Music Love Part 2

Just a short but very sweet post today. Recently I was on Facebook and someone shared a video of Pharrell Williams reacting to a song by a music students. (Thanks to John for sharing this) It's been doing the rounds and you may have seen it already but I thought it was worth sharing again because I'm just hypnotised by this song and I'm so inspired by her creativity. 

The entire video is a half an hour long but it's so interesting and inspiring to watch all the students stories and hear their work. There is so much nurturing of creativity in this video. It's just wonderful to watch.

Pharrell's reaction to student Maggie Roger's song went viral (you'll see her at 18:25) and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE her song. I think it might be my track of the summer.

The finished version

Also high five to the teacher. What a bloody nice man he seems! 
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Music Love

There's an array of reasons why I love doing live music photography. So in no particular order some of them are: 

I LOVE watching people. I like to take a few moments to look at who I'm photographing, how they move and how they express themselves physically. I suppose I'm letting they're creativity fill my space so I can work with in it and make the best images I can. 

I love the atmosphere. Gigs vary HUGELY and crowds differ but generally the atmosphere is pretty amazing. People want to have a good time. Some are there to support, some are they to be inspired and some are there to feel that 'something' which I'm not sure you can give a name to but it's that feeling you get when you hear 'something' you like and it makes you feel.... 'something' ... Do you know what I mean? 

I wish I could do what they do. In the next life I will be able to sing and play guitar. I'm in total awe of people who have voices which make me think 'maaaan I wish I could sing like that' I'm also in awe of people who can play guitar. If you can do both of these things at the same time then I'm both full of awe with a big dash of envy.

I have a 'songs I might finish writing one day' notebook. Within those pages could be utter genius or utter rubbish but it doesn't matter because if they are rubbish, who cares? If you want to write, just write. There's plenty of people in the world to stifle your creativity so don't even try and stifle it yourself and never be afraid to let it out even if no-one ever sees it but you.

I went to a gig at Norwich Arts Centre for a gig organised by The Tilting Sky and this is Rhiannon Mair. I had a quick look on her Twitter account before I went and a click on a link through to her website and I KNEW I was going to like her work. 

The beautiful thing about going to small music venues is you can introduce incredible talent to your ears and the ticket prices normally mean doesn't have to be a mega expensive night out before you've even factored in your drinks....

And so in that way that sometimes songs just grab you from the moment you hear them, I'm glad I managed to find this one on YouTube, because before Rhiannon had even finished performing this I knew I wanted to hear it again. For me this song has that 'something' I spoke of...

(song starts at 3:42)

Photography Kerry Curl
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Norwich Fashion Week news

So planning for Norwich Fashion Week (NFW) 2017 has begun. I was a bit tied up during the last few months with working on NFW 2016 and then I had to focus on finishing uni to write too much about it on this blog but I know some of you kept up with Fashion Week news via the NFW website and social media.

You might also have spotted that Norwich Fashion Week has become a Community Interest Company (CIC) which means we're dedicated in continuing to provide a week which celebrates the creative diversity Norwich has to offer from big names, to indie designers and creatives.

Becoming a CIC changes my role slightly as in addition to being a Show Coordinator and working on the social media team I'm now also one of four Directors of the company (Along with Emma Harrowing, Alex Hill and Fiona Muller) My role is Director of Production so I'll be working in how the shows look with show coordinators and I'll be working with new NFW committee member Paul Bayfield who joins us to coordinate photography with shoots and promotion. It's all feeling VERY exciting right now. *JAZZ HANDS*

The team is made up of such an array of industry experience and talent including educators, artists, designers, stylists, photographers, writers, retail experts..... in fact we should probably all sit down and write down every skillset we bring to the table because between us its huge. If you have any notion that a fashion week is style without substance, then in the nicest possible way, I think you're incorrect!

Photography Paul Bayfield

Dates for 2017 will be released soon. It's been such a wonderful experience so far, I can't wait to what to see how next year's shows and events start to develop over the next few months.

Photography Paul Bayfield

You can also follow NFW on Instagram and Twitter if you fancy having a look at what we're up to and feeling inspired by. 
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Graduate Fashion Week 2016

Graduate Fashion Week has been and gone for another year. I took myself off to London for the whole week and am still on a come down from it I think. What a week! 

I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) show but because I knew having watched it last year that I'd really like to watch it via my camera in the photography pit I asked my uni if I could shoot it so I ended with a double hat on as I was there as a VIP for Norwich Fashion Week but I was also there as a student too. Either way I was camera ready and willing to learn. A lot. And I certainly did. 

Some of my images from the NUA show







I'm also feeling pretty refreshed, it's true a change of scenery really is as good as a holiday and just being in a different city, having a different routine even just for a few days does the spirit good. This wasn't a holiday, this was a working week for me but when you love what you're doing it doesn't feel like work. 

I don't say this to sound like one of those positive messages that gets shared on social media (often with swirly fonts and glitter. Often both...) I say it because having spent many years working in environments when most days felt like I was making another step in to hell or at least the city of Yawnsville. As I write this I know I'm lucky and I appreciate that probably more because I've had to do the jobs which I would rather not have to return to. 

But I digress, so a week away and I'm back having seen some amazing creativity which has left me feeling so inspired from walking around the amazing exhibition a few times and shooting some more fashion on the runway it was all pretty wonderful to say the least and I wish the graduates luck with whatever is next for them. 

Some of my images from other shows










I already can't wait for GFW17! 

I tend to share my photography work over on my kerrycurl instagram account so if you fancy seeing more pop on over. 

*Polite request that if you share my images from this post PLEASE credit me as Kerry Curl and link to my Kerry Curl instagram account and/or my website kerrycurl.com Thanks guys! x
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Charlotte Tilbury Mania

Woman of the moment? Certainly the woman responsible for many celebrity faces. Many of you may be familiar but for those who aren't I am referring to Charlotte Tilbury. I realise I may have made her sound like a plastic surgeon in that intro but she is in fact makeup artist to ooodles of celebrities and she's taking the makeup world by storm with her range of cosmetics. 

Like many I'm a sucker for watching makeup videos but what I really like about the tutorials by this amazing lady are that her looks aren't about re-working, re-sculpting and creating trickery to rearrange your face, her looks are about working, enhancing and enjoying the face you have. 

Yes there's often some contouring involved, but it's subtle and designed to gently enhance, not create a face that has 15 layers of products..... 

I think the other part of her success is that she always seems to come across and, well just nice. Niceness is not to be underestimated. Maybe I'm completely sucked in to her marketing machine but she does seem to come across that she really loves women and wants to help them celebrate themselves. 

In a recent interview in Porter the super star of the makeup world talks about her career and her ethos not just behind her brand but what drives her.

 I really like that on her website www.charlottetilbury.com key looks are set out and there's tutorials on each look which means there's nothing stopping you watching the videos and then raiding your own makeup bags to recreate the them

. You might not need to buy any new products...not that this stopped me. I have to confess I treated myself to a few items. I won't do a review as I haven't tried them for long enough yet to give an informed opinion but so far I'm really enjoying the lipgloss and the packaging of the products is beautiful.

I'm really excited that we're going to be getting a Tilbury counter in Jarrolds in Norwich but this won't stop me visiting the flagship store in Covent Garden which looks nothing short of gloriously wonderful....a visit before the end of the year is high up on my goals list!

My Porter magazine subscription is provide to me by magazine.co.uk you can read more posts from myself and other bloggers over on website's Hub 

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New Column: The Norwich Resident

For the last couple of months I've been writing a column in the local glossy style bible The Norwich Resident.  The Column is called My Norwich which is perfect for me as it means I can chat about anything and everything really. There's still a week left to read the May issue which is available FREE online. If you're in Norwich you can grab a copy from lots of places including U and Your Skin, Jane Richards and Hairsmiths

The May issue is The Art issue and so I'm chatting about some of the amazing art we have in Norwich plus events coming up including British Art Show 8 and the Norwich University of the Arts  (NUA) Degree Shows.  I'm VERY excited about both of these, perhaps more so the degree shows just because I'll get to see the final work of some of the people who have been really helpful and nice to me during uni and also because next year it will be my turn to be part of the degree show.  O.M.G 

The cover is shot by recent NUA grad Anna, an incredibly creative visual artist who creates scenes in Photoshop like a painter creates them on a canvas. Her work is fine art and so for The Art issue of the magazine she's sharing pieces she's been producing during her final year. Anna will be showing her work at the NUA degree show and I can wait to see them up close. 

The NUA photography grads are also showing at Free Range in London. All this inspiration plus Graduate Fashion Week coming up too means my diary is chocca with stuff to do. So no lazy summer for me. I'm rubbish at being bored anyway...
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Cameras and Inspo

I've been asked a few questions following last week's blog post about going to uni to study photography. Mainly about what cameras I work with and some recommendation for things to read.

So I'll start with what I shoot with. These aren't reviews or recommendations, these is simply a list of what I work with.

I shoot with digital and film. I learned on film, well actually I grew up using film because digital wasn't invented then! From what I see from my fellow students there is a huge interest in learning film now. I'm glad to see it's experiencing a new wave of users and if you're on Instagram or Twitter a quick search of #filmsnotdead  #shootfilmstaybroke  #shootfilmstaypoor will bring up thousands of images from film shooters.

I no longer worry that I don't have this camera or that camera. Digital changes so fast now and new cameras are brought out all the time. So I'm pretty relaxed and experimental about what I shoot with.  That said, my main camera is a digital SLR - I use a Nikon D610. My main lens is a Nikon 70-120 which I absolutely love and it serves me well on fashion and gig shoots. My camera before that was a Nikon D3100 which I still have, it's a handy back up and depending on the shoot, it can be handy to work with two cameras. 


Reading - I read/look at all sorts. Books, blogs, websites, digital magazines and I've been working with magazine.co.uk on their Hub area - which means I've have a Magazine subscription to Black and White Photohgraphy mag. This is always an interesting source to look through as you can not only see what other people are shooting but often there will be artist features which are great not just for the inspiration but to make you think about your own work too. 

I'm quite lucky that over the years I've bought loads of photography and art books in charity shops too. I try and browse the book shelves of my local chaz boutiques when ever I can and I look beyond the 'hobby' section and have a mooch through the art section too.

SHOWstudio, Hunger, Dazed and Confused Jute  and Feature Shoot (just to name a few) are always full of interviews, galleries and artists to discover.

In terms of film, I will literally shoot with any rolls of film I can get my hands on including expired stuff on Ebay and film from Poundland. Often my film work looks at the fragility of the film itself, I'm interested in the results achieved from damaging the film and camera wise I will shoot with anything and I mean anything. I've a lot of cameras from charity shops and I love the plastic 80s point and shoot cameras and disposable cameras too. 

35mm film 

 Going to uni has really helped push me away from the feeling that you have to have the best of the best equipment. You don't. It's what you make, not what you make it with. I'm still using a Nikon camera I bought in 2004 and I bought a couple more Nikons on Ebay. So I shoot with quite few different ones. 

I'm playing with Polaroids, I have a couple of cameras I've picked up from Ebay but I wouldn't say I've created anything that's amazed be so far, it's not easy to do the practice make perfect thing work when the film is so expensive... if anyone has tips on shooting with old Polaroid cameras feel free to send them my way. 

I suppose no post would be complete without mentioning phones and tablets, and yep I use those too, not just for social media updates of what's for dinner or in my glass but for my actual photography work too. 

This was on my old phone and I loved the rough, textural quality the camera on the phone gave me. I'm not really about curating the world in perfectly polished way. I've learned that I don't really roll like that.

I shot behind the scenes at The Dipple and Conway Hair Show at Norwich Fashion Week 2016 with my iPad. 

One of my submissions pieces during year two at uni was something I'd taken on my phone and edited on my ipad and I never ever would have thought I'd be doing that when I started uni but we're encouraged to experiment and these are tools I want to use as a creative. I'll never be 100% digital or 100% film - each has qualities I want to harness so I don't feel I need to choose a 'side' to be on really.
A video posted by Kerry Curl (@kerrycurl) on

I haven't done a give away for ages, I think I'll get some disposable cameras as prizes and we'll have a couple of winners maybe.... Watch this space! 

I have separate social media accounts for my photography work. You can find me on twitter - @KerryCurl_and instagram - kerrycurl if you fancy saying hello. 

A video posted by Kerry Curl (@kerrycurl) on
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Being a 30 something at uni

This is in no way going to be a 'how to guide' - people's circumstances and situations can vary and there is no one size fits all guide to survival.

I'm now at the end of my second year at university and so begins the gap before I start the final year of my degree. The final year. I won't lie, I'm scared and sad that it's coming to an end and amazed that (touch wood) it looks like I'm going to make it. 

It's been a very tough few years, tough but in a life changing sort of amazing way.  So here's my thoughts about going to uni from my own perspective as a 30 something on an arts course. 

If you're not sure about applying get in touch with a uni for a chat

I have to credit my husband for making me believe that going to university was something I could even consider doing. His belief in my work helped me take those first baby steps in to even thinking this was something I could do. We attended an open day to have a look round. Most potential  students had parents with them and I'd taken my husband! But it was good to have that support. 

University's will have open days where you can have a tour around the facilities, talk to students and listen to talks by tutors. It's an excellent way to get a taste of what university could offer you. 

I will probably remember this day for the rest of my life because as I sat in the lecture hall listening to a talk I got that achingly heavy feeling behind my eyes and I had to try not cry. I just felt so overwhelmed at the thought that I might be able to do it but also the realisation that I might not. It was such a beautiful day in Norwich and afterwards we sat on some steps eating huge slices of pizza whilst pondering what I'd just experienced. 

I contacted the university and arranged an informal chat with them. This was before I'd even begun the application process. This gave me an opportunity to see if it was even worth me applying.

Don't be put off if you don't have A levels 

I haven't. I have three City and Guilds qualifications in Photography which I've achieved through adult education courses but that's a bonus not an essential. My interview was about the potential my portfolio showed.

Applying is no-ones business but yours...

If you go public with the fact you are applying it's up to you. In the social media driven world of 'share your dinner, share your soul and whilst your at it share today's choice of knickers' it can feel like you have to share your every waking moment, every life choice, every success and every fail. 

New flash you don't.

If you're scared to apply in case you don't make it (this time) and you're worried about telling people you're going to have another run at it then just don't go public with it until you feel you have something you want to to announce.

By the time I started uni I'd still only told about 6 people. 

Prepare for envy

Envy towards what you're doing won't always be to sent your way to make you feel bad. The education system as it stands at the moment means that if you already have a degree (which you probably decided to do at 18, because at that age you know EXACTLY where the rest of your life is going, right?) cost implications means people often can't do another degree. 

I've had people say to me they are so envious because they'd love to go to uni and do a different degree from the one they did (or barely did) when they had the opportunity. This makes me sad. 
It also make me want to make the most of every minute. At 18 I probably wouldn't have done so. That's NOT saying that it's only mature students who realise there's potentially only one bite of this cherry. I'm just saying that older students might sometimes have a higher 'tick, tick, tick' perspective on life. 

I'm almost twice the age of the younger students who are in uni straight from A levels. That alone is a very scary reminder in how fast time goes. 

Not everyone may be supportive

Envy is sometimes just envy. It's highly likely that you haven't gone to uni to piss someone else off. The fact that they appear pissed off, threatened or dismissive says more about them than you. Had they have taken another approach, it's likely you'd share learnings and experiences with them. But if they act like an arse, then my advice is to move on and move past it.

Yes the debt is a bit scary but...

I try and think of it more as a tax which I will slowly repay through my earnings. In an ideal world education would be free like it was for the many who have passed through the education system before us. But it isn't and realistically now we're on this tuition fee machine I can't see fees ever being abolished. I do think the system needs to change, I don't know what the answer is. I will begin paying my £30K plus debt back once I begin earning over £21K (under the current rules...)  

The best person to explain this is Money Saving Expert Guru Martin Lewis. If you click this link he'll explain it all in full. 

It's Hard

It's REALLY hard. It's also bloody stressful. Some people think an arts degree is wishy washy, not as important as maths, law, medicine etc. An easy choice and a way to bum a few years away. 

I no longer even bother to argue with these people. If that's what they think then so be it. ANY degree is consuming. If you want to get great things out of it you have to put a lot of yourself in to it. As part of my degree I have to record my work, the research, the theory, the successes, the failures, my hopes and my fears. Making images has been just one part of my degree so far. My work in all it's formats helps me build up a bigger picture and a better understanding of what kind of artist I am and what kind of artist I hope to become. 

You question everything, you question yourself which also means you doubt yourself and worry if you're good enough and even capable. I've realised this is normal. Whatever your age. 

 I once sobbed in the bath until the water went cold, I was full of doubts and frustrations about an essay I was finding it hard to write and I've had nights where I can't switch my brain off to go to sleep because I'm so excited about the results of a shoot, or a piece or research that's sparked an idea. I guess you have to experience the lows to allow yourself the wonderful feeling of the highs. 

So, uni life isn't about sitting around in PJ's drinking cheap cider. Who knew? 


Oh my god. It's REALLY amazing. In many ways I'm so glad I didn't do it sooner, now feels the right time. And yes learning as much as I can is bloody hard going at times but mainly it's exciting, challenging and excellent. It's joyous and I feel very very lucky. 

 As I type this post I am 39. I am pushing myself to be the best me I can be. I'm not going to university because there's any pressure to do it because it's the next step in education or because of family pressures and expectations. I'm doing for me. 

This all for me and deciding to do this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. (Remind me I said this when I'm crying about the stress of writing my dissertation!)  

Edited to highlight an interesting comment left by Pixieanna on this post. Obviously I'm chatting about an arts degree but Pixieanna is studying nursing and says

"I am the same age as you are and I'm on course to finish my 1st year at uni (nursing, if you're interested). I agree with this post but I would like to add that it is always worth asking about finances. I did a degree (Creative Arts) at 18 and I wondered about getting finance but I had no problem getting a student loan. Even though I declared it they didn't seem bothered. The NHS pay my fees and provide a miniscule bursary but I get a loan to top it up"

In case it helps, student finance info can be found here (UK) https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

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Hello, it's me...........

This does feel like a 'hello from the other side....' 

So I had a slight Withnail and I episode and I appear to have gone on holiday by mistake...

In five years of blogging I've had busy periods where I've had mini breaks but this one turned in to an epic one... I think maybe I needed it, not just because I needed to focus my energies on other things I'm working on but because I was definitely falling out of love with blogging and the whole commercialness of it. So although my step back was accidental in many ways perhaps there was something in my brain that was telling me to go off on other adventures and leave the blog behind at least for a little while. 

So what have I been up to? Well it's been a frenzied few months of trying to be the best mature student I can be - and that means I'm having to really push myself and let the course basically  consume me. Which I'm loving. 

I may be interested in vintage style but that stems from my interest in fashion and personal style. I'm not a 'vintage' photographer. I've been working a lot with fashion and music photography and I'm working on a personal style project which will span beyond 'vintage' in what I consider to be a stereotypical way. 

People's interest in wearing vintage has massively evolved and I find myself wearing it but not fitting in to a box of being vintage - so do I even need to change the name of my persona I ask myself?

I don't use Missy Vintage for my photography work - I use my real name. Missy Vintage is something I do and I feel perhaps I'm growing more in to myself now (it's only taken me 39 years) and so I want my own name put to my photography work, not one of a persona. But then on the other hand maybe that degree of separation is a handy thing to have. Questions, questions, questions...

Some of the images from recent work, I'll write up full blog posts on the shoots ASAP 

I'm tending to use my Missy Vintage instagram account as a more personal one really and I mainly share my photography and photographic musings over on my Kerry Curl account if you want to see my work pop up in your instagram feed give me a follow. 

Norwich Fashion Week has just passed, which probably needs to be a separate post all on it's own so for now I will say what an AMAZING week. I'm so happy I get to work with such a pool of talented people and we recently announced that NFW has become a Community Interest Company . As a board we bring experience from a broad range of areas including (but not just) heritage, education, creative arts and retail and this year was the biggest NFW ever with two of the shows including the vintage one move to a new venue so all the official NFW shows were under one roof in OPEN, which was an incredible building to set up office in for the week. 

 At the end of NFW 2016 I was exhausted but I think it might have been the best kind of exhausted I have ever felt in my entire life!

I'm already looking forward to NFW 2017 and this will also be the year I graduate from uni with my first degree and the year I will turn 40. Exciting times!

The NFW Board
Photo by Andi Sapey

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