Next Edinburgh speaker

Laura Meek

More info

November 29, 8:30am • BoConcept • part of a series on Lost

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Hey CreativeMornings/Edinburgh attendees - do we have a treat for you this month! Read more about our exciting July event here.

See you soon!

Hello! I am a photographer who first and foremost loves the medium of photography and loves that its my job. I have had work published from here to South Korea, been to remote beaches, shot celebrities and photographed a nuclear reactor.

I trained as a photojournalist but now mostly shoot commercial work. I’m at the start of my career in photography, though have had the opportunity to assist some really top tier photographers which is quite a rare opportunity in Scotland. Photography is such a vast field in terms of technical ability and creative scope that I am always learning more and working to develop my skills.
When not behind a camera I am usually sat on a bike cycling somewhere or walking. What inspired you to first pick up a camera?
Well I have always been quite a visual person. What attracted me to photography is how the medium functions as a visual language. I think pictures have a really unique ability to suggest stories rather than tell them. People can look at the same set of images and take something similar yet not the same from the images. Its this sort of ambiguity around photography that really interest me. I also just like really good pictures.

What subjects are you most drawn to?
Portrait photography Is my favourite, I love looking at shots of people. I trained as a photojournalist so I suppose I will always be drawn to shots of people.

What is your favourite gear you’re using at the moment?
Well over the past few years I have invested heavily in high quality lighting equipment, basically studio lights that you can use on location. The quality of light these flashes produce is great. You can use it to create a hard light as if it were like direct sunlight or a soft diffused light just like a from a window on an overcast day.

Can you list a few of your favourite creative  resources (magazines, blogs, Instagram, etc.)
Well I always make a point of reading the Creative Review, I think its really interesting to get such a good insight into other disciplines. Twitter is a great resource for photographers, you can connect with photographers from all around the world and engage about your/their work. Recently I have been looking at a fair amount of painting to try and inform my practice, I saw Katie Downie’s exhibition recently and thought it was utterly fantastic.

Please tell us the story behind one of your favourite photographs.
​This is a shot I took on the 17th of September the night before the referendum. For me it really reflected the vision and hopes that people had for the future, regardless of what side of the debate you were really on.

Follow John on Twitter​ and  Instagram and see more of his work at

CreativeMornings/Edinburgh catches is up with this month’s photographer Jo Tennant

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a photographer. I’m a scientist (my degree studies) and artist (because the need to create just keeps intruding).  I guess both of these are the best mix for a photographer. The f-stops, shutter speeds and technical geekery capture fleeting moments of lines, patterns and light - all of which might otherwise pass unnoticed.

I print photomontages onto textiles as well.  

But I am more than a photographer. Born in South Africa moved to the UK when I was nine, I am now a mother of a fifteen month old little Scots girl. I live in a wonderful and impractical house on the sea in Portobello where I am trying to stop the roof leaking.

I have been captain of a bike, horse and elephant polo team. I am also quite annoyingly geeky about craft beer and wine.

What inspired you to first pick up a camera?

My dad had an SLR camera which came everywhere with us throughout my childhood.  When I was ten,my dog was running in the park;trying to find the balance between shutter speed to capture his movement and aperture to expose correctly, then frame and compose … I wanted to learn and master it. Ever since then, I have thought that great photography has the power to tell a story, to make you feel something and to understand. It is satisfying to evoke that in an image.  

What subjects are you most drawn to?

People with passion. Their energy is infectious and exhilarating to work with.  I love telling their story.

What is your favourite gear you’re using at the moment?

I love my kit, though it’s not particularly high tech.  A trusty Nikon and a battery of well loved lenses, a MacBook Pro and the Adobe suite.  Technology is brilliant at making things possible but it can never replace the story you tell when you frame and crop beautifully or make the decisions about which moment you choose to portray: the magic comes from that.  

Can you list a few of your favourite creative resources (magazines, blogs, Instagram, etc.)

The Do Lectures are my go to for inspiration in life and a kick start on any project.  

I love  these photographers’ work:

Mickey Smith and his Do Lecture on ‘Trust in the Things You Love’ here

Phil Chapman - an unassuming photographer who takes the most beautiful pinhole / repurposed camera images

Laurence Winram - a friend and mentor.  His Conemen and Shadow images

In addition, getting outside- ideally onto Portobello Beach or into the woods or up onto the hills inspires me.  But part of me loves grey streets in sideways weather and finding beauty in that.  Just being in the moment.

And making yourself take a photo a day- that ‘silly’ exercise will do more for your creativity and photography skill than anything else.  

Please tell us the story behind one of your favourite photographs.

This photo makes me smile.  The bridesmaid was taking her duties very seriously, as one does aged six.  The bride’s underskirt was hooked on something underneath and so in she dived to fix it.  When I’m photographing, it’s a kind of meditation- you need to stay in the moment yet be watching all the time and enjoy being carried along with the subjects. When moments like this arise, you’re there to frame and catch them.  

Other photos are purely sentimental and remind me just of a time and place.  

This image is of the doorways on the main street in Bowmore on the Isle of Islay.  I’d gone there to run the half marathon and whilst staying met a guy who knocked me sideways with his ebullience.  We were walking down the street. I remember, awkwardly, I couldn’t think of something to say and that awful shyness of being like a teenager again, so I stopped to frame an image I thought I’d seen instead. Well I think both the photo and the boy turned out rather well:  five years later, we now have a fifteen month old daughter together. So this is a personal one.

Follow Jo on twitter, instagram and facebook

CreativeMornings/Edi ON TOUR!

Two weeks and counting to our next event on the 29th May. To stay true to our mission of shedding light on our fabulous city’s creative individuals - we’re taking this month’s event to a new location!

Basic Mountain is a light, spacious, somewhat unexpected room in the city centre of Edinburgh. It supports artists developing new work through performances, films, talks, exhibitions, and clubs. 

So take note of the address  1 Hill St, Edinburgh EH2 3JP, UK 

See you soon!


Get the diaries out, our next event will be on Friday 24th April, at Summerhall, stay tuned, speaker announced shortly….

NO EVENT IN MARCH - Back in April!

This month we had a few speaker cancellations and were unfortunately unable to pull off an event for March’s theme on Ink. We’re really sorry and miss you already too but it’s important to us that we don’t compromise on quality in putting on these events.

However we’ve made the most of our freed up time and have the next few events planned out! Set your alarm for April - it will be well worth the early start!

More info coming soon.

Almost two week ago we invite Gerry Farrell, former Creative Director at the Leith agency and founder of to speak on the topic of ugly. What followed was an incredibly colourful, stirring and entertaining talk on “How to stop things getting ugly”.

Thanks Gerry for sharing your F.L.I.P. philosophy with us and challenging us to Feel Less Immediately Pessimistic when faced with an ugly situation - oh and for busting out a rap before 10 AM.

See more pictures of the event here:


A few snapshots from CreativeMornings/Edinburgh’s first event - more to come soon, hold tight!

Loving these early photos from CreativeMornings/Edinburgh’s first ever event! Hat tips to all, and can’t wait to see what’s next. 

You won’t want to miss our next event at Summerhall on 30th January 2015! See you there, bright and early - we’ll be the ones hogging the coffee.