Friday, May 25, 2018

A slap in the face.

I’ve been wanting to vent about something but equally felt pretty odd about it. I talk about my lack of body confidence and self confidence a bunch on here, how it effects me, it comes out in my work and I’m a pretty open book with no filter. So here goes...

In February I stared going to a personal trainer, it’s something I was a bit ashamed to share online cause I felt like a hypocrite. I speak about the need for self love, the acceptance of all body shapes and how all I wanted was to accept myself as the size 10-12 5"4 gal I am, but the truth of the matter was I wasn’t accepting myself, I was horrible to myself. Finding such beauty in everyone else and hating myself, that was hypocritical too. So in February I had a google and found a personal trainer and thought I’d give it a go with, in total honesty, one goal in mind, to lose a bunch of weight. This is what I discovered.

  1. I didn’t lose much weight. I was very clear that although I wanted to make healthier choices, I did not want to dramatically alter my eating habits, I thought this would be detrimental in the long run, so I ate mostly the same but had wraps instead of sandwiches and a lot of chicken and veg etc but still pizzas and chocolate etc 
  2. I still hate cardio. It sucks. I hated going to the gym (rarely mind) and do the cross trainer for half an hour (snore). But weights! Man, game changer. Yes I was worried about the beefing up, but honestly, you burn for longer, your metabolism gets a bit faster and yeah, it hurts, but you feel the effects more and it feels great!  
  3. After a while, I didn’t care that I hadn’t lost much weight. My body changed, it toned up, it slim a bit, it was getting stronger. I didn’t want to beef up, that was another thing important to me, and I haven’t, but getting stronger was quite...well fun! (Though I’m still a little concerned about the beef). 
  4. I have never worked as hard (physically) at anything in my life than the training. I puuuuushed myself, he pushes me, I hate him, but you know, also appreciated it and everything. I was proud after every session and you know what.....
  5. I didn’t feel as self conscious anymore! And why should I! I was working my arse off in sessions, why the hell would I beat myself up about my body after that? I was doing good by my body! So wearing the top that showed a bit of my tummy, fucking hell sure! I work too hard to be mean about myself now! 
  6. I still really hate cardio. 

Here is he main thing I realised, I figured out why I hated myself so much, and that’s because I treated my body like shit, it was no wonder my mind followed.

I’m a photographer, when I take photos I move around some, the rest of the time I’m editing, in bed. Yes in bed, I’m living with my boyfriends parents right now while he’s doing up the house we’re going to live in, that bed is my living room and office and everything in between. So I lay in bed, a lot, I stare at screens and ate, pretty much whatever I wanted and I hated myself. Well no wonder, I was doing nothing for myself and my body! The thing I learnt most is when I actually worked out, pushed myself a bit and thought about my body a bit more, I didn’t hate it! Sometimes I even like it! 

I still have hang ups, still won’t wear some things, but the difference has been so prevalent! Even if I don’t carry on with the PT forever (and financially I probably can’t), I will still work out. 

So my point in all this is, if you are happy with yourself, then that really is fucking awesome, you probably treat yourself well and that’s where we all should be. If you don’t like yourself, if you look in the mirror and want to scream, or disappear into nothing, then maybe have a go. I know the wonderful Carly Rowena has a Get Gorgeous Guide that seems brilliant, have a go! I really learned that it wasn’t about changing yourself, it’s about giving a shit about yourself. I know I sound like everything that used to piss me off, but who fucking knew it was true! 

I went in wanting to be thin, what I got was a slap in the face and the acceptance I always needed, and it wasn’t because my body had changed, it was because my mind had! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017


I've gotten a lot of questions over the years, lots of questions about photography, about what camera I use, about how I edit photos, what lighting etc, mostly though people ask me for tips, tips on how to become a photographer.

I just want to mention that I don't really think I'm all that worthy of advice, I'm not at the top, I'm barely scraping the middle, I don't know if I'm the best person to ask for advice and there probably are better people to ask, still, as some do choose to ask me, I will try and respond.

It's hard to respond though, I maybe get several questions like this a week and I know many of my peers, better photographers out there, they might get tens of questions a week, hundreds maybe, still, I wonder if they sometimes find it hard not only to find the time, but also to know how to respond.

I remember how it felt, when I was first starting out and I didn't know how the hell to go about it, I think I was tempted to message photographers too. I was happy taking photos, but yeah, I wanted to be good at it and I wanted people to want to be photographed by me, I wanted people to love my photos and I wanted to earn money from it and live off it! Thrive even! The thing is, it's hard from here, 6 or so years down the line, to pinpoint the steps I took to get where I am! I mean, I'm still wondering on the steps to get further still! So yeah, tips, tips on how, it's hard...

So I get asked a fair amount of questions...I can say that when people ask my what gear I use, I don't think this is the most useful information to get to know how to get further in the photography world...all the advice you need is in google, and the camera doesn't make a photographer AT ALL, their mind does, their knowledge, their imagination. For those that did ask, I use a Canon 5D mkiii, I also tend to shoot with my Sigma 35mm 1.4 and Canon 85mm see, pretty uninspiring answer aye! 

People also ask my how I edit certain photos. The thing is, that is not a quick answer fact, unless you're in the room with me and I can run you through it step by step, it's an almost impossible question to answer. Same as 'how do you achieve those colours', truth, I dunno, about 70 different little things, little adjustments that change with every image, I couldn't possibly say! Not cause I'm a dick, but because I literally can't remember or can't pin point it to a few easy explainable things. Most of the time it's not complicated, it's just usually a lot of easy things that I can't list out for you, you know?

The number 1 question I get more than any other 'can you give me some tips/advice on how to become a photographer?' tbh. I can't give you a step by step guide, there just isn't one, and looking back I'm not entirely sure how I started to get work, it just kind of...happened! Still, I will give you a list of some things to expect, some small bits of advice, not from the queen or anything, no no, just from me, seeing as some people asked...

1. Be prepared (and maybe warn your mum and dad too) to live at home longer than you might want or expected. 

Earning from photography is slow and hard, you will not just suddenly be earning 30k a year when you decide you want to be a photographer, most photographers I know luck out because they can live rent free (or on family rates) at home, which luckily leaves more time and less stress to shoot, shoot, shoot. Shoot for free, shoot for small amounts, slowly you'll earn more and this will most likely happen because you had the freedom to do it. If you're lucky and your parents will have you then stay there, at least until you can definitely support yourself off photography.

2. Get a part time job. 

If, again, you're lucky enough then don't get a full time job. If photography is really what you want to do and you want to commit to it when make sure you have time for it, that means not working full time. BUT you have to survive, and most likely you won't be able to for a long while off photography alone, so get a part time job for 3 or 4 days a week, or half days, whatever you can survive on. This means you're not crapping yourself over money, you have enough to pay your car insurance and save up to buy a lens, buy shoot dresses and, you know, eat and everything, it also means you have the rest of the time to shoot, whether that's free or paid, you need that time. Again, slowly you'll be able to reduce your hours so that one day it's earning it all from photography...but for a while, expect to have a part time job.

3. Think in and outside the box. 

So when I started I followed a butt load of photographers, every single one I would look at their images and wish I could shoot like that, so, you know, I tried! It helped me hugely, and I think it's ok. I don't think it's a case of seeing a photographers photo and trying to do the exact same thing, but looking at it and trying something similar, to grow and get better, to see if you can! Doing this usually ends up molding your own style which is important for getting work. At the same time as trying things you've seen, try your very own thing as well! Think outside the box! Practice makes perfect, so once you've practiced a little you'll feel more confident to try your own thing! It's just as important for your style.

4. Threehundredandsixtyfive.

Best advice I can give to a budding photographer is to start the 365 project. It's hard, really hard. It takes dedication and time and imagination and passion...however, if you stick with it at the end of those 365 days you will have learnt SO much, you will also have a huge amount of photos for your portfolio plus you also might have some friends who followed your journey along the way!

5. First shoot for free, then charge.

The whole 'getting work' thing is hard to give advice on, I think it's usually an organic thing, but if I look back, I think what I mostly did was shoot a few things for free first, then when I was confident, I would charge! This could be weddings for example, I remember shooting two friends (of friends of friends) weddings for free to see if I could do it, to be confident in it, to learn, then after that I advertised that I could do it and slowly I started getting clients! So start with free, then cheap and then, as you get more confident and better, charge more.

6. Reach out, make friends, join the community!

Because it is a community! There are blogs and forums and photography sites...hell, even Instagram! Find people near to you that are shooting too and go and take photos with them! Knowing other photographers is one of the best things you can do as a budding photographer. You can learn from them, they can learn from you, you can ask questions, you can find stuff out together, you can push each other and, mostly, you'll always be inspired! Comment on other peoples photos, get chatting and see if they want to shoot!

So there you have it, some advice, some 'tips'. I don't know if they'll help, like I said, answering these questions can be harder than you'd think, but looking back on when I first started I didn't know these things, maybe it would have helped to. I want to also say that It's lovely to get messages, I didn't mean to deter anyone from sending them, being inquisitive is so important to learn and grow, and if you do send a question I will try and answer and I really will try and help.

Know above all though that the journey with photography is your own. There are no magic tricks to make it all happen in a instant, and you wouldn't want that anyway, because it's all about the journey! If you stick with it, you'll get there, and when you do you might look back and not even know exactly how :)