Open as usual...

Hello! I'm meant to write this blogpost before I left but I never got round to it, so here it is! You may or may not already know that I'm currently travelling Italy with my boyfriend, Mike. The plan was to not have a plan and just take our time to explore and do a few 'workaways' on organic farms etc. We started a travel blog: where you can read some useful stuff (and some rambles!) about our journey. 

This is definitely one of the crazier travels that I've done. Firstly because I've moved out of my flat so I'm technically homeless; and secondly we're not taking any flights so the journey is done entirely overland. We started off with a bus ride to Paris and now we've somehow made it to Tuscany. I had never thought of travelling overland until I met Mike in Cambodia- he'd travelled to SE Asia overland! I'm totally sold by this idea; I love train rides and we got to see so much more than just Italy (again, more on our travel blog). 

And thirdly- travelling for three months means that I won't be able to take on any shoots. This is not the first time that I'd done that. I think it's quite easy to fall into a habit of saying yes to every job, because why not?! Money is money. But for me personally to keep doing what I love means having a balance. I find so much joy in shooting weddings and engagements; but I also find it essential to have a balance in my work. That is why along with weddings I also shoot food, lifestyle & travel photos, it keeps me constantly inspired and excited. Variety is the spice of life!

Having said that I'm not taking on any jobs, I'm still in business. I'm still working on some weddings left over from summer, updating my website and doing some admin work. Wedding bookings are being taken for 2016 & 2017. I'm available through emails, Facebook & whatsapp so don't hesitate to get in touch! 

Here are a selection of photos from our travel so far.

Way up North ~ Stockholm

I haven't written in a long time; I don't feel comfortable writing in English nor expressing myself in words. But I need to write this down so that I remember. 

I feel exhausted. September was the busiest month since I have been in business but before I had time to rest it was time to go to the Way Up North workshop that I had signed up for. To be honest I didn’t really want to leave, I had so much work and shit to sort out before I leave for Italy, but I packed my bags and got on a 2.40am bus to the airport. 

This was the first photography workshop I had ever attended. Not having the time to put together any expectations, I attended with an open mind. So it turned out this wasn't an average photography workshop. It wasn't about technical intricacies; I loved the fact that no one mentioned what camera or lenses they used because it really doesn't matter. It is so much more than just that. 

500 photographers sat in a theatre, learning, laughing and crying with each other; it was quite a humbling experience. The first thing worth mentioning is that all the speakers are passionate. So frigging passionate about what they do, and I loved that. They all spoke with so much energy, whether they are extroverts or introverts all their characters just shone on stage. The talks were spread across two days and there were 10 sets of speakers so it's difficult to sum up everyone's message but the amount of people who commented on how difficult it was to go to sleep after the first day's talk is quite enough to describe how impactful these talks were.

I never thought I’d cry at travel or wedding photographs. To date the only time I've been reduced to tears by photographs is by a set by Philip Toledano called ‘Days with my Father’.  But when Ed Peers & Jonas Peterson told their stories and put on their slideshow I started welling up. I relate to Ed's images; having left home for 10 years there is nowhere I call home, I don't feel that I belong but at the same time I feel home everywhere. The borders are blurred and the possibilities are infinite. As for Jonas, it was the stories behind his images. The very simple but profound photographs. Nothing fancy, nothing more and nothing less. Each photo carries a little piece and together the set narrates a beautiful story. 

There is a thing that I didn't like about myself: I find it difficult to handle emotions. I seem to feel things a little more than I should. When I'm happy I get real happy, when I'm angry I get really fucking angry. The same with all other things that I feel; I love hard and I fall harder. Now I'm challenged by this workshop and I realised how much of a gift this is. Although it does mean when I get upset it may take me a while to recover, but I can magnify everything that I see and feel. I just need to find a better way of translating these emotions into photographs, into a universe language that everyone understands. 

Things I have taken with me from the workshop? To remember what's important. To express. To compose & wait. To curate. To explore light. To blog & share my story. To be vulnerable. To impact. To slow down. And so much more! I have gone home feeling contented, refreshed & encouraged. There are many things I want to improve not just for my clients but also myself, and I can't wait to continue this crazy journey with all these new challenges!

* I didn't take many photos of the event, because I was too busy listening/making notes/crying. But I did have a day to explore Stockholm with Nichola and a few days on my own, and I have fallen completely in love with this city. I made new friends, went cycling, got lost, visited an awesome photography museum, witnessed a fog storm, and was reminded of how brave I can be and how much I enjoy my own company.