Fashion & Forgery

Updated: Dec 17, 2018

Alistair and I met shortly after his time working at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, which is when we got talking about his life as a Blacksmith.

After getting to know each other a little, I asked Alistair to model the last few items of the Otso Clothing collection I have been shooting for the past few months. His back to nature style of working fit the brand image perfectly. So after having to reschedule a couple of times due to weather - we decided to power through and shoot on the next available day, regardless of the forecast and it turned out pretty dry.

When I got to Alistair's studio at the back of The Boilerhouse Gallery in Corfe Castle, he was outside with the furnace fired up ready to hit some metal. I was persuaded to give it a go myself, and I very disappointingly sucked. I managed to make a wonky tapered spiral, but Al showed me how it was done and proceeded to create a fine spiral keychain. It takes a lot of control to hit the metal into the right shape - not as easy as it seems. Once we'd had some fun over the anvil, we put out the fire and got on with the shoot. I like to get hands on in my photography, and I've walked and groomed horses, but I've never tried blacksmithing on the job. I love discovering these secret locations with such variety of backdrops and a good list of possible shooting angles. An added plus was the wood piles and rusting array of scrap scattered around the site, which was something I was excited to use in the photos from the moment I spotted them. This shoot is comparatively quite rustic when viewed next to my soft portrait sessions at the beach and in less harsh seasons than winter. But it was a fun challenge to use the christmassy palette of grey greens and warm earthy tones, with punches of red and purple from the clothing. Otso is a Scandinavian inspired urbanised outdoor clothing company based in Yorkshire. Their name translates as "spirit of the bear" so, this collaboration with Alistair's craft, my photography and Otso's cool garments sparked some ideas in my head. This is the third shoot for the company, but a collaboration between multiple craftsmen was something new to me. Alistair made the owner of Otso, Simon, an impressive art piece from copper and driftwood, which I believe will be on display in their shop in Slaithwaite. I get so chuffed to see small businesses supporting each other.

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If you would like to discuss commercial product or service photography like this, please give me a call on 07730068725 to have a chat.