Styling Portfolio

Styling is about what photographers do in their digital darkrooms. My approach to styling is to make your images look better and more distinctive than the mass produced majority.
All my work for clients is styled for them personally as I don’t use simple presets or ‘effect filters’.

I work to the personal taste of my clients and involve them in the creative process.

This is the most time consuming part of my photography. Where it will take most of a day to shoot a wedding, the styling will take most of a week to do.
This Portfolio shows a short selection of some typical styling work.

Some samples are dramatic, some subtle depending on what I am trying to do for my clients.

I do sometimes shoot in film,  35mm or 120 roll film. There is still something about those old cameras and lenses. Its hard to define except that its good sometimes to just ‘slow down’. But this shot is in fact digital, originally shot in colour before being converted to high contrast black and white then sympathetically enhanced for that Kodak Tri – X  35mm film look.


Another of Barbara, really going for that 70’s fashion look. If film better than digital? Later I’ll post in some film shots to see it anyone can tell. You might be interested to know that I don’t use Photoshop and I don’t ‘airbrush’ my photographs. Retouching is done minimally and sympathetically when necessary.

DSC_6949 web 899

This one is different again. I’ve probably gone quite far with this one but wanted to test out some ideas. The original shot of Altanay was fine enough but I wanted to create something with a bit of ‘mystery’ and ‘drama’.

IMG_0027 web 860

The ‘Real Deal’ 1 Ilford Pan F 35mm Sarah / Edinburgh. The process of shooting film just tends to slow you down and concentrate that bit more.

Order001-S1- (24) web 884

The ‘Real Deal’ 2  Ilford Pan F 35mm Jennie / Anstruther. Of course images shot on film can be digitally edited. But in the case, here, of Sarah and Jennie I left these in their ‘natural’ state just to show the ‘real deal’ of 35mm fine grain film (Ilford Pan F ISO 50).

Order001-S1- (29) web 700

Some might think it a mistake to photograph a blue dress on a blue background.

But for me this works very well with the hints of red and green.

Its worth saying that the dress is as much the object as the model, dress designer Veronika.

DSC_3647 web 960

From Blue to The Dress of Many Colours. The window blinds provide an interesting background detail.

DSC_3865 web 988

This next short series of three are test shots, taken very quickly in Aberdeen City Centre, as preparation for a more extensive shoot later in the year. The styling element was to create three quite distinctive approaches but all contributing to an edgy, urban portrait session. All shots were taken in less than 15 minutes in a selection of small city spaces within 100 meters of St Nicholas Church.

Sarah – BW Retro

Sarah Coulson

Sarah – Cool Blue

Sarah Coulson

Sarah – Summer City

Sarah Coulson
These styles are unique creations to test different ‘moods.’

Sometimes appearances can be deceptive. This is one of my favourite portrait shots and I have styled several versions of this in different ways. In this example it is a combination of some ‘posterisation and aging’. But the point here is that most people assume this is a ‘studio’ shot. Not so, it was captured at a fundraising event I did for parents in Portlethen Village Hall. Another version, styled more naturally, is in my portrait portfolio page.

11-06-05_211_Pirates old photo web 845


Wherever possible I prefer to work with natural light. Nothing added, nothing taken away … just the light from the window and a steady hand and styled accordingly.

DSC_2414 - Elegance 960

Another natural light shot, taken on Aberdeen beach with young ‘model’ Ellie. Taken with Nikon defocus control lens. With portraits like these I will always try to shoot in the shadows using natural but indirect light.The styling here is much more subtle and dream like.

Ellie on Aberdeen Beach

Leave a Reply