Song of Exmoor - by Vikki Nuttall, Folk Singer, Songwriter and Professional Photographer
Vikki's musical journey...

"I was born in Brandon Manitoba Canada (called by my family the Prarie Flower) Dec 1948 in -48 below freezing, yup pretty cold! Canadian family, paternal German+First Nation not sure which tribe, maternal Irish+English+North European so a right cross breed! Family went over from the late 1700's to the 1840's."

"My Mother remarried after my father died, he was a distant relative of someone in England who's family had built and lived at Ashwick near Dulverton, that's how I got here! My song Journey in Reverse is the story of the sea crossing from Canada to England with a guide as I was only small. "

"I was given a fiddle when I was 5 by a family friend who realised I could sort of play it and was encouraged by him, he became my musical patron. ( Step father hated my mothers children so I hardly ever saw her ) I was allowed to play and have lessons as long as he didn't have to hear me! Changed from violin to piano at about 8 as there was no one to play violin with! Then I was given a guitar for my 12th birthday and a Canadian uncle sent over the Weavers Song Book with every folk song invented! Pete Seager was a Weaver...meaning collector of folk songs...and I was given a Play in a Day book as well! That was it. Never stopped after that. Played North American style folky music and went mad for Bob Dylan's music."

"By some mistake I won a place at the Guildhall of Music for piano and voice training on the understanding I did a year of ex Guildhall tutorials in London first...London of 1966....having been playing folk coffee houses for the entire summer of '66...I found the building of the Guildhall terrifying let alone the music and musicians. It was obvious to me I was never in a million years going to make the grade and I hated voice training anyway...so...to my tutors horror I dropped out...and never looked back as 1966 London was not me either!"

"Happy to play in folk clubs and groups, all but finished playing the piano and concentrated on folk instruments of all string varieties. Married very young, had a baby son Mark very young. Carried on playing! Son & I even ended up in a group together when he was 15! I also played in a folk trio..American blues style in the 1980's and a rock band very ROCK and BLUES."

"Then I gave up as I didn't think I was 'up' to it....20+ years passed and I didn't play. Then I saw an American acoustic blues player Bill Sheffield play at Ralegh's Cross Inn he inspired me so much, the next day I went out and bought a Fender acoustic guitar and taught myself to play again. My son Mark, & his wife Emily, said that I should be writing my own songs and said that I should do it 'right now'...which I did. The flood gates opened and songs came tumbling out."

At 60 Vikki now enjoys regular sessions with her Rusty Bucket-friends, and at various folk sessions in the locality!

Photography - this is as important as music in Vikki's life and here she tells her story...

"I made my first camera when I was 9, it was a pin hole camera from a biscuit tin and a pill box lid as a lens cover, I got a kit to develop paper in a 'dark' area and that was IT. I have been a photographer ever since. I never trained, taught myself. Sold my first black & white 10" X 8" portrait in 1969 and my first wedding in 1970. "

"Then, Black & White was the 'thing' I became a darkroom technician as well and perfected the art of sepia toning and the nostalgic look. Pretty soon learned colour printing, when weddings went 'colour', but I always put in my black & whites when I could! "

"I did a few years as a press photographer and learned the school of hard knocks. Went 35mm and Nikon in around 1970 but always had medium format Hassleblads for the quality work. Started greetings cards in the 1970's with some success. Finally, I had to join the 21st cent. kicking and screaming and go digital. Nikon of course. I have literally thousand of images on film and similar on digital now. "

"From weddings, portraits, animals, lots of animals from when I had a small holding, rural events, music events, sport mostly motorbikes, to scenery and of course Land Rovers.. because the world is Land Rover shaped to me!"

"My work spans many years and in the Queens Golden Jubilee in 2002 I had my photographs of the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations as well, the kids at Dulverton First School in 1977 dressed in Jubilee costumes, then, in 2002 I found as many of those kids and photographed them with THEIR KIDS dressed in Jubilee costumes. These are now an archive that I will donate to Dulverton one day, but I have not finished photographing everything yet.....!!!!

Vikki specialises in wedding photography, she doesnt offer "off the shelf" package deals, she will tailor her service to meet each couple's own requirements... Quirky, fun, challenging or unconventional, Vikki will find ways to get those shots to bring your memories to life for keeps!

Whether you are interested in her music or her photography, if you would like to know more please contact Vikki by email.