Humans of Hitchin... Edition 5: Edd & Emily Holloway

Humans of Hitchin: where we shine the spotlight on the wonderfully creative talent living and working within our thriving market town.

(Emily) I’m Emily, a photographer and my husband Edd is a songwriter and music producer and we’re based here in Hitchin. Edd grew up in Hitchin and went to school here, then we both met at University in Northampton and as they say, the rest was history! I loved Hitchin from the very first visit, so when we decided to settle down it was the only place we really considered, and we’ve been here ever since.

As a photographer I am always doing a variation of jobs, including shooting weddings, products, families and working on film & TV sets. I’ve always loved being a photographer and have never really considered doing anything else – it’s always been a dream of mine to take pictures every day. I’ve run my business for 12 years and I love it, however the toughest part of it is ensuring a good work / life balance, especially after becoming a Mum to a 2-year-old! Last year I opened a new studio located at my house and I love having my own dedicated space to be creative and do my photoshoots. I’m gradually building my portfolio in TV/ film still photography, so this is an area I hope to spend more time working on in the future. I’m a huge movie fan! One incredible memory I have was meeting a successful stills photographer who invited me to Pinewood studios to see the set he was working on: Jurassic World! My dream has always been to work on major movie set.

(Edd) My job as a songwriter generally consists of getting into a room with a singer and maybe a couple of other musicians and trying to write something meaningful! The writing days that are free flowing and easy are really rewarding. When you get to see the songs you’ve worked on being released into the world and then getting to hear the reaction from listeners – it’s great! However, building any career in music takes time. You’ve got to be incredibly patient and prepared to struggle financially for a while. I also gamble with my time every day because most of what I do is not paid for, so there’s no guarantee that anything I create will get released, let alone be commercially successful! If you stay in the game long enough you get your moments and I’m so thankful to have had a few.

Every year I also spend a chunk of my time invested in a small number of new artists, trying to help them with their development and the first part of their career in music. I try to balance my time with that as well as working with more established artists. My job always feels new and exciting because there’s a constant flow of talent being discovered.
A highlight of my career has to be when I was invited to the Brits to celebrate new artist, Lewis Capaldi, who I’d produced and written a big chunk of his album. It was a culmination of several years’ work, so to see the positive reaction to it felt great! I also never get tired of hearing songs on the radio that I’ve been involved in, it really helps put everything in perspective and makes the sleepless nights feel worth it. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some other successful artists, such as Dean Lewis & Noah Kahan and to have written and produced on Number 1 albums… but I haven’t yet worked on a Number 1 single and that’s always been a huge dream of mine, so that’s my next goal!

(Emily) My biggest creative influence would have to be my Nan; she was an amazing artist and used to paint pictures of animals that were so photorealistic it would blow my mind. My dad was also a massive reason I was interested in photography because he always had a huge passion for it. Even now, I still ask him to be my assistant! I studied fashion at college in St Albans and I did one class in the dark room and fell in love with the process - it kind of overtook my interest in fashion from there.

(Edd) My mum has always been very musical; my parents would play musi such as Paul Simon, Sam Cooke & Bruce Springsteen around the house all the time when I was growing up. Before my mum retired (she was a local, primary school teacher) she would always be the pianist for school assemblies and performances. We had a piano at home and my parents were so supportive when I wanted to start learning guitar at school. As I started getting into the more technical side of music production, they helped me massively in the beginning when I needed bits of gear for recording – without their help, a career in music would have stayed a dream! 

(Emily) We love Hitchin because it has an amazing creative community and feels like the perfect place to start and build a family. There’s always something exciting going on and I really love all the independents shops and businesses that thrive in this amazing town!

Hitchin small business shout outs: Arabella Beauty – amazing salon! Fussey & Baer & Coffee Lab – great coffee. Next Page Books – great selection of books, which our toddler loves! Café 77 – Best burger in town! Flos Blooms – Organic Sustainable flower grower & Dolly Dimples – Garden Games for weddings and other events.

Photos by Em J Photos

If you'd like to recommend your creative friend or family member to appear in our Humans of Hitchin series, get in touch and send us a summary of their story. 

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