The story behind our Bristol Light Festival heart photography

Heart photography by André Pattenden


Bristol City Centre BID commissioned André Pattenden to shoot Bristol Light Festival’s promotional images for 2022.

The initial idea was to draw heart shapes with a multicoloured light-up staff. Andre set off alongside Charly, friend and collaborator behind the camera, to capture the images. Although pretty, Andre felt the first attempt lacked the dynamism they imagined.

Rather than settling, this sparked the idea to achieve a heart shape using a swinging light instead.

André said: “So after a bit of mucking about in my studio, I worked out that a 3 image on-location triple exposure, stacked in-camera, with a mode that only added the lighter elements (ie the swung light..), comprising the background location plate and 2 carefully angled and positioned loops would create the shape we required but with a much more lively and expressive feel.”

Thank you, André and Charly for your incredible patience and impressive images.


Bristol Light Festival is brought to you by Bristol City Centre BID, supported by 760 local businesses. This year’s festival is also in partnership with Redcliffe & Temple BIDArts Council England, Bristol’s City Centre & High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, which is funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project and Cabot Circus.



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