Scarlet Page has been photographing musicians for over 20 years. She has been acclaimed internationally for her fresh, documentary-styled work, and her pictures have been shown in a series of exhibitions including at the Royal Albert Hall .

Yet it was only recently that Scarlet, 43, finally had an official photo-shoot with her famous father - Led Zeppelin legend, Jimmy. Her portrait of her dad is included in Scarlet's current ‘Resonators’ exhibition which features photographs of around forty guitar heroes.

‘Resonators’ is staged in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, and as part of a wider UK and future overseas tour. Amongst the guitarists featured are Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Albert Lee, Brian May, Hank Marvin, Mark Knopfler, Wilko Johnson, Jack White, Joe Walsh, Nile Rodgers, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Slash of Guns N'Roses and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.

Pennyblackmusic met Scarlet at the cosy cottage in South Oxfordshire's Chiltern Hills that she shares with her husband Tom Brown and their two young children.

“From the beginning, I was determined not to use my dad's name in my photography career,” Scarlet began. “In fact I had never referred to him professionally until I did the ‘Resonators’ project. And, even then, he was the 28th or 29th guitarist I photographed in the series, not one of the first few. We have a good relationship, though and I am glad I did the shoot with him.”

By the time she was eighteen, Scarlet had decided she wanted to be a professional photographer. Her French mother, Charlotte Martin, had been a top model in London during the 1960s and, after an earlier relationship with Eric Clapton, Charlotte was Jimmy Page's partner for over twelve years - until 1982. Charlotte had always been interested in art and design - she still paints at her Berkshire home - and it is from her mother that Scarlet believes she inherited her love of the visual arts.

“During my time at private school in Ascot I realised I wanted to do something creative and artistic rather than academic. For a short while I thought about becoming a shop window dresser or a jeweller, and it wasn't until I took a foundation course at the Maidenhead College of Art and Design that photography started to really appeal to me. I loved Martin Parr's work and admired David Lachapelle, as well as Linda McCartney whose pictures were fantastic. I went on to do a degree in film and video at the University of Westminster, and then joined photographer Ross Halfin as an apprentice which was very valuable experience. The degree was useful to gain technical knowledge but, once you are hands-on with a professional photographer doing shoots, making things happen in a very limited time and finding how to get on with all kinds of people, then you really begin to learn the key skills. And we were taking lots of pictures of musicians too.”

It was these early professional links with musicians rather than any family contacts that led to Scarlet undertaking her first independent project. This entailed travelling around the USA with the Beastie Boys, the Smashing Pumpkins and others on the 1994 ‘Lollapolooza’ tour. Subsequently the Verve featured one of Scartlet's pictures on their ‘A Northern Soul’ album and this really helped kick-start her own career. She went on to photograph Robbie Williams for various albums and his ‘Somebody Someday’ book. She toured the world with the Darkness and has worked with David Bowie, James Blunt, the Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Clash, Stereophonics, King Crimson and many more. Recently Scarlet has been photographing Spandau Ballet as part of their relaunch plans.

Is Scarlet ever nervous working with rock superstars?

“Not really, no. After all, I grew up in an environment with famous musicians around,” Scarlet replied. Then, with a slight smile, she added, “Though there is an exception. When I meet someone who I idolised in my teens - you never quite overcome that. For example, despite my best efforts, I was star struck when I photographed Duran Duran. Simon Le Bon still had that effect on me all these years later. But I tried very hard not to let it show too much!”

Over the years, Scarlet's photographs have featured on various TV shows and in many exhibitions. These included ‘Scream’ for Task Brazil in 1999 and ‘Visions of Dylan’ in Covent Garden in 2007. And Scarlet photographed celebrities including Mary McCartney, K T Tunstall and Harry Enfield with their children for her exhibition - ‘Your Child’ – at the Proud Gallery, Camden and the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Warchild charity. Plus, for the PDSA animal charity, Scarlet took photographs for a calendar called ‘Pet Pawtraits’, showing celebrities with their pets.

Working with children, animals and rock stars is not always easy! Which was the most challenging?

“Yes, I've done them all, haven't I? But it is definitely the rock stars that are hardest,” Scarlet laughed. “Their diaries can be a nightmare. You have to be patient and persistent and just get the maximum you can in their limited time. For example, for the ‘Resonators’ series they do all look quite happy, not jolly exactly, but relaxed. To capture something that's natural and real it is very important subjects are relaxed. If they are going to give you the extra something needed for a good photograph you have to achieve that. You need to cut through their professional mask and reach the more interesting person that exists beneath it.”

Where does the ‘Resonators’ title come from?

“Well, for me a 'resonator' is someone who is the leading light in their field, who defines their era and influences their generation,” Scarlet explained. “The 'resonators' are those who send thousands of people rushing out to pick up guitars for the first time. At the end of the day, guitars are just instruments - a guitar is always a guitar. But the human face of the guitarist is constantly changing and it is the people that I'm ultimately interested in. All the 'resonators' have given their time for the project which I am very grateful for, especially as many already do a lot of other charity work.”

“The photographs were all taken over the last eighteen months or so. Obviously, it is not an all-encompassing list, and I was amused that someone actually complained to me that I'd not included Jimi Hendrix. That would have been difficult since he died six months before I was born! One regret I do have is that I've yet to photograph a female 'resonator'. There are several out there but, just for logistical reasons, it hasn't proved possible to organise a photo session with one of them yet. I hope to remedy that soon.”

As Jimmy Page's daughter, does Scarlet have musical talent?

“Not really. I can sing a bit and like music but I don't play any instruments now. My seven year old daughter may be more musical; we'll see. The hard-living rock 'n' roll lifestyle never appealed to me either. I never took drugs or drank much. Anyway, it would have been hard to compete with the over-indulgence of my parents' generation of musicians, wouldn't it?”

“My husband is a guitarist but he works in IT these days - a proper job. So this isn't an especially musical household, really. We love our country lifestyle, walking in the woods locally, spotting all the wildlife. The children are just getting a bit interested in horses now too. And there's a kayaking school not far away. When I have a moment I gather acorns and sycamore locally and make jewellery from them which I enjoy. You know, I spent my very early childhood living in Pangbourne near here. Later we were in Sussex, Surrey, Windsor and London, but it is so good to be back in this area again - though I do wish the bus services were a bit more frequent.”

What are Scarlet's future plans?

“I want to arrange more venues for ‘Resonators’ and hope to take the exhibition to the USA - ideally with the involvement of some sponsors. I also hope to add more 'resonators' photograph too – definitely including a girl! We are producing a limited edition large format ‘Resonators’ book, with over 120 exclusive new portraits of top guitarists alongside the stories behind each picture. There will be Deluxe and Collector editions, individually numbered and signed. The books are priced from £250, and some of the proceeds will benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust.”

“Beyond that, I hope just to continue with my photographic work. Digitalisation of photography has changed things a lot. People now expect everything instantly, and suddenly there are gazillions of people trying to be photographers. I'm told the most popular A-level subject in many schools is now Photography! It is still a fun occupation but all these changes mean it isn't as lucrative as it once was, so it isn't necessarily the wisest career choice for many. Personally, though, I still can't think of anything I'd rather do for a living. It has been brilliant right from the beginning.”


All photographs are by Scaret Page and are of 1. Scarlet Page 2. Scarlet Page with Slash (formerly of Guns 'N Roses) 3. Paul McCartney 4. Jimmy Page.













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