It should feel like that but it doesn’t. For the last 5 weeks and three days, my life in Edinburgh has been a ramped-up version of life and reality. As anyone reading this will know (let’s face it, you’re a select bunch!), I am a performing arts photographer (makes me sound like a performing seal!). So, to go to Edinburgh from late July to early September may seem like a bit of a busman’s holiday.

Holiday, it ain’t!

Boy was I busy.

Understatement.

This year, I covered the International, Fringe and Book Festivals. And in much more depth than previous years.

It paid off.

Not yet in financial terms (I am still short of break-even) but in terms of 17 photographs published (at last count), 3 commissions (one of which was from the FT for a portrait – a first for me), one business meeting, one Leading Ladies shoot, one great new route to market for my photographs (thanks, Russell!), and innumerable contacts made.

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Orla O’Loughlin (artistic director) & Linda Crooks (executive producer), Traverse Theatre. © Jane Hobson, 2013.

Of course, if I was only going for this, that would not necessarily be enough to make me live in someone’s sitting room, filled with the other flat occupants’ drying washing, on a single, lumpy, camp bed, with no access to a bubble bath, or telly, with two heavy smokers (I’m asthmatic), one of whom worked days and, the other, nights, in an area paved with dog shit, for an amount equivalent to the entire 2 bedroom flat’s rent.

The reason I really go is, as it always was, to catch up with old friends (I’ve been going up since 1984), make new friends, see wonderful work, photograph wonderful work, and, last but certainly not least, to see my brilliant cousin, Tom Taylor, in the FINALS (!!!!) of the “So You Think you’re Funny?” competition.

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As such, it paid off in spadefuls. Spades-full?

I can’t write a blog post about Edinburgh without mentioning the weather. Last year was characterised by relentless rain. Even more so than usual. This year it almost resembled a northern version of summer.  Only a few showers, making carrying a deeply unattractive showerproof jacket and/or a brolly mandatory, but, largely, useless.

Until Sunday, that is.

The beautiful conditions promised by the preceding month were wiped out on Sunday, by the realisation that the wind speed was such that I struggled to remain upright when walking to the bus stop. The 40 mile an hour winds were sufficient to put-paid to the Mela on Leith Links, but not enough to deter the pyrotechnicians and orchestra from the traditional end-of-festival Fireworks Concert (sponsored by Virgin Money for the last few years).

My first experience photographing fireworks.

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Virgin Money Fireworks, Edinburgh International Festival 2013. © Jane Hobson, 2013.

According to the other photographers there, not the best conditions (or kind of fireworks, for great photographs), but it was great practice for something I don’t usually do. And I have such fond memories of seeing the fireworks from the 80s onwards that I just couldn’t NOT be there!

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Virgin Money Fireworks, Edinburgh International Festival 2013. © Jane Hobson, 2013.

Travelling home last night was an anti-climax, ameliorated slightly by the presence of a professional origami artist, making owls, coming back from an origami conference (!?) and a couple of prospective students and their mothers, returning from having looked at Edinburgh University on an open day. Nice chat was had by all.

And it was straight to work today, to photograph the dress rehearsal of FLEABAG, which opened tonight at the Soho Theatre, and was a Fringe First Winner just days ago, Up There.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag, Soho Theatre. © Jane Hobson, 2013

Same work, less frantic!

So, I’m ‘home’, but it feels like a parallel universe!

Actually, I think I have many homes. Home is where the heart is, after all.

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