Single track roads and amazing scenery caused me to be late at Donald John McKay’s, a weaver on the island of Harris who won an order for tweed cloth from Nike.
I knew he worked from a shed beside one of the world’s most famous beaches and hoped to get a shot that connected him weaving with the landscape. However, when I arrived I saw that idea would not work.
He had finished weaving for the day and, as we got chatting, I was working out how best to compose the shot. I knew time was of the essence and, while keeping up some banter, quickly set up. It’s important to get folk relaxed and I like to start talking to people before getting the camera out, keeping a light-hearted conversation going.
Whisky, banter and good company
He was just tying up a bale of tweed, ready to send off for processing. The place was a bit cluttered and, for a commercial shoot, I would have asked to tidy it up but sensed he was proud of his space and knew that if I wanted him on my side, I shouldn’t move anything.
I was looking for a relaxed expression and after only a few frames I knew I had it. As I packed up, he invited me into the kitchen for a wee dram of whisky. Whisky, banter and good company – the perfect way to end a shoot.