One of the things I love about having a photoshoot is finding the right venue. Suddenly you are not just a singer any longer: you are an explorer, archaeologist, and (judging from your sometimes apocalyptic surroundings) possibly the last human on earth. Depending on the vibe of the shoot you could find yourself in a squeaky clean, sterile office building or an old abandoned public bath surrounded by dead birds, ancient cobwebs, and with paranormal echoes bouncing off the old tile walls.
This photoshoot was in a church hall in Hackney that looked like it was being used for storing shop goods and odd baseball caps. We were lucky enough to be working with Nedim Nazerali again so we knew the day would be organic and full of creativity and laughs. We wanted to incorporate the idea of folk, ancestry, and heritage into a typical musician’s line-up photo, a more editorial look, and some funky and fun shots so we had our work cut out for us.
I was particularly excited because the Swingles, at their own peril, allowed me to create a little costume accent for each person. My goal was to try and evoke dark dreams of past lives, of secrets and stories. It was great fun collecting all the bits and pieces to make the items with, Kevin found some great charity shop items I could rip apart and re-assemble, and Joanna just happened to have two stunning feathered collars and of course several large amulet-style pendants for us to use. That girl has got style.
We decided to stick to a mostly black, gold, and iridescent green/black feather look. I kitted Kevin out with two Spanish-style epaulettes and made Oliver several medals and chains to attach to his black wool coat – think Cornish fisherman crossed with naval officer. Joanna and Clare’s look, involving those gorgeous feather collars, was reminiscent of fine court ladies with a little Moulin Rouge flair. Jon’s feathered ear piece and chain dickie were inspired by the ceremonial attire of tribes in Africa while Edward’s cravat spoke of Dickensian London. My own gold-tipped feather crown was what I’d imagine a gothic island princess might have worn.
It was an absolutely freezing day, but good company and pizza go a long way to making time fly by. We cannot wait for the album to come out and we hope you enjoy the photos!
When she's not singing, Sara sells her craft pieces through her Twinkling Traveller site – check it out! Folklore, released on 24 March, is now available for digital pre-order through iTunes and Amazon.