A flattering portrait of life after newspapers from two Fleet Street photographers

Everybdody, it seems, agrees that newspapers as we know them have their coats hanging on a shoogly peg.

So it was nice to see a couple of Fleet Street veterans carving out a lucrative new career for themselves .

Photographers Louisa Macdonnell and James Fraser spent their careers covering disasters, conflicts and the biggest news events of the past couple of decades in London and various other hotspots.

Now they are better known as The PictureHouse, concentrating on the the gentler art of family portraits. They’ve been working from rented studios for a while, but later this month they will finally move into their own, purpose built studio at Ocean Terminal in Leith – right next door to the popular Ceramic Experience. It sounds fantastic, with a child friendly studio, office area and comfortable reception all planned in.

I can recommend The PictureHouse highly – since my own five-year-old had a brilliant time with them on Saturday. She danced, leapt, pirouetted, chased balloons and popped hundreds of soapy bubbles during an hour long photoshoot, all the while mugging furiously for the cameras.

Louisa and James showed a deft touch in dealing with an excitable young ‘un – and were equally charming company for mum and dad. I haven’t seen the photos yet, but if they live up the rest of the experience, I expect to be blown away.

Thousands of front rooms across Scotland are bedecked with the family portraiture captured by the likes of Venture. But the impression I get is that these days it is huge, highly profitable machine, which means some people find the it offers impersonal, assembly line service – yet still charge an arm and a leg, much to the annoyance of many unsuspecting customers.

Prices at The PictureHouse on the other hand are extremely competitive and the service offered by Louisa and Jim is superb. But even they drew the line when I asked for a pic that could make me look good. Which means I’m stuck with the drab, grey pic on the home page here for the time being.


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