It occurred to me the other day, whilst looking back through my archives and indulging in a particularly high dose of nostalgia, that it has now been nearly SIX YEARS since the first time Lucy Ward was in front of my camera.
My hair was almost definitely still a crazy lion-like mane of blonde roots and henna ends (I know, shush) and Lucy was rocking a spectacular peroxide-blonde do. Looking through the photos it occurred to me that you could, in fact, pretty much chart what year it was by what our hair was doing at the time. (#standard)
Seeing as Lu’s just released her gorgeous third album “I Dreamt I Was A Bird” and it features our most extravagant photo adventure thus far, I figured it was high time I did a little photographic timeline of our shoots together. By ‘eck, we’ve had a giggle. I’ve tied her into a tree with a wig (not even kidding), we’ve covered the garden in powder paint, got gold leaf everywhere and made more tissue paper flowers than I thought possible. Dog walkers have been startled, headpieces have been assembled and hair has been dyed. Ready for a trip down the rabbit hole? Here we go…
Our first ever photoshoot! Read: goofing around with studio flash, epic false eyelashes and a blank bedroom wall. Naturally.
All of the glamour. All of it! Admittedly not even slightly folk, but what the hey.
We ended up going for a similar vintage theme for Lu’s first album shoot a bit later down the line. The snaps for “Adelphi Has To Fly” were all shot in the conservatory at my folks’ house, with a cheap and cheerful Canon 50mm f/1.8 and a lace curtain as our backdrop. Lynsey Le Keux did some rather gorgeous vintage hair and make-up and it all looked a bit like this:
That teeny “birdcage” is actually a little candle holder, but it fitted the colour scheme and theme too perfectly to ignore! Cue me frantically cutting a bird shape out of a piece of cardboard…
2011 pt. 2
The time I took on a work experience student for a week and decided that a promo shoot might be a fun thing to do. This was the first time Lu’s infamous blue hair appeared in front my lens! Much fun was had creating headpieces out of foam flowers and ludicrously colourful wool. Much to my (delighted) surprise, this shoot even ended up featuring in an issue of Practical Photography magazine! (Top tip: It was actually from this shoot that the swirly Lucy Ward logo developed. Nerd points, right there.)
2011 pt. 3
The time that I persuaded Cupola:Ward that chucking paint at each other would be a wonderful idea. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t in fits of giggles for most of this photoshoot. If you like what you see below, you can see a proper blow-by-blow photographic account of the madness as it unfolded right here: https://ellylucas.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/powder-paint-confetti-chaos-and-cupolaward
2011 pt. 4
The time that we, with the help of the rather talented Rebecca Yeates, did two totally utterly different shoots in the same day. The first, rather more serious look, was shot with a single continuous lamp against my lounge wall and went on to become the cover for Lucy’s single “For The Dead Men”:
The second (rather more luminous) look was the time that I might’ve sort’ve tied Lucy into a tree with a wig. It was also the time that we all nearly froze half to death under the pale winter sun. Not that you’d know it from the photos. Brrrr! Any guesses as to what kind of tree these were taken in front of? (I’ll give you a clue: It’s not actually purple in real life…)
The mermaid hair and sparkly birds phase:
Album shoot number two (“Single Flame”) happened a few minutes down the road by a local brook in sunny Derby. Myself, Lucy, Rob and Sophie spent a good while lighting candles and hanging things from trees, just in time to catch the beautiful light at golden hour:
2013 pt. 2
The full band shoot! Face paint, possibly the most luminous dress I’ve ever seen and a bit of creative comping in Photoshop. All on a chilly December day. Stellar.
And last but not least, we have 2015!
The photoshoot for “I Dreamt I Was A Bird” (which you can get your paws on right here), the third album we’ll have collaborated on the visuals for, hit a whole new level on the planning front. We had scribbling days, making days, material-purchasing days, cafe meetings (of course) and more! Team Ward did an incredible job of physically realising our ideas and I had far too much fun creating a ruff out of the crazy cardboard packaging that had somewhat fortuitously arrived around some parcels a little while previously. Happy days.
Shoot day arrived and, while Tony and Rob set up the backdrop they’d created out of a few pallets, I set about attempting to stick gold leaf to Lucy’s face with Vaseline. Y’know, as you do. Much sparkling later, we were all set and ready to go, purple wig and all! Huge amounts of love and thanks to Holly Booth Photography for letting us take over her lovely studio for the day, it really was perfect. How incredible is the dress that Lu’s Mum, Chris, made too?! I’m so delighted with how these images turned out and so excited to see where this album goes. Here’s how it turned out:
And here’s the cover:
And as if that wasn’t enough, Tony and Rob even put together a rather lovely little behind the scenes video of the whole affair:
And that about wraps it up for now! Huge thanks to Lucy and all the brilliant creative people we’ve had the chance to collaborate with over this last six years, it’s been a genuine pleasure.
Until next time,