Shooting socks and a shoot day with a difference!

The Brief –  A shoot day with a difference – no shooting!. I’ve been asked to organise plenty of game shooting days but never a photo shoot. It would have been great if the assignment was for a saucy country calendar, but alas it was to promote a new range of country, fashion and shooting socks. It turned out to be great fun!

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The company in question is the House of Cheviot which is owned by good friends of mine and is based in Hawick in the Scottish Borders. They specialise in designing and manufacturing the highest quality shooting and kilt socks which are retailed by many famous brands. They recently decided to set up an a-commerce side to their business with a new in-house range and so were looking for a good portfolio of photographs to use for promotional purposes. Somehow this is where I came in! Most of the photographs were to be country/shooting orientated with the emphasis on an informal, aspirational look. There was also to be a “fashion” type shoot in Edinburgh for a completely new range of socks.

Never one to shirk a challenge, I set about organising a cast, crew and photographer. I came up with a shortlist of three photographers and the company chose Jonathan McGee – one of the best sporting photographers in the industry. Not used to hanging around with professional models, sourcing this was a bit harder but a Facebook request found me Georgia Annable, a young up and coming model. The rest of the cast were amateur friends and fellow shots. The venue chosen was the lovely Kames estate near Coldstream thanks to owner Dermot Jenkinson and Head Keeper Paul Clayworth.

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With the cast, crew and venue sorted the only thing that was needed was some great weather and luckily we got it! On the first morning of the photo shoot we headed off to Edinburgh to find some iconic backdrops to show off HOC’s new range of fashion socks. We got a few funny looks as Georgia changed socks and outfits with Jonathan “clicking” away merrily! Starting at Prince’s street with Edinburgh Castle in the background, we then moved on to the famous Grassmarket area and finally on to Fountainbridge.

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We finished up in Edinburgh just after lunch and headed down to the Borders, trying not to break too many speed limits, so that we could do the next leg of the shoot before we lost the light. Crossing the border into England, we arrived at Tillmouth Park House hotel with plenty of time to spare and this part of the photo shoot was designed to show off the shooting socks in a slightly more formal setting that might take place at the start or end of a shoot day. The setting was perfect!

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Day 2 was to be a shoot day with a difference. The cast and crew met at the Kames Estate bothy and we all brought along a selection of tweed, shooting wear and accessories – it would have made for a pretty good car boot sale! With a huge range of socks to choose from,we soon looked the part.

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It was then off to the first “drive” and we lined out on a stubble field in glorious sunshine. Paul, the keeper remarked that it all felt a bit strange – the guns were facing the opposite way to how they would on a real day and there were no birds to worry about – he was pretty chilled! Next was “elevenses” with sloe gin and home made brownies! Jonathan took some great shots and although it was completely staged, the end results look pretty good.

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All in all we had a great couple of days and Jonathan’s photos really show off the beautiful range of socks that Robin has created. I haven’t shown any close up shots of these socks as the new website isn’t online yet but I’ll put some on as soon as it goes live…….