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Fiery Viking Photoshoot in Crammond, Edinburgh, Scotland



After coming back from my trip to Coll, I was feeling very ready to use the little time I had before my trip to my hometown to get a quick photoshoot in, if possible.


Floating a few ideas I might come back to (UV paint but in the bath photography, something involving coming out of the sea covered in a veil, etc), my friend Camilla and I settled on a Viking themed photoshoot, and I reached out to a few other people to see who would be interested, before quickly settling on three models, Camilla (Acro/Yoga person and Fire performer), Rachael ( Viking Tiktok person and Personal Trainer), and James (Viking Personal Trainer).


Going from inception to the shoot in less than a week (with a lot of other things in the meantime) was a tight turnaround, but we put a date and a location together, I borrowed some weighty fire props, and we set off!



The First Location was the old Water Mill, on Almond Walk, providing a nice mixture of forest, and ruin, although the shoot had to be careful to avoid railings and other passers by. A lot of the costume was brought by James, including the furs, and the gorgeous axes, and the rest was a collection of charity shop finds and Beltane Fire Festival leftover pieces.




After a few different portraits and action shots across the local space, we decided to bust out the fire props, and see how we got on. Against the general consensus of how to shoot fire performance artists, I actually much prefer to shoot with some daylight, instead of maximising contrast. This is because, as you can see, I can capture both the performer and the fire without under or overexposing, and it is still bright enough to stand out from the background.




We also took a quick pit stop for a quick scene on some very beautiful old tree roots!






After this, we decided to move to the beach, for the second half of the shoot. While the colour palette of the forest and ruins very naturally suited what I would expect from a Viking themed shoot, the sea and evening sky I was not sure about, at first, but I am actually very happy with how it turned out, lighting everything with cold blues and warm oranges.




Finally, we decided to have one big fire fight on the beach. The hardest part of this was trying to keep everyone in character! A bit too much fun was had swinging giant fire props around pretend fighting, but it was a great way to end the shoot.





Jacob Forsyth-Davies





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