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!

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

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A portrait session in Liverpool with the wonderful Eleanor Rees.

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

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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.

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

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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”.

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

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Portrait adventures in the woods with electroacoustic genius Vanessa Massera.

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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”.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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!

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…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

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The 2016 Round-Up: EPIC Weddings

Right, where the hell do I start with this then? 2016 was an AMAZING year for weddings, there’s no other word for it. My clients were infallibly wonderful, I got to travel all over the shop and my second shooters have been absolute diamonds. I’m going to go ahead and inform you straight away that the force was not strong in this one during my attempts to cull the photo selection for this blog. My expression was, in fact, remarkably similar to this little lady:

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…right up until I decided to just give in and go wild and just show you as many snaps as I darn well pleased. While I’m not actually sorry because this blog is now stacked with adorableness, you may want to grab yourself a brew and settle in. (Oh, and if you’re a Spotify user, I’m going to recommend you pop this playlist of loveliness on too.)

Ready? Let’s GO.

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As well as getting to shoot at some brilliant local venues in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire this year (Wortley Hall, Wentworth Castle and Newton Solney Barns to name a few), my travels have taken me everywhere from Orkney to Windermere to Paris and beyond! I’ve been rendered absolutely speechless by the beauty not only of the places I’ve had the privilege of snapping, but of the people I’ve encountered along the way too.

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There were some excellent prep moments:

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The details were next level:

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There were a few strokes of pure genius, including these little picnic crates as the wedding breakfast, a hangover kit for the bridal party, tables sorted into Hogwarts houses and – oh happiest of days – a tea bar!

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The flowers were magic:

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There were some stellar staircase moments:

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And my couples were all so gorgeous that it made me giddy. Photographing people in love = quite possibly the best job in the world.

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Dogs at weddings was a glorious, glorious thing:

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I had far too much fun with group photos:

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I lost count of the number of times my heart melted:

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The confetti game was strong:

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The speech reactions were genius:

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The victory stance was a recurring theme:

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…and have I mentioned how SPECTACULAR the wedding games were this year yet? Oh my. Oh my life. Groomsmen challenges, rounders, sack races, bingo, space hoppers and beyond. Just look at this:

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FINALLY, it only seems fitting to end a wedding blog with some classic dance floor antics. We’re talking everything from the macarena to ceilidh dancing, air guitar-ing to being hoisted into the air on chairs. 2016 couples, you guys had some serious moves:

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And there you have it! 2016 in a photographic nutshell. Thank you so much to all of my gorgeous clients from this year, I can’t tell you what a delight it’s been and I wish you all the very best for the new year and beyond. Additional thanks must go to my wonderful second-shooters this year (Sam Houghton, Helen Smiddy, Liz Wan, Louise Pawson, Louise Bichan, Daniel Naylor and Kim Gribbon) and to all of the lovely suppliers and venues I’ve worked with over the year, you guys are the bee’s knees.

If you’re getting hitched in 2017 and like what you see, get in touch! Lots more info, package deals and more, can be found on my website.

If you know someone who’s getting hitched in 2017 and might like my work, sharing this blog with them could win you a free couple photoshoot! If I get a booking which cites you as the source of the referral, I’ll send you a nice little couple photoshoot voucher to say thank you. This offer is valid until April 1st 2017. Enjoy!

Huge love and best wishes to you all,

E xx

Manual mode: How to take control of your photos.

Hey photo fans! How are we all? Enjoying the marginally less freezing weather?

When I asked you guys what you’d like me to write about a while back, one of the things that was requested by multiple people was a quick guide to using “manual mode” on their camera. For those of you in Automode Anonymous who are getting fed up with their camera perhaps behaving somewhat sporadically, or for those of you who know a few basics but just want to gain that extra level of camera control, this blog’s for you. I’m going to attempt to explain each of the key features you’ll be learning to control using manual mode, how they interact with each other and why they’re absolutely freakin’ awesome. I personally found that learning how to use manual mode presented me with a toolkit to start using my knowledge much more creatively, so I hope it works for you too!

The way I’m going to explain this is by using my own personal process, which essentially boils down to choosing what aperture I want to shoot at first (usually a key creative decision in my work) and then adjusting the other settings to get the best exposure possible. This isn’t a completely comprehensive description of absolutely everything, but hopefully it’ll give you a reasonable head-start. If that all sounds like gobbledegook right now, don’t panic, it’ll hopefully all magically make sense a bit later…

Ready? Here we go!

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#calmingblossomvibes

APERTURE

Pick up your camera, switch it on and whack it into Manual mode, usually denoted by the letter “M” on the mode dial. First step away from Auto, HERE WE GO. Now, I want you to have a look and work out which button / dial / twizzly thing is going to let you change the f/ number. If an f/ isn’t displayed on your camera screen, then look for the number which you can wind down until it starts to display a decimal point – e.g. you might have an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/16. Your shutter speed range is much larger, so if you’re turning a wheel and the number’s cranking up into the hundreds and thousands, you’ve probably discovered how to change your shutter speed instead. Bank that info for later, though!

So, what’s so genius about aperture control?

  • We can use our aperture setting to creatively change an image.
  • A wide aperture has a shallow depth of field. Using a wide aperture will let you focus on one part of the image and the rest will appear blurry and dream-like. This is perfect for isolating details.
  • A small aperture has a much deeper depth of field, which means more of the image will be in focus.

I adore using a wide aperture for portraits where I can afford to let the backdrop fall out of focus, which immediately draws attention to our subject. For example, here’s the rather gorgeous Hannah James from our last promo adventure:

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This was shot with the aperture wide open at f/2 with a shutter speed of 1/1250 sec and ISO-125 (more on those settings later!)

Conversely, if I’m shooting a more complex or chaotic portrait where I need far more in focus – this snap of big band, Bellowhead, for example – where our subjects are placed at varying levels with all sorts of props and details, then I’ll shoot with a much narrower aperture to ensure that as much of it is in sharp focus as possible.

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This was shot with the aperture at f/10 with a shutter speed of 1/500 sec and ISO-250.

So, a small f/ number means a small depth of field (isolated focus) and a large f/ number means a large depth of field (much more in focus). There are additional factors which can affect depth of field, brilliantly explained in this blog post, but let’s stick with this for now! Should it help you to visualise everything, here’s a super handy diagram:

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As you can see above, when we set a wide aperture (e.g. f/2.8) the aperture, like the iris of our eye, is wide open. As a consequence, this lets in a lot of light. To get the right exposure on a bright day, do you think we’ll need a faster or slower shutter speed…? (Hint: A slower shutter speed lets in more light than a fast one.)

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On the other hand, a small aperture (e.g. f/11) will only let a tiny bit of light onto the sensor. What kind of shutter speed do think this will need? Faster or slower?

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If you said “faster” for the first question and “slower” for the second, woooo go you! If you didn’t, don’t fret, it all made far more sense to me once I actually started putting it into practise. Boy did I do a lot of practise.

Before we move onto the joys of ISO, here’s a little visual tea-break. Isn’t Shelley Richmond a total babe?! One free PS curve to the first three people who correctly guess what aperture I shot this at…

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#SHAKEITOFF

ISO

  • Your ISO setting controls how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. Most cameras have a dedicated ISO button / key, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with where this is.
  • A low ISO number (e.g. 100) makes the sensor less sensitive. You’d use a low ISO on a bright day, or if you’re shooting at a very wide aperture during daylight, to make sure you don’t over-expose your image.
  • A high ISO number (e.g. 800 or more) increases the sensitivity much more. You’d use a high ISO if you were shooting somewhere dark, or with a smaller aperture setting, to get the correct exposure.
  • WARNING: Higher ISO settings may cause “colour noise” in your image, so if you can shoot with a lower ISO and still get the right exposure / a fast enough shutter speed for your subject matter, I would generally recommend that you do so.
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Using a high ISO (approx 2000) to freeze some late-night firedancing action at SNAP Festival!

 

EXTRA USEFUL THINGS!

  • When you’re shooting at a narrow aperture, if you find that you have to set your shutter speed any slower than 1/100 to get the correct exposure, push your ISO higher. This makes your sensor more sensitive to light, so you can set a faster shutter speed and avoid motion blur.
  • When you’re shooting at a wide aperture, pay attention to your focus! It takes a bit of practice to shoot with such a shallow depth of field, but stick with it. I always set the centre focus point, then focus (by half pressing the shutter) and re-compose (always side to side movement, never forward or back) as needed.

 

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Super detailed shoot times with Lucy Ward. Ten points if you thought “NARROW APERTURE TIME!”

…alrighty, how are we doing? Writing this stuff down rather than explaining it real life avec camera has slightly wrinkled my brain, so I hope it makes some kind of sense to you guys?! Like I said at the start, if there’s anything I could explain a bit better, shout up and I’ll see what I can do. Now, before we finish up, I’ve got a little bit of homework for you:

 

TASK: TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

Ok, you know I said the best way to get this stuff to sink in is to practice like a demon? You’re now going to pootle off and take two photos for me:

1) Set the widest aperture (the lowest f/ number) you can and see what shutter speed and ISO setting you need to get a good exposure (i.e. as close to how your eyes see it as possible).

2) Take the exact same photo again, but this time set a narrower aperture (e.g. f/8 to f/16) and change your settings until you get an image with the same exposure – or as close as possible – to your wide aperture photo.

The results may take you by surprise, but hopefully this little exercise will just help set everything you’ve learned into your head. Try it in a few different lighting situations and see how your results differ each time. Practice practice practice! After a while you might find you start to change all of your settings completely instinctively; I can now look at the light in a situation and quite accurately work out approximately what settings I’ll need simply by understanding the relationship between my aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Taking creative control of my camera = one of the best things I ever learned. Auto mode may sometimes nail the shot, but your camera can’t see what you can – all it wants to do is neatly even everything out to a nice percentage of grey. Go help it see something beautiful.

 

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FINALLY

Go have fun! I’ll leave you with these pointers:

  • Manual mode will take a little while to sink in. Stick with it! Just remember to keep checking your images as you go along, and don’t be disheartened if things don’t work instantly.
  • So much of photography is just tinkering. Every professional I know will take a few moments to play with settings. We try lots of different things so we have options!
  • Experiment. It’s amazing what you can discover by accident.

 

Until next time,

E x

 

The 2015 round-up: Adventures

2015 has certainly been an interesting one. It started off freezing and ended strangely toasty, I moved back to my hometown for far longer than I expected to, travelled to lots of exciting new places and met lots of incredible new people. It’s been difficult, but it’s also been amazing, and it all looked a little bit like this:

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Yep, 2015 started off much colder. I’ve always adored frost patterns, but frost and ice through a macro lens really is a whole different world. I actually did a little blog featuring lots more of these photos, if you fancy browsing further!

There was A LOT of snow up north. I dug my way back into my house a few squillion times and thanked goodness for the spare pair of wellies in the boot of my car. Also, it turns out I have back muscles now. Who knew?!

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I went exploring around beautiful Formby with Hannah James and Aubrey, the world’s leading expert in photobombing. Full blog right here!

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I waved goodbye to Sheffield (and Hudson the Super Dog) and moved back to Derbados. I also came to the conclusion that I may have magic powers when it comes to packing huge numbers of things into a room, but that the awesome Tetris spell breaks the moment I have to fit it into a smaller space. Like my car. Oh dear…

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As Winter drew to a close, my birthday happened and Dan took me to Twycross Zoo, where we established that I would probably quite happily live in a butterfly house if I could. Not even kidding.

 

Spring

Spring started with a trip up to North Wales with my Dad to visit my lovely Aunt and Uncle. There was a lot of rain, a bit of sunshine and a metric tonne of photos. You can check out the full blog here, but here’s a few of my favourites for starters:

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I got back from Wales and apparently there was a little eclipse or something? I may have taken some photos of its reflection in the garden pond (I only had an 85mm lens handy at the time and fancied trying to see it a bit differently) and things may have got a bit out of hand.

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Like, featured on BBC Earth and USA Today out of hand. Whaaaat?!

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Oh, and then there was that interview on BBC Radio Derby about it all that happened while I was sat on a hill in a tent helping to run a checkpoint for the Four Inns Walk. Again, whaaaat?!

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And then it rained. Oh how it rained.

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Minion biscuits were a (wonderful) thing.

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And then I went to The Photography Show with my favourite Camera Hannah and Cat Lane and nearly keeled over with happiness when I got accepted as a “Trade Visitor”. Ohhh yesss! I’d love to say I had my best professional face on, but that’s probably not the case.

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Shortly after falling in love with Sigma’s new 50mm f/1.4 Art lens at the Photography Show, Dan and I popped over to Hamburg for a cheeky few days holiday before we photographed the wedding of a very dear friend. There was sunshine and Miniatur Wunderland and a hotel room on the 12th floor and we may have discovered Hendricks Gin, much to the dismay of our wallets. Oh, and we somehow managed to find a fish and chip shop that was owned by a man originally from Cromer (of course), and I vowed I needed to improve my (spectacularly rusty) German language skills after we ate wurst and chips for the 4th time in a row.

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Sometime later, the sun deigned to show its face in the UK again and I officially cracked out the brogues and granny skirt combo. Hello, Springtime! Incidentally, should you fancy following me on Instagram, my username is @elly_lucas.

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We found some animatronic dinosaurs. And some meerkats. Dan was a little bit giddy about it.

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We even managed to cram in a mini holiday to Whitby! Fish and chips, ice-cream on the beach, many games of arrow-words and an evening spent watching the swallows dart around catching flies. Perfect.

 

Summer

Summer began with a trip up to Glasgow to see one of my absolute favourite people, AKA Louise Bichan, musician and photographer and all round lovely person. This time not only featured a sunny little meander around the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, but also dolling up to the nines and donning walking boots to trek out to an incredible location called “The Whangie”. It was so peaceful out there and the light so perfect that we pretty much stayed until it was dark, just enjoying the scenery and the quiet. This adventure really does need its own blog sometime soon (I took approximately three squillion photos and Lou looked AMAZING), but for now here’s a little taster:

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My Dad started keeping bees! These little guys have been buzzing busily around the garden, filling the air with a beautiful humming sound. It’s been fascinating watching them through a telephoto lens, all the different jobs they have and the different pollen types they return with.

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There was a little camping trip to Suffolk. It was all very twee and lovely and I fell in love with the colourful lines of beach huts. And the sloe gin we discovered there. Phwoargh.

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And then, as summer drew to an end, we popped over to my favourite festival in the universe: Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Festival trousers were worn, songs sung and nerdy Instax double exposures taken. Marvellous.

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Autumn

Autumn was a month of adventuring. Walks around Derbyshire were a thing, over moorlands and through falling leaves:

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I fell in love with my macro lens all over again:

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And then my sister and I decided a trip up to beautiful Anglesey was called for. It would’ve been wrong not to call into Bodnant Garden again on the way…

And then there was the Menai Straight, which looked so magical under the overcast light that we had to stop the car and just stare at it for a while.

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Plas Newydd and Pili Palas (hurray for butterfly houses!) were rather beautiful too.

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And then there was the trip up to the Lake District with the wonderful SNAP Photography Festival crowd. I’d not met any of them before I joined them for a few days in Derwent Water Independent Hostel (which, by the way, is an awesome place to stay) but I can honestly say it was the most comfortable I’ve ever felt around a bunch of totally new people and I had a silly amount of fun. Thanks, loves! Many games of sardines happened (again, props to the Youth Hostel for being a spectacular venue for such antics), much crumble / gin was consumed and a few squillion photos were taken. Marvellous stuff.

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Should you fancy it, you can see a few more of my snaps alongside those of the other incredible photographers at the SNAP Reunion right here:

SNAP Reunion 2015 from Laura Babb on Vimeo.

Winter

The exploring theme continued as Winter came around again. Becky Ryan, Will Fuller, Louise Miller and I invaded the Peak District for the day:

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Dan and I popped up to York for some (rainy) Christmas market festive funsies. Pie and peas, mulled cider with spiced rum and more fudge stalls than you could shake a stick at.

And then it was Christmas! Where on earth did the year go?! I made lots of things, including a teddy bear called George, and had the best time catching up with family, obligatory Boxing Day hike and all. I do hope you all had a suitably lovely time too.

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And now it’s 2016! I can’t wait to see what adventures the next twelve months will bring.

Have a wonderful year,

E x

 

P.S. This year I’m attempting to write one or two blogs per week, so if you have any suggestions of things you’d be particularly interested in reading about (tutorials / behind the scenes / before and afters / other?) I’d love to hear from you!

A trip in the TARDIS with Lucy Ward.

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.

WAIT WHAT?

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…

2009

Our first ever photoshoot! Read: goofing around with studio flash, epic false eyelashes and a blank bedroom wall. Naturally.

Lucy (1) Lucy (2) Lucy (3)

All of the glamour. All of it! Admittedly not even slightly folk, but what the hey.

2011

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:

Lucy (4)s Lucy (5)s Lucy (9)

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.)

Lucy (7)s Lucy (8)s

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

Lucy (11)s Lucy (10)s

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”:

Lucy (12)s

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…)

Lucy (13)s Lucy (14)s Lucy (15)s

2012

The mermaid hair and sparkly birds phase:

Lucy (17)s

2013

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:

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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.

Lucy (21)s  Lucy (23)s

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:

Lucy Ward by Elly Lucas

Lucy Ward by Elly Lucas

Lucy Ward by Elly Lucas

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,

E x

A sonnet of spider webs.

Hello lovely blog readers! Boy have I got some catching up to do…

Whilst I’m working on a minor digital tidal wave of updates on the music portraiture / design / wedding front, I couldn’t resist sharing this little set of personal images with you. The other morning, whilst sat dowing an actual pint of coffee in my parents’ lounge (thank you, batshit insane week), my Dad suddenly burst into the room and suggested, rather excitedly, that it might be an idea to go and fetch my macro lens. It was a beautiful, bright Autumn morning and a thick coating of dew still covered the garden, particularly on the spider webs…

Spider webs by EL (1) Spider webs by EL (2) Spider webs by EL (4) Spider webs by EL (5) Spider webs by EL (6) Spider webs by EL (8) Spider webs by EL (9)

*flails excitedly* *puts camera down* *flails again*

Spider webs by EL (10) Spider webs by EL (12) Spider webs by EL (11)
Spider webs by EL (14)
Spider webs by EL (13)  Spider webs by EL (16) Spider webs by EL (17)

I was totally entranced by the way the light caught the reflective surfaces so perfectly. Some of them almost look like constellations, particularly in the more irregularly-shaped webs. If there’s one thing I love most about photography, it’s the way it taught me to look for the extraordinary in the seemingly everyday.

More blogs on the way! Happy Autumn, everyone.

E x

North Wales and the garden of dreams.

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I’ve always loved popping up to North Wales to visit my Aunt and Uncle, so a weekend trip up the road with my Dad to help break up a huge pile of editing was more welcome than ever! As much as I adore my job, it’s so good to get away from the computer monitor every now and again. Y’know, so my pupils reset to a more circular / less pixelated shape and things.

I love the colours and textures up there, being surrounded by hills and those beautiful windswept wilds. Any excuse to visit the seaside is all good by me too, even if it is with the addition of fleece-lined wellies and full waterproofs. I nearly got blown away on multiple occasions and my hair looked like the dubious result of a dalliance between Einstein and a lion by the end of our day on the coast, but my goodness it was worth it. Just look at this place!

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Now, as if this trip to the rocky coast (apparently there aren’t enough rockpools to look in on sandy beaches) wasn’t beauteous enough, the next day we drove out to what is possibly one of my favourite places in the world to visit. We’d been frequenting Bodnant Garden ever since I was a kid, and even then it felt a bit like stepping into a fantasy land, but going back and seeing everything through a lens was a tiny bit mind-blowing. I spent so much time gawping at the scenery that I’m genuinely amazed that I didn’t inhale any flies. If I continue to describe how wonderful it was to see so much colour and so many new blooms after the dark grey Winter, even through the gentle haze of rain, I’ll probably fall into my usual trick of using my “lovely” quota for the whole month in one go – so here’s where I shush and just show you the snaps:

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There. Feeling like you’ve had a healthy dose of Springtime now? I do hope so.

Should you decide to go and visit Bodnant (which I highly recommend), apparently these days you should keep an eye out for otters! Pretty exciting, right? Having said that, when I was little the ponds used to be absolutely teeming with fish – but this time the ponds were totally still but for the pitterpatter of rain on their surfaces. The otters must have thought Christmas had well and truly come early when they discovered this place. Whew. Alongside the otters, Bodnant is home to a whole host of other wildlife, so take your time and look closely when you’re meandering around its various pathways – you never know what you might see.

Until next time,

E x

P.S. On Instagram? Come and say hi! @elly_lucas