Hi! I’m John MacLeod, owner and photographer at Moraylight.
Based in Keith, in the North-East of Scotland, I provide professional photographic services to clients in Moray, Aberdeenshire & beyond.
Whether you're looking for beautiful wall art for your home, professional headshots for your own portfolio, business or socials, or you're an agency or publisher looking for a pair of eyes and feet on the ground, I can help!
A little bit about me
My love for photography began around age 9~10 and was cemented by my experiences of developing black & white photos at school.
After a long wait, my first ever wage packet was spent on two 'proper' cameras.
I still have them now - in fact, a few lenses I bought for those cameras still form part of my working kit today.
However, my photography had to be put to one side to make way for a career in Engineering, where I designed anything from stuff that keeps nuclear reactors going, to brake lights for tractors. During those years, photography was relegated to my spare time, only surfacing for occasional technical shots of something I'd designed, or blown up - or both :D
Now I've decided to spend less time on Engineering, turning my attention back to Photography. I've created Moraylight as a vehicle for this.
My shooting style
I strive hard to capture images where there's a connection between the person or subject being photographed and me, the viewer.
Saying that, I love shooting candid portraits where, even if the subject knows there's a photographer on the prowl,
they don't necessarily know when they're actually being photographed.
When photographing people or animals, I like to stalk "The Decisive Moment" - the moment when all the elements in a photograph come together perfectly to create a meaningful image. If I spot a laugh, a tear, a glint of mischief in the eye, or a fleetingly funny or absurd situation - I'll have that, thank you very much!
With studio portraits, I can control the light and the pose, in order to show the sitter in a natural and engaging way. I'm not a fan of portraits that are badly lit or that have stiff, unnatural poses.
From that point on, the mission is to convey that moment and its emotions in a photograph, so that someone viewing the image can experience them as I did, looking through the camera.
My editing style
My aim with editing & retouching is to take an image as captured in-camera, then enhance it without the edits being apparent.
I would normally control what level of editing should be done but, for portrait & headshot photographs, I would discuss and agree with you before the shoot, as to any editing or retouching you may particularly want to include or leave out.
My approach to editing portraits is to retouch only blemishes that are temporary, such as:
- cuts & scratches
- spots & acne
- discoloured teeth
- lighting issues
- stray studio equipment or animals
Unless you specifically ask, I will not interfere with permanent features, such as:
- broken/squint teeth
I believe these are part of who you are and it's not my place to judge what could or should be "improved" - I don’t want to make you look like anyone other than yourself!
Hover or tap in & out of image to see before & after - FS edit by Moraylight
My approach to the finished article
I don't believe that good photography should stay hidden away in a USB stick, computer, or a box in a drawer.
I do believe that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing to the best of my ability. My product offerings include high quality paper prints, which would normally be suppplied with a bevel-cut mount, colour chosen to complement the image. An optional hand-made frame finishes the package.
In my Keith studio, I also produce stunning metal photo panels, with images printed directly onto specially-coated aluminium sheet. These make beautiful and vibrant pieces of wall art which, to my mind, replace traditional canvas prints. I great care & pride in the craftsmanship associated with my printmaking & framing, so I use only the highest quality materials, including the exclusive use of photo panels from Chromaluxe, the world's leading manufacturer.
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