James MacKenzie




I was asked through my friend Neil, who had recently joined the band, to take their first promo shots. It seemed daunting at first because I was aware of there being 10 members in the group. Oh dear. Armed with only one flash gun, we headed to Sloan’s pub in Glasgow, and we were kindly allowed to use the stairwell to the ballroom. The amount of fun arranging 10 people into a band photograph was incredible. It gave so much texture to the final shots…I just had to be extra alert for people blinking!

Equipment: Canon 350d – 18-55mm kit lens – Cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


This is a shot of my sister, Margaret. She was showcasing her art at the West End Festival in 2009, and I was ‘roadie’ for the day, carrying her canvases etc. I took along my camera to capture, well whatever stuck out really. I didn’t take very many photos in the end, but I captured this very candid shot while we were all sitting in a group with friends. I don’t usually take these kinds of photos, but this one had a great atmosphere to it, and I loved the detail that came out in the smoke.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 18-55mm kit lens – Natural light.

3. RED LIGHT EXIT’s ‘Fraggie’

This was one of my first commercial shoots. I hadn’t ever planned on doing commercial photo work, it just sort of happened. An abandoned school of over 10 years, in the hills of my nearby village of Kilmacolm, had taken my interest. The electricity is even still running in parts of the building, and I decided to take the band to investigate. This shot was created by having Fraggie stand in front of the camera, with the other 2 band members on either side, clutching handfuls of paint flakes from the school’s gym hall. We counted down from three and they threw the paint at his head! A quick shutter speed coupled with ‘random’ posing gave amazingly dynamic results. We repeated it for all three members of the band. This one definitely turned out as my favourite.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


I have a love of creating compositions from different photographs, and manipulating pictures to look a little more surreal than could be achieved in real life. Most of the bands I shoot are experiencing their first ‘proper’ photoshoot, and this band was the same. I wanted something really dynamic that had an almost blockbuster movie feel to it. I took the band to The Lighthouse (Rennie Macintosh) in Glasgow and captured this shot of them against a plain blue wall in one of the conference rooms. In Adobe Photoshop I added a striking sunset sky photograph behind them, and created some ‘flaring’ outlining the members, to somewhat authenticate the sunset, but also maintaining a ‘fake’ dreamworld look.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


This was my first ever glamour shoot, organised by my entrepreneurial friend Jamie Young. My portfolio was missing pictures of female models…infact, it was missing females almost altogether! This was a perfect chance to change that. On a sunny Saturday afternoon we took three amateur models along with a stylist/makeup artist, to Cosmopol and the Classic Grand in Glasgow. This shot is from Cosmopol, which has a very retro seating area with 7-inch vinyls glued to the wall. The girls were all quite nervous but ended up doing a brilliant job posing in borrowed vintage clothes from nearby shops. This shot turned out as my favourite from Cosmopol.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


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