Starting Again

With a fresh look, and a new life! Well, not so much a new life, but a lot is changing at the moment. Firstly, we are no longer living in China. We found out in February that we are expecting a little babe in late October, so we made some plans to get ourselves a bit more settled. Although we loved our life in China and our Xiamen family that live there, we didn’t see ourselves having a baby there. We’ve always wanted to be closer to family, and after almost 9 years together we decided it’s time to make that transition and move to the UK.

This also means starting again with my business. It all feels a bit daunting. An unfamiliar place, with an unfamiliar culture, and hoping my work and my style will fit in with it all. In addition to making England my home, I’m also working to carve a place for my wedding and boudoir photography, and sometimes when I think about doing all this stuff at once (not to mention growing a baby), it makes me want to cry/hide/nap/run away from it all. But there’s also a huge part of it that excites me. Driving through the countryside, or stumbling into little English villages, I find a lot of inspiration, good energies, gorgeous light, and places I want to photograph.

In light of all these new changes, I decided my online presence needed a bit of a refresh as well. I’ve been working A LOT the past few weeks on giving my blog a new look, and am now in the process of building a new website. I want a simple and clean look for both, a minimalist approach really.  I’m finding more in more in work, and in life, I want my spaces to be free from distractions and clutter, so that the simple, important elements can really shine through.  I have a lot of new content, and some of it has never even seen the online world. So keep an eye out for that all kicking off in the next couple weeks. I’ll be sharing it all over Facebook and Instagram.

This past week I was thrilled to have my work featured on one of the top UK wedding blogs, Boho Weddings. Karl and Nicole’s teepee village wedding was highlighted. I feel honoured to have my work featured alongside so many other beautiful weddings. Check out the blog here.

I’m looking forward to updating this blog more often.  With all the changes that are happening, it will be fun to share some of them here.  If you don’t already, I share little tidbits on Instagram more often, feel free to follow me.

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Tumbling in the waves

I’ve been meaning to do a bit of an update on this blog for a while, but every time I go to write one, I’ve felt like a bit of a fraud putting up beautiful photos of things I’ve been doing, and talking about how great everything is all the time, when recently, if I’m being honest, I’ve felt pretty out of sorts. I don’t like to bring things down, and I have been doing a lot of fun stuff the past few months, but it’s also been mixed with quite a bit of emotions and uncertainty. It’s hard with social media, because connections are always surface level, and Facebook isn’t a space I feel comfortable sharing really personal things, or the downside of things. And I know I’m not unique in feeling that way. It’s very true for many people, and a lot of times we are left comparing our “every day” lives to the best of everyone else’s. I’m not advocating people start sharing woes in a public space, but I think sometimes it’s comforting to know that everyone has shit going on, and it’s not all awesome all the time.

I was talking with my best friend this morning, and “the grass is always greener” analogy came up. I’ve always been someone who struggles with this, but it’s also so true. And I feel like I’ve been on both sides of the pasture and I know how deceiving that damn green grass can be. And even somewhat knowing doesn’t make it any easier, or make things more clear.

Life just has a way of knocking you down sometimes and leaving you with a feeling of uncertainty. I know how fortunate I am in life, and the opportunities that I’ve been given. Sometimes I just wish I had a chart to navigate through these difficult times. And for the most part, I think that’s where my best friends always seem to step in. But it’s difficult when you’re so far away.

So today, I’m focusing on keeping things in perspective. Being thankful for this time I have right now, in all it’s uncertainty. It’s not the first time I’ve felt this way, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s one of those down times that help make the up times so much more awesome.

I’ll try and make my next post a bit more upbeat. And apologies if I brought you down today. This has always been a space for me to speak what’s on my mind, and be honest about all things.

These images are from a VERY awesome weekend we had away. Camping on the beach and swimming in the ocean just a little ways south of where we live. I thought they might help brighten the tone.

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European Road Trip 2013

So this post is about 10 months late. Last summer we went on an epic, almost 4 month road trip, in a camper van around Europe. We had decided that it was time to abandon sunny Florida and move on to something else and while we figured that out we took the opportunity to do what we love most – travel. Of course, we took thousands of photos, and had really good intentions to get them sorted and posted, but then we got distracted with moving out to China. I did manage to scan and post all the Polaroid photos I took, but it seemed to take some convincing to finally get the digital ones prepped for the web.

While on our road trip, Eliot did an amazing job of keeping a journal of each day, and everything we did. Nothing too fancy, but just where we were, where we camped, and briefly what we did that day. This was to later help us remember which photos went with what place. For my birthday this year, he actually managed to make a map, using Google maps, of our entire journey, along with his short journal entries. So this prompted me to sort out the photos, and we then worked together to add the photos to the map. It was a laborious task, but in the end, I’m really happy we did it, and we now have a visual map of our entire trip, complete with stop overs, what we did, and photographs. Please feel free to check it out. And for coming all the way to this blog space, I’ve added in a bunch of our absolute favorite photos. They’re arranged by country, rather than order, because in many cases we dipped in and out of different countries, but if you head to the map you’ll see the order of events.

The photos below were chosen because they might have been a favorite moment (like cycling up the Col de Corobin), or a day that was awesome that sticks out in our mind, or a photo that one of us just loves because of how it looks. That being said, there’s a few iPhone photos as well. If you wish to see the Polaroids I took, go here.

England :: England bookended our trip, it was our start and finish, our home away from home. Its a place that is always full of family and friends but seeing it from the freedom of the campervan we got explore and experience it in a different way from normal. Spring was just coming and we could have easily spent our whole trip here.

Wales:: We were only in the misty Welsh hills around Snowdon for one night on our way from Bristol over to Ireland. Despite staying in one of the most bizarre campsites of our entire trip we went out and explored the beautiful village and met some of the local woolly residents before heading off to Dublin.

Ireland :: Giants, spectacular cliffs, friends in Dublin, kissing the Blarney Stone, endless rolling green countryside, windswept moors, the craic and the occassional Guinness. Ireland did us proud.

France :: Another place we could have spent more time. A week sailing with family and a trip down the West coast were never enough. Everytime we needed to plan another stage of our trip, and weren’t sure which direction to head in next, Eliot would always suggest we just head back into France.

Spain :: Gorgeous rolling hills. Brand new highways cut into the mountains with no one else on them. Small Mediterranean fishing villages, and meeting Salvador Dali’s personal photographer. Spain was spectacular.

Portugal :: We are lucky to have family here. Eliot’s gran lives in Portugal, and it gave a good excuse to go back to see this majestic little place. Hookah in Porto, cycling in Evora, and mojitos in the evening with Eliot’s grandma.

Italy :: Everything you hear about Italy is true. I’ve always wanted to go, but felt like there was a lot of hype around it. A bit of a cliche place. However, I am happy to put my hand up as being wrong. There is something absolutely magical about Italy. From the arts, to the food, and the culture, there is no place like it.

I could do a whole post separately on Venice ::

Germany :: Although being a bit difficult from a vegetarian standpoint, was awesome. We actually spend quite a bit of time ducking in and out of Munich, as we had friends come to meet us there on two different occasions.

Austria :: Mostly we snowboarded and cycled here, but we also had an amazing couple days in Vienna.

 

Czech Republic :: Munich to Prague with a good friend. Spent a few days in the countryside as well, hiking in a national park.

Sweden :: Our last big trek up north, before heading back to England. Sweden is beautiful, and definitely worth a trip back. Got to hang out with my cousin and her fiance in Stockholm as well as taking engagement photos for them.

And if you made it this far, you may as well go and see our entire map.

 

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