My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Goth In Dingwall

I am continuing with project photographing Goths and similar alternative types in the Highlands. It is really important to me to show the world that even a mostly rural and often quite remote area like the Highlands (quite sparse in terms of population, with Inverness, our only major city, being smaller than some towns) has Goths, and that we are every bit as fabulous, unique, and varied as Goths in other places. I actually think that are lower numbers means that we do not tend to group ourselves into cliques by genre, and that many of us are quite varied as individuals as well as each being representative of varied styles; I know I can be anything from Gothic Lolita through Romantic Goth to Trad Goth when it comes to fashion and that I am hybrid of all of those things when it comes to my approach to Goth itself, and to being alternative, and there's so many different aspects to many of the Goth individuals I know locally - I am certainly no exception. 

Samm, a portrait. I love the narrow depth of field in this one!
Photograph by HouseCat

This installment of the project is bringing you Samm, from Dingwall. Dingwall is a town of Viking origin that's a short way North of Inverness. I was quite happy to get there on a £6.10 day ticket that could also take me as far south as Daviot  -which I considered, but I ran out of time. Daviot has a lovely church in a beautiful location that I have been wanting to photograph ever since I saw it on my way up the A9 to get here! Samm is an enthusiastic cosplayer, as well as Goth inclined alternative lassie, and a big fan of camping. I have had an awesome time camping with her, and hopefully we're going camping together again soon. 

Full length Samm, by a railing and vines. 

Samm's style for this photoshoot is very Nu-Goth, with a Killstar top and and H&M skull scarf, a neat black skater skirt and chunky black boots. This is just one variation on Goth and Alternative fashion that Samm wears, and I may well photograph her again in the future in a different set, wearing a different style. She took her jacket off for the photos, and as you can probably see, it started off a grey and dull day, so the scarf is actually mine, lent to her as I didn't want her getting cold! 

Looking into the graveyard, the sky making

The location is the churchyard of St. Clement's church in the centre of Dingwall. It is bordered on 3 sides by carparks (including a particularly large one for the local supermarket) and offers an idyl of quiet and respite from the traffic and busyness around it. I am not the sort of person to ask models to drape themselves across gravestones, nor to walk across graves like they are ordinary grass, nor to be loud or obnoxious in a cemetery, so I was very careful in taking these photographs to respect the surrounding graves, and to only use fence railings as "prop"s, not the graves themselves and to at least try to keep the wording on graves obscured, as I feel those things are personal to the families of the deceased. 

Samm and the "teeny tiny urn-thing". Photograph by Housecat

Samm is a particularly chirpy and bubbly person, and I tried to convey that in the photos. She was trying to do her "serious Gothic modeling" expression, but it always cracked into at least a smirk. It doesn't help that I called the finial on the railings a "teeny tiny urn-thing".  Perky Goths are real (and I am one! especially once caffeinated... ). 

Playing with the angles of stone walls. Photograph by HouseCat

In terms of photography, I am relatively with how these came out. My favourite is the first one shown, with the narrow depth of field. I both like how that specific effect turned out, and also the composition for that photograph. All the photographs are in black and white, which is not something I have done for portrait photography before - I took inspiration for how I normally treat my architectural photographs. In some of them, where she is mostly monochrome and the background is quite leafy, I do feel like she would have been more distinct from the background in colour, but over all I like how this set turned out. 


  1. *I'm enjoying these photographic profiles you of real people from within the culture. You do indeed seem to have some fabulous Goths in the highlands.

    1. There will be quite a few more of these coming over the next week or two. I have been out and about photographing Goths in their natural habitats :P

  2. I love the idea of this project! The shots are great! I love that she cannot stop smiling, definitely showing that Goths can have fun!

    1. We're not all sultry maidens of gloom :P I need to post more smiley Goth photos of myself, too. Happy Goths exist, and I'm DEFINITELY a perky Goth. Sometimes a bit /too/ perky...


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