The 2016 Round-Up: Music & Portraits & Things

Seeing as I went ahead and did an absolutely mammoth wedding round-up blog for this year, it only seemed right and fair to show you a few of my favourites from my various other photo & design adventures.

This year has been a brilliant year of tinkering. It’s been a year of working with lots of awesome clients who trust you implicitly to go a bit rogue and get your creative on and ohmygosh I love them for it. (Y’know, the kind of folk who don’t bat an eyelid when you’re running around using a pint glass / coloured knitting needles / trees as a creative filter. Those ones.) I’ve travelled all over, fallen in love with SNAP Photography Festival, painted faces and had far too much fun running around with some of my favourite photographers and musicians.

Now, with no further ado, here we go…

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EP design for the lovely Emily Mae Winters, followed later in the year by an album shoot which may have involved a paddling pool. In November. Go check out her Facebook page for album updates!


Promo photos around Kelham Island for musician / composer extraordinaire Jack McNeill.


A portrait session in Liverpool with the wonderful Eleanor Rees.


Photoshoot adventures around Stannington / Dungworth with Jack Rutter. Keep an eye out on Jack’s page for more from this session!


That time beautiful Heidi Talbot invited me up to Scotland to take photos for her new album “Here We Go 1, 2, 3” around the spectacular Glen House Estate.


Promo session for Coven (featuring Lady Maisery, Belinda O’Hooley & Tidow and Grace Petrie).


Epic Shakespeare-themed portrait adventures with The Company Of Players.

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Photography and artwork for Kirsty Bromley‘s new EP “Absent Mother”.


That time we ran riot at CADS Sheffield with vast volumes of vintage and steampunk wonderfulness for the Steamchicken album photoshoot.


Portrait adventures in the woods with electroacoustic genius Vanessa Massera.


Tinkerings with prisms and a video light for the rather marvellous Ollie King‘s upcoming new album “Diffractions”.

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Album photography and design for Son Of John‘s debut album “Autumn’s Hymn”.


Portrait session for the mega gorgeous Phoebe Eley above the Longshaw Estate, Derbyshire.


That time I popped over to Bergen, Norway, with Jamie Sia Photography to wear beautiful dresses by Luna Organics and take a few snaps of our other lovely models Jess Johnston and Eric Odeen.


The time I ran around as an official snapper (super fit low-vis blue tabard and all) at Shrewsbury Folk Festival. If you’re looking for an awesome music festival to take your family to (or just to go to for funsies!) I can’t recommend this one enough.


Creative photoshoot adventures for the brilliant Will Pound & Eddy Jay‘s new album “Ignite”, featuring a painting by Will’s brother, Steve Pound.


Bellowhead‘s new live album (recorded by my genius old housemate Andy Bell) came out, so you finally get to see the snaps I took for it at their Manchester 02 Apollo gig last year. Poot poot!


Promo snaps for melodeon marvel Mel Biggs, complete with multicoloured knitting needle filter. Obvs. (I may have squeaked with happiness a bit.)


That time I did a photoshoot for Weleda‘s beautiful new gift range for their Christmas catalogue. In September. Christmas music and fairy lights may have featured heavily.


The time it snowed and Shelley Richmond and I decided to frolic around in tulle skirts in the Peak District.


When SNAP Photography Festival was everything I hoped it would be and more. Photographers, if you want to join one of the best communities of creative folk in the known universe, go give the SNAP website a visit!


…and that, dear readers, was 2016! Thank you to all of my incredible clients and peers, and to all of you for your kind support.

Love to the lot of you,

E x


She spoke to the birds and they sang in return.


So here’s a shoot I’ve been meaning to blog for AGES. I was delighted when the phenomenal Kate in the Kettle got in touch about doing a little creative collaboration, especially when she turned up with what I can only describe as the props box of dreams. (It’s entirely possible that I squeaked and clapped like a seal when that appeared out of the car. Not even going to deny it.) This was a shoot with an awesome amount of creative freedom, featuring everything from fairy doors to giant origami to hair floristry and beyond, and my goodness it was fun!

As well as procuring a few props, Kate and I both decided to make a couple of things to feature in this photoshoot. Kate created these incredible critters:


And I decided to put together a tiny bird’s house for Kate to wear on her head. Because, well, why the heck not?


Hair and make-up was done by myself and the images were edited using a combination of Photoshop and Alien Skin Exposure for that extra film-like colour grade. The location was a lovely bit of woodland out towards Dungworth, Sheffield, and all of the images were shot using a 50mm prime lens on a Canon 5DmkIII.


If you haven’t heard Kate’s beautiful, otherwordly brand of music before, be sure to go treat your ears to her Bandcamp page.


Creative collaborations = good for the soul. It’s such a delight working with folk who dive into wild visual ideas with both feet and get as giddy about them as you do.


For more info and updates about Kate’s various projects, head on over to her Facebook page and the Songs of Separation website. If you like what you hear, you could even help Kate record her new album! She’ll be posting little bits of new exciting videos and songs over on Patreon and, for whatever you can manage to contribute, you’ll be able to access the posts and help her create the new album all at the same time. Magic stuff.

Until next time,

E x

Sarah and the Singing Breeze

…swap “breeze” for “howling gale” and that title’s sort of accurate!

Last December I had a grand time doing a mini promo shoot for the rather gorgeous Sarah Smout, cellist and writer extraordinaire, who you may recognise from the Gren Bartley band amongst other musical loveliness. It was chuffing freezing out in the valley, but Sarah somehow still managed to look amazing despite the weather’s best efforts. Whaaat? Definite Yorkshire lass.

Without further ado, here’s how it all turned out:









You can currently catch Sarah doing the occasional solo gig as well as playing in various other projects. Check out her website for more details! Incidentally, while you’re clicking on things, you should hit play on this adorable little stop motion video by Gren Bartley, featuring Sarah, for “Tall Wooden Walls” from his new album entitled “Magnificent Creatures“. It’s bloody lovely:

Until next time,

E x

Folk music, Blackadder and a whole lot of creative genius.

What do you get if you combine eight incredible musicians, a bunting-filled house and a huge dose of historical inspiration? (And an amazing project team and a tour or two around Hatfield House?) I could be wrong – I was pretty delirious by the time I’d finished driving around photographing everything and absorbing all the gorgeous new music – but I’m pretty sure you’d get a little piece of magic entitled “The Elizabethan Session“, AKA these lovely folks:

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Rachel Newton, Hannah James, John Smith, Emily Askew, Jim Moray, Martin Simpson, Bella Hardy and Nancy Kerr were given seven days to create some new pieces of music based around the Elizabethan era, and OH BOY did they. In a beautiful house in Herefordshire, a place adorned with a few miles of (incredible) bunting and some of the best owl mugs I’ve ever seen, these guys lived and worked together for the space of a week, drawing inspiration from all over this period of history. And Blackadder.


Hurrah for Instax!

I was commissioned to capture three stages of the project: the song development / rehearsal in the first phase, the gig at Hatfield (plus the promo shot), and finally the recording of the album. I drove a silly number of miles and more than likely didn’t sleep enough courtesy of being giddily excited, but MY GOODNESS it was worth it. Incidentally, I’m going to apologise in advance for the sporadic bouts of capital letter fever that may incur throughout this post. “Enthusiastic” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

My work started on the last day of the musicians being in their lovely house in Herefordshire. After a week of frenetic and ridiculously prolific writing, this was the day of fine tuning and running through the concert set. I’ll not lie, I was totally blown away. I mean, I knew it was going to be good – that line up was always going to be good – but holy moly. In the space of about six days, they’d put together FOURTEEN new pieces of music. Whaaat?!!

Because it’s normally around this time that I get distracted by photographic nostalgia and stop being able to articulate anything, I’m just going to go right ahead and show you the snaps. For maximum effect, I suggest you go grab yourself a copy of the album or, for now, whack it on on Spotify and then go get yourself a proper copy. I promise it’s ever so pretty. Ready?






















































Jim Moray presents the group’s rider demands to Adam and Neil…



Because EVERY good creative project requires Marmite. Right?



…I will be the first to admit that I may have gone the teensiest bit snap-happy at this point. It really was a genuine pleasure to sit in on this part of the creative process. (Enjoying the album so far? Yep? Thought so.)

The next day, after a rather long early morning drive across the country to the incredible Hatfield House, we started setting up the stage for the evening’s concert in the Old Palace. The Palace is known to be the childhood home of Elizabeth I and later where she convened her first Council of State. It’s also thought that it was under an old oak tree in the grounds of Hatfield House that Elizabeth learned of her ascension to the throne. Pretty magic place for a gig, right?







While soundman extraordinaire, Andy Bell, and his crew were setting up for soundcheck, I was charged with doing one of the fastest photoshoots ever. We’re talking the photographic equivalent of the amount of time a pint would last at a fresher’s fair. Unfortunately we had to wait to use the room we wanted, which meant that I had approximately 20 minutes to set up my lights and get everyone photographed as quickly as possible so they could dash back to the Old Palace and crack on with rehearsals for the evening’s performance… Whewww!



Thankfully the room looked awesome, everyone was a total pro in front of the camera and we bossed through the cover shoot. Stellar. (Ordered your copy of the album yet? I do rather recommend the vinyl…)

With that done, I had a few moments to curl up and listen as the musicians leapt straight back into rehearsing. There’s been a few times during the time that I’ve been doing this job that I’ve had to pinch myself to check that everything was, in fact, real – and this was very definitely one of them. The evening concert was beautiful and all involved in the project have a huge amount to be proud of. Judging by the reaction of the audience that night, they all agreed with me. Several times over.

And that was that! At least, for a couple of days. I popped home for a day and a bit before winding my way back down to sunny Hatfield to capture a few snaps of the album being recorded in the Old Palace by Andy Bell. What a place to record music!



















Huge congratulations to Adam and Caroline Slough, Neil Pearson and everyone at EFDSS, Andy and James, and of course to all of the musicians on the creation of such a genuinely inspiring piece of work. It was an absolute privilege to capture and I can’t quite believe it all happened nearly a year ago!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and fancy finding out a bit more about the project, head on over to the Folk By The Oak website. While you’re over there, do check out the festival! I had an absolute blast photographing it last year and can heartily recommend you take a look at this gorgeous one day extravaganza. They have fireworks and everything.

Until next time,

E x

Bending trees, dancing feet and a world-class canine photobomber.

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So, my first photoshoot of 2015 was pretty freakin’ awesome. Firstly it featured the rather gorgeous Hannah James (of Lady Maisery and more) and her magic dancing feet. This fact by itself would have been enough for some lovely photos, BUT THAT WASN’T ALL! Oh no, Hannah had well and truly outdone herself finding our shoot location. It may have meant a fair old train journey (during which at some point I apparently managed to pick up an epic dose of norovirus, oh joyous joy) but my goodness it was worth it. Trees that appeared to grow out of the white sands, trees that had been so battered by the winds coming in from the sea that they’d grown sideways – and Hannah’s absolute dedication to carrying a dancing board around in galeforce winds – made this shoot an absolute doozy.

…did I mention that Hannah’s beautiful canine companion, Aubrey the super dog, came along for the ride too?


Now, I would be lying to you if I said that Aubrey had a particularly professional approach to assisting on this shoot. I would possibly even go so far as to say that he fairly definitely wanted in on Hannah’s new project, entitled “Jig Doll” (website here) and would go to any lengths necessary to sneak into the images. If you thought Benedict Cumberbatch’s U2 photobomb was a good’un, just wait until you see some of Aubrey’s attempts. As much as I may sound like I’m complaining, I’M REALLY NOT. Just look at those eyes. D’awwwwh!

5Here’s the deal: You look at the official photos from the shoot because, y’know, I’m pretty freaking pleased with them, and you read up about Hannah’s mega new Jig Doll project, and I’ll show you a tonne more photos of Aubrey monkeying around and being an all round photobomb genius / slobber monster. Sound fair?

…yep? Wizard. Glad you agree.

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Because Hannah’s obviously going to describe her project three million times better than I ever could, here’s a little summary from her website (copy by the lovely Joanie Crump of Small Brown Dog):

Jig Doll is a new project created by Hannah James. A rarity in folk music, Hannah is a singer, musician and innovative clog dancer. Jig Doll combines all of these disciplines in a beautiful new show exploring the life of the travelling player: sometimes exotic, sometimes frightening, it’s a world where home changes daily, and the only touchstones are the skills you carry with you, and the people you meet on the way.

Jig Doll is the culmination of Hannah’s career thus far, allowing her to combine all of the disciplines for which she’s become known and take them to exciting new places. Much more than a concert, Jig Doll features newly-composed music in a magical setting woven around percussive dance.”

Hannah’s collaborated with a whole host of incredible mentors to put everything together, and I for one will be following this project with interest. You can even get involved with it if that takes your fancy! Just head over to the Jig Doll website for more details.

Right, now, photos! Here we go:

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Hurrah. That was part one of why I was giddy with nerdy photographer happiness and now, as promised, here is part two. Take it away, Aubrey!

Look, this is my best dancer pose. Will you just let me be in the project already?

















Did you spot him in all of them…? Do you now discover that you’ve subconsciously reached out and grabbed a cushion to cuddle courtesy of the cute? Yep, thought so.

(Seriously though, go check out Jig Doll – Hannah’s ever so clever!)

Until next time,

E x


Golden boots, fairy lights and a Derby nightclub…

Wonderful things: 1) Getting to photograph two of your favourite people, in your hometown, when all the fairy lights are up and stuff. ❤ x100000

Oh man, this shoot! Those of you who follow my work on the music scene may recognise one of the people here as the rather lovely Lucy Ward. Those of you who follow the rather lovely Lucy Ward may know that she recently married a rather lovely man called Rob, and the whole event was beautifully captured by the rather lovely Camera Hannah. I cried several times, almost didn’t get through the song that myself and Sarah Matthews helped Lucy sing to Rob during the ceremony, and came home with two dinosaur-shaped wedding favours. My goodness, the feels.

Now, rewind back about three years. Lucy purchased a couple photoshoot voucher for Rob for Christmas and all was marvellous. We all got very giddy deciding what awesome things we could do, and then for the next blooming age we either couldn’t find a date that all of us were free or the days that we were free got utilised for exciting album / promo photoshoot things instead. I’d come home from being on tour with my old duo* just as Lucy headed out on tour, or one of us would have a free weekend but the other would be playing a festival / shooting a wedding, or myself and Lucy would – outrageously – be simultaneously available but poor Rob would be stuck at work. And so on and so forth. Typical, eh? (Oh the joys of creative freelancer schedules!)

HOWEVER, just after the wedding and just before Christmas, our diaries magically aligned! Oh happy day! We pottered around Derby and invaded a cafe and took full advantage of all of the fairy lights. It looked rather like this:




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It would have been wrong NOT to.








Fun fact: These guys actually met at Mosh. Yep!













Yep, I’m beyond glad this finally happened.

Incidentally, if you like these snaps and fancy having a mini shoot with your other half, do get in touch! I offer a photoshoot package for £120 avec voucher and prints and the full kaboodle (see this blog for more details**) OR you can choose to just have the time and a download link for a discounted price. Magic.

Until next time,

E x


*Although the duo is no more, you can still give us a listen on Spotify if you fancy!

**Non-festive vouchers will be available soon! Feel free to email me for more info.

A Snapshot Of 2014: Music and Portraits and Things

Here we finally are, the last of my 2014 round-up blogs! Last year was pretty awesome. As well as somehow being allowed to plaster my photos all over Cecil Sharp House as part of my “Folktography” exhibition earlier this year, I got to photograph some absolutely incredible people in 2014. I almost definitely confused the local valley folk on more than one occasion, popped over to Belgium, lace-bombed a wood, hung squillions of playing cards from my ceiling, wore a tutu on my head for the sake of art and probably became incomprehensibly excited at the prospect of being allowed to take portrait photos at a beautiful stately home. I may have had more than a bit of mare attempting to decide which images to feature in this little selection. In fact, some of them may even get their own dedicated blogs later in the year so I feel marginally less torn about the whole kaboodle.

As well as doing lots of promotional work for creative people, I got to play around with some documentary and event photography for projects such as The Elizabethan Session, Made In The Great War, Folk By The Oak and The Battle Proms – all of which were far too brilliant (and extensive) to condense into this post and very definitely need their own blogs at some point. (In the meantime, if you like the sound of outdoor classical concerts avec cavalry, live cannon fire and spectacular fireworks, you can see a selection of my snaps from the Battle Proms right here!)

Now, without further ado, here’s what it all looked like. If you’d like to know more about each artist pictured, just click on the image to go to their website!

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Check out the full shoot with Cat Lane right here:

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Sam Sweeney by Elly Lucas

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Fancy seeing more from this shoot? Check out the blog!

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Alongside taking pictures, I also did a bit of album design work. Here are just a few of the lovely releases I had a hand in putting together this year:

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Needle-felting, stitching and various other for Haddo. This album even features some knitted textures by Mama Lucas!

Photography, artwork and album design for Maz O’Connor.

The Askew Sisters by Elly Lucas

The Willows by Elly Lucas

Photography, artwork and album design for The Willows.

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Photography, artwork and album design for The Young’uns.

And that about rounds it up for 2014! Thanks to you all for your support over the last year, and to all of my lovely clients. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

All the very best to the lot of you,

E xxx