Helen MacKinven


I had so much fun today photographing Helen. Helen is a writer and will be published this year, hence her mind turning to some up-to-date shots for her publisher to use. (That sounds so cool!). I was delighted that she trusted me to have a go and I am so pleased with the results.


Helen was probably freezing throughout the shoot as the temperature never got above about 2 degrees, and there was a fair wind as well. This of course meant that we had to have a warming coffee after as well as before the shoot and that meant even more wonderful conversation. I really can’t wait to read her book which she has kindly offered me a copy of in draft. We like a lot of the same authors, so the writing chat could just go on and on….

Photographically, the sun was surprisingly strong, so I placed a remote flash on a stand behind and to my right, and let the sun work its rim-light magic behind Helen. To photographers this is such an obvious thing to do, but non-photographers so often instinctively let the sun hit the subject’s face resulting in screwed up eyes and anything but a relaxed subject. Even with a little compact camera or a phone-camera, use the option to force the flash on and put the sun behind the subject.


This image was from inside the coffee place near Auchinstarry Quarry in Kilsyth where we did the shoot. It was great to be warm with the camera I have to tell you. This one was taken with natural light and my old Canon 500D and my new 40mm pancake lens; it is very sharp and so small to carry around. Good for having in coffee places!


Connect with Helen at her blog, A way with Words. It is a great read!


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