Allysen Callery & Josienne Clarke Live

Allysen & Josienne shared a show at the wonderful Northern Quarter in Huddersfield, where an ambitious travel plan and last minute soundcheck led to an unforgettable show. Was great to see so many friendly faces there, I hope I got to say hi to everyone! Here’s a gallery from the night, I’ve not been harsh and just let shots that are really similar through, was hard to take a bad shot tbh 🙂

Josienne in Red

Here’s some new portraits of Josienne in the forest by the beach near us in a red dress. Using a single Profoto B10+ OCF light with a beauty dish & a FujiFilm GFX100s camera fitted the 80mm f/1.4 lens. I had a Cinebloom 5% & a Tiffen GlimmerGlass 3 on there too. The light flares come from the sun reflecting on a lensbaby prism. I’m pretty happy with the results!

Seven Days in the Shadow of the Mountain

A dramatic title. Truth is, it is dramatic. Long time readers will know that I’ve been to Watercolour Music in the foothills of Ben Nevis on the shore of Loch Linnhe before, and written lots about what that was like. I’m not going to link to those posts here & now. Go find them, if you like. It was years ago. Doesn’t matter what I said then. That was then, this is now. Shit is different. I learned, grew, developed, invested in myself. It paid off. I believed I could, so I did, the driftwood & shells wall art says, and you know what, it worked. Here I am.

Josienne is recording her new album. I can say no more than that about what that is. Go ask her!

I’m playing bass guitar, recording videos & taking photographs, which is more than I ever dared hope for myself. I brought some lights and some camera stuff. Not lots, because there’s only me. We do this ourselves. A select few seem able, willing & prepared to help – special, patient people who are worth their weight in gold. We’re back in a month or two with some jazz musicians who I’ll get to play with. Best and most talented musicians on the planet. And little old me. Believe & invest in yourself. Find a thing you love and try to not let it kill you.

Notice – legendary Mary Ann Kennedy there, playing harp. that’s a gift from me to you. Wait til you hear.

It’s Nearly Over…

I’ve done a lot of stuff this year, it’s been a busy one. Mainly, I’ve been focussing on learning, getting better at what I do & trying to do more of the things I enjoy. I think I’ve succeeded, in some ways. I am sure I have failed in many others, it’s not been the perfect year, no doubt, with both personal disappointments & global disasters, there have been plenty of things that I am delighted to leave in my wake, but there’s been some good, too.

I want to share some of my favourite photographs of the year. It’s not exhaustive, and I likely forgot some good ones, but just a kind of review 🙂 There’s a real mixture of digital, 35mm & 120 medium format here, I won’t call them out because then you’ll laugh and call me a nerd, which might be accurate but still, fuck you, I’ll do what I want.

I’ll start with these working portraits of Lukas Drinkwater, I think these were all taken at his Stroud Polyphonic Recording studio during the 3 day recording session for my ‘A Place Like Home’ EP. He can do monophonic things, too! I’d strongly recommend working with Lukas if you like to make music. He’s a magician and I believe there is very little he cannot do. I hope to work with him again next year.

Here’s a selection of my portraits of my favourite person, best friend & wife, Josienne, taken at various points in the year, in studios, in our house, on stage at Union Chapel and a festival in Bury, Glasgow city centre & a Clydebank beach. You’ve seen these all before, but it wouldn’t be a year in review if I didn’t repeat myself, now would it? I do so enjoy capturing tiny bits of her soul in my little electrical box of light & magic.

What’s next? An important portrait. This is the legendary Scottish musician, Mary Ann Kennedy. She has graced Josienne’s recordings with her harp a few times and hopefully more in the future and I asked her to let me photograph her as she recorded, which is an intimate thing that not all musicians are ok with. She agreed and I took this, which is one of my favourite photographs of mine. I’m hoping she will let me take more in future and I think you can see why.

Here’s Josienne with her friend Belinda O’Hooley at a festival in Bury. That was a good day, they were both just as happy as they look.

These are some shots I took at the Glad Cafe, that’s Broken Chanter, Jill Lorean, Roddy Hart & Flinch. Another good night. I used to hate taking live photographs compared to to studio, but these days, I dunno, I think I’m starting to mellow to it.

And then a pretty cool thing happened. Josienne supported Will Varley at Union Chapel in London, and I got to shoot Will, both during his soundcheck and during the show, and he used the photograph with the white semi-circles on it for his 2022 tour poster! A hero of mine, a wonderful guy, honestly, the Will you think you know is the Will that is there, he’s a straight-up brilliant bloke and I could’ve cried when he asked to use the picture. He only ever uses good stuff for his posters, and to be associated to that is a thing I am very proud of. Doesn’t it look good?

Here’s a few live shots of The Magic Numbers at that festival in Bury. Low-hanging fruit, really; anyone could take a great picture of these guys live but I enjoyed it and was pretty pleased with how these came out.

A band called Junior Bill played the same festival, I shot them & I think they used this on their socials. It’s a good shot, eh? They were ace, too, like black midi if they weren’t stuck up pretentious art-school wankers and just really liked The Jam.

I got to see Badly Drawn Boy play live again. It was something else. I don’t know how he does it. He’s so grounded, human, likeable, talented in such a relatable way. I love his music and always have. I remember buying those early 7″s knowing something timeless was going on. And I shot him at a festival and guess what? I only had a 35mm prime, I spent the whole day kicking myself. No filters and just one prime, for a festival shoot? I just packed badly. Ha. I’m quietly hoping I can talk him into a shoot, one day, and I’ll try to take better shots, so in the meantime, he’s what a 35mm Prime does at a festival, laughing/crying face.

Here’s Sophie Jamieson live at Union Chapel, shot on my Pentax 67 with a 75mm f2.8 lens which is a bananas thing to do in a venue, but here’s why I bother:

And here’s Burd Ellen live at … uh I’ve forgotten where … somewhere in Glasgow …

Here’s a few shots I took that aren’t people. Just nice things I saw. Apart from the bins. They were in London, but still beautiful in it’s own way.

Josienne & I made a little EP together, you can find it at the Corduroy Punk Records bandcamp page.

Josienne released ‘A Small Unknowable Thing’ this year, but I did all the work on it the year before, but it remains a shoot that I’m incredibly proud of…