A Week in Portugal

I had the pleasure of spending Easter in Portugal this year, hosted by my Portugese friend Claudia and her family in the Catholic pilgrimage town of Fátima, about an hour north of Lisbon. We spent Easter Sunday at her Grandparent’s, a modest farmhouse in the tiny village of Cercal.

Whilst the family prepared a feast for lunch with fresh produce from the garden, I spent the morning exploring with my Canon AE-1 and some rolls of Agfa Vista 400 in the spring sunshine, playing with lambs and chickens, exploring the old farm buildings and corn storage, and picking the sweetest oranges I’ve ever tasted from the bountiful trees.

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After lunch, the deck of cards came out and I learned to play the family favorite, which is fairly tricky when the suits and values are in Portugese and you’re not sure what everyone is yelling about. Later, her cousins and I drove around the neighbourhood looking for Claudia’s dog Putchie who had run away to his girlfriend’s house, took a walk down to her grandparent’s pine forest to check out the natural spring and well, and visited Castelo de Ourém high up in the hills overlooking the countryside.

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After three days in rural Portugal I headed south to Lisbon for a solo city break. Staying in a hostel in central Baixa, I was perfectly positioned to explore the city on foot, making my way up and around Alfama to the Castelo de Sao Jorge and all the viewpoints by day, and wandering through Barrio Alto by night, getting hooked on traditional Fado music and dining in back alley restaurants.

Other highlights were trips to Sintra and the Palácio da Pena, a tram ride to historic Belém to taste the original pastéis de nata, and picking up a good amount of Portugese and confidently speaking to locals. I’d love to go back and visit Porto next!

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Studio Revival: Frances on Film

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve had anyone in front of my camera, and it’s been even longer since I worked in a studio setting. Before I left England almost 4 years ago, I had a modest studio set up in my tiny flat where I started experimenting with lighting, but then I up and moved to the southern hemisphere and it’s all been in storage since.

I’ve had a strange time settling and unsettling in Brighton since I got back from Australia in April last year and haven’t had much head space to organise any shoots, but turns out sometimes all you need is another like-minded soul to give you that spark of inspiration to create.

My good friend, stylist and illustrator Rebecca de Havas has a lovely flat filled with natural light that I thought would be perfect to set up my old studio and run a test shoot, so I dug everything out of storage and we created a little set filled with gorgeous props, such as Rebecca’s Grandmother’s easel and pot of paintbrushes, some antique tables and various house plants.

We had a range of looks from Rebecca’s own collection including pieces from TOAST and Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, as well as jewellery and artwork provided by local homeware stockist The Neutral Store. Rebecca’s younger sister Frances de Havas travelled to Brighton to model for us and did a stunning job following direction and portraying the look we were trying to achieve.

The cherry on top was being able to shoot this on 35mm film, which really enhanced the romantic aesthetic and has solidified my love for the medium with it’s texture and rawness. I’d love to know which shot is your favourite in the comments below!

All photos shot with a Canon AE-1 on Kodak Portra 400.

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Photographer: Ellen Richardson
Stylist/Art Director: Rebecca de Havas
Model: Frances de Havas

Jewellery: Common Muse
Print: James Wilson
Supplier: The Neutral Store

Patterned dress: TOAST
Blue jacket, cream dress: Wolf & Gypsy Vintage
Beret: Le Béret Français

Australian Road Trip

Back in October, Mark & I left Melbourne to embark on a 5-week road trip around Australia in Stanley the Mitsubishi Verada. This was one hell of a journey; we covered massive distances across 5 states, visited some ridiculously beautiful beaches and magical sites, and best of all Stanley didn't break down on us once.

The road took us from Melbourne up through Alice Springs to Kakadu National Park, across the Northern Territory to Broome, down the coast of Western Australia and back across the Nullarbor Plain to Melbourne - 14,000km in 5 weeks and hitting temperatures of 45ºC.

Highlights have to be taking a dip in natural swimming holes and pristine oceans, befriending wild kangaroos on the beach, and sleeping amongst the gum trees under the stars every night. I took waaay too many photos on both 35mm and 120 film which you can find on my Travel Portfolio and Australian Road Trip series respectively, or head over to my Instagram for every photo and video!

Here's a small selection of favourites, I hope you'll enjoy the journey.

Australian Road Trip Photos: 35mm & 120 Film