The Longest Fair in Scotland


If ever there was a reason to go to Kirkcaldy, the Links Market is it. I went so much last year I even won a prize at the shooting, you’ve never seen a snapper glow with so much pride.

Commissioned by Scotland on Sunday to produce a spread of images to encapsulate the life of both fair goers and the show people themselves this was a chance for both old school documentary images and environmental portraits. This in essence goes back to the roots of press photography, the reason the term ‘photojournalism’ was invented. Polished portraits sit alongside rough and ready documentary images. Social history in action. The image above, a man testing his strength against the punch-bag with a tab keenly pursed in his lips.

And it’s not only social history but a living history too. This gentleman himself born into generations of show people has spawned many since. Fixed to his seat and just back from a break, he wisely wouldn’t abandon his pitch to humour me. The soft shadowlight within allowed me to capture him whilst he could still collect those precious pounds.

Photographers love a moment that makes them feel clever and this image gave me a chance to reference the ‘decisive moment’ that Cartier-Bresson claimed to capture. It raised a smile with me, as both baseballs remain motionless. One the determined advance of a punter the other the cool, relaxed stallholder in mid shout, tempting the next to ‘try their luck’.



With claims you can’t lose there’s a stall for everyone. I love the fair and it opens today. Even if you remain unpersuaded by the charms of hook-a-duck, relive your childhood with an out of season toffee apple.


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