What do you actually do? Behind the scenes with Tribe

I’m often asked by people exactly what it is that I do. Having a thoroughly modern portfolio career, my answer can be a little confusing to people who are perhaps more used to traditional jobs where you clock in and clock out and have a quite defined trajectory for life. I’ve been working in and around bicycles for about the last ten years now and in that time I’ve adjusted what I’m doing, following my instincts to move with trends and technological advances or adapting what I’m doing to more closely align my work with my passions.

One of my main income revenues is content creation and creative marketing and that can take many forms – it could be copywriting for brands, writing for print publications, websites and blogs, YouTube affiliation, video production, photography and brand partnerships. I’m 100% freelance but there are certain brands, sites and publications that I work with regularly.

Then there are sponsors who support me longterm, companies such as ASSOS whom I’ve been working with for several years. These work slightly differently to my other ‘gigs’ in that I choose not to work with any brands that would conflict, so we build a really good relationship that works well for both of us.


Depending on the level of an agreement, as an ambassador for a brand, I’m on call forphotoshoots, videos, presenting and events, essentially whatever promo work the brand has linedup then on top of that I promote the brand at any other opportunities I encounter, whether that’s at races, on rides or when I’m travelling. These partnerships have to feel ‘right;’ you really need to live the brand and believe in the products to cosy up with someone longterm and likewise, these companies need to trust you and back all that you stand for.

As I mentioned last month, my newest sponsor is TRIBE who make really tasty, healthy portable food for cycling and running, food that really suits my lifestyle where I’m constantly training, travelling and racing. So to get the ball rolling and gather some images for their new website and book (out in April) they invited me over the Sussex for a day of photos, video and chats.




I decided to take my camera along to film behind the scenes because, like I said, people are always asking me what I actually do and are curious to see what goes on behind the scenes. And perhaps there’s an element of me wanting to show that these shoots do actually involve some work and we’re not just swanning around all day doing nothing except air kiss each other, pose in a pretty locations then heading for a glass of Prosecco. Although there is a little bit of that!



As I’ve chosen to live in the west country, any time I’m invited along to a shoot, trip, event or launch I have to travel half way across the country to get there – it’s the price you pay for living somewhere nice I guess. It’s funny because I’ve been living down here in Devon for six years now but people still generally think I live in London – I think it’s something to do with having tattoos and a kind of media job that they don’t really understand.



Anyway, I digress. TRIBE invited me to Sussex for their shoot, which I was really up for as I’d never actually met the entire team in person, plus they were shooting with George Marshall who is an all round nice dude and mighty handy with a camera. After an hour or so getting lost on top of a five-hour train journey, I was really relieved to make it to a cute cottage outside of Rye and meet the team. Despite that, less than half an hour later I was in bed.. no, they weren’t objectionable people… we had an early start the following day and I was trying to recover from flu!

I got up around 6am, having a dodged a bullet with the sunrise shot – I’d been so ill over the weekend that I’d actually cried in Asda (yes, I realise now I shouldn’t have gone) that we thought it would be better to focus on getting quality riding footage and photos throughout the day rather than head out whilst it was still dark and cold. Around 7am we began shooting inside the house, grabbing some incidentals and set up shots of me preparing for a ride. Then I checked out my bike for the day – a bright yellow Condor gravel bike that we’d borrowed.



Luckily I didn’t put too much air in the tyres as our first location was a cobbled hill in Rye, the very picturesque Mermaid Street which I rode up and down several times whilst trying to remember that my brakes were the wrong way round; I ride with the back brake on the right, the opposite to most people in the UK. We followed that with a visit to the nearby nature reserve with its eye-catching black and red hut overlooking the curved beach of Camber, which is lovely but rather sad as one couldn’t help but think of the lives that treacherous stretch has claimed over the last few years.

The shoot was efficient to the max and we all worked hard to get the assets we need for the next few months. I was compiling an Instagram story of my day, shooting pictures for my Instagram account and filming for my YouTube video at the same time as doing a photoshoot with George for the website, social media and book and filming a video with the guys from Carillion Films. Days like these cost a lot in terms of planing, manpower and cold hard cash so we all needed to make the most of the opportunity.



George had done a thorough recce of locations, mapping out a time line of where to be and when as well as what shots we could expect to get in each place. Though this google document looked pretty daunting at first (we’re shooting in how many places?) the fantastic organisation was invaluable and we ended up hitting about ten spots before noon (I think).

My task was to ride up and down hills several times for George and then a few more times for the videographers, all the while making it look effortless despite my lungs protesting as the last of the flu left my system. And we carried on it that manner for the rest of the day.

If you’d like to follow me for the day please check out my video:



Stay tuned for the resulting photos, video and book. The book, Force of Nature is released April 11th – I can’t wait to see it!

If you’d like to try TRIBE head on over to their site and use my discount code to get a pack of six all natural products delivered to you for £1. Just enter the code: JULIETELLIOTT at the checkout.


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