Emma Blackery | Sucks to be You EP Cover and Promo Shoot

Emma Blackery EP Cover Shoot


It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but it was all the way back in March that I was doing this EP cover shoot with Emma Blackery.  If you don’t know who Emma Blackery is, you need to come into the modern world!  You can find her and all her social media channels here.  You can also buy the EP Sucks to be You here!  I will give you time to go check out all her stuff…. I would expect this to take you some time as you will inevitably find yourself watching a lot of her videos… so I will wait till you come back.


Back?  Good!  Let’s get on with talking about this awesome shoot.  I had a good idea, after talking with Emma’s management about the shoot, about what sort of look(s) that we wanted for this shoot. So I suggested a place that I used to do shoots quite often, but hadn’t been back to in a couple of years.  It’s a little place in Shoreditch behind Allen Park.  Behind Allen Park is a tunnel that is always filled with graffiti and a unused lot that gave you a different “feel” in every direction that you turned.  On one side you had the city of London, on another an old building with graffiti…it was a perfect spot.


When we arrived at the location it had changed considerably since the last time I was there… but not at all in a bad way.  The old, dis-used lot was now being used by  a nomadic cafe and gardens.  The nomadic gardens were simply amazing, and you should definitely check them out, and you can on Facebook here.  We had a look through the gardens and decided this was definitely the place we wanted to shoot.  We spoke with the owners and agreed a fee with them that would allow us free reign of the gardens for our photoshoot.


We had a good look around and everything the nomadic gardens had to offer us, and there was a lot.  I think we probably spent a good hour walking around, looking, and planning the shoot whilst Emma was getting her makeup done.  Of course we were attracting a little bit of an audience as I setup my lights… we did, after all, have an entire photoshoot setup in the nomadic gardens, and I don’t think the tourists in the area were used to seeing this.  But, one of the great things about photographing musicians and celebrities is that they are quite used to this and they generally don’t mind having a bit of an audience…and Emma Blackery was no different.  Me?  I got used to working with an audience around me quite some time ago and I don’t even notice them anymore! Anyways, let’s see what we got up to.


The Shoot:


There was so much to choose from in the nomadic gardens, that we really had to narrow down everything that we loved.  There were two things at the front of the gardens that we definitely wanted to use.  One was a little area to sit down and have a coffee.  What struck us about this area was the amazing artwork and birdhouses.  It just had that “something” about it and we knew we wanted to get something there, and this is the image that we shot there.




This photo was one of the first photos taken on the day, and it was also one of the first images used from the shoot afterwards.  It almost immediately went on to be the thumbnail on the Emma Blackery wikipedia page.  We were here to not only shoot the EP cover, but also to shoot promotional images that were to be used in magazines, tour posters, etc.  I probably should have stated that at the beginning!  😀


The other thing we saw near the entrance of the nomadic gardens was this amazing old boat.  I think what made the boat even more awesome than it just being a boat, was the scenery behind the boat.  It all just looked like something you would definitely not see when you saw someone standing on a boat, and that made it awesome.   With the time of day we were shooting, and the location the boat was facing, this was one of those very rare times that I actually used the sun as my main light…and the image was awesome.




This (image above) was the second image to be used immediately after the shoot, and it was used as a poster in Kerrang! magazine.




Once we got these two image done, we made our way towards the back of the gardens, which was where we had found some rather unusual items that we wanted to use.  One of these specifically was what we had in mind for the EP cover.  But first, we had to stop and sit down for a minute.




I mean, how often do you come across an old office chair sitting in a massive puddle in London?  Actually, you probably do come across something like that quite a bit..but it was till awesome.


Sucks to be You EP Cover:


Next it was on to shoot the actual cover of the EP.  This wasn’t the original planned idea for the EP cover, but when we saw this and talked the idea through with Emma everyone knew that it was exactly what we wanted.  First I will show you the image we shot, and then the artwork for the EP cover.




The cover artwork:





As you can see, we had found an old bathtub that was filled with dirt.  There was just something about it that resonated with all of us and it’s the idea we went with!  Shooting it was a little tricky as one of the legs of the bathtub was broken, so it wasn’t terribly stable.   I set my light up and had to stand, straddling, Emma on the bath tub whilst her manager and the makeup artist held the bathtub and kept it stable for all of us!  It was well worth it as it was the perfect image for what we were looking for.


The Selfie:


As always, I try to get a selfie with everyone that I photograph.  I won’t be doing this forever, and I want to be able to look back fondly on life and the fun that I had!  So here is my selfie with Emma after the shoot.






I always try to post what equipment I use on my shoots, for those that are interested.  This shoot was pretty straightforward actually, even with the bright sun that we had.  Everything was shot on my Nikon d800e and using my 24-70 2.8 lens.  For nearly everything I used 1 Elinchrom Quadra Ranger light shot through a large octobox.  The only difference here was the two shots on the boat where I actually didn’t use any lights (gasp)!  This is a rarity for me, but the sun was in an absolutely perfect position to be used, so I did.  That’s it…nothing overtly fancy here…just awesome images!!!


Final Thoughts:


This was one of the most fun shoots I have done this year.  Emma was an absolute STAR to photograph…I mean, how many people would be willing to lie down in a dirt filled bathtub that we had just found?  Emma Blackery was willing to for the sake of art!!  😀  Honestly, this was a great shoot.  Emma was open to every idea that her management and I had come up with and she nailed everything that I asked of her!  You definitely need to check her out if you ignored my direction to do so earlier.  So here is where you can find her.


Emma Blackery website:  http://emmablackery.com


Suck to be You EP:  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sucks-to-be-you-single/id1112996232


So go check her out, and definitely but the EP.  It is awesome.  Nice, melodic pop-punk with a bit of angst.  Go buy it!