Caroline Stewart

Nicole Caldwell

You may have seen Nicole Caldwell belting out "Purple Rain" on the X-Factor recently. I've been a fan of her voice ever since I've heard her perform with Soul Nation Choir a few years ago. Being able to finally work with Nicole on her very first photoshoot as a solo artist was a great opportunity. And a lot of fun! The brief was "bohemian/hippie/natural" so off we went last month to Mugdock Country Park (one of my favourite places to shoot) with Caroline Stewart on makeup duties and spent an evening walking about, laughing and talking nonsense. Oh yes, and we took some photos too. Enjoy!

PS. Big thanks to David for all the help!

Caroline Stewart Bridal Make Up

I've worked with Caroline Stewart on numerous shoots throughout the years, she's a brilliant makeup artist and a pleasure to have around (that last bit always helps!). Caroline got in touch a couple of months ago and asked me to take some promotional images for the bridal side of her makeup business. Kirsty Low from Model Team was our face for the day and we spent a gorgeous sunny afternoon in Edinburgh taking pictures. All shot with natural light (although we did use a diffuser and a reflector throughout). Have a look below:


Govanhill Baths Editorial

Govanhill Baths is an Edwardian public bathhouse which opened in Glasgow in 1917 and earlier this year students from West College of Scotland took it over for a one-day fashion photography workshop organised by photographer and lecturer Lauren Stirling. Govanhill Baths is such an amazing space - I photographed a musical there a few years ago (I know, how random!) and always wanted to come back and use it for something more editorial. I'd given a couple of photography talks at West College of Scotland on behalf of Bridge 2 Business in the past and was more than happy to come along to the workshop to give my 2 cents as well as take some photos of my own, especially once I've learned where it was taking place. Thanks to Lauren Stirling for the invitation and West College of Scotland students for help and donuts!

Models: Jack McQueen & Erin Charters (both from Model Team)
Hair & Make Up: Caroline Stewart
Headpieces & Vintage Wedding Dress: Kitsch Me Vintage

Electric Waterfalls

My very first shoot this year was a blast! I met singer/songwriter Caroline Gilmour in 2014 and we collaborated then on her Paper Planes release. We got together again in January this year to shoot cover and promo images for her brand new EP Electric Waterfalls (released this month). Vivienne Masters was in charge of styling the shoot and Caroline Stewart did wonders with hair and make up:

Some behind the scenes shots for you:

And a look at the final release
(CD and 7" Limited Edition Vinyl - you can listen to a preview here):


Old Hollywood

I've always been obsessed with portraits from the Golden Age of Hollywood, especially the ones taken before World War II broke. I remember cutting out those Dietrich head shots by Don English or numerous publicity stills taken by George Hurrell from newspapers and magazines whenever there was an article on stars or films from that era. Sure, more often than not they were the results of painful sittings with subjects who were contractually obliged to have their shots taken by this or that particular photographer whether they approved of them or not and the end results were retouched to within an inch of their life (I find it funny when people go on about Photoshopping these days as if retouching was the digital age's invention) but when you look at those images today you cannot deny the fact that they are timeless. They will never age and they also seem to have a certain air of melancholy about them. I think my preoccupation with that particular style of photography can be seen in my work at times - the shadows, rich blacks, the drama, use of wide apertures, etc. It's not necessarily something I do consciously  - it just happens to be the kind of aesthetic I'm drawn to. I've always wanted however, to do a shoot that would directly pay homage to that era and this summer I was finally given an opportunity to do so.

I've written previously about the amazing Christine Bovill and her Piaf show at last year's Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and this July I was asked to take some publicity shots specifically to promote her Piaf performances - perfect opportunity to indulge my vintage Hollywood glamour obsession. The super-talented Caroline Stewart was in charge of hair and make up and here's a sample of what we managed to create:

kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 038 (2).jpg
kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 032 (3).jpg
kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 024 (2).jpg

At some point during the session I asked Christine to sing a song in order to get a few performance-like shots. After a few spine-tingling verses sung A capella in French, Caroline was reduced to tears. If you've not been as lucky and haven't had the chance to hear Miss Bovill live I urge you to do so immediately - she currently has a residency at Swing on Hope Street in Glasgow and you can see her perform live with The Shiverin' Sheiks every Thursday. Oh, it's free too!

I'm leaving you with a couple of images of a more dressed-down version of Christine take that same day:

kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 133-Edit-Edit-2.jpg
kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 169 (7).jpg
kesiak-christine-bovill-jul14 141-Edit-Edit-2.jpg