One of the first tasks to be done for the project was to take some photos of the musicians taking part in The Silent Page project. The copy deadline for the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival programme is coming round soon and we need a great photo that can be used for publicity, posters and a cd cover.
So on a wet miserable Tuesday in November we gathered at Broughton House. The light was gloomy even though we were meeting in the morning. We’d chosen the library to work in – it overlooks the wonderful garden. Here’s a shot of Wendy Stewart – who’s a keen gardener as well as an amazing harp player – admiring it from the second floor up. In the far right of this photo you can see the extension on the back of the house that Edward Hornel used for a studio. It has north facing skylights – giving a steady, even light for painting by – and opens onto the garden.
We spent some time talking about where and how we’d take the shot and then left Kim to set up in the library while we headed to the toilets to change and get ready. Broughton House was closed to the public that day so we had the run of the building. Even when the house is full of visitors it’s not hard to slip into a ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful to live here’ fantasy, but when you’ve got the run of the place to yourselves it’s impossible not to imagine living in those lovely rooms!
The library has a whiff of that wonderful old fashioned slightly musty smell – and lots of old books, polished wood and beautiful carpets in soft colours. We’d shared a photo of the library before the photoshoot day so that we could all choose something to wear that would fit with the soft colours and the mahogany bookshelves. No patterns or very bright colours!
As you can imagine – it can take a while to get a good photo of one person but when there are seven of you to capture the time frame extends. I think it took us about an hour in the end to get to the final shot. Kim kept an eye on what he was shooting and directed us carefully – trying to make a visual dialogue appear between us. And here’s the result – thanks Kim! I love they way they yellows work together – Emily’s cardigan, Jamie’s fiddle and the edge of the book I’m holding.