At the start of 2013 I made a New Year’s resolution; it was to keep an online creative journal throughout the year. I am pleased to say that for once I actually kept a New Years resolution! Thank you so much for taking the time to see my updates during 2013, and for joining the adventure with me.


I have really enjoyed the process of keeping an online journal. However I will not be continuing it this year. 2014 is going to be really busy and regular journal posts just won’t be possible. Please do continue to check this site in the future though as I will still be posting here! 🙂 I will sporadically be blogging about art, music and whatever else grabs my attention. For notifications of my blog updates and other creative activities please follow me on twitter, and please like my facebook page


Thanks again for visiting my journal during 2013 🙂

Samantha x


15th – 31st December 2013

Christmas. Christmas. Christmas! I’ve had a lovely time celebrating Christmas and seeing friends and family… although this does mean I have not been particularly productive over the past few weeks! Oooops! 2014 promises to be very busy though, so I will definitely make up for lost time!


I attended Mila Falls Video Release Party on the 19th December, and I interviewed Mila and got some live photographs of her fantastic live gig. The photoblog will be posted during January. Please check this link:



1st – 14th December 2013

Journal update (1-14/12) First Story Tellers gig, Photographing Elexu’s ‘Live Lounge’ Broadcast, Taylor Wessing Photographic Exhibition, Jeeves & Wooster, etc


Story Tellers first performance, Spencer Pub, Putney, Sunday, 1st December)

After 3 rehearsals, my new band the Story Tellers felt it was time to get on stage and play live. And so we performed a few of our songs at the Spencer pub in Putney, at a live music night organised by Derek Kirkup. There was a great atmosphere in the pub, and we were all really buzzing after performing. Playing live with a band is so much more fun that performing as a solo artist (in my opinion). I think the stage can sometimes be a bit of a lonely place when you are on your own… but with a band there’s such a positive vibe. We got loads of good feedback, so a promising start for the Story Tellers. Next show will be in January.


Photographing Elexu’s Live Lounge Broadcast, Soho, (Tuesday 3rd December)

I joined the wonderful Elexu team on Tuesday to photoblog their ‘Live Lounge’ broadcast. It was a fun photoshoot, and a really interesting experience. Elexu has such a lovely vibe to it, everyone was really friendly, and I got to hear some fantastic music from talented Nate Maingard, who was the featured artist – check out his music! Here is the photoblog:


Mitch Daniels Band, Troubadour (Tuesday, 10th December)

It was great seeing the Mitch Daniels Band perform at the iconic Troubadour music venue again. This time they were a trio, but the sound was still really impressive. I particularly loved the brand new song which they closed their set with. At the moment they are in a transitional phrase and are looking for a new band name and a new bassist! If you can help with either of these things please get in touch with Mitch.


Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery (Thursday 12th December)

This exhibition is comprised of 60 photographic portraits (selected from 5,410 submissions by 2,435 photographers) So competition was clearly very tough, and standards are high. The photographers selected vary – from noted professionals through to talented amateur and student photographers. It is a fascinating collection of portraits and well worth visiting. Despite the staggeringly high amount of submissions, I have decided that I will be applying for next year’s competition! It’s always worth giving things a go – regardless of how high the mountain may appear from the bottom. Wish me luck!


Jeeves and Wooster, Duke of York Theatre, West End  (Thursday 12th December)

If you get the chance, go and see Jeeves and Wooster at the Duke of York Theatre. The plot is taken from P.G. Wodehouse’s novel The Code Of The Woosters, and see’s Bertie Wooster (Stephen Mangan) recounting the story on stage with the help of Jeeves (Matthew Macfadyen) and Seppings (Mark Hadfield). Hadfield and Macfadyen also play a host of different characters in the production. It is inventive, farcical and incredibly funny.

To round off the evening I met the gorgeous Stephen Mangan, who has been one of my favourite comic actor since Green Wing days.


Story Tellers Christmas Jam (Friday 13th December)

The Story Tellers had one last rehearsal in 2013. We ran through our own songs, but couldn’t resist trying a few festive tunes, and so a few Christmas classics were destroyed by the Storytellers!


New London Singers, Carols for Shoppers,  St Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square (Saturday 14th December)

Going to see the ‘Carol’s for Shoppers’ concert is becoming a bit of a Christmas tradition for me now. I have been every year since 2009 (with the exception of 2010 when it snowed so much that buses stopped running in Muswell Hill, and I was stranded).  Beautiful music in a beautiful setting. And nothing makes me feel more Christmassy, and sentimental than some good old traditional Christmas Carols.

My next journal update will be posted after Christmas, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for visiting this blog through the year. Have a smashing Christmas time. 🙂

Samantha x

17th – 30th November 2013

Journal update (17/11-30/11) Jam with Revenge Road, Story Tellers Rehearsal, guest blogger for Elexu, and photoshoot chaos!

Revenge Road Jam (Sunday 17th November)

Mum and I both joined the guys of Revenge Road for a Sunday jam. It was the first time Mum had attended, and they were very impressed by her musicianship and were keen to get some of her feedback. We played some of the usual Revenge Road covers, plus some of the cover versions my Mum’s band used to do, and we played through my song Halo. I’ve never heard it performed with other band musicians before, as it’s always played as such an intense solo song, but it was great to hear the different musical interpretations from the band.


Story Tellers Rehearsal (Tuesday 19th November)

Sumeet was very poorly with a cold but that didn’t stop us going ahead with rehearsals. We covered quite a bit of ground for the Story Teller’s first gig (despite poor Sumeet coughing his way through his vocals!). To celebrate ‘Selfie’ being added to the Oxford Dictionary we couldn’t resist taking a band selfie! 🙂


The Story Tellers now has a fb page! Please give us a ‘like’

Photoshoot with Kate De Freitas (Thursday 28th November) 

Jazz singer Kate De Freitas and I endured a rather eventful photo session. We meet at Chiswick Station with the intention of getting some photographs in the beautiful grounds of Chiswick House. And we began well by gaining some nice photographs by the bridge and in the maze.

Then, as we started getting some pics nearer to the house, a park warden drove up to us in his buggy. He asked who we were and what we were doing. We explained that Kate is a jazz singer and I was just blogging about her, and the Warden told us off. He said that we’d have to pay a licence to photograph. I explained that I wasn’t a professional photographer and that I just had a blog, but he wasn’t backing down. He said that we were lucky that he wasn’t going to make me delete the photos I’d already taken. Apparently there was a sign on the notice board.

On the way out we searched the noticeboard and finally found a tiny message about photography. And it states the licence is only needed by ‘professional photographers’ anyway. And I’m not one of those yet!! Grrr! So we hadn’t done anything wrong and we should’ve been allowed to continue.

By this point the light was already starting to fade, so Kate and I decided we would reschedule and just go to the pub instead. We went to a lovely pub right by the station, with an open fire and good wine. So all’s well that ends well.


Guest Blogger for Elexu, (Friday 29th November)

The second part of my guest blog about music photography was posted by Elexu on the 29th. It covers the more recent photoshoots I have been involved with this year. Please check it out here:


3rd November – 16th November 2013

Journal update (03/11-16/11) Jam with Revenge Road, Guest Blogger for Elexu, Interviewing artist Meg Mosley for my photoblog, Band Rehearsals and photographing royalty!

Revenge Road Jam, Kent (Sunday 3rd November)

After spending all of the previous week experiencing my worst Fatigue Syndrome relapse of the entire year, it felt great to have a bit of energy back and to play some music again. I gatecrashed Revenge Roads rehearsal. We played a mixture of classic rock songs and I really enjoyed hearing my song the Watchmaker played with the full band. Great jam session with top guys.

Revenge Road

Rehearsal, Putney (Tuesday 5th November)

I absolutely love rehearsing with Caz and Sumeet, and after only 2 rehearsals we are sounding pretty good already “even if I do say so myself” 😉 We came up with a band name… but in hindsight, after the beer had worn off, I’m not sure if ‘Chocolate Chip Cuckoo’ is a great band name? What do you think? And if not what suggestions do you have?! Please let us know!


Meg Mosley Blog: Photographs and Interview (posted Thursday 7th November)

Please check out the fascinating interview given by artist Meg Mosley on my photoblog. Plus there’s some colourful pics from a fun shoot with the Megastar at Parkland Walk in Crouch End:


Photography for NADFAS event, Kensington Town Hall (Tuesday 6th November)

I’m so grateful to NADFAS for giving me such a fantastic photography opportunity. I photographed the Duchess of Gloucester, the Mayor of Kensington, Loyd Grossman and Martyn Lewis at their festival to celebrate 40 years of volunteering at Kensington Town Hall. Whilst I was inside photographing the event, the paparazzi were shivering outside! A very surreal experience indeed! I can’t print the photographs just yet, but hope to post them in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space!


Guest Blogger for Elexu

I was honoured to be approached by digital media company, Elexu, to be a great blogger. Alice had seen the photographs I had taken of the Mitch Daniels Band’s headline gig at the Islington O2 Academy, and approached me to do a feature.

During this week I have provided a 2 part blog about my experiences as a music photographer through 2013. The link to part 1 will be posted tomorrow! And can be found by following this link:


Paul McCartney, ‘New’ album

Ok, so I’m a bit late with this (after all the album was released in Oct) but I have finally listened to Paul McCartney’s latest album. It’s absolutely brilliant! I love it! Fantastic songs from the master songsmith. Standout tracks include ‘Queenie Eye’, ‘New’ and ‘Everybody Out There’, but it’s hard to pick. The whole album is crammed with killer tunes.


Thanks for visiting my journal

Samantha x

27th October – 2nd November 2013

All my plans and creative activities for this week were cancelled as I experienced my worse Fatigue Syndrome relapse of the entire year. I was incapable of going anywhere or doing anything. It was a very demoralising and frustrating week and a real wake up call to be more careful with how I pace my activities and arrange my schedule.


14th – 27th October 2013

Art & Music journal update (14/10-27/10) which includes; recording session at Bonafide Studio, photographing Mitch Daniels Band live at Islington O2 Academy, attending ‘Only in England’ and ‘Turner and Constable: Sketching From Nature’ exhibitions, etc.

Only in England exhibition, Science Museum (Monday 14th October)

Way back in the days when I was a Design student at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, I was so inspired by Martin Parr’s photography that his work became the subject matter for my first ever art history essay.  I was drawn to his engaging photographs which reflected the idiosyncratic nature of the British seaside. So I was really intrigued to see the current exhibition ‘Only in England’ at the Science Museum, which displays a selection of Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones photographs.

This exhibition is particularly interesting as it highlights the debt Parr owes to Ray-Jones. Clear parallels between the artists’ styles can be seen through subject matter selection and approach. Parr, who is an collector of Ray-Jones work is not shy of these comparisons, and in fact seems keen to give Ray-Jones the recognition he deserves.


Ray-Jones ‘Brighton Beach’ 1966

Photoblog ‘Reflection

Unfortunately I wasn’t well enough to attend my first meeting with the Putney branch of the London Independent Photographers Group. However, I had already sorted my photographs for the session. The theme for this month was ‘Reflection’ and you can find my images here on my photoblog:


Recording Session, Bonafide Studios, Muswell Hill, (Thursday 17th October)

I had another creative and productive recording session with chief sound engineer Brian at Bonafide Studios. We completed the recording of my song ‘The Watchmaker’ and started and finished another of my compositions ‘Halo’. I regularly perform both of these songs live, so anyone who’s seen me perform recently will probably be familiar with the tunes – but I can’t wait to get your feedback on the recorded versions. I’m really chuffed with the finished recordings and I’m looking forward to releasing my first double sided single soon.


Photographing the Mitch Daniels Band, Islington O2 Academy, (Friday 18th October)

On Friday 18th October, the Mitch Daniel’s Band played an amazing headline show at the Islington O2 Academy2, and they raised a load of money for charity in the process. I photographed the live show, and also got some exclusive pics from the soundcheck too. It was a brilliant gig by an incredibly talented band, and the atmosphere in the venue was truly electric.


I interviewed Mitch Daniels after the show to find out how it felt to perform at the venue, and what the future holds for the band. Please see the photographs and read the interview on my blog:


Turner and Constable: Sketching From Nature exhibition, Turner Contemporary, Margate (Tuesday 22nd October)

The Turner Contemporary is currently showing a fascinating exhibition, which illustrates the development of British landscape painting. On display are over 75 oil sketches, watercolours and finished oils from the Tate collection by JMW Turner, John Constable and their contemporaries.

The key theme for this exhibition is the exploration into painting directly from the landscape, as opposed to works predominately produced in the artists’ studios. It is a comprehensive collection. However, the decision to do away with the information boards being placed beneath the artworks, and instead to place one information board per sections of artworks, does spoil the viewing experience a bit.


Constable ‘The Sea Near Brighton’ 1826

Rob Thom, Uncommon Earth, Barnacles at the Stage Door, Waterloo, (Saturday 26th October)

The Saturday Music nights at the Stage Door are great. They offer an eclectic mix of music, and it’s totally free too.

Rob Thom is the soundman for the open mics at the Stage Door on Sundays and it was great to hear Rob play a full set on Saturday. He is a talented performer and songwriter. The ‘Uncommon Earth’ were a truly original duo with a style all of their own and some lyrical gems! Final act ‘Barnacles’ play beautiful, melodic tunes, and prove just how versatile the mighty ukulele can be.