Joanne Crawford is a portrait, lifestyle and editorial photographer based close to Leeds, and a winner of Portrait of Britain 2018 for her portrait of Jennifer Tetlow, a stone sculptor from the North York Moors.
Having spent a number of years working as an editorial picture editor in London, Jo has now settled back home in the North East with her husband and adorable whippet, Wally. She loves working with naturally creative and curious people, capturing what they do in their natural environment by observing their processes and documenting their space. As a result, she is a huge champion of the creative industries in the Yorkshire area, and a font of knowledge for all that is aesthetic and local. She’s kindly opening up her little black book to us today, and sharing her favourite spots for coffee and cake, artistic inspiration and long rambling nature walks with a dog in tow…
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Favourite creatives? The Plant Room, Laura Slater and Nook of the North are all Leeds based independent female businesses producing incredible work with such dedication, which I find so inspiring. I’ve worked with all of them many times and feel very lucky I get to photograph their work and their process. I always feel creatively fulfilled after spending an afternoon with them.
Most visited arts venue? It has to be The Hepworth in Wakefield. I just love it there. I often photograph their exhibition openings and weekend fairs and I feel very lucky I get to work with such a great arts venue. The exhibitions they put on are always so well done and I love to take friends who visit from around the country there. We’re very lucky to have something so great on our doorstep. I also have to shout out Leeds Art Gallery – it’s such a vital part of our city and they’re very accommodating when I have a last minute portrait location request!
I remember discovering Cow Vintage when I was about 16 and its still one of my favourite shops to visit today!
Favourite blog? One of my more recent favourites is Ramble Guides. On weekends my husband and I like to go walking and exploring so I often check this site for inspiration. I also often read Haarkon for beautiful photography and ideas for weekend trips.
Favourite shop? This is tough as there’s so many but I’d have to say the book shop at Salts Mill in Saltaire. The ground floor is full of creative books – art, photography, fashion, design, with art supplies to buy for when you feel inspired. The next floor up is packed with all kinds of books, magazines and gifts. I could spend hours in there – and do! And then afterwards you can get a coffee from Salts Diner in the mill or walk just down the road to Nordish. If I’m looking for interiors then Pool Bank Vintage is a great treasure trove of furniture, its spread out over 3 floors with loads to look at.
Best local coffee spot? I live in a small market town just on the outskirts of Leeds, so on my doorstep I have to say Sift who do the most incredible cakes- they made my wedding cake and it went down very well! When I go in to Leeds I usually head to Laynes as their menu is so good at any time of day – and Porterhouse Cake Co supply their cakes too which are just * chefs kiss *
Signature drinks order? Quite a simple one but it would have to be half a Sputnik from North Bar Social in Otley. Perfect after work drink. Or if I’m having a drink at home then one of the orange wines that I have picked up from Wayward wines in Leeds, a favourite is Calcarius Nu 2019.
Restaurant for a celebration? There’s so many incredible restaurants up here. I photographed The Owl in Leeds not too long ago for a feature and always said I’d go back there for a special occasion. There’s also a lovely Italian restaurant near me called Buon Apps, a little pricey but you can look out over the river whilst having your Aperol spritz. For a less fancy celebration we’d probably go to Manjits Kitchen on Kirkstall Road in Leeds or to Rudy’s/Pizza Fellas.
Lazy weekend brunch spot? We’d walk round to Salami just near our house. They change their menu fairly regularly but I’d probably order their cherry hazelnut waffles with a cup of tea. They also do a hound menu so I’d order Wally (my whippet) the pupcake which he’d scoff in 30 seconds and then beg for my waffles too.
Best place for a staycation? Last year we took the caravan over to the east coast and spent a few days exploring Flamborough and the surrounding areas. Bempton cliffs is an incredible place to visit this time of year – it’s maintained by the RSPB and has the most incredible cliff top views and thousands of birds – guillemots, razorbills, puffins. It’s a really special place that seems to be underrated.
Next trip? In August we’ll be taking our tiny caravan for a few nights in the Lake District. I’ve been up that way a couple of times for work in the past year but never really explored it properly. We’re staying near Keswick and will be walking (hopefully) up Scafell Pike.
All photography © Joanne Crawford, used with permission.