L O U  A B E R C R O M B I E

I left Durham University with a First Class Maths degree, which temporarily blindsided me and saw me applying for jobs in investment banking.  My most notable interview was with Barings Bank, the day after it crashed, though failure to get the job was blamed firmly on my complete lack of interest in reading the Financial Times. 

My next move was to get a job in television, where I worked first as an Audio Engineer and then as a Post Production Manager.  Favourite moments include being part of a snogging couple in a music video, recording voice over with Porkins from Star Wars, and chatting with Jimmy Page about teething granules…

I reinvented myself as a portrait photographer, when my husband and I moved to Bath with our young family.  Alongside projects such as Shooting the Undead (a series that required me to learn how to do zombie makeup) and Age Becomes Her (a series celebrating the older woman), my camera has since been deftly focussed on a large number of children’s, fantasy and crime authors.

When I started writing a few years ago, I focussed on the kind of books I would have like to read when I was eleven or twelve.   So authors like Judy Blume and series like Malory Towers or Sweet Valley High.

Bosphorous Europe to Asia 6km swim, 2014

Copenhagen's 2km Trygfondenswim 2017

River Dart 10km Marathon swim, 2018

Photography

Inspiration comes from a diverse group of portrait and fashion photographers, including David Bailey, Mary McCartney, Sally Mann, Dorothy Wilding, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie Leibowitz.

Portraits are my foremost passion, working either with natural or studio light.  Work includes family and children commissions where I find the best images come from a smile not forced.  Recent work has come in the form of commissioned portraits for authors such as Sarah Pinborough, Lucy Atkins, Amanda Jennings, Lou Morgan, Claire Furniss, Julia Greene, Anna Wilson and of course, Joe Abercrombie!

Writing

Writing Fig Swims the World combined my love of maths, music and swimming. The inspiration came from the group of people I started to meet on my various open water swimming adventures.

I've always been a keen swimmer, but a chance reading of an article a few years ago, about Lord Byron, inspired me to follow in his footsteps and swim the Hellespont, a 5km stretch of water between Europe and Asia. Since then I have swum a 10km marathon swim down the River Dart, learned to free dive like a mermaid, swum round Brownsea Island and Burgh Island, competed in the annual Copenhagen Trygfondenswim and completed a night swim complete with glow sticks. 

Next year's challenge is to swim round St Michael's Mount.

Becoming a mermaid...

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