I was lucky enough to work with talented Cornish photographer, Sally Mitchell, for my bed linen photo shoots, the results of which you see on my website, and Instagram pages. Sally has been the perfect partner for my wild ideas, as she was completely unfazed by taking the bed – which happens to be MY OWN BED – out of context, with the most fantastic results. Sally shares some of her bed time secrets below.
So you’re a photographer….do you only photograph luxury bed linen?
No! I don’t. Aside from luxury bedding, I’m the photographer for the Hidden Hut, which is a unique dining experience just outside of Portscatho, Cornwall. This year I was immensely privileged when the collaborative book focused on the work they do was published. http://www.hiddenhut.co.uk
I’ve also shot the cookbook for Cornwall Food & Drink which was a great opportunity to represent the county I was born in.
In addition, I’ve done a lot of portraits for Invest in Cornwall, some of which appeared as part of a targeted billboard campaign across London.
I have an interest in the environment and bee conservation, which led me to working with B Skincare – a local brand based in Bodmin, concerned with bee welfare. I love their products, especially their hand cream, which contains beeswax. All their products are paraben free and devoid of nasties. I adore working with this local and ethical brand. https://www.bskincare.co.uk
What’s on your winter bedtime reading list?
For winter bedtime reading, I recommend The Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I bought to read on a recent trip to Uzbekistan. It did not fail to disappoint. I am a long-time fan of his work. It won’t send you to sleep though!!
Next to my bed is Ambrosia magazine, as I have always been fascinated by food and the culture around it. I sometimes flick through the pages at night before going to sleep. A particular favourite is the San Francisco Bay Area edition, as it is somewhere I have visited many times and have a sense of affinity with due to its coastal proximity, and food culture. https://ambrosiamag.com
Who would you invite to your dream pyjama party?
I would invite Annie Leibovitz as she has been an inspiration to me from my teenage years. Her early work with Rolling Stone Magazine in the late 60s and early 70s is so evocative, and wondrous, and had a very powerful effect when I was at college.
Next on my list would be Björk, due to her ability to exist on her own plane which I always admire in someone.
Sir David Attenborough, who I feel is fairly self-explanatory, but I think that he would be a great complement to Björk as both their work is based upon ecological impact.
That would be a fun pillow fight! What’s your bedtime ritual?
At night, I am careful to place my devices in another room to ensure I have quality downtime when I sleep. I enjoy pottering around my flat, and honing my sourdough technique. I always shape my dough before bedtime, so it can have a good 12 hours rest before baking. There’s nothing like freshly baked bread for a leisurely breakfast. After the dough is put to rest, I light a Jenny Aves Sea Salt & Oakmoss candle, and relax in my living room before turning in to snuggle down.
What’s your exercise routine, and how does it affect your sleep?
I walk every day. Even if it is just to the lighthouse and back, I make sure I walk.
Walking aside, I go running four times a week in the local area. A favourite trail is from Mevagissey to Gorran Haven, and on to Dodman Point. The reason being is that there are always photo opportunities as it is such a glorious stretch of coastline. I love running, it helps me process my thoughts. Not only is it good for the mind and body, I love to be out in the elements in all four seasons, so I can photograph the same view in totally different circumstances.
I find that exercise enables a sound night’s sleep as my mind and body is rested. That’s why I always run at the end of the day.
Where in the world do you sleep best?
Of course, there’s nowhere better to sleep than MY OWN BED, but I slept like nothing else in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, due to the nice, cool, dry, airy conditions for sleeping. There were no distractions – no internet or television. I read for a couple of hours each night, and relished the sense of a simple life, how it’s supposed to be.
Tell me about your favourite photograph that you took.
In 2008 I worked in the Julio Otoni favela in Rio de Janeiro, and I was touched by the dedication of workers such as Charlie in such a volatile environment. Charlie, the adult in the image was Project Leader on the programme, who’s aim was keeping the children in the favela on the straight and narrow by providing educational opportunities. The photograph sums up how much the community adored Charlie, and is testament to the fantastic work he is doing.
Whilst working with Charlie on the programme in the favela, we were shot at several times, which gave a sense of perspective, and made me realise what a difference people like Charlie are making.