Photograph

Album: x (2014)
Charted: 15 10

Songfacts®:

  • Sheeran co-penned the song with Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid in a hotel room in Kansas. The pair wrote together while Sheeran supported the band on the North American leg of the band's Fallen Empires Tour in 2012. Five of the tunes they penned made it onto x, (six on the deluxe version).
  • Sheeran recalled the story of the song during a Spotify track by track:

    "He (McDaid) had a loop of this piano piece just going on and on. I was sat on the floor making a Lego X-Wing Fighter to give to his sister for a charity auction and this piano loop keeps playing, and I start singing a line and the song kind of unraveled from there. We sat for about four hours, me making Lego, and him on the laptop, just building stuff and then I picked up a guitar and we properly structured it."
  • Sheeran described this cut about the pain of love when you're separated from your sweetheart to The Daily Telegraph as his "collateral" song. "If the rest of the album is s--t we can sell it on this one," he explained.
  • Ed Sheeran thought he wrote "Photograph" on 6th Street in Denver, Colorado, so he got a tattoo saying "6 ST." But when he returned to the location, he learned that the street was actually 6th Avenue.
  • The Emil Nava directed music video features footage taken from old family home movies of Ed Sheeran. The clip takes viewers on a journey through the singer's life from a tiny baby and a little kid playing various instruments to a teenager on his guitar and the present day performing in front of huge crowds.

    Sheeran told Billboard magazine why he chose to go down such a personal route for the video. "A couple of reasons, I had no time to shoot an actual video, and two I was sitting at home at Christmas and my dad had found all the old footage and had it turned into DVDs for our Christmas present and we were looking through them and I thought 'that's amazing stuff," he explained. "We were making a big documentary and so I asked if I could use some of that, and then looking at it I thought this could work for a music video as it was going chronologically so it's cool."
  • The song features on the soundtrack of the romantic drama movie Me Before You. The film is based on the best-selling book by Jojo Moyes.
  • The two songwriters who penned UK X Factor season 10 winner Matt Cardle's 2011 track "Amazing" sued Ed Sheeran for allegedly lifting their melody, rhythm and more for this song. Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard claimed in their lawsuit that "the songs' similarities reach the very essence of the work." The pair added the choruses of both tracks share 39 identical notes, "in pitch, rhythmic duration and placement in the measure."

    The lawsuit continued: "The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement, and are in fact striking. The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody, and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that 'Photograph' copies 'Amazing.'"

    Ed Sheeran came to an agreement over the lawsuit with Harrington and Leonard in early April 2017.
  • Australian singer Jessica Mauboy covered this for The Secret Daughter: Songs from the Original TV Series, the soundtrack to the 2016 Australian miniseries of the same name. The LP debuted at #1 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart.

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