Slow the heck down

Sometimes we need to slow the heck down. Not just in our work, but our home lives, our social life, when we talk to others, when we do the food shop, when we're getting ready for the school run, when we're eating, thinking, sleeping... 

For me, slowing down when I am behind the lens is also important. Sometimes the pressure of the shoot makes me race, but when I've done that, I always wish I had taken more time. 

Going slower means better photos. I love to chat while I'm taking photos, but really, my favourite, and best thing to do, is to be quiet in my thoughts and my movements. Then I can find perspectives I may not have otherwise found. I see more expressions, frames, and textures. 

So when you're next rushing your children out the door for school, gulping your lunch down, hurrying conversation with someone because you don't have time, racing to walk the dog... Instead, take a breath and realise that rushing and stressing doesn't do anything to help anyone. Let alone you. And that slowing down is a better, more peaceful way to live. 

This photo was taken while I was waiting to cheer on my husband in his Man vs Mountain race. I was captivated by the parting of the mountains, surrounded in clouds, and supported by water. Such beauty.

This photo was taken while I was waiting to cheer on my husband in his Man vs Mountain race. I was captivated by the parting of the mountains, surrounded in clouds, and supported by water. Such beauty.


Ethical Hour

I went into my first Zero Waste Shopping store the other day, to buy a bar of shampoo - to not only cut out the plastic I use, but also reduce chemicals. I've been using natural skin care for yonks, but have recently stepped up my effort in lessening my carbon footprint, single use plastics, thoughtless purchases, and other things that cause a negative impact on the world - sometimes even unknowingly.

A quick click of the mouse to buy something from Amazon (click here to find out about their black marks), or a sweep down the supermarket aisle to take home a trolley full of throw-away plastic packaging. Or buying eggs that say Free Range, but actually that means that the chicken has to happen upon the tiny tunnel at the far end of the barn, that leads to outdoors... 

So when Sian Conway of Ethical Hour contacted me to do a shoot with her, I was really bloomin' thrilled! Ethical Hour is super, lovely business - it helps people to live and work more ethically every day. (Check out the portfolio of clients here). Living more ethically is such a hot topic at the moment - it has been for a while, but it seems to be really ploughing forward and it's making me feel hopeful. 

Sian wanted a collection of natural, candid photos of herself, to use on her website and for branding at events she attends. Her brief was foliage, organic and natural... so we headed out to Ashton Court to chat about her business, Hippo's laying eggs, and my witty comments to put people at ease (sweaty bananas, silly sausages, and other very dorky things that I blurt out - always gets a laugh though!). 

 

 

Being you on your wedding day

I saw a beautiful image of a bride on Instagram this morning. She had vibrant red hair and a delicate, vintage dress. And I felt like she had stayed true to herself, and was being who she wanted to be.

It reminded me about how important it is to be yourself when you get married, because if your wedding could talk, it should say everything about you and your partner that it could possibly say. 

I think it's easy to get carried away with Pinterest boards and magazine inpiration, that sometimes you forget about the real reason of your wedding. And you might end up getting a dress that isn't really you, or spending money on favours and decorations that you never really needed or even wanted. 

When I was planning my own wedding, I'd seen so many photos of weddings with amazing decorations and details. And I thought I wanted all that. But the nearer I came to my wedding, the more I realised that I didn't want those things at all, because they weren't a symbol of my husband and I, and in the end, it isn't those things that really matter.  

As a photographer, I want to spend the day taking photos of everyone's faces and expressions. Touches of hands. Hugging of arms and waists. Kisses of lips and cheeks. 

And when I take the bride and groom away for their intimate photos, I want them to soak up the hugeness of what has happened. I just want them to take a moment to enjoy each other. And I want it to be like I am not even there. So that when you see those moments in the photographs, you feel like they are genuine and capture the emotions you were feeling there in that time and that place.  

This is a photo of my brother and sister in-law - taken in 2013! 

This is a photo of my brother and sister in-law - taken in 2013!