the project but I eventually had a moment of epiphany, got in touch with the amazing Frances Thorburn asking if she'd be interested in being involved. She said yes, as did Michelle Watson from Kitsch Me Vintage who provided custom headpieces, vintage dress and was in charge of hair and makeup on the day. Fran's spine-tingling performance is what truly makes this video and I can't thank her enough for agreeing to take part in it. We filmed most of it in my living room and in a back lane in Glasgow's Charing X area. There was some additional filming done all over the city centre from Fran's car on one very, very snowy night earlier this year. The visuals of Anton Corbijn were our reference point for both, the photography and the video. Check it all out below and if you'd like to catch the band live you're in luck Caezar are are playing Òran Mór in Glasgow on July 27th (you can get tickets here).
Horse McDonald is a legend and a recent recipient of DIVA Magazine's Hall of Fame Award. Working with Horse is always a pleasure and we've done several different projects together over the years but the publicity images for her critically-acclaimed one-woman play "Careful" are definitely among my favourites. Shot on a cold winter day at Britannia Panopticon, the world's oldest surviving music hall, it was a very low key affair - just us, lovely Marta on makeup duties and a reflector. The play, written by Lynn Ferguson and directed by Maggie Kinloch, is a brutally honest, and at times painful story of identity struggle and self-acceptance and our goal for the promo images was to capture the intensity and intimacy of the performance. Peter Lindbergh, as well as old Hollywood photography from the 1940s, were our points of reference:
And here are some photos taken during the play's run in Glasgow's Tron Theatre:
The Nighting Gals are a 1940s-style, 3-part harmony girl group and earlier this year we've worked together on a photoshoot as well as a promo video. Although there are a few different Nighting Gals, it's Miriam Elwell-Sutton, Frances Thorburn and Emma Mullen that are featured here. It was a very bright, colourful, almost pop-arty project and we had a ball on the day (big shout out to the amazing Sarah Michael who was in charge of girls' hair and make up). The promo video features a brilliant mash-up of Britney's "...Baby One More Time", the classic "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen - if they don't make you smile I don't know what will!