Ernest Journal

SarahMasonPhotography_travelwriting_ErnestJournal

At the beginning of 2017, as one of my new year's intentions, I said to myself that I wanted to write more. A few more blogs, maybe documenting the change in the seasons in photos and words, and just enjoy it again as I used to when I was younger. I used to love writing song lyrics and tried my hand at a few nature poems when I was in primary school. Mum still has a poem I wrote about a curlew. It's a little faded now as I think it was pinned to the cork board in the old kitchen for a while. Somewhere along the way, I lost all confidence in expressing myself in this way. But when I went on my Scottish road trip last year, I took time out each day to reflect on how I was feeling and what I'd seen. Suzi had bought me a beautiful journal with crisp magnolia pages. I packed a fountain pen too. I don't want to come over all fancy, but I find scribbling in biro sends my handwriting into a spin. Being left-handed, writing with a fountain pen comes with its own challenges, but that's outweighed by my love of the smell of the fresh ink, and the sound of the nib gliding over the paper. After a day on the road, and after I'd eaten dinner and checked into my Air BnB, it became a nightly ritual. I'd always unpack my journal first, and place it on the bedside table. Reading lamp on, I'd relive the past day as those fresh memories were committed to the paper.

SarahMasonPhotography_travelwriting_ErnestJournal

When I came back, I wrote a series of blogs about the trip. I was glad to have my journal as a reference point. Last summer, Ernest Journal, a magazine dedicated to slow adventures and craftsmanship (and one of mine & Suzi's favourites), asked me to write a piece about my North Coast 500 travels with accompanying photos. In autumn, I relived the trip again as I wrote an abridged version of my days travelling around the very northern tip of Scotland. This edition of Ernest Journal is out now if you did want to follow my trip. If you're in Hebden Bridge, they're available at both Heart Gallery and Snug. I'm in good company as there are other articles about photographic duo the Kearton brothers, bread making in space, and mapping Antarctic women.

SarahMasonPhotography_002.jpgSarahMasonPhotography_travelwriting_ErnestJournal

We're going to have some of my Scottish prints on sale from the trip (amongst others) at Hebden Bridge Open Studios. 50% of what we make will be donated to MIND.

The North Coast 500 trip was an absolutely amazing experience for me.  I witnessed the most beautiful landscapes and nature and it gave me the confidence I needed to get back on track with my mental health. If you're interested in doing the route and would like to know more, I'm always up for a chat about it over a cup of tea.

Big Black House Design Company

SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography

you're like me, walking into Maxine's workspace is like walking into a sweet shop, it's a feast for the eyes. The orange flames of the forge are glowing, the worn wooden handles of tools are stacked neatly in boxes, and the anvil centrepiece catches the afternoon sun. 

SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography

I was taking photos for a feature about Maxine and her work for the Christmas edition of WI Life. She's a blacksmith, based not too far away from Hebden Bridge, she predominately makes garden furniture and sculptures. Watching her work is meditative. The sounds of the forge as the steel rods hit the flames, and then the metallic smell fills the air as Maxine shapes it on the anvil.

SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
2018-01-29_0011.jpgSarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_Yorkshire Commercial Photography

If you'd like to see more of Maxine's work, you can look at her website here, she has a few shows coming up this year too and you can check the dates out on her site.

There's a short film here if you'd like to feel the forge and watch Maxine at work!

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File 29-01-2018, 14 29 06.jpeg

 

 

 

Tesco Ireland

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

At the end of May, an exciting email pinged into my inbox, subject - Tesco Ireland. Creative agency Rothco asked us if we'd be interested in working with them on a new print campaign for the supermarket. The emphasis was on those real moments in everyday family life. The love, the connections, the food, even the mundane. The campaign, called Family Makes Us Better, would focus on real families in Ireland and look at what 'family' means to different people. I was excited, as they really liked the way we captured the beauty in the everyday in our family shoots. The mud under fingernails, the cake crumbs around little mouths, tangled hair from the wind.

After we heard we'd be shooting the campaign, things moved quickly! All of a sudden we were on board the Jonathan Swift ferry, blue sea, blue sky, and leaving Holyhead behind. We settled ourselves in Dublin for a few days before the shoot began. We'd both been before, but hadn't fully appreciated what a beautiful city it is.

And then we started our 5 day road-trip around Ireland, meeting lovely families along the way, making new friends, great conversations, and the food, the food!! On our travels, we also experienced the full range of Irish weather.

Here are just a small selection of the photos we took, these are the ones that have been released so far.

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
SarahMasonPhotography_045.jpgYorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

The agency sent over a few shots of the photos in situ on billboards, buses and in store. It brought it all to life when we saw these for the first time.

Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography
Yorkshire Portrait Photographer Sarah Mason Photography

It was so good to just be ourselves, and shoot in the style we do. We were curious how the agency had found out about us in the first place, and a couple of weeks ago, I found out how. A lovely photographer called Claire from Unscripted Photography had been approached. She couldn't do the dates, and from following my Instagram account, she recommended us. The power of social media in full force right there. We are so grateful to Claire, and hopefully we are going to meet her in person in the not too distant future to giver her a great big hug!

If you'd like to see the wonderful advert that is running in conjunction with the print campaign, you can see it here....

A couple of our friends have spotted the posters on recent trips to Ireland and sent photos to us. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we'll be going back over to see the campaign with our own eyes. Always nice to have an excuse to travel to Ireland!

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