Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Hi all,
Hope you are all well. Where does time go??

I've had a busy year - a bit of a rollercoaster with ups and down too - with kids passing final consultant exams which is good, and with loosing people which is not so good.  Plans for next year look good with my older son planning to move back to Edinburgh and my sister there now too. . A  year too of engagements and then weddings to look forward to in 2016.  

The Scottish referendum has meant a reawakening of political engagement here - with the disenfranchised, sometimes for the first time, feeling that their voices can make a difference.

I continue to enjoy my photography while devoting more of my time to writing. Writing however takes a great deal of time to get right.

I have a large archive of Photos on my site which are available to license and buy -

My Scottish Arts & Music Blog - PKImage musicfootnotes  continues to have good interest.  I expanded from doing mainly music into covering different aspects of Scottish arts, history and stories - 

I am looking forward now to Celtic Connections 2016 which brightens up the cold January nights. It gets better every year with many artists coming from across the world and highly unique collaborations.   

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to all those who come over and read my blog and post on the Scottish Arts and Music Facebook page. Scotland has seen yet another year of a vibrant cultural scene. In fact Scottish culture has been having a revival alongside our stronger Scottish voices... Music and art continue to inspire me....Hoping 2016 brings some peace and sanity to all those who feel disenfranchised  : ))

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Scottish Arts and Music Blogger and portrait photographer

Pauline Keightley, Scottish Arts and Music Blogger and portrait photographer, Glasgow since 2007 

I have been shooting concerts in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London, since 2007 - of traditional folk musicians, emerging contemporary talent and established major musicians such as Elton John and Fleetwood Mac,  I began shooting music in 2006 and received good feedback on my work. I took images of the singer songwriter Emeli Sande in 2007, five years before her UK break through album 'Our Version of Events' when I took photos at her Royal Albert hall gig. My images were used for her promotions. Sande sang at the London Olympic Opening ceremony 2012.  I also enjoy the photo-shoots of  authors at Edinburgh book festival. My images have been published in media that include – Daily Mail, Financial Times, The List, The Sun, BBC, News Group Newspapers Limited.

My photography is about creative & alternative style, natural light, composition and photo journalism. I aim to mix the old with the new and capture moods such as quiet moments of inner reflection.
My work has included Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Ballet, Manchester Jazz Festival (MJF), major concerts and artist promotions**. 

I have a large archive of images on my website – if you wish to license any for use please get in touch or to discuss commissions. Thanks . -

I also began blogging in 2007, mostly with music reviews. I then expanded into all the Scottish arts and music. You can contact on my Scottish arts ad music facebook page.  I grew up in Edinburgh and I live north of Glasgow now (and 10 years in America) which I hope gives me some unique perspectives.  

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Photography and Writing March 2015

I am still challenged by photography and I enjoy it a great deal. I am also keen to develop my writing. 

While I love art, I love writing equally as much. It is odd finishing working on a book. It seems like it may have nearly reached a point it is ready to be let go - while it is sad as it becomes part of who you are and sometimes new ideas keep coming and so it never feels really finished...?   

*MUSIC this year at Celtic Connections 2015
Celtic Connections folk festival was better than ever and I attended some incredible concerts this year –
The awesome Opening Concert Nae Regrets - We were treated to an outstanding opening concert!  Highly innovative. Multi-talented, multi-layered orchestra. Put a smile on my face -The Martin Bennett epic one off opening concert conducted by Greg Lawson, 
The Craig Armstrong concert of his film music with full orchestra was incredible - he wrote music for Romeo and Juliet and the Great Gatsby and more. The Punch Brothers were delightful with their high tempo banjos, quality acapella vocal harmonies. The concert for the life-affirming songs of folk revivalist Ewan MacColl, with Martin Carthy, Jarvis Cocker and Paul Buchanan. On top of all this it was a huge treat to hear live the powerhouse voice and music of legend Van Morrison. Mind-blowing. And not to forget the perfect concert with the Transatlantic band. 

I continue to take my camera everywhere and it is part of who I am..... 

I have revamped my photography website recently to include a Women Musicians gallery -

Organization is key perhaps!!?  

'There is no luck in photography - it is all timing, observation, experience and cunning.'  (Snowdon) 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Photos Nov

I've had some meaningful photo experiences this year. Shooting at EIBF was so interesting of course. I went to several challenging talks - most notably by the pre-eminent Scottish historian Tom Devine - on the Scottish Enlightenment and secondly on the Darien Project. I attended talks also on the Scottish referendum questions and the press and media. EIBF BLOGS September 2014 here -

-Scottish Referendum. I view Scottish Independence as a journey. Many of the top Scottish intellectuals and writers (such as Tom Devine and others) have come out on the side of Scottish independence believing it to be the best way forward for Scotland, after careful  consideration.  As yet I've not found any good reasons for the UK union- apart from past sentiment or the world wars. This pulling and sharing of resources quoted by the Better Together team seems to mean London pulling in the UK resources. The referendum energised Scottish politics and since then the SNP have had such a surge in new members that no one could have predicted, and they are now the third largest UK party. 

-Recently I had the exciting and fun experiences of shooting at the wonderful Your Disco Needs You - The Musical at Glasgow's Mitchell theatre - written by Anita Neilson, musical score by David Allan and choreography by Tim Noble.  

 I didn't set out thinking I would be a music photographer - I became one by accident, over ten years ago now, after capturing interesting images at a music gig.  It seemed to matter to capture something special about unique gigs. 
My best images are mostly captured when there is unlimited access to a concert and I can find a nice position to the side of the stage and not interfere too greatly with the audiences enjoyment. I want to be a bystander, an observer, not a participant - although the whole point for me is to be lost and absorbed by the music. That's why I am there - at the Queens hall Edinburgh or the Oran Mor Glasgow.

I attend gigs I hope to enjoy. Of course for the bigger artists there is the photographers pit, sometimes OK, but other times a rammy to get those good shots in the restricted three song grab, which means most music photos end up all looking the same kind of limited mug shots at the safe start of the gig and creativity is lost. While with a few other big gigs there can be an exciting adrenalin rush, all great fun! I'm very grateful for all the interesting musicians, artists, and writers I have met. 

I worry that the Art of Music Photography is being lost these days with all the new restrictions. For me it is not simply about a mug shot  - but about capturing those special music moments. Always about the music. 

Renowned jazz photographer David Redfern died 2014.  In his obituary to Redfern by his close friend Tom Seymour - 
 "Like other photographers of his generation, schooled as he was in the chemistry and craft of picture-making, he has lived through the digital revolution. Gone now is the widespread recognition of the photographer as a respected artist providing a valuable contribution to the development of the industry. In its place is a new paradigm of control and restrictions: access restricted to the first three songs or the back of the hall, draconian contracts, impatient minders. As he wrote in 2005: “Nowadays one has to cut through so much hype and crap before one can even consider whether to photograph an event or concert.” It is indeed sobering to consider how many images we might not be able to enjoy if today’s restrictions had applied when David Redfern was building his archive."  Well exactly!
I began to wonder is music photography about the art and craft or simply the mug shot?
I continue to work on editing techniques, mostly using Lightroom (occasionally Photoshop for trickier editing) and what works and what doesn't. Its a very subtle thing.

-Writing Work. My other focus of my writing work progresses with my first book nearly finished (?) especially as I have three other new books in progress now!  The organising, sorting and finishing work takes far longer than the first writing drafts by miles. As is the case with photography also - the shooting is only about 5% of the work. 

-My Musicfootnotes BLOG
Continues to do well and I continue being inspired and I enjoy doing the blog.  Top blogs this year include -  

-Music 2014
New albums this year -  Head and Heart,  Sarah McLachlan, Mary Chapman Carpenter, White Denim,

Photography copyright issues

I have been pursuing serious photography for over several years now. The use of my images without permissions has been an ongoing problem for me, and others I know. 
There are thousands of photographers out there so it is confusing for all sides. Many aspiring photographers give their images away to promote their work, so there's that too. One way of dealing with things is to allow the web use of low resolution images as long as they have copyright along with them and charge for the use of hi res for printing or promotional purposes. Media people should well know about copyright issues.

Being a professional photographer is not an easy or simple path - its' comparable to wanting to be an artist, writer or musician. All these paths are highly competitive and as well as technical and artistic talents and loads of hard work and time, require networking and business knowledge and skills. The most successful ones have many strings to their bow - they also teach or have other means of earning a living.

I've had problems over the years with my photos being used without my knowledge or permissions and I have had to gradually learn the best ways of dealing with these problems. 
If you post photos on a blog or website, it is good to post that the photos are copyrighted - say 'Please respect my copyright and contact me for use of an image.' I always add copyright to my web images. 

Once an image becomes 'available' online it is hard to get back control of it! A few years ago I had one of my photos used by the Arts Council of England no less! - and then found via that link the image was being used all over the place to promote an author. I've also had images used on flyers, brochures, theatre programs and more without asking my permissions or offering me a payment of any kind. 

It can be difficult to deal with when you might consider that all the venues, printers and promoters are being paid for their work - and when a quality and artistic image certainly is key to any successful promotions, but appears to be viewed by ignorant people of little if any value - what on earth does this say? I guess it means you have to push to have your images valued! If you say no you run the risk they will go use another image anyway. I guess its about being valued as an artist. 

If your image is used by a major business, without asking permissions for the License to Use, simply send them your invoice and request a payment. It also depends on how big the business is and is this a one off use or usage for unlimited use of the image. Good luck, no easy business for photographers or other creative people these days, that's for sure!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

PHOTOS February 2014

I' am busy trying to concentrate on writing, after a very hectic few weeks of photos and reviews and also a very fun time at Celtic Connections 2014, which was magic and a ton of work too!   All the amazing concerts and the people I met.  If you come over to Transatlantic Sessions it really is worth it!   

My music blog now gets over 5K hits worldwide per month, more elsewhere than the UK oddly. -
I still love photography but feel I need to focus. For the past months while I am still writing and I am trying to edit and organise my book into appropriate chapters and all - this is crucial but also a ton of work! oh dear. Its so easy to get distracted too! I also write Life blogs, all kind of things - there is not enough time I guess?  http://musicfootnoteslifeblogs
After the quality, diversity, breadth and quality of Celtic Connections 2014 I am more than ever excited for Scottish music. 

This year I heard some wonderful new musicians at Celtic - Lau, RM Hubbert, Mogwai, ImeldaMay, Nicola B, Del Amitri and from Greece Alkinoos Ioannidis. I also enjoyed artists I'd heard before - Dougie MacLean, Julie Fowlis, Jerry Douglas, Karine Polwart, Kris Drever, Capercaillie. 

It is good to see and hear the confidence, creativity, pride and range in Scottish music these days - and I can remember when it was all tartan shortbread caricatures and Jimmy Shand and his band or Andy Stewart's 'Donald where's yur troosers.'  Its a huge boost for Glasgow to host this international event each year.  Folk music is driven by a desire to progress the musical traditions thorough musical abilities, playing live, ethnic traditions, vocal harmonies, unaccompanied singing, story telling songs and words with a message, real instruments (??) and by diverse collaborations. There is much encouragement given over the festival to new musicians – with the Late Sessions, Open mic and also Showcase Scotland with music people worldwide attending these concerts. 

After the warmth of all these concerts I try to get back to normal this cold time of year. I enjoy the writing too and it is all a hectic buzz too!  Most of photography is about the post processing, uploading, contacts, online, media, text and info...  

Rob Noakes -  with  Where Dead Voices Gather' - still relevant and even better than his younger days. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Photos December 2013

'The nature of photography as it captures that simple brief moment… allows no ending. Photography implies perpetuity... as if something of life itself steps over the normal limits of time.'   

I have been busy with the business side of photograph in 2013. For anyone who thinks photography is all about shooting, it is not. There are contacts to be made, hours spent on editing, online work on websites and networking, text and keywords to sort, promotions, emailing, googling and more. I am busy and continue to enjoy the expression of photography.  

I have spent some time updating my photography website recently, nearly done!
My images have been used in print media worldwide and online by major publications and media that include – Daily Mail, Financial Times, The List, The Sun, BBC, News Group Newspapers Limited. Also for album artwork,  authors promotions and more. I distribute for editorial purposes. Supplied images to artists promotions such as Emeli Sande (my photos were used for her promotions back in 2008 and 2009 before she was famous). 
Pauline Keightley Photography

This year I have sent prints as gifts to a few special artists and it is wonderful to be able to do this as a thanks for their wonderful live concerts - the indomitable Michael Marra ( who sadly died a year ago) and to the outstanding new Scottish artist Emeli Sande.

Books. I’ve read several inspired books. Edinburgh Book Festival 2013 – as usual was hectic, informed, varied, challenging and fun. Celtic Connections 2013 again showed off it’s colourful musical collaborations.
It is transforming when words, music and art can make a difference.

My Life BLOGs -
I continue a few pieces for my Life Blogs - Youth Violence, Kate and Morning sickness, Social Mobility, Independence, The NHS. I write when events move me - sometimes poems, sometimes blogs. And sometimes words can make a difference and that's wonderful.

Youth Cafe's. Twenty years ago I wrote around 1994 about the Youth cafe's I came across in Finland when I was 17 as  an inviting place for teenagers to meet and hang out. It is good to see these now locally. What spurred me to write was someone writing in the local paper that there was plenty of places for both families and young people!  I thought - where!?
Youth violence. I wrote about youth violence in Scotland in 2004 after a neighbour’s son was tragically killed. He was a 22 year old rugby player and he was waiting outside a club on Sauchiehall street on the night of an Old Firm game when two youths, one carrying a baseball bat, hit him and he fell on his head. Apparently these youths were running about and had hit several people that night, according to those in A & E.  I heard much later these youths only received a few years in jail.  Lesson is - don't go into town on the night of an Old Firm game!  Hooligans love an excuse to vent their angers.      

I have written about pregnancy and I have much to write on being a parent and education (more to follow!). I am a mother of three grown up children and I taught in primary schools. I wrote mostly in private to papers in the past but now I have a voice on my blog... http://musicfootnoteslifeblogs.yes-to-future.html

Music 2013. Some exiting new artists in 2013 – Haim, Chrvrches, Kurt Vile, Lorde.
The two top artists I saw live this year were iconic Neil young and rocking rocker the wonderful Peter Gabriel. I am inspired by both! Glasgow saw the opening of a world class concert arena near the Clyde river and the old SECC – The shining blue Hydro.
Music Photography. I find the increased restrictions of music p these days frustrating. I do music p because I have a passion for music.These restrictions mean restrictions on what can be achieved with photography at concerts. I get my best shots when I can move about, relax and really get into the music and the gig - great photography is not simply about pressing the shutter!?  I continue to love it though!     

Peter Gabriel Hydro Oct 2013 - ALSO a good dancer! - I hand it to Gabriel - he mentioned all his crew and even introduced the support artists (his two Swedish backing singers) . No 'Big Star' airs and graces about him at all. He talked of how 'Photos' never lie and how mobile phones will help to stop tyranny and oppression worldwide.

Pauline Keightley Photography
Music and Portrait Photography
Emeli Sande, Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Festival,