Posted: October 24th, 2013| Comment on this post »

6 top tips for a great photography portfolio for models

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The world of modelling can be such a tough place to get in to, develop, grow, and be successful to stay there.

For the past couple of years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with a lot of models, either directly or through their agencies. The guys and girls that I’ve worked with have a range of experience, from being with me on their first ever photoshoot to established, main board models.

One of the key things that models need to have is a strong portfolio (book) of images. Here are a few things to think about when putting your book together…

First impressions count – especially in the modelling world. Your images will always be seen before you get a chance to dazzle them with your personality in person, so it’s really important to grab the attention of agencies or clients with strong images.

Set your standards very high – Use a very critical eye–whether it’s your own, or even better, someone who has experience helping models get signed to prominent agencies or chosen for lucrative gigs when selecting any images to put in your modelling portfolio.

Get the WOW factor – Make sure that the pictures that you select when you build a modelling portfolio have the ability to WOW agencies and potential clients. Remember, you are only as good as your worst image. Photographers, agencies, and clients will remember your worst image.

Get it right first time – Before putting together your portfolio, it is important to know what type of modelling you can and want to do. A portfolio of a Freelance model, for example, would probably include a variety of different types of photos, while a portfolio of a high fashion model would have high fashion images, and so on. So be realistic from the very outset of your career to avoid any setbacks or rejections due to the fact that you are attempting to enter a type of modelling that is not best suited for you.

Less is more – It is better to have fewer photos that are great, than having more photos that are of poorer quality. So the rule of thumb is that less is more. As a new model, your portfolio should have 6 – 12 photos, especially when you are presenting yourself to a new agency. As an established model, your portfolio should ideally have anywhere between 10 and 25 photos.

Variation is key – Always keep in mind that the purpose of your portfolio is not only to show your good looks, but it should also demonstrate your ability to portray different characters, age ranges and personality. It’s also important to have good range of looks and styles, simple, natural, casual, stylish, elegant etc….

Some shots to include in your portfolio:

  • Beauty shot.
  • Smiling shot.
  • Natural light shot.
  • Editorial shots.
  • Swimsuit shot at the beach or a pool.
  • Full length fashion shot
  • Tear sheets from print publications
  • Very light makeup shot or no makeup shot
  • Tasteful lingerie shots

Key points for your portfolio success

  • Size of book – 9×12, 11×14 and A4 books are popular and often required.
  • Your book markets your ability to portray different characters, age ranges, and personalities.
  • Put your strongest photo at the front to grab the photographer, agent, or client’s attention.
  • Place your “WOW” photos on the right pages of your portfolio and “Great” photos on the left.
  • If you have images where you’re facing to one side, make sure you are facing inwards.
  • Keep horizontal photos together, or print one image in two parts so it fits right side up spread across both sides of the book.
  • Don’t have many photos yet? Place them all on the right sides of your book and keep the left side blank so it seems like there are more to look through.
  • Don’t be afraid to include a few great black and white photos in your portfolio.
  • Add a photo on the very last page of your book with your business cards to give the agent/client something to look at while they grab your card.

Posted: October 17th, 2013| Comment on this post »

Top 10 tips for fine art potrait photography

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For me the act of fine art portraiture can be such an intimate experience. It is about becoming vulnerable and building trust, both for the photographer and for the subject! When I photograph people, the experience is so much more than snapping a pretty image. It’s about a connection and a communication and honouring the person in front of my lens. I truly want to see the person. And the person in front of my camera has to be ready to be seen. 

Here are a few things to consider when developing your fine art portrait skills

Develop your own style – A key driver for me was to have people recognise an image of mine without my name beside it. Find a style of photography that works for you and makes you stand out from the crowd

Communicate – Maybe not so easy when photographing a mountain….but when you are working with people of all ages, you can get so much more from them if you engage with them, keep it fun, light, enjoyable….and wait for that moment when they give you that most natural or emotional of looks…stunning!!!

Be creative – I use prime lenses when I shoot portraits, main reason is that they make me move rather than simply zooming in. Don’t stand still in the same place, move around, up, down, always looking for the angle that works best.

Love the light – Shooting in natural light is my thing, love it. Always look for the best light to place your subject. Believe it or not, my favourite place to shoot is at my front door. I have great top shade that gives me the most amazing soft, beautiful light….look for it!!!

See the shot – Don’t just click, see what it is you want to get in your minds eye and work for it…

Master the composition – Rules are there to be broken but some are there for good reason. A part of finding your style, look for the kind of composition that makes the images stand out for you…they don’t all have to conform or be the same

Know your camera – I probably use less than half the stuff that my camera can do. I know the settings that work for me in whatever conditions I’m faced with…I love backgrounds blurred out….again, find your style and become a master at working it.

Research and learn – There is so much available to us now that we can use. I’m forever looking at other peoples work, online, in magazines, books, galleries…new and old work. But start to look at an image differently, how was it composed, styled, shot, lit….try to see what the photographer did…

Be passionate – I absolutely love what I do, every time I pick up the camera I’m looking to achieve something different, even if it is in the same location as my previous shoot…..

Have fun – To see peoples faces when they see a finished image that you…and they have created is just amazing.

With every fine art portrait that I create, my intention is to create stirring, meaningful and beautiful images that will linger with my clients and inspire others…. Embrace it, enjoy it and simply have fun with it.

Posted: October 2nd, 2013| Comment on this post »

I’m a firm believer in the philosophy of “life long learning”

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I’ve had the good fortune throughout my career to work with some amazing organisations and along the way, I have met and worked with many people that I admire and respect….and I’m always open to learn something new every day, however insignificant that may be.

If you keep your eyes, ears and mind open, then you can’t help but learn new things and possibly more importantly, re- awaken the things that are there that you’ve just forgotten about….

Prior to launching my photography business, I’d had a pretty successful career as a sales guy working in the world of IT and Management Consultancy and I’ve tried to carry over the philosophy that drove me before into my new business. However, going from one industry to another meant learning new skills across the board……

I found that as I was developing my own style of photography, as well as my business skills in this new industry, people were slowly asking me more and more questions about all manner of things. Ranging from shooting techniques, post processing tools, hints and tips, marketing etc… So, earlier this year, I started to put some training course material together and came up with a plan to offer a 1-1 coaching sessions for beginners through to seasoned professionals.

I take it as a huge compliment when someone contacts me to arrange a session, guess it means that they like what I do. Whilst each session is fairly bespoke for each client, I have a basic approach that’s feeds into the whole session.

My aim is to pass on my approach to the business of photography and hopefully have them leave with a few little nuggets of knowledge that they can use to take their photography and business forward and there is nothing more gratifying than to see people take on your ideas.

For me, learning should be simple, fun, informative and should go both ways.

Set the scene for the day, a typical session would be something like this:

  • Vision, branding, philosophy…….their overall photography objectives and reason for doing what they do….
  • Planning for a shoot
  • Shoot to sell approach
  • Working around the camera
  • Choosing locations
  • Understanding light
  • Working with a model
  • Shooting with a model
  • Workflow
  • Processing/Editing

Posted: September 18th, 2013| Comment on this post »

The beauty of fine art portrait photography

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I once read that the definition of Fine Art was “Creating images that evoke emotion by a photographic process in which one’s mind and imagination are freely but competently exercised”.

For me the act of fine art portraiture can be such an intimate experience. It is about becoming vulnerable and building trust, both for the photographer and for the subject! When I photograph people, the experience is so much more than snapping a pretty image. It’s about a connection and a communication and honouring the person in front of my lens. I truly want to see the person. And the person in front of my camera has to be ready to be seen. 

When it comes to creating an image, the more we see beyond what is in front of us the more we will become better image makers.

The act of seeing the shot might seem a bit obvious but I let my eyes evaluate the available light and options that are around me. Whatever the location may be, I look around it first without the camera and ask myself questions about the light….is it strong, gentle, how will it change if I move the subject to the left or right…

My philosophy on approaching any portrait session is to connect with my subject, but that doesn’t mean that I do the same thing every time. Always looking to adapt to the location and trying to apply a new way of thinking creatively each time I pick up the camera.

Hopefully never too overbearing in my personality and direction that I give…because the real beauty of a fine art portrait is in capturing something unique and beautiful about the person I’m photographing.

With every fine art portrait that I create, my intention is to create stirring, meaningful and beautiful images that will linger with my clients and inspire others….


Posted: September 17th, 2013| 1 Comment »

Chris Millington – what a whirlwind journey so far

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I first met and shot with Chris Millington a couple of months ago. It was a fairly simple portrait style session but with a bit of an edge to it (might do another blog to let you see them :) ).

What’s happened in the last few months for this guy is quite amazing and inspirational for folks out there who want to get into the world of modelling…

From working in a local call centre, to being spotted in a coffee shop, being signed by the London Agency Sapphires Model Management and then by Model Team in Scotland, to being the face of large high street retailers, modelling far and wide, to having a ridiculous following on social media sites…’s been a breathtaking period in this young, humble guys life.

We had a really great shoot first time round and I guess he must have liked it too as he asked me to work with him again.

This time round we found a couple of locations in Glasgow that I thought would work well, think we were done in about 30 minutes; Short, sharp and simple, both knew the look we were aiming to get and got some fantastic images… absolute pleasure to work with.

Onwards and upwards dude!!!!


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Posted: September 11th, 2013| Comment on this post »

Professional corporate photos – why are they so important

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People are very visual creatures, we see before we read. You only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention and hold it. Knowing this you can’t underestimate the power of strong professional imagery. Professional imagery for your business is an important investment. The photos you receive should be seen as a return on that investment. These images can be used in a number of different ways in a number of different mediums.

Corporate photography is a powerful marketing tool that plays an important and integral role in the success of a company. You can use it to achieve different objectives, such as

  • developing the identity of your company
  • promoting your products and services
  • recruiting and retaining your staff
  • giving a more human face to your company

High quality professional imagery is such an integral part of any business and their marketing goals. They can increase the overall perception of the value of your business and the goods and services that you provide. Low quality images can have the opposite affect; it can alter your customers perception of your business in a negative way.

Good, professional images will help give your company the edge over your competitors, and increase the impact that it will have. Having a good headshot on your site makes you more approachable, especially if you are dealing with sensitive issues.

Please don’t use a ‘nice photo’ of you taken at a wedding or on the beach for instance! It might be a great photo of you, but it’s not professional. Press releases, magazine features, blog posts are all places that you require good imagery to back up your articles..

One way of personalising your website is to include an image of yourself in your ‘About Us’ section. It also helps when you arrange to meet someone for a meeting in the middle of a crowded coffee shop that you know what they look like! As with everything there is a note of caution when getting professional corporate photography done.

  • Make sure you have permission to use the images you want. Check whether you need a licence for use and if there any restrictions that come with the images your photographer has provided you with.
  • Unless you have prior, written permission, don’t put children’s names to photos.
  • Use original imagery wherever possible. People have become wise to stock photography, and there is nothing worse than seeing the same images on different websites. However, if you do have to use an image bank, then check who else is using the same.

Let the images on your website show what you do, bring your business to life, and tell your story.

How have you used images within your business?


Posted: September 5th, 2013| 1 Comment »

Why I prefer to use natural light in photography

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Over the years I continually strive to master the art of creating images by merging the abundant natural light in our world with the light that exists within my subject.

Ambient light has a softness and an ability to almost caress a subject and make everything and anyone more beautiful. When I’m taking photographs, I’m seeking out the natural beauty in everything around me, the light, my subject, a natural emotion. I always strive to capture something authentic, and to me natural light innately possesses that quality.

It envelopes the subject allowing their natural beauty to emerge as opposed to bringing the much harsher qualities of artificial light into a shooting situation. When it comes to making beautiful images, I find it incredibly satisfying to use what is already there.

Natural light is especially flattering when you use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. A low f-stop helps create a softer, more luminous image. For example, by setting your camera at f2, focus on the subjects eye, the rest of the image will soften up the background and even the other parts of the face. This shallow depth of field helps accentuate the impact of the image.

The other critical factor is how I expose for light. It is this combination of f-stop and exposure that defines most of my work.

Natural light offers an added benefit in that you are able to capture a scene as you see it, thereby preserving the overall feel of that moment in time.

Regardless of how flash is used, it creates an “artificial” scene, one that only your camera can see when the flash is used as the main (brightest) light source.  Fill flash is less artificial because the flash is only being used to supplement the (brighter) natural lighting.

Flash creates lighting that does not exist except in that fraction of a second the exposure is taken creating an “artificial” environment that does not exist to observers of the original scene.

In my opinion, the use of natural, ambient, available light produces a quality of image that “artificial” light simply cannot produce.

Have you tried natural light photography? I’d love to hear what you think


Posted: August 28th, 2013| 2 Comments »

Fine art portrait photography – my top three tips

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The most important thing you can do with your camera is use it. By shooting a few times every day, you’ll develop your skills and abilities as a fine art photographer, and soon have an extensive collection of fine art photographs. Otherwise, you will lose your skills and ability. To have the joy of doing good work, and growing as a fine art photographer, you have to continually make pictures!

Here’s a few things that I always seek to do…..

1) Develop Your Seeing Skills and your Imagination -

For me it’s the first and most important skill that you should always seek to improve upon.

Whether it’s photographing landscapes, objects, people etc, get into the habit of studying part of your subject for a moment or two, then re-focus on another part of your subject and study it for a while. Become aware of colours and shapes. See how many details you can find and take a note the following:

  • Expression: What does the subject matter seem to express in the way of –  Sensation; rough/smooth? hot/cold? sharp/dull? hard/soft? moving/still? etc. And Emotion & Mood: love/hate? joy/sadness? anger/delight? peace/turmoil? Respond with your perceptions of sensation and emotion.
  • Meaning: What ideas does the subject matter seem to suggest? Respond with your thoughts and vision.
  • Subject Theme: In view of your personal responses, what is expressed and seems to be said, decide upon a subject theme, the main idea/feeling you wish to convey to whoever views the image.

You can get into a visual rut of looking for the same old subject matter and then photographing it in the same old way, producing the same kind of images over and over. You become bored, when this happens, or better yet, before it happens, you need to know what to do about it.

Making fine art photographs involves the use of free imagination. Seek to enrich your imagination by going to art galleries and studying art in various media, and seeing what inspires you.

Practice pre-visualising before going out to capture images; visualise the shoot, imagine yourself taking the photograph, seeing the results, etc. Start a train of photographic thought just before going to sleep and then ‘sleep on it’. Could be a good way to develop your imagination.

2) Incorporate Expression and Meaning –

  • Expression – Bear in mind that people in general respond with different sensations and emotions to different shapes, textures, etc. A picture of snow, for example, can express the sensation of cold or the emotion of sadness. Where a smiling set of eyes can invoke a feeling of joy and happiness.

Respond to your subject matter with your perception of sensations, emotions and moods.

  • Meaning: – Not only do people respond with perception of different sensations and emotions to the visual elements in subject matter, but they also respond with perception of different ideas about them.  A picture of a mountain, for example, may suggest ideas such as majesty, grandeur or isolation.

So, try to notice the meaning in your chosen subject matter.

3) Watch for the Interesting and Practice Composition –

The fine art photographer’s thinking and efforts to visually arrange a picture’s various elements within the camera’s view-finder is to effectively communicate what he sees, feels, and thinks, in connection with the subject matter.

Always watch for things that excite your interest. When something does so, examine it closely and begin to visualise the shot, ‘What is it that attracted me?’ Explore the subject matter and give thought to its impression, expression, and meaning, etc. Decide on a picture-making approach and a particular picture-type.

  • your personal thoughts and feelings about the subject matter
  • what is the most appealing aspect of the subject matter
  • what the subject matter expresses
  • what the subject matter says, while seeing in your mind’s eye a final image which effectively conveys it.

Posted: August 19th, 2013| Comment on this post »

Corporate photo shoots – how to make a great first impression

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One part of my business that is growing really well is that of corporate photography.

Nearly all businesses need images to promote their products or services and whilst I’m not a product photographer, bringing my expertise in shooting portraits to the corporate/business world, is proving to be very beneficial.

The firms reasons for getting shots of the Chief Executive, the board, senior management or staff may have less of an emotional impact and more of a practical one than for a personal portrait shoot, but the way I approach this kind of work and clients is no different…Creating the right impression with the client is still absolutely vital.

These are some of the things that I focus on to make sure I develop a strong working relationship with my clients:

  • Create a relationship – my first objective is to establish a good relationship with the client and assure them that I am the right person/company to work with. I always try to meet with the client face-to-face and start building a relationship by showing genuine interest in their company, showcasing my work and asking the right questions.  I’m always looking to develop a long-term relationship with the company. Knowing that if I do a good job, the company will most likely ask me back in the future.
  • Find out exactly what the client needs – most of the time, companies know what they need when they call a photographer, whether it is a simple business portrait for their website or pictures for their marketing material.  During the first meeting, my aim is to find out and confirm what they are looking for and also to see if they are open to any ideas that I might have.  When the meeting’s over, we both should have a clearly defined list of objectives for the shoot.
  • Scout the location – if the client doesn’t mind, I try where I can to scout the location and take some sample shots to see what challenges I might have later.  My preference is to shoot using natural light, so I’ll look to see which spaces I can use that have the best light available. That’s not always the case though. If I have to use lighting, then I try to keep it as simple as possible by just using one light.
  • Guarantee satisfaction – companies love when you guarantee satisfaction. Why should they pay you if you suck and can’t get the work done? Guaranteeing that I will do a professional job or they get 100% of their money back, usually gives them a great level of confidence that I’ll deliver.
  • Schedule early photo sessions – I always try to plan for early morning photo shoot, about one hour after start of the business day. Late afternoon sessions are never fun J

I approach this type of work in the same way as I do with every other client, be professional, keep it simple, relaxed and as informal as possible…and still have fun doing it.


Posted: August 15th, 2013| Comment on this post »

10 top photography tips for beginners

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Being a photographer is seriously awesome!!!….

You could ask 100 photographers what their top 10 tips are for folks new to photography and I’m sure that you would get 100 different answers…. So, I thought I’d give you my own personal top 10 photography tips for all of you beginners…..and they are in no particular order….

1Have the vision…. For me it all starts with what you see, whether it’s shooting people, landscapes or whatever it may be, see the shot in your minds eye and just let it flow.

2Love the light…. The vast majority of my work is shot simply using natural light. The sky offers us the biggest softbox in the world so learn how to get the best from it.

3Know your kit…. Obvious thing to say I guess, but to get the best from your camera, lights, all of your kit, get to know what you want it to do for you and always seek to improve.

4 – Find your own style…. There are many, many photographers out there. Find your own way of working and seek to produce images that people will recognise and stand out as yours because of your own individual style.

5 – Have a photography philosophy…. Always ask yourself, why am I taking this shot? Is this the type of image I want to capture? Remind yourself constantly about why you fell in love with it in the first place.

6 – See the beauty in the every day….Once you start noticing details, you inevitably start to see how much beauty is all around you. Every day is filled with it…in the most ordinary or unexpected places. When you start to derive happiness from seeing some particularly awesome light, you’ll realise that photography has changed your everyday experience.

7 – Capture a memory that you can have forever….With a image you can capture a moment, and have it forever. I think we take that idea for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days. But seriously just take a second to appreciate that.

8 – Shoot, shoot and shoot…. Get into the habit of having your camera with you as often as you can, getting candid, informal shots of your friends, family or places is just an incredible way of recording life

9 – Shoot, shoot and shoot…. Felt so good I’ll say it again , practice, practice and practice, try different things to see what works for you, always strive to learn from others, they all had to start in the same place as you.

10 - Make Art….And the result of all this creativity?…. You can create art….if it’s 6” x 4” print or a massive piece of acrylic, there is nothing better than looking back on the art you’ve produced.

I said 10 didn’t I, what the hell, always break the rules….

11 – Have fun with your photography !!!!!!

Catch up soon folks.

Tommy x

Posted: August 8th, 2013| 2 Comments »

A day in the life of a fine art portrait photographer

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I often get asked what my job entails, “you always seem to be really busy on shoots”. Sadly working with camera in hand is one of the smallest aspects of what I need to do to run a successful photography business.

So with this in mind, I thought I’d do a little blog on what a typical day looks like for me…..Hopefully you’ll find it a wee bit interesting .

In my previous career in selling software and management consultancy in the corporate world, I had a very clear definition of my role…I was a sales guy!!! Now running my own business that’s kinda changed a bit. I’m now Chairman, CEO, Sales & Marketing Director, Finance Director, tea maker, toilet cleaner….you get the drift.

I try where I can to structure my day in such a way that when it’s over, I feel I have achieved everything I need to do.

First thing I do when I start around 8.30 is to catch up on all of my emails, calls etc. This is also the time that I set aside for working on the social media side. Social Media is so relevant to my business these days that it is something I just have to keep on top of.

If I have a shoot on the day, say a portrait session, the client usually gets to the studio around 10.30-11am. So I have to ensure that all my kit is cleaned, fully charged and raring to go, my props that I need are ready and the place is looking its best.

Prior to a shoot I will have spent time planning the session with the client so that we both know what we are going to do. Have a coffee and a chat for a few minutes and then get started.

A typical shoot is anything from 90 minutes up to 3 hours all depending on what we are trying to achieve….Shoot over, I then get the images on to my computer for editing. I try when possible to get a few images edited straight away and back to the client. There is usually such a buzz before and during the shoot that I want to keep that excitement going by showing them some images within a couple of hours. To me there is nothing worse than waiting days or weeks to see the results.

The rest of the day consists of planning for my next set of shoots, chatting with clients about the ideas we have. I do a fair amount of research, looking at magazines, websites, what’s in trend etc. There’s usually other client work that needs done, designing wedding albums, editing images, working with suppliers to get client orders ready etc…..

I also run 1-1 photography coaching sessions so there is always some prep’ needing to be done for those. Then just a stack of boring stuff sadly, keeping my accounts up to date, keeping on top of my marketing…..oh and making the tea and cleaning the toilet .

Anyway, that’s just a brief insight into a typical day at Tom Cairns Photography. Sadly it’s not all glamour.

Catch up soon folks.

Tommy x

Posted: July 3rd, 2013| Comment on this post »


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As a photographer when you’re not working with clients, shooting, meetings etc, you’re pretty much left to work on your own.


Took me a while to develop my photographic style and the way I want my finished images to look. Always striving to produce better work, and absolutely believe in life long learning….never standing still!!!


Anyway, I work away doing what I do, get as much as I can out there to let folks see it and can only really hope that it’s well received.


So, when you get a message from someone like Nicole, it gives a huge boost to my confidence and belief in what I’m doing.


At the time she got in touch, Nicole was Miss Scotland, coming up to the end of her 12 month reign. She is also a main board model with Superior Model Management in Glasgow, who I’m fortunate enough to do model tests shoots for. Clearly wanting to take advantage of her success with Miss Scotland, Nicole wanted some new, natural images for her portfolio to help with the next step in her career.


To say I was a tad chuffed that she asked me to work with her would be a bit of understatement, no doubt many photographers would have jumped at the chance.


On the day we were joined by the fab’ make up artist Kathleen Kaye. As ever with me, we kept the shoot really simple…starting with a really soft natural look, working up to something a bit more stylish….


It was great listening to Nicole talk about her time as Miss Scotland, what an amazing year it had been for her…..


From working in an elderly patient ward through university, graduating with honours in psychology during her year as Miss Scotland. Travelling to the 4 corners of the globe…..China for Miss World, all over Europe and the USA, what a brilliant opportunity for someone.


Shoot was brilliant fun and for all her success I sense it hasn’t changed Nicole one bit, she’s such a warm, funny, caring ….and of course, stunningly beautiful person….A great day was had.


Wish you every success that comes your way in the future…..


Catch up soon folks.


Tommy x


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Posted: June 27th, 2013| Comment on this post »


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Did a little test shoot for Rebecca a few weeks back. Models always need to keep their portfolios up to date and I really enjoy these kind of shoots as they are always pretty chilled and relaxed…..


Rebecca has just finished her Business and Marketing studies at Glasgow Caledonian University. Always amazes me how you can go to Uni’ with all the studying that entails, keep down an almost full time job (at Hollister) and keep the modelling going……and actually breathe :)


The agencies I work with ideally want the “blank canvas” natural look from their models….as well as the more stylised work. It gives their portfolios the balance it needs when they are putting them forward to their clients.


You know that I just love working with natural light so it works perfectly for me.


As ever, kept the styling really simple, few changes to get some different looks, worked with what light we had and all in all have a fab shoot. Think we sorted the worlds problems, had a laugh about pretty much everything, she seemed to like my sandwiches (always a good sign)…..and even managed to get some excellent images. :)


Since the shoot, Rebecca and her boyfriend have moved to London….guess it’s an excuse for me to head down there sometime so I can work with her again.


Catch up soon folks.


Tommy x

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Posted: June 14th, 2013| Comment on this post »

Little Vincent…..

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Been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently….been way too busy photographing :-)


I was asked recently if I would be the stills photographer for one day on the set of a short movie that’s being made in and around Glasgow, needless to say I jumped at the chance….


This small group of hugely talented folks are making a short mental health awareness film based on the life of the artist Van Gogh.


It’s a contemporary artistic take on the life on Van Gogh. A young man experiencing insufferable loss picks himself up from death’s door to become one of the most successful artists the world has ever known.


Written, Produced and Directed by Erica von Stein it stars Amanda Marment as van Gogh’s girlfriend Magnolia and Martin Haddow in the lead role of Vincent.


The set for the day was the Kushion nightclub in Glasgow…..have you actually ever seen a night club in daytime….mmmm, nice :-)


It was great to stand back and watch the cast act out the two scenes that we were filming. It was the first time for me doing something like this and it was amazing to be part of this creative team….


Anyway, here’s to the success of the movie when it comes out and these are just a few taster images from the day.


Catch up soon folks.


Tommy x


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Posted: May 15th, 2013| Comment on this post »


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I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Kirstin a couple of times in the last 18 months or so, so was delighted when we hooked again for our most recent shoot.


Not exactly sure when it happened, but she is now represented by Superior Model Management in Glasgow and the change in her confidence and style was so noticeable since we last got together.


Plan was for a really informal, casual, have a laugh kinda shoot….well that worked :-)


I was delighted when this week our shoot was featured in Imagine Fashion Magazine’s latest edition (


All in all a good days work and an absolute pleasure to work with such a beautiful person…..


Catch up soon folks.


Tommy x

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Posted: April 23rd, 2013| 1 Comment »

The making of Emeli……

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A couple of weeks ago I noticed a post on one of the facebook pages that I’m linked to…..Corrine was looking for a photographer to take some shots for her new promotional material. So I got in touch and was absolutely delighted when asked me to do it….


Corrine is classed as one of Scotland’s best female vocalists whether it be through her solo performances or in her tribute to Adele. She has been wowing crowds up and down the country for the past 9 years and is now set to don the stage as the awe inspiring Emeli Sande.


This tribute is as authentic as it gets. So, she had arranged to get a full makeover at hairCo in Hamilton, then have me along to get the shots she wanted. I decided to get there earlier so I could try and capture what was going on.


Christeen who owns the business had kept the salons appointments to a minimum, so we pretty much had the run of the place. Now for the guys that might be reading this, picture the scene….me and 4 women in a hairdressing salon….yeah, nice, chilled, quiet and relaxed…mmmm !!!!!


A couple of hours later we were ready to go and the transformation was amazing….This little blog is just intended to show the “behind the scenes” images and hopefully give you an idea of what goes on in a photoshoot.


Needless to say Corrine looked stunning. Christeen, Bethany and Murielle did a fantastic job of styling her.


Looking forward to going to see Corrine perform her tribute to Emeli soon. You can check out her facebook page here 


Catch up soon folks.


Tommy x


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Posted: April 9th, 2013| Comment on this post »

Claire….a fond farewell :)

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I’ve been hugely fortunate over the past couple of years to work with some fantastic people and a have developed some great friendships.

It’s been my pleasure to work with the beautiful Claire-Louise Fergus a few times, but sadly she’s leaving these shores this week to start a new chapter in her life in Dubai. So I thought I’d remind her (and probably embarrass her too) of some of the shoots we did… fair to say that we’ve both certainly changed our look and style over the last couple of years :)

Going to miss your nonsense chat, your fun and energy….but can’t wait until I get the email to ask me across for a shoot in the sunshine. You’ve been fantastic to work with and have so enjoyed capturing some amazing images with you.

Have a ball, enjoy everything you do, be safe and live life to the full…..

Tommy x

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Posted: April 5th, 2013| Comment on this post »


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Recently went to Birmingham to a photography trade fair at the NEC, not sure i’ll rush back down to that :)

However, I put a post up on my facebook business page to say that I was down for the weekend and was surprised and delighted when Alice got in touch to say she would love to arrange a shoot with me.

Being a tourist in that there England place, got totally lost trying to find the train station I was to meet her at, hotel guy said 5 min’ drive, took me 45, hey I’m Scottish :)

Anyway, the surrounding area wasn’t giving me any instant inspiration but I really liked the style of the hotel I was staying at…..amazing the kind of images you can come up with in a fairly small room using only one window as a light source….

Had a fantastic little shoot and managed to produce some really great images, does help when you are as photogenic as Alice is…..

Catch up soon folks

Tommy x


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Posted: March 22nd, 2013| Comment on this post »

Lyle and Fraser…

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Met up with Lyle and Fraser on a bitterly cold Saturday morning for a little pre-wedding shoot with them.

As you well know, I’m happier shooting doing shoots like this out on location, so I met them at a local park and went for a stroll….

Did I mention that it was bitterly cold….Well we didn’t hang about, took a walk into the woods, sure they were well pleased that the lovely boots and shoes that had on were getting covered in muck :-)

Had to dodge in an out of the Saturday morning serious runners that were going hell for leather through the pace. Finally went to the old castle that’s in the middle of the park for some shots….

Always suggest this kind of shoot to couple before they get married as it’s not ever day that they have a camera shoved in their faces. It’s good to get to know your photographer, get used to their style of working, relaxes the couple and makes them feel that it won’t be another pressure thing to do on the big day itself….

Anyway, when Fraser said that he enjoyed it I knew that I’d done my job….Lyle was just a natural and I’m sure that together they will look amazing on their wedding day.

It was a joy to work with you both and I hope that when the day comes it is a truly memorable one.

Catch up soon folks.

Tommy x

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Posted: March 5th, 2013| 1 Comment »

A Sunday morning stroll…..

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Couple of weeks back on a cold February Sunday morning, Emily agreed to go for a walk with me along the beach at Troon in Ayrshire…..that’ll teach her :-)

When I photograph families together and at weddings, my aim is to catch the subjects in as natural a way as possible, chatting, walking around or whatever……I’m continually on the move working around them, looking to get the best angles, light and composition……so we just wandered around and had a bit of fun….

I’d wanted to do a shoot like this on the beach for a while and I just love working with Emily…..sadly for her she lives nearby, so I’m always pestering her when I have an idea in mind….

It was a tad cold with a strong wind coming off the sea so we didn’t hang about too long…..but I did get the shots I was looking for.

For me and the clients who book me, these natural looking images go down really well, as it’s a more true reflection on who they really are…..

Anyway, I’ll leave you to decide from these few examples….

Catch up soon folks.

Tommy x

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