Richard Gaston Q&A
Photographer and explorer Richard Gaston is a long-time collaborator of the Kestin Hare brand and the natural choice for the AW18 Campaign shoot for Shelter.
Originally from Ayrshire, his passions are the Scottish outdoors, mountaineering, fashion and of course, Photography. He’s worked for the likes of Norse Projects, Cereal Magazine, Instrmnt and more recently produced a Travel Guide named, Wild Guide Scotland which purchased in Kestin Hare stores.
How was the AW18 Shelter shoot?
This was my fourth consecutive look book that I had shot for Kestin Hare. We developed a great understanding of one another, creatively and getting to know one other personally very well along the way. Kestin and I have discussed shooting in Skye for a couple of years now and it was a great time to do so; it was the perfect brief following our years working together. An incredible setting; being in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, the idyllic modern and remote house for a location and finally, working with the renowned model, Richard Biedul. Everything was set up for a success and the outcome certainly conveyed this. Particularly with the autumnal soft golden light and a remarkable backdrop made this into a shoot I will never forget.
What interests you about Bothies?
The subculture that surrounds bothies, their remoteness, the simplistic ideology of life when visiting and of course, the photogenic nature of their surroundings.
What’s your number one Bothy?
Kearvaig bothy. One of the remotest in fact, located in the most-northwesterly point, Cape Wrath. Situated on a northerly facing bay, the beach and the surrounding cliffs give an incredible and memorable location.
Any dodgy Bothy experiences?
During a wet and soggy evening in the Applecross peninsula, I made my way through soaking marshland out towards the coast where lies Uags Bothy. Pathless and boggy, I was soaked head to toe as I made my way to find a place to sleep for the night.
Grateful to have eventually reached the bohty before sundown, I unpacked my things, set up my sleeping equipment and lit the fire. Having thought that I had the bothy to myself for the night, I stripped off all of my clothes and hung them to dry by the fire. Sitting in my pants, a large group of kayakers burst into the bothy to find a naked, lonesome man sitting on a chair in a dark room.
St Kilda - Richard Gaston
What are your top Bothy tips?
Leave the Bothy as you find it - don’t bring anything that you won’t take home with you – no one is there to clean up your mess. Bring adequate sleeping equipment and a tent in case the bothy is full – it does happen. Finally if you have time, write a report on the condition of the bothy on the MBA (Mountain Bothy Association) website – the volunteers that help maintain bothy culture; If it weren’t for them, the bothy culture as we know it may not exist.
What led you to doing the Wild Guide Scotland?
Through years of exploring the Scottish Highlands I began to pick up a fair amount of knowledge on the topography of Scotland. Alongside a couple of close friends (David Cooper and Kimberley Grant), we ventured out to the wild regions of the country frequently and decided it would be a good idea to put our knowledge to use. We contacted a publisher (Wild Things Publishing) who are known for creating guide books, more specifically in England. However, on this occasion they were developing a Scottish edition to add to their series. Having not found the suitable candidates at the point of contact, it was fitting for us to carry out such a project. With the three of us specialisng in photography and writing and with a fondness for the Scottish outdoors it was the dream project.