Carol McDermott | artist portrait | Cumbria

Winter is often a quiet time which I use to review how the year has gone and make any changes ready for the new year ahead. It is also a great time to experiment. In the last week before Christmas I had Eden with me, a work experience student from the local high school. I wanted to make sure we got out on some shoots even though it was mostly dark and drizzly! We went to Carlisle and planned to do some street photography but it was pretty wet so we found ourselves in the indoor market and asked a few stall holders for some portraits (I’ll blog that later). I also asked artist Carol McDermott whose work I have been a big fan of for years if we could come to her house and do a little portrait shoot. I was thrilled when she said yes.

When we turned up it was perfect as Carol was looking forward to the shoot as much as we were so it was a lovely working environment and I knew I’d be able to take my time and have the freedom to play. I had decided I wanted to use the shoot as a chance to experiment with some double exposures and a moodier vibe. I had recently purchased Wendy Laurels ‘Seeing Double’ tutorial (more on that here), and had tried some doubles - overlapping them at the same time so knowing a bit about what the outcome might be but I hadn’t tried shooting a roll then reloading and shooting over it again. Before the shoot I shot a 35mm black and white film roll with out of focus fairy lights then reloaded it ready to shoot photos of Carol on top. It was exciting not knowing at all how it would turn out!

On the day the light was pretty dark and I defitely had more success with the black and white film I shot although the colour ones that did work I was pleased with. It was great fun just trying things out and not being too worried if they didn’t work, of course you want them to but sometimes you have to not know how they will turn out to find out new possibilities. I think these look quite different to my usual work, I like the dark, quiet mood to them. Carol was so much fun to photograph and we have already planned another shoot when we eventually get some of that pretty spring weather! To see some of Carols AMAZING work you can go here and to follow her Instagram which I highly recommend you can here.