October 20, 2017

WOW – All things Golden

‘Every Leaf Knows That Time Is Short’ Mehmet Murat Ildan

The month’s seem to go by quicker and quicker, don’t you think?!  Sometimes it can feel that not much has been achieved when you look at how the weeks have passed. I read somewhere that there is a biological reason for why it feels like time is speeding up as you get older. For myself I think it’s just that as you get older you became aware of how little we valued time when we were younger!

Anyway, I made a commitment to myself that I would update here more regularly so I’m giving myself a pat on the back that it’s only been 5 months since I last did an update here! If I can maintain a post every season, that would be a success.

That last posting was about my photoshoot with Jannica Honey and some of the results of that are now on my images page. Here’s one I particularly like and seems a good choice for upcoming Halloween! 😉

The witching hour is coming!

I’m trying to reorganise my communications at the moment. As part of that, I’m resurrecting my e-mail newsletter which I hope you’ll consider subscribing too.  My intention is to share a lot more in e-mails and to use here to give brief updates.

WOW and other Happenings

Well, I need to highlight Scotland’s first WOW Women of the World Festival which is taking place in a week’s time in Perth. I am over the moon to be performing at it and will be one of several music events programmed over the weekend.  Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be opening the Festival the evening before with a talk and Q&A. Disappointed that I can’t attend that as I’m sure it will be riveting and inspiring. But there’s so much more happening on the weekend and for everyone in your family: talks, panel discussions, workshops, walks.

I’ll be performing a short set of some of the new material I’ve written for Chrysalis and will be joined by virtuoso pianist Karen MacIver.  Our performance will be happening at 1pm on Saturday 28th October.  Tickets are for a whole day or for the weekend. Details here https://www.horsecross.co.uk/whats-on/wow-women-world-perth-2017-weekend.

Other new developments which are in the pipeline are my ‘Find Your Voice’ workshops which are targeted at women and girls.  Although music and singing are a part of these workshops, they’re about empowerment, confidence, finding ‘your’ voice through creativity and then expressing yourself.

I’ve also got my fingers crossed about an application I’ve made to a fund aimed at helping musicians develop projects with artists from other art forms. Wont go into details on what the work will be unless I get accepted. If I don’t get the funding then the project will have to be put on hold.  The single biggest challenge of being an artist is financing projects.  Although 99.9% of us self-fund developing our own projects, we have to be able to pay other people to work with us.  It would be ridiculous to expect otherwise.

I’m still actively promoting live music and women in music through my involvement in the Musician Union, sitting on the Regional Committee for Scotland and Northern Ireland and also the National Live Performance Section.  I’ll share a bit about work going on there too in the Newsletter.

Anyway, that’s the quick update. I’ve got to go and do the Newsletter, seeing as I’ve been asking you to subscribe to it!

Hope you’re enjoying the golden russet glow of Autumn or if you’re in the southern hemisphere the glow of Spring.


PS: I’m also now doing a quarterly music Spotify playlist of new and old music that I’ve been enjoying. A pretty diverse mix of tunes. Check out my Autumn list here http://preview.tinyurl.com/y8hdps5f

June 8, 2017

The Pressures of a Photo Shoot – Getting the Perfect Image That Says Who You Are

It’s been a while since I’ve had a formal photo shoot but having met Edinburgh based photographer Jannica Honey some weeks before, I felt pretty relaxed at the prospect of having a session with her.  For starters she makes me laugh, cry (happy tears!) and talk and talk and talk. In fact, if I was worried about anything it was whether we’d get any photographs taken for all the talking we do! I needn’t have worried.

There’s so much to think about when getting photo’s taken for marketing purposes.  First is, what’s your budget? (Images last a long time and are vital in the entertainment sector so we have to spend as much as we can afford and not scrimp.) For what purpose are they going to be used for and how are they going to be used? How many do you need? What are you wanting to communicate? What’s the project about? Is there a ‘look’ or a theme? Not forgetting, that very important question what clothes/colours am I going to look best in?!  You know the usual, ‘does my bum look big in this’, ‘does this show my bingo wings’? 😉

The answer for me was to give Jannica samples of the music, copies of lyrics and an idea of what my vision is for me within the project, ie this is about the strength and power of women, young and old, the mystical, the nurturing, the inner witch. It made a huge difference having spent some time together previously as she had a pretty good idea of my personality. Being such an experienced professional portrait photographer and working as a music photographer too, Jannica seems to know very quickly what kind of shots are going to work. So, although I don’t like getting my photograph taken, I did feel pretty comfortable knowing how she ‘got’ me. Mind you, I did ask for soft focus and touch ups but she refused!

We spent an afternoon and early evening with me changing in and out of various outfits I’d brought with me. Clothes that I felt comfortable in and which helped express who I am. Plus I brought my wonderful set of horns which I’d bought from Claire’s Accessories last Halloween but had never worn and which I was desperate to play with.

I have to say, it was a blast and I think I want to be a model now. Ha, no! But we did have a fun time of it and I have some stunning photographs taken in her studio and taken in a field. Not the field Jannica took us on an adventure to find – she’d planned for us to shoot in a field of rape but the farmer had farmed it so we drove round miles looking for another one!  The photographs taken outdoors almost look like I’m on a stage set but I assure you they were really taken outside and have not been touched up.

I’ve added some of the photo’s to the Photos page on the website so please check them out and let me know what you think.  I’ve yet to decide which one(s) will be used for the Chrysalis Project. Yet more decisions, decisions, decisions ….

As a final though, it’s interesting and revealing that all the best experiences I’ve had have been as a result of the people I’ve worked and connected with. I get so inspired by working with them and observing their creativity, passion and commitment to what they do.  It also helps hugely if they make me laugh. 😀

Thank you Jannica!

Photographer Jannica Honey

Jannica Honey

And thank you for taking time to check in here. I hope you have people in your life inspiring you right now.