Portrait Shoot – Dark and Moody


Photographer: Alan Duggan assisted by Alex Burnell
Model: Sarah Jane Crawford

The building was built in 1815 and was used for assemblies, dance balls and parties by the so called ‘high society’. Over the years the building has been used for Weddings, Drama Performances as well as being used as a home base for Societies.

Sadly the building has been disused since the late 1990’s and is in real need of repair.

Shoot Ideas
I had an idea in my head that I wanted to create a set of dark moody images. The feeling I wanted the images to portray was not set in stone, however, I did try to give them a feeling of loss, loneliness & maybe a little sadness.

I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment below to let me know what feelings you had when looking at the images.

The Day
The day for me started when my alarm woke me at 04:00 am in the morning. The night before I had charged all the batteries for the lights & camera, cleaned all the lenses and packed all the gear. That meant all I had to do was grab my gear and go.

At 04:20 am I was in the car and ready to go and pick up Alex a good friend mine who was also photographing with me on the day.

After picking up Alex we arrived at the location around 06:00 am, This allowed us both plenty of time to get all the gear in, setup and have a good look around and talk over the ideas we both had for the shoot.

Sarah arrived around 09:00 am and after introducing ourselves, discussing a few ideas and having a coffee we were all ready to get shooting.

For anyone who has been inside a building that has been sat empty for a period of time you will know just how cold they it can be. This did not faze Sarah at all and she worked through the cold without any hesitation. We did make sure to stop after every set for a short while to get Sarah warmed up a little whilst myself and Alex got ready for the next idea.

After the first couple of sets we decided to grab the lantern and light the candles to use as a prop and when we handed the lantern to Sarah I think the heat was welcomed!

Ok time for a small selection of the edited images.


Lost Love

Please come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.

Time to Go – As I fade into darkness please keep me in your memories

We wrapped up the shoot after 3 hours of shooting as we all felt very happy with the images that we had created.

After packing up the gear and loading up the car we said goodbye to Sarah and set off home. I got back home around 15:00 pm, tired, dirty and in need of a hot bath!

All in all I feel that the day was a success, we had fun and although I may be a little bias I feel we made some really nice images.

Gear used: Canon 5D Mk III, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Sigma 70-200 f2.8. 3 x Yongnuo 568ex II Flash Units.

All comments and questions are very welcome.

If you would like to contact me about a possible shoot idea then please, do not hesitate.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Duggan

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