Photo Diary: Cardboard Castle EP Launch and stepping out of my comfort zone

Below is an old post that I found in my drafts and thought was worth sharing. I think this is from 2014. It’s not so much of a diary as the title suggests, it’s more a ramble with some photos. I am okay with this. I mention the possibility of another post, and I might create that post. I do intend to go through my photoshoot archives and write about them, and so I will.


On October 11th, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Cardboard Castle’s debut EP Inspired by Bunnies, which I was lucky enough to design (the design diary for the EP can be found here). While I went there as a very proud friend, I also went in ‘official photographer’ capacity, which was a thought which both thrilled and terrified me; I am not a live music photographer. I am a whimsical, fine art photographer, oneirographer, cloud-walker, storyteller but I don’t identify myself as a live music photographer. It was a challenge and one which I was happy to take on but also left me with wriggly tummy feelings and worry that none of the photos would be good.

The reason you are only seeing this blog entry now is because it took me a while to buck up the courage to look at and edit the photos. I didn’t know how I wanted to edit them at first, or whether I would even be able to. I mostly work with natural light or warm-hued lights (not proper lights by any means but rather desk lamps and similar things) so whenever I’m confronted with colourful strobe lights I can feel my brain trying to creep down my neck and away so it doesn’t have to work out what to do with them. I have done live music before but I don’t tend to be entirely happy with the results, or I do it as a favour and only edit photos I am asked to edit. This time I wanted it to be different, I wanted to take these photos and wasn’t asked or expected to, which definitely helped, I think. I offered to take them because I’d already created their album artwork and some other random press images.

Now, these aren’t my best photos by any means but I did end up shooting another gig for them as well, which probably turned out better than this one (I may write a post about it, watch this space). I am still unsure how best to edit multicoloured lights but I think I did well with what I had, and I think they capture the story of the night quite well. See for yourself.

Guilty Reread-a-thon: a return to Point Horror

When I was a tiny, little thing, not long having entered the five-year soul crushing machine that was secondary school, I discovered the school library. I hadn’t avoided it for any particular reason, I just kept my lunchtimes outside. Especially when it was sunny and the field was there for the taking. However, once discovered, I couldn’t be kept away from it, with its strange balcony which could have just as easily been a second floor. Well, until a year or so later when the outside world called once again. My first jaunt through the shelves was not un-aided, no. I discovered the school library because of not one but two boys. One, my oldest friend, who would go to the library most lunchtimes at that point in our school career (though I have no idea why, I should ask) and his friend, a new kid, who would later become my first boyfriend. Oh.

What started as a casual, silly, young ‘I’m going to follow this boy around for a while and hope that he notices me and thinks I am pretty’ ritual, kindled my love for a series of books which I still, if somewhat guiltily, reread today. At this point, Harry Potter was the current big thing (unsurprisingly). I liked it as much as the next kid, having been introduced to it in primary school by a teacher (the wonderfully named Mrs Chodyniecki), who read the greatest Hagrid I have ever heard. We were between books, I think, though I couldn’t tell you which, and I was hanging around by the shelves on the left wall, trying to look like I wasn’t just gawping at my oldest friend and his newest friend. (I definitely was.) I am not sure how I discovered the shelf or why I was even looking at it as I definitely hadn’t been in there for the books. It was one of the bottom three and on it, with crinkles down their spines and battered edges, yellowing pages, sat a large collection of Point Horror. I needed something to read, what with the gap between Harry Potter instalments, what better way to fill that gap than by scaring myself silly?

This was probably at around the same time as my witchcraft obsession, so the pull towards horror was unsurprising. The first title I read was The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick, who still remains my favourite Point Horror author. I still remember the juddery feeling in my stomach. What started out as a casual perusal quickly warped into an obsession in and of itself, and when I found out that another friend liked them too it kept growing. My Point Horror novels are the most dog-eared and visually read of my entire book collection (followed by Trudi Canavan’s Age of the Five trilogy and one of my copies of Neverwhere, I think), and I still can’t keep Decayed in my eye line when I am trying to sleep. The front may not look so bad but the back is worse and I can’t help but feel like she’s going to crawl out of the cover and eat me – I am a bona fide wimp.

I charged my way through pretty much all of the titles held in the hallowed halls (not so much hallowed as yellowing…) of my secondary school – The Baby-sitterThe Stranger, Blood SinisterApril FoolsThe PerfumeFreeze Tag, to name a few. My favourite, and the one that I find myself crawling back to at regular intervals, is Trick or Treat – I could probably recite parts of that novel if I wanted to. It was the first pit stop for James Dawson’s Point Horror Book Club – a merry parade I wish I’d found early enough to join in myself.

It is with this in mind that I have decided (once I have finished my current reread of the first two of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series) to embark on a Guilty Reread-a-thon and I invite you, possibly non-existent reader, to join me. Pick up your guilty reads, give them a review, as honest as you like.

What are your guilty reads? Are you, like me, an avid reader of Point Horror? Is there some kind of devastatingly cheesy series that I have been missing out on? Let me know!