This isn’t a sponsored post.
With thanks to Mandy Rose, Karen Jebb and of course Gary Lindsay-Moore.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Experience: Gary Lindsay-Moore’s Dudeoir
January 2020: I received a call from my friend Mandy Rose who runs M Seven Public Relations. Mandy has been working in public relations in arts and culture for the whole of nearly two decades that I’ve known her. She is doing some work with a photographer client Gary Lindsay-Moore, a very well-known Midlands-based British photographer, particularly on the alternative scene across the UK.
Mandy asks if I’d share an interview >> here << and suggests that I’d be a good choice to be part of Gary’s Dudeoir experience.
Because I know Mandy and I’m always sure I owe her a favour, I didn’t charge for sharing the post twice a day for a week on Twitter. (It’s normally £100-£120 for a week – I know!) I share the post. Then a massive pandemic thing I put all thoughts of a Dudeoir out of my head for the next twenty-two months.
The word Dudeoir conjured ideas of Covershots a business who were in the Arcardian in the 1990s (You probably have an auntie who had one done). They’d take someone with a bobbed haircut, blowdry their hair and ramp up the soft focus. Just google 1990s Female Gladiators and imagine them in leather jackets instead of showing their biceps.
In reality, Gary Lindsay-Moore’s Dudeoir Experience offers a bespoke photoshoot which brings out body confidence and reminds anyone that they “don’t have to be a supermodel” to look great in a photo. And they are particularly aimed at men.
December 2021: Mandy and are having a catch-up and she brings up the subject of Dudeoir and a photo shoot with Gary Lindsay-Moore. I realise I don’t know what I’d like to do for a possible photo shoot or what it might mean to me.
Christmas comes and goes: in January 2022, I start speaking with Gary on the phone, he’s a great teller of stories and his own experiences, and someone who is genuinely empowering, he knows a lot about being an alternative photographer and after making a career of it, knows how to get ideas to come forth from people. He’s also a model who has found himself on the lens side of the camera many times. He suggests I visit his studio space and we have a chat.
I’m at his studio for nearly two hours, it is pretty relaxed for a preliminary chat. We take a look a the studio space, there are plenty of props and some large mirrors which are angled, they are the sort you’d see in changing room in a boutique shop. We start considering ideas, toing and froing with thoughts about the images.
Over the next few months, we consider that I might do photos where I look into the mirror and match poses with the reflection, and that I will wear different clothing in the reflection photo. I’d not really thought a lot about clothing can impact my posture, how I speak to people or even how people speak to me. If I wear shoes vs trainers, shirts vs t-shirts or jackets vs an overcoat.
I am someone who loves theatre, panto, musicals, ballet, opera and even Shakespeare. This website not only shares about Birmingham businesses and charities but also explores arts and culture. As a working-class man from Erdington, arts and culture isn’t as accessible to people with my background, as you’d expect. We decide to go for a theatrical outfit! A sequin dress and a long blonde wig! The reflection is me dressed like I would for theatre, in a sweatshirt and trousers and shoes.
On the day itself, it is the hottest day of the year, and I head to Gary’s Dueoir studio, I’ve prepped my own outfits and he’s arranged the dress and a great wig, plus he’s fantastically arranged a makeup artist Karen Jebb to join us for my makeup. I’m made to feel at ease, and comfortable.
At first, Gary takes photos of me in more casual attire, then we switch to the relaxed evening out reviewing theatre, and finally the sequin dress. Karen Jebb, a makeup artist creates my makeup, it’s there! Not over the top but, enough to show you there is some there. Posing is strange, you aren’t posing for yourself, you are posing for how you’d look in an image via a lens. How you think you need to stand is different. I was trusting that Gary knew what he was doing and that gave me the confidence to pose as he directed. The shoot was around three hours. I leave happy and relaxed!
A few weeks later I invite Gary and Karen to the Brum Radio Studio in Digbeth for this interview:
Gary brings framed copies of the photo he’s selected from the shoot. AND I LOVE IT!
It features two versions of me and they are digitally sewn together to make one single image below:
The drama in the image was unexpected, as was the elements of future meeting the past with the tube lighting and vintage frames of the mirrors. But I love it as I’ve said and it taught me that clothes totally change how you feel or how you stand as a result, how you communicate with others. I’d thoroughly recommend this as an experience to anyone and the time and effort Gary takes is fantastic!
Find out how you can book your own Dudeoir Experience or even consider gifting one via Gary Lindsay-Moore’s website here: garylindsaymoorephotography.co.uk/dudeoir-experiences.