A little example of some of my latest work...
Behind the scenes at the Cross Cashmere Showroom photobooth
In February I travelled to London for the first two days of London Fashion Week A/W and wanted to capture street style a bit differently
When I started this project I wanted to include a wide range of people and their businesses, passion projects and side hustles. Everyone has a process and I want to share those in-betweens; more than just the idea at the beginning and the end result. I hope you enjoy reading and finding out a little more about Blondilox, my third interviewee. She makes some pretty excellent tasting porridge blends!
Tell us a bit more about you and Blondilox Blondilox is an online website where you can create your own bespoke porridge blend with oats and yummy superfoods. I would describe myself as hustling gypsy with a background in social media and journalism within the music industry.
How did Blondilox start? Blondilox began after I had a total burn out - I was severely stressed and developed an eating disorder. Through that I developed a passion for healthy food; porridge was a huge part of my personal recovery as it's such a creative dish. I always knew I wanted to start my own business and that's how Blondilox was born.
Describe yourself in 5 words Passionate, curious, hustler, cheeky & free-spirited.
Can you explain your process when working? Ha! If only I could explain that to myself. Organised chaos.
What is your dream project? A super creative and collaborative social good campaign with a huge brand like NIKE, or a new start-up that intertwines and aligns with what I'm doing. It has to involve travel also. Not only do I love travel but it's my biggest inspiration and motivation for creating and doing anything.
What is important to you when you are creating/working? Feeling inspired. Work has to excite me. Collaborations, travel and feedback keeps me moving forward and creating.
What do you need most in life? Music and lipbalm.
My new favourite series is back! A couple of weeks ago I started a new series called 'Documenting the Process' where I visit some of my favourite creators, makers and curators and spend some time photographing them behind the scenes. I am fascinated with how people work, and what I've come to find is that there are some people who are really good at sharing the beginning and the end of their work/processes/ideas but nothing in the middle. The journey is my favourite part, and that's what I want to share with you.
My second interview is with Carrie who is an interior designer based in Edinburgh...
Describe yourself in five words... Able, independent, gutsy, attentive and creative
Tell us a bit more about you and your background... I'm originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I studied fine art at Columbia College in Chicago and graduated in 1997. I have majored in photography & painting. I moved to Edinburgh in 2003, having spent six years travelling - which sounds a bit grand, but the majority of that was spent teaching English in Taiwan. I set up as a freelancer when I arrived in Edinburgh and mostly worked on photoshoots, but in 2005 I landed a volunteer position at Stills and from that emerged a six year long career working for the organisation in various managerial roles. Towards the end of my time at Stills I took an interest in sewing, galvanised in a small community of like-minded people and launched a series of pop-up weekend or hacker-spaces called The Stitch Lounge. Although these proved popular and a huge amount of fun, my idea to open a permanent sewing cafe slowly faded. In 2011, I left Stills, having decided to dip my toes in the corporate sector, and emerged with a senior role in a digital marketing agency. My four years with the agency was indeed eye opening and financially rewarding, but by the beginning of 2015 I knew another career change beckoned.
How did you get into interior design? It's absolutely linked to buying my first home. In 2008, I bought a one bedroom flat in Leith and the day after getting the keys I found myself on route back from B&Q laden with a crow bar and a ladder. The feeling that I owned this property, that I could do anything to it, I could make it exactly as i wanted it, was pure joy. It took me a fair few years to get it right, but this creative process was instrumental in strengthening my interior design skills, as well as honing a hands on understanding of trades. Tiling is not as easy as it looks, trust me! In 2014, I moved in with my partner and began listing my flat on Airbnb. In 2015, I enrolled in a one year full time Interior Design course. Both my hosting experience and my course training gave me the next level confidence I needed to quit the day job and launch Carrie Susan Interiors in early 2016.
Can you explain your process when working... Plenty of consultation with the client for starters. It's a very collaborative process throughout and really important that there's chemistry. The home is such an emotional space and the process can be very personal. In many cases, it's a first home or a much needed extension for a growing family. We usually explore a huge range of ideas and possibilities at the start. Managing expectations and ensuring transparency are key. The next bit is when decisions start to take shape, a vision emerges and a large list of tasks arise. Staying very organised is so important. Once work begins; tradesmen onsite, products arriving, room styling, you really feel the energy and excitement. I look at a room or space the way I've always looked through the lens of a camera to compose a photograph. For me it's all about composition; everything has a place, every corner is considered and every detail exudes character.
What is your dream project? We'd love to build our own home; to purchase a few acres in the Scottish Borders or up and around the Highlands. That's the dream project. But, first things first, a camper van conversion so we have something to live in on the empty plot of land while we build.
What is important to you when you are creating/working? It's important to me to be tactile. It can be challenging with interiors, as most designers render everything on a computer, but I prefer pencils, pens, markers, paper and rulers. I love model making and I learned technical drawing by hand, so it's important for me to retain this ability to sketch and create my interior designs on paper and on boards. It feels so much more authentic, and I think clients engage with hand drawings on a much more emotional level.
What do you need most in life? Nature.
Read my first interview for Documenting the Process with Illustrator David Mahoney
To see more of my documentary and behind the scenes photography click here
Good evening guys, I hope you are all well? Last week I had a photoshoot with Shetland Tannery, working on new products for their upcoming look-book! The photoshoot took place at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh and it was absolutely perfect. We were in the top floor surrounded by windows and skylights and brickwork that was to die for. I really hope I get to do another 'shoot here soon. I've posted a couple of behind the scenes photos of Steph arranging some set-ups and I also posted instagram stories throughout the day. I'm going to do this for more of my photoshoots as I love showing sneak peeks!
- Ellie x
One of the things I've come to realise over the past couple of years, is how much I love photographing behind the scenes. Watching the process of creation unfold in front of me. I find it bloody fascinating. I love the in-betweens, telling the story and documenting the journey between A and Z. I started talking about it with friends of mine in creative endeavours, finding out their processes, their in-betweens and finding myself being drawn in - partly through nosiness, partly through reassurance.
I decided to start a series showcasing these creatives, makers, artists. Sharing a little bit more about them and their processes.
David Mahoney is a British Illustrator who has worked with some incredible powerhouses such as Nike, GQ, Kiehl's, OPI, Universal Music and 20th Century Fox to name a few. He specialises in merging traditional mediums and digital applications in creating bespoke pieces for his clients.
Where are you from originally? England, well Peterborough
How did you get into illustration? I started learning photoshop and illustrating in black and white in my final year of school. At the time I was taking Maths, Art, Geography and Product Design. Failing my maths exam my maths tutor told me that it would be flogging a dead horse to continue doing maths, and that it was clear I didn’t enjoy it. Her advice, do something your good at David and play to your strengths. Headless Horse was born.
Can you explain your process when working on pieces? I start out by taking reference images, creating a photographic composite, posing the person I will be drawing, and from this reference go ahead and draw them. I use a mixture of traditional and digital tools in my process, such as squid ink, watercolour and charcoal, all of which is scanned into the computer and composited together. It’s become an art now in how I use these tools all together. A new area I’m learning is animation so expect more of this soon.
What is important to you when you are creating? Quiet, clean office and plenty of food and my Spotify discovery playlist!
Describe yourself in five words... Snapping necks & cashing cheques (this fits)
What do you need most in life? Family and enough challenges to keep me learning.
To see more of my documentary and behind the scenes photography click here
One of the things that really makes a difference when you start your own business or begin freelancing is the support you receive. Today I wanted to introduce you to something that I am a huge supporter of: Boom Saloon.
On Friday I was invited to Boom Saloon VS. The Idea Police: video preview night. So along with some of my great Edinburgh Creative friends and some rather tasty popcorn we got comfortable and watched a pretty superb film announcing exactly what Boom Saloon is.
My friend Rachel, and her friend Jamie, have been working their dogs bollocks off recently organising, making, collaborating and creating the Boom Saloon magazine. But it is also SO.MUCH.MORE than that! If you click this link here you can find out exactly what it's all about and it's much better than me trying to explain! Their Kickstarter campaign starts today and it would be really great, if you are interested, to support this fab project. I can't wait until the print copy is available!
Here is the kickstarter link
I decided, quite recently, that I would start taking and organising more meetings. I entered the year with grand marketing plans, printing postcards and ordering personalised m&m's to send to brands and companies that I really wanted to work with. I did it for a couple of consecutive months, and I got nothing back. Actually, I did get one meeting. So there was a fraction of success there. But ultimately it was incredibly disappointing and deflating.
When I think about it, although I had great intentions and I hand wrote a lot of letters, the flaw in this was that I'm not the only photographer to do it. For every one of my postcards, Editors; Art Directors; Company Owners probably get about 150, making this idea not incredibly unique. Because of this deflating fact I have decided to go back to the drawing board to strip back everything and simply take meetings. Getting in touch directly with the people I want to work with will also come with it's own set of struggles, but I'm cutting out the middleman and going straight to the source. I'm hoping this will be more effective.
I also think my coffee drinking will increase substantially, but I have found a very lovely new (to me) favourite coffee house and I'm ready to talk ideas, projects and plans. And if we don't stay in the same city I'm happy to Skype or travel! If you want to have a meeting, get in touch and let's talk!
One of the things that I used to hear a lot from experienced photographers, when I was first starting out, was that I should just photograph my friends for practice. I love my friends, but I don't think a SINGLE one of them likes it when I point a camera at their face. I try to be sly, get more documentary style photos, as that's what I love, and people are more natural that way. But most of the time, it doesn't work.
So you can imagine my happiness when after asking my friend Solii, for maybe the billionth time if I can take her photo, she turned around and said yes. Slightly reluctantly, but still a yes! She is gorgeous, and the weather was almost a perfect blend of something resembling sunshine with a light breeze. I love some sort of movement in my photos, I'm not a fan of static imagery at all, and with Solii's hair moving in the wind I can't help but love this photo.
p.s. as a little thank you to Solii, you should go and check out her biz BeFabBeCreative
A couple of weeks ago I was 'shooting in Glasgow with Vidal Sassoon. We had a unit that had no natural light, but was brilliantly lit for what we needed. But through the back was a little room with a gorgeous big window where the models sat in between getting their make-up done and me photographing them. We had it open most of the time where we were serenaded by bag-pipes and a guy with a pair of lungs you wouldn't believe.
The thing I love most about photography is playing with light, I've always been a lover of natural light more than studio light in most cases. In between swapping models and moments to grab a quick sip of coffee, I stared out this window and my mind was filled with different ways types of photos I could create near the window. So I grabbed Monika, the model above, and just photographed quickly trying to create what was in my mind.
It worked to a certain extent, and I almost got the shot I was thinking of, but not quite. But sometimes you just need to grab those opportunities and 'shoot what your minds eye sees. Sometimes you'll get it, sometimes you won't. But if you don't practice, or continue trying, you never will get it.
- Ellie x
If you have a moment you should go and check out Karen Mabon's beautiful designs. Featured in ELLE UK, VOGUE, HARPER'S BAZAAR, IT'S NICE THAT and STELLA, to name a few, her silk scarves and jewellery are so bright, vibrant and gorgeous - so it was a real treat that a presentation of her new PJ designs was the closing event to Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.
The Sleepwear Salon Show took place at the Waldorf Astoria in perhaps the most perfect room. The pjs were displayed on models who alternated every so often with the different designs. I like presentations, I like taking the time to really look at the clothing to see the textures and how it falls on the models. The room was alive with people photographing away mainly on phones. I always try and challenge myself to get the shot that no one else would. I love going to events, especially fashion events, but I find when you later flick through social to see what others are saying you get the same photo with maybe two or three different angles. I love movement and ambience in photos so I like shooting through people and getting shots of models that don't look too static.
At most events I'll post a couple of photos to Instagram too, head here to have a look at some other photos from Karen's presentation.
Hello! It's Edinburgh International Fashion Festival Weekend and an incredibly suitable time to restart my blog. It's been quite a year really and somewhere along the lines I stopped showing and sharing my work. I've still be working on photoshoots, but there was a blip in my confidence with what I was creating so I stopped showing it. Austin Kleon would not be impressed with me, rule number one: always show your work, through all the difficulties and struggles. So I'm back and ready to share my Fashion Photography journey, because I've missed it too. I've missed sharing stories. I love doing that. So here I am. Back.
The above photograph is of Glyn Fussell. Last night I attended the opening launch of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival which was an exhibition and talk by the wonderful Gianni Scumaci who is an amazing hairstylist. (Side note, hair seems to be a bit of a theme in my work right now - I just did a little shoot for Vidal Sassoon in Glasgow which was fun!). He talked about his work as a hairdresser, along with his work as an editorial hairstylist with photographers such as Tim Walker and David Bailey (who are two of my favourite photographers), and how he really gets to know his clients by experimenting and bringing out their truth. It was really fascinating to hear all his stories. The exhibition - which is currently open at Ocean Terminal, you should go and check it out - is beautiful and is a collaboration between Gianni and Sink the Pink. And if you haven't heard of Sink the Pink check out this video!
I'm really excited that it's Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, it makes my heart feel alive with inspiration and excitement.