Photo commissions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are a bit mundane and not too exciting, although I still try to get the best from them, even a commission some time ago to photograph roof tiles on a building site which wasn't all that glamorous, I have to say! Then along comes a job which is far more challenging and enjoyable.
Just recently I was commissioned to take some photographs in a wonderful crafts gallery in Inveraray for a new website. In a previous incarnation I used to be a jeweller and still have a great interest in good design and craftsmanship. The gallery, "Natural Elements", is quite unlike many so called craft galleries which seem to survive on cheap, nasty often imported "local" craft work. The quality of everything in Natural Elements seems to me to be beyond the criticism of even the most discerning craft critic. There's no "Tartan Tat" - everything being chosen for its excellent design and quality with an comprehensive range of work in wood, metal, pottery, glass, textiles and more.
So it was an absolute pleasure to be set free inside with the camera and enjoy the very best of Scottish workmanship. Some I recognised - I photograph the work of potter Diane Ferrari on a fairly regular basis - but it was still exciting to keep up to date with her latest designs. (Since this job I've done more photography of her excellent new work). There was also some very fine metal bowls and superb wooden mirrors along with imaginative carved stone work.
The gallery owner, Alison Burnett, worked as an interior designer but trained textile designer, and this experience is reflected in her inspired choice of goods for the gallery.
Anyone who likes good quality and great craftsmanship should visit this truly exceptional gallery - and visit the website ( www.crafts-gallery.co.uk ) - a great place for presents.
All in one!