Luminous Creative Portraits

Luminous Creative are small but perfectly formed design consultancy based in Edinburgh. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with them on several projects over the past few years – for clients like ASDA, Mara Seaweed, Zeneth and others. For our most recent collaboration, however, they were the client. They were in the process of updating their website and called me to take some new headshots of the team and website images, which of course, I was delighted to do.

Mary-Jane Moore of Luminous Creative

Mary-Jane Moore of Luminous Creative

Swapping Summerhall for Sierra Leone

This month, I’ve swapped my studio in Summerhall for the altogether warmer climes of Sierra Leone. I first went in 2014 with a Scottish architecture / construction charity, OrkidStudio, to take some photos of a new girls school they were building in Kenema. I instantly fell in love with Sierra Leone, but shortly after I returned to Scotland, was devastated to hear about the Ebola outbreak in the region I was just in. When I looked at my photos I would wonder how my new friends there were coping with this tragic pandemic, and feel helpless to their fight.

Swawou pupil in the new school

One of the Swawou School girls in her new classroom.

Belong. National Theatre of Scotland 2015 season launch

I was commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland to create a series of portraits of communities throughout Scotland to help illustrate their 2015 season.  They realised that each of their plays next year hinges on an idea of community apart from one, Muriel Sparks The Drivers Seat which has a distinct lack of one.  Each portrait represents the community portrayed in the play.

BELONG is a unique photographic essay created to accompany the announcement of the National Theatre of Scotland’s January to June 2015 Season. Working with the distinguished photographer Peter Dibdin, we met members of some of Scotland’s diverse communities. In seeking out the community members, we looked for synergies with the productions in our 2015 Season. While they were being photographed, we asked the subjects of the portraits to tell us a little about what it’s like to be part of a community.

“Tribes, families, clans and gangs have their joys and their challenges; we’ve taken that as our touchstone for our 2015 season of work,” says Artistic Director, Laurie Sansom. “In this diverse season we meet families ferociously fighting for survival, witness national loyalties challenged, confront cultural  customs and observe a woman with no ties, recreating herself before our eyes. These are stories of communities under pressure from within, friends and family rallying round, and people making incredible journeys to escape and invent new identities. This year we hope you will join us to explore what it means to feel part of gang, or out there on your own…”

Assistant credits: Cat Thomson and Alice Myers.

Yer Granny

Yer Granny

Sierra Leone portraits part 1

Recently I traveled to Sierra Leone with my wife Becky and daughter Suki to photograph for two charities in the third largest city, Kenema. The first was Swawou School Foundation who provide free quality education in a child friendly learning environment to disadvantaged girls from the Swawou community of Kenema town, eastern Sierra Leone.  The second Orkidstudio is dedicated to exploring and developing the connection between architecture and humanitarian aid. Their projects seek to help young people and communities worldwide, inspiring a sense of pride and ambition, through innovative and sustainable design. They work on a voluntary basis taking groups of architecture students to work along side locally based tradesmen. This makes for an amazing catalyst for a cross cultural exchange of ideas and building techniques.

Orkid Studio are currently building a new school for Swawou, with a solid roof and brick walls on a beautiful, peaceful site which will be a huge change from the temporary structure, next to a busy market, built from sticks and woven palm leaves that the school is currently housed in.

I did not ask anyone to pose for these images letting them stand at will and lit them with a couple of speed lights and home made light shapers created on location.

Swawou School student Hawa Soyoh

Hawa Soyoh one of the Swawou School students infront of her home.

Pickerings Gin product photography

This has been a busy couple of  weeks shooting, amongst other things, the promotion and product shots for Pickerings Gin. Edinburgh’s 1st gin distillery in over 150 years has been set up at Summerhall by Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell.  Marcus and Matt, aptly naming themselves the “two royal dicky birds” are producing small batches of handcrafted, beautifully balanced, marvellously mixed Pickerings Gin.

The gin’s mix of soft citrus and coriander botanicals and a crisp, dry finish can even be bought on tap at the Royal Dick, Summerhall only 23 metres from the distillery and 30 metres from my studio!

It’s been great working with Dave and the fine people at Story Design Agency.  I had a good day in the distillery with Marcus and Matt shooting all the copper.  You can go and see for yourself as the distillery is open for visitors by contacting Summerhall in advance.  I must say I enjoyed a few at the opening event last Thursday.  I’m looking forward to shooting the signature cocktails in the next couple of weeks, I’ll post more images when I shoot them.


Pickerings Gin Product Photography by Peter Dibdin at Summerhall

Pickerings Gin Product Photography by Peter Dibdin at Summerhall

Michael Nyman Portrait at Summerhall

Michael Nyman at Summerhall photographed in his exhibition by Peter Dibdin

During the Edinburgh Festival my studio is completely surrounded by over 60 shows a day and over 10 exhibitions that are going on here at Summerhall.  One of the most interesting shows that is on and is coming down this Friday is Michael Nyman’s Man with a movie camera.  Its not only his score used for  the original film but also his own movie.  Well worth a look if you are about.