Duncan's Blog

I've been blogging for years about my various photography escapades. With this new blog I'll revisit some old themes, discuss new topics and of course keep you up to date on what I've been up to.

Welcome to the new blog

January 15, 2018

It has come time to redesign my web site a little, and with that comes a new blog. This more streamlined blog may help condense my thoughts and images to just the key important ones.

The second blog entry

January 23, 2018

Click the link to see some more of this great shoot.

What makes a good shoot

February 6th, 2018

I was chatting with a friend today and we were discussing why some shoots just work and why some don't. This can be applied to weddings, portraits or pretty much any photography that involves people. Even social/documentary photography requires some elements of this to a lesser or greater degree.


There are a number of factors that make sure that people photos turn out as desired:

  1. Technical-getting the lighting and camera settings right
  2. Social-putting the subject at ease, helping their confidence in front of the camera and ensuring they enjoy the experience. Or even just the photographer being able to offer a bit of banter to keep the shoot flowing.
  3. Communication - this can be the subject telling the photographer the story behind the shoot, why it's important, what it's about. Or the photographer communicating their vision, offering direction and posing tips 
  4. Efficient post production. A quick turnaround on images means there's no waiting period. Images processed to meet the client's requests or even creative suggestions and ideas thrown in when they're not sure.
  5. Be excellent to each other- . Bill and Ted knew what they were talking about. Be kind, be nice, be friendly.
  6. Avoid the energy vampires -Not always easy at bigger shoots or events, but don't let one sour plum ruin the photos, find a way to work with them to get the most out of the image.
  7. Stay in touch. Don't just deliver the image and run. Keep the conversation going, get feedback (good and bad) so you can be even better on the next shoot!

Custom Wedding Dress?

5th April 2018

Mette over at Freja Designer Dressmaking has a poll for brides, pop on over to answer some questions about what makes you tick when it comes to your wedding dress.

Makeup advice

5th April 2018

Quite a few years ago now Melle Cloche loaned a few pieces for a bridal shoot. They've gone from strength to strength since then and their shop in Glasgow now stocks dresses, accessories and all the trimmings. Anyway, they have an event on this Thursday, a master class in bridal makeup for brides to be, More details over on the event page in Facebook,

International Travels

27th May 2018

For the next couple of weeks I will be in Shanghai. I've managed to tie in with a local dress designer and have a couple of other shoots on the cards while I'm here. It does mean I might be a little quiet elsewhere, but should still have enough access to Wi-Fi to respond to any e-mails.

Shanghai Bridal Fashion

6th June 2018

With the help of Pauline at Peony Rice Bridal and Occasion Wear, Pian Pan on hair and makeup and Jennifer from Elite Models I managed to throw together a shoot in the Rock Bund area of Shanghai. Jennifer wore a beautiful slip dress under an elaborate lace and bead over dress as her wedding gown and a classic red tea ceremony dress. It was a great shoot as we caught the evening light and managed not to trip on the cobbled street.  

Corporate Events

23rd June 2018

The last few weeks have seen me put on my Big Event Photography hat. I've had the good fortune to cover an annual awards event for BiP Solutions as well as the grand 75th Birthday for Leonardo in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden in the biggest marquee I've ever seen outside of a circus!

Back to Newhall Estate 

23rd June 2018

Although I've had the good fortune to shoot at Newhall Estate before and to shoot with dresses from Freja Designer Dressmaking, the stars hadn't aligned to combine the two. A few weeks back things fell into place and we were able to have a play in the beautiful walled gardens. Mairi Brunning Millinery provided some more of her exquisite veils and bridal headpieces. We had hair by Taylor Craig and makeup by Lynn Muir and Caroline, Lorna and Sarah appeared in front of the camera. We'll be trickling images from the shoot over Instagram, FB and around and about.


On a side note it's been exciting to see Newhall's wedding business expand and develop. Right now they're developing a tailor made indoor venue to supplement their garden marquee. And the bridal suite is just to die for, with every detail carefully curated by the family.

Inchailloch Proposal

23rd June 2018

Though engagement shoots are often part of the my wedding business, the proposal is often left unshot as they happen on holiday or in private. But the proposal is now becoming another piece of the wedding story that couples want photographed. So not so long ago I answered a call from Mo to turn up at Luss Pier, join him and Maryam on a motorboat provided by Loch Lomond Leisure and take a wee cruise to Inchailloch, an island on the Loch. After a stroll through the woods from one pier to the next (with a slight detour that will no doubt add flavour to the story) the question was popped, the pictures were snapped and Mo could finally relax, because the answer was yes! 


It was a lovely romantic moment with a couple obviously deeply in love. They even gave me a bit of quiche from their picnic lunch!

At the Ayrshire Wedding Exhibition 29th and 30th September 2018

29th September 2018

If you missed chatting to me about your plans today, there's still a chance to catch me at the Ayrshire Wedding Exhibition at Trump Turnberry between 11:30 and 16:00. It was great to meet so many brides to be today. Though I know they're spoiled for choice with so many photographers on show I appreciate them spending a few moments with me. 


Tomorrow We even have another wee bottle of prosecco that we'll draw names for around 2pm. 

Image of a Bride through a frame

Shooting with AJR Designs at Winton Castle

29th September 2018

A couple of weeks back now I had a fabulous opportunity to shoot two of the new creations by Ailsa of AJR Designs. We'd collaborated on shoots before, but this was the first shoot in a couple of years. 

We'd been aiming for an Autumn theme to the shots, so had been looking around for a nice venue, set in grounds to work with. Winton Castle was a perfect spot, with a pond with a pier, tree lined avenues, a walled garden. We just arrived a little early, as Autumn hadn't quite fully set in, but we still managed to find a few spots to shoot in and a little warming on the edits gave things the right atmosphere. 

Our two models on the day, Yas and Shannon were troopers, though the day was mild for a Scottish October, that's not to say it was the warmest climate and we even had to face rain at the end. We also managed to sneak a few shots in some of the public rooms at the castle. 

Makeup for the shoot was by Rosie Fraser Makeup and Sarah Anne Mitchell provided fabulous hair with some additional floral details by The Posy Sisters.


There are a few more pictures from the shoot over on my Facebook pages