Pop up Portait Studio










I have been working on another edit of these portraits from Cardiff. They’ll be part of a group exhibition in Stuttgart, and last night Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ was on. This clip reminded me how I felt, in May 2013 when I set up my make shift studio, on the streets of Cardiff. I photographed 110 willing participants, each one a beautiful creature.

Have a great summer. Over and out x






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A lot has already been written about this subject. Do we take or make a photograph? All photographers have their own methods. Some will say they ‘take’ a photograph and others will insiste that their photographs are ‘made’.

I was at a photography screening last week. An event hosted by IC Visual labs and curated by Develop Photo’s Erica McDonald. One of the multi media screenings featured New York Times staff photographer, Fred R Conrad, his opinion is that a good potrait is ‘given’. This really struck a cord with me. (You can watch it here I realised that’s the reason I feel so grateful to the people I photograph. They give me something of themselves and I feel indebted to them. It’s why I try hard to make sure each participant at my Pop Up Portrait Studio gets a free print. I am compelled to give back.

Thanks to Georgie, Alan, Eric and Mohammed, for taking part in my recent Pop Up Portrait Studio on Bristol’s Old market. Thanks also to; Alex and ibi from IC Visual labs, Sophie and Josie who assisted me on the day, Calumet, Photographique and Clifton Colour for sponsoring the event.

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My Pop Up Portrait Studio in Cardiff has now closed it’s doors. I am working with the images to make a book of some of the portraits. When I look at the portraits I am struck with how willing people were to stand there and allow me to make a portrait of them. Cardiff is not a shy place, but it is not over confident and too cool either. I felt a real sense of people standing up and saying yes I’ll do this. I will take part in this project. There was very little showing off in front  of the camera. People were generally self assured and composed. In a way that says to me – this is me, I am here, this is now.

A special applogy to Dan, who took his girlfriend to see the exhibition at the Cardiff Story Museum as a surprise. He didn’t tell her his picture was going to be up on the wall. When he got the there his portrait wasn’t there. Dan, I’m looking into what happened and I’ll be sending you some extra prints to make up for it. This shot was taken on my phone, but it gets Link, the Husky in there too.


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Here are some of the latest shots from my Pop Up Portrait Studio in Cardiff. I photographed 110 people in total from baby Lyra, only a few months old to this old lady here. I loved her pink suede coat. She told me the flowers were for her neighbour, who’d had a turn. I met a great many wonderful people and photographed some great faces. The resulting portraits are being exhibited at The Cardiff Story Museum ( until the end of the month) and will also be online soon.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part.



These are some of the 70 portraits made with my Pop Up Portrait Studio in Cardiff last weekend. They are not final shots, just rushes without any processing. A print from each portrait will be exhibited in the Cardiff Story Museum, that I am installing today. Each person photographed will be able to go into the museum and unpeg their own portrait from the wall, for them to keep.

I had a great weekend in Cardiff. I was impressed by how open, honest and friendly people were. Even when they declined to take part, people were polite and apologetic. Except for one woman, who told me ‘I just can’t be bothered’ – honest and fair enough.

My Pop Up Studio is back there tomorrow and Sunday. I’ll be setting up in Roathe, outside an old church (on the corner of Albany Rd and Wellfield Rd). I’m hoping to get a different mix of people and keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays away…

For up to date opening times and locations follow on twitter @PopUp_Studio

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On Saturday I start shooting my Pop Up Portrait Studio on the streets of Cardiff. This week has been about preparing and getting myself ready to photograph 25 people each day.

I could go out any time, set up my backdrop and make portraits of people. But I don’t. I need the pressure of having set things up, of other people relying on me. My Pop up Studio is all ready to go. Sponsors have been confirmed. Production has been done by Diffusion festival. Now it’s all down to me to deliver. I am plunging head first into the deep end of this project. Who knows how it will end up and what I’ll get at the end of it…I have organised and prepped all week. I’ve done all I can.

These portraits have been taken on my phone, over the past couple of weeks. I’ve taken them with the Pop Up Studio at the back of my mind. They are kind of practice shots, small sketches, that I can build upon. The act of photographing people over and over accumulates, and that practice will result in a better portrait somewhere down the line. I’m hoping it will be this weekend.

Special thanks to Anne at FFotogalley, Phil at Photographique and David at Davis Colour.

hoodyMy Pop Up Portrait Studio will be back in May! I will be setting up for four days on the streets of Cardiff, and offering my free portraits to anyone who wants to take part. I will be part of Diffusion, Cardiff International Festival of Photography. I am really looking forward to working with the people from Ffottogallery on this and I am very keen to start photographing the people of Cardiff.  I am quickly falling in love with this city.

On Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of May, you’ll find me just outside the gardens, behind Cardiff Stories Museum, The Old Library, Trinity Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BH from 10am till 5pm.The following weekend (11th & 12th) I’ll be in Roath outside an old church on the corner of Albany Road and Wellfield Rd. If the weather is really bad there will be a change of location, so for last minute and up to date locations follow me on  twitter @PopUp_Studio and @KirstyGMackay. Look out for me with my camera and big grey backdrop. Stop by for a free portrait or come and say hello..

Many thanks to Phil at Photographique for kindly sponsoring this event.