A woman who has worked with global superstars including Pink and Kanye West has left the music world behind her to pursue her dream job as an animal photographer.
Jo Jevons (pictured) from East Leake, Nottingham, admits she was “lucky” to have been part of the live production team for a string of major music acts, but says working on the road for weeks on end left her unfulfilled.
The creative mum-of-three, who has her own dogs and horses, has always dreamed of working with animals and after taking up photography has decided to combine her two favourite past times.
Now Jo, 48, has become the Nottingham franchisee for Horse and Dog Photographer UK, her first role since departing the music world to have her children aged four, five and eight.
She worked alongside her husband Nick for two decades, touring and working with the likes of The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Pink, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera and Pulp.
Jo said: “Touring took you away from everything. There was no normal home life or routine. I couldn’t commit to having a family.
“I was deeply unfulfilled. When I got down time I spent all of it at the stables of the livery yard where I paid to keep my horses. It kept me sane.
“Now photography has provided 100% fulfilment for me and to be able to combine it with the animal theme is a great gift.
“To work with animals was all I ever wanted to do. I’m very lucky.”
Jo’s love for animals, particularly horses, stemmed from her childhood growing up in Cullompton, Devon.
She explained: “I had a lovely, idyllic childhood. Friends of the family had event horses – they were Olympic horses, the cream of the crop.
“I fell in love with horses and used to go to bed at night and pray I’d get a pony.
“Back in the early 80s land was still cheap in Devon. We weren’t a wealthy family, my dad worked for a brewery, but managed to get a house with a paddock and had our own ponies. We also had dogs and I loved having animals to care for.”
Jo left home to study fine art at university in Liverpool. During that time she met her husband Nick and the seeds were sown for a career on the road.
She said: “Nick came from a rock ‘n’ roll touring background. His mum was a caterer and worked with the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner.
“He got into it very young, initially the merchandising on stadium tours before deciding to get into the production side of it.
“I’d left art college and done a few different jobs but the thing I eventually fell into was the work he was doing.
“I started assisting him, I was visually literate to understand the demands of the job. I had an eye for quality control and could stay calm. We had a lot of fun but it wasn’t my thing – not something I had dreamed of doing.”
Jo called time on live stage productions to start a family. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for photography and decided to combine it with her long-lasting love for animals.
She said: “Photography was a self taught skill, something you pick up when you’re creative. It was a natural thing to do and something I could focus on when the children were at school. It ticked every box.
“Now my photography is not about creating sentimental portraits it’s more about the fact our animals can be our saviours and keep us grounded. I try to do something a bit different and capture authentic moments.”
Jo’s natural aptitude for photography was fine-tuned by Horse Photographer UK owner Sue Westwood-Ruttledge who founded the business in 2009. Since then it has grown into a national franchise.
She said: “Our franchisees are trained in all areas of photography and with Jo it took no time at all, she is such a natural. She always brings out the beauty in her subjects and has a keen eye for the best shot.”
For more information visit www.horsephotographeruknottingham.co.uk