So, it’s been more than a month since my last blog, unusual for me but considering we have just moved country, found a place to live in a new city and only had the internet for about a week, I think I can be forgiven. In some ways it was nice to be offline, I felt relaxed more than I have done for many years and it also gave us a bit of a chance to sort out furniture for our apartment in Edinburgh. We bought some new stuff, got some second hand stuff and restored it, a fun relaxing time that will continue for a while yet as the place is still fairly empty, but we have all the essential stuff like a full kitchen, a bed, some chairs and a desk for us to sit and work at.
Although it’s nice to have had time away from the net, I have missed catching up on some of my favourite blogs and news sites, something I will remedy soon. Also, it’s been hard to work with no internet, so my priority has been seeking assignments since we got online. So far, we have one wedding lined up, another possible one (tbc), I’ve signed to getty images and also another agency that sends out images to various local/national/international press sites, not bad considering we haven’t been back two months yet.
Last week I had my fist gig, a book signing by an ex-football player/manager Sandy Clark in one of the local Edinburgh book stores to promote his autobiography “From the Heart.2 Just a short drive away (now we drive, no more Tokyo trains which I am so happy about), an easy shoot and home and edits sent off within an hour of the shoot starting. Edinburgh is so much smaller than Tokyo, it makes life easy.
So, a fairly straight forward shoot. As always, two 5DmkII bodies, one with the 24-70mm f2.8L and the other with the 70-200mm f2.8L. Both with a 580 EXII speedlite as well. I did swap the 24-70 for my Sigma 85mm f1.4 at one point at the end as well once I was happy, I haven’t used it much for work yet so wanted to give it a spin. I was only requested to send 10-15 images, not a big lot so I wanted to get some fairly different angles, some standard portraits with the author and his books, some of him signing, some of him speaking to fans, some of the queues waiting to get a signature. I had the images in my mind before arriving, as always I got there early to scope out the shooting area and firm up my ideas a bit more. With this kind of prep the shoot itself is easy really, you just make the images you already have in your mind. However, you also have to expect the unexpected and on an unseasonably hot day where it seemed everyone in Edinburgh called in sick to work and went to the park for a BBQ, the shopping center where the bookstore was located was very empty and not so may fans turned up, so it was a case of concentrating more on the author. Fair play to the guy though, despite a small turnout he spend time with everyone chatting and was very amicable towards the press. Hopefully future shoots will be as easy, here are a few of the shots I sent off:
So, work finally started. Tomorrow I have a press call for the Edinburgh International Film Festival as well. Sue and have been emailing lots of publications about doing assignments, we’re arranging new business cards, finding out how to register our business here, getting the legal stuff done for Sue to work as well. It’s been a busy time, but one thing that really is making all the hard work and uncertainty in moving country (and continent, especially for Sue) is that we have really fallen in love with Edinburgh. When I was younger I’d go to Edinburgh for nights out with friends, think the pubs and clubs were great but not really see past that. When I moved to Japan and came back for visits I was always blown away by Edinburgh, I loved the gothic architecture, the vibrancy of Edinburgh festival, the “hidden gem” areas like Dean Village (where we moved to) and Stockbridge where it’s more about locals than the tourists, then you’ve got the castle right in the center of town and I never fail to be in awe of it’s beauty, so here are a few more photos of the local sites.
The view from our window, it’s like living in a history lesson, to the right is an old school house, the the left an old water mill:
The backstreets of Stockbridge which is where we go to hang out these days:
And finally Edinburgh Castle, somewhere I will be photographing a lot I feel: