I Am David Laing, Gourock singer songwriter

A bit of a throwback this one. I was incredibly privileged to spend a morning with David Laing, a singer songwriter from Gourock on the west coast of Scotland. We hit the pub early (well, it would have been rude not to), purely for photography reasons of course! After that, we headed up to Cornalees and did some crazy things.

Now, what would make a fantastic Christmas gift is David's brand new album 'Please Don't Mind the Words' which was released in October. Download it on iTunes here. Go and give him a like on Facebook where you can keep up to date with his latest gigs.

Here's a small selection of the images I captured of him. Scroll to the bottom to watch the 'Marmalade' video!

The National Piping Centre, Glasgow

I have a long standing relationship with The National Piping Centre in that I've photographed weddings there, I've exhibited at wedding fairs, I've done styled shoots and I've attended meetings and workshops.

And all of that means that I can stand here, hand on heart, and tell you that they have one of, if not the, best teams in Scotland. I've worked at a lot of wedding venues and I always get to see behind the scenes, the attitudes of staff towards a couple and their guests and above all the general service they provide. Absolutely everything is catered for meaning a very stress free experience for everybody.

I was absolutely delighted when they approached me to photograph all elements of the centre for a new website they'll be developing. Everything from piping tuition to having your pipes cleaned; head shots of the staff team to conference set ups; and the hotel rooms to the food in the restaurant. It was a long but amazing two days spent with so many people who work there. So much so that I actually felt part of the team when I finished.

Here is a selection of what I captured for them to help them promote their business.

Afternoon Tea at Three Sisters Bake

A bit of a blast from the past in that I did an afternoon tea shoot at Three Sisters Bake last year, but worthy of resurrecting it especially for the blog and therefore your enjoyment. But it does come with a warning, you may have the sudden urge to lick your screen and/or you may find yourself drooling uncontrollably for which I take no responsibility!

I was so pleased when the sisters asked me along to photograph their afternoon tea offering. Having worked with them a few times prior, I knew this would be a difficult undertaking. Seriously, you try spending lots of time pointing a camera really close up to mouth-watering delights and resisting the urge to eat it all! But hey, I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved their offering for kids, can't recommend it enough that you pop along to one of their cafes which you can find in Quarriers Village or Killearn. Enjoy!


Beau Gateau: The temptation of cake

One of the hardest parts of my job is when I get asked to photograph cake. Of course, the really wide shots, well, they're a walk in the park. But capturing extreme close ups of the texture and details? That's when this job becomes extremely difficult. You see, the biggest hurdle I have to overcome, is smell. Some of these cakes smell so good I can almost taste them without eating them. I begin salivating and my belly starts to rumble. I crave cake. I want to devour this work of art that sits in front of me. Sugar and chocolate are all consuming of my nostrils as I battle these incredible urges to eat cake!

Of course, the true professional that I am resists all temptation and I continue in capturing the creations of some of the most amazing cake makers around. Today it would be the turn of Micheala from Beau Gateau. Not only did Michaela ask me to capture some of her cakes, it took place in one of the most spectacular settings, St Andrew's in the Square in Glasgow. Below you will find a small selection of what we created that day and a brilliant example of what Michaela can do for you.

Enchanted Forest and Friends: It all happened in a tweet!

I have a list of small businesses who I'd absolutely love to work with. Sometimes, I just stride right in with a hello and how about we do something like this? It doesn't always work though. But for Enchanted Forest Nursery and Enchanted Forest and Friends, it did! Only, it came by way of an endorsement on Twitter late one evening. Sometimes it's about being in the right place at the right time and I'm a great believer of things happen for a reason. You know the saying, 'If it's for you it won't go by you'.

I was about to go to bed one night when, all of a sudden, I found myself chatting to Three Sisters Bake on Twitter and in comes Enchanted Forest Nursery who were watching my tweets with interest. One amazing endorsement later from Three Sisters Bake laid way for a meeting with Enchanted Forest Nursery! Hurrah! And so the journey began . . .

 Bernie & Mariessa Devlin

Bernie & Mariessa Devlin

I had such an amazing first meeting with the owners of Enchanted Forest Nursery (heck, I'm going to refer to them as EFN or EFF from here on in) Mariessa and Bernie. And not only that, we met at Three Sisters Bake in Quarriers Village! There we chatted about our businesses, our passions and how we were going to work together. I've loved the EFN brand for a long while now, a collection of nurseries that are quite simply, amazing. But I was soon to learn of Bernie's passion for his creation, Enchanted Forest and Friends (EFF from now on!), a collection of woodland characters who would form the foundation of a brand new children's clothing range.

 Zed Fox character backpack, find out more  here .

Zed Fox character backpack, find out more here.

A few weeks later I picked up the first batch of clothing from Bernie. My idea was to take it into some woodland and photograph all of the items. But the weather had other ideas. It would be another three weeks before we had our first dry and sunny day in Inverclyde and I was so pleased to finally get out and explore an amazing location that was perfect. Not only did I have the clothes, but also Zed Fox and Miss Bun Bun, two children's back packs complete with a fleecy blanket and they also double up as a travel pillow/companion.

The next part of the plan was to take some real children wearing the clothes out to the beach, but once again, the weather thwarted any hope of that. So we were forced to hire an indoor space where I captured lots of children wearing the clothes, just in time for the reveal of the brand new EFF website

With all the clothing photography done and the website launched, it was then over to the nursery side where I was asked to capture a variety of settings depicting the activities that take place on a daily basis. The photography will be used in a brand new prospectus and will be available on their website. It was so much fun to spend time with the staff and the children and have the freedom to watch them learn, explore and get covered in all sorts of things. My favourite being where they squirted shaving foam into each childs hand and all over the play table. I was poised to take some photos when all of a sudden, the staff member told the kids to clap their hands. Cue me getting absolutely covered in the stuff, happy to report my camera came off okay! Phew.

I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Mariessa, Bernie and their amazing team and I hope to do more work with them in the future. Please please please, and especially if you have kids of your own, check out the new clothing range, it's pretty awesome!

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