LEARNING TO LET GO

I've had many friends in life, those who I still consider to be close to, and those who have slipped right through the net of life. The ones you think about when you see a Facebook post telling the world they're newly engaged or moved in with their partner, to which you make the effort to congratulate them by having a light catch-up - don't roll your eyes at me,

I KNOW

you've done this before! It sounds savage, being so honest about it, but I think I've finally become a person that doesn't want to hold on to old '

friendships

', because what's the point when you've moved on and so have they? I think you get to a certain age and it suddenly hits you, '

who are my true friends?

', you start to eliminate the people you no longer want to spend your free time with and focus on the ones you do. When you become an adult you don't have a lot of time for socializing like you did in school, it's a whole different ball game now.

In school you'd spend five days a week with 20 or more pupils, learning everything about them and who they are, then forming special connections with a selected handful. You were able to hang out after school, walk home together and play GTA non-stop until mum said it was dinner time. Now, I find it hard to switch on my XBOX for anything but catch-up TV in the background of a working situation,

on my own

. You'd be able to have fun

all day

on the weekends and be nothing but totally free, I'd head to the beach with a few of my friends, sitting in the sand dunes for hours listening to The Killers on repeat until it was finally time to get fish and chips, drag that on for a bit and wait for a call from my mum to tell me dinners at 7pm, not what I wanted after stuffing my gullet full on fried goods. But that was my early teenage years, nearly total freedom and no adult responsibilities. Friendship isn't an adult job, it's something we cherish and adore, but when you out grow your teens you start to wonder if you'll ever keep in touch with the people you had these memories with, or if they'd forget all about you once they'd moved off to new places. This was me, picture the scene... Just out of college, not wanting to spend another minute of my time studying, but watching all of my friends apply for University, getting in and leaving me on my own. It was a lonely time but one that certainly grew me as a person.

What else was there to do but think?

My parents tell me it gets harder, your best friends form new lives, get married, have a baby and then you only ever see them for the celebration of a new life in

their

life, another person to take them away from you. It all sounds incredibly selfish and very doom and gloom, but it's the cold hard truth. You grow up, learn to let go and live your life as is, with a close knit group of friends while the rest is history. It's funny how we think our school friends will be best friends forever, we look towards the future and imagine living together, holidaying in a hot country and being each others Maid of Honor. That was all I wanted when I was fifteen, but now it's a very distant memory. We all grow up and most importantly,

we change

, more often then we think. I've grown to love change and enjoy new possibilities when they arrive, this included friendship. The past year I've made some great new friends, and I hope these stick. I'm 24 this year and I want to make all the time in the world for the best friends I have today, and learn to say goodbye the ones that have left my life for good. I'm embracing the new and not spending too much time thinking about the old, as I think reflecting on the past can be dangerous. That's not to say I regret or don't miss my old pals, I very much do. But it's also nice to remember those times for what they are and leave it at that.

I'm a dreamer

, I often go into a world of my own and think about my life all those years ago, while looking forward to new beginnings. New friends come and they go, but I'll be embracing every one that comes my way and treasuring it for what it is, whether it's here for the long run or the short. I think it's good to enjoy it and if it loses it spark, that's OK too, it's still a memory.

I've said farewell to 'BFF'S' and made new ones, and I don't regret anything because some people just aren't for me. Life throws obstacles at you and situations don't work out the way you think they will. Over the New Year period a lot of people were talking about making a conscious effort to get rid of toxic people, the ones that put you down and don't make your life enjoyable. This is a good way of thinking, who need's a bad friend in their life when they have others anyway? And if not, will be sure to make some a long the way. It's best not to get caught up in these things and think about yourself, because if there is one thing I've learnt in my (

almost

) 24 years of life, it's that we need to focus on ourselves more often. We don't need negativity surrounding us when life is hard as is, it's all about making it  as much as a positive experience as humanly possible.

I love everyone in my life right now, and I'm so excited to meet new people and see what the rest of my young adult life has in store for me. Now's the time when I'll be meeting the most inspiring and incredible people, and I couldn't be more ready for it. I've released my sadness about losing touch with old friends and keep reminding myself that the best is still yet to come...

WHAT I WORE

SHIRT -

WASITE VINTAGE*

FLARES -

TOPSHOP

HAT - H&M 

JEWELERY -

BLOODY MARY METAL

& VINTAGE

A NEW ERA OF SPORTSWEAR

It's 2017 and a new era of sportswear has arrived,

and it's not just for the gym

... This season we've got new trends like heritage checks, bold colours and winter florals to name a few, but one trend I've seen all through the year is sportswear, I'm talking fashion-basics with a sport luxe feel. To me this is less of a trend and more of a new era of fashion, with people who have always worn sports brands being given the tools to make it more street-style friendly. You don't need a gym membership to be entitled to wear a pair of leggings these days, just team them with heeled boots and a trench coat and you'll be

so on trend!

I wanted to put this to the test and style a piece so it fit in to my usual outfit of choice, as that's what this whole sports luxe trend is after all -

making it stylish and street friendly!

That's not to say that if you wear head-to-toe gym gear you're not fashionable, but I certainly wouldn't be dressed that way, I wouldn't even attend a gym (

guilty

)! It would be rather handy to already be dressed for the treadmill after you've spent the day shopping, it'd surely save on washing!

See

, there are many perks to the trend already!

I've taken this

black

NICCE

womens hoodie

for a spin, not a brand I have worn before but then again the entire concept of this outfit is new to me. The hoodie itself is the perfect item to help me on my way to nailing this trend, it's sleek, an easy colour to work with and comfy -

plain and simple.

I wanted something in black so I could layer it all through winter and match it with my many pairs of leather trousers, it's the most perfect colour to match my already dark wardrobe. Instead of doing the obvious and wearing it with jeans and trainers, I wanted to take it a couple of steps further and make it boarder on grunge, because that's my signature style and with this trend you don't have to change your look to make it work.

HOODIE -

NICCE*

| TROUSERS -

TOPSHOP

| BOOTS - FOREVER 21

I need to be honest though and tell you one of the main reasons I wanted to give this look a go, and it's

not

because I knew it would be the comfiest thing I have ever worn... Honestly, it's because I saw a photoset of Alexa Chung where she was wearing a PVC trench coat and a zip-up hoodie underneath. It was a serious look that I needed to re-create somehow. Instead of quite literally copying every aspect of it, I ditched the PVC coat (

because my Black Friday purchase hasn't been delivered yet

) and wore a pair of shiny trousers instead. Without blowing my own trumpet, it's an outfit I'm very much into, it holds an effortlessly cool vibe and all jokes a side, the comfort level is quite high.

All in all I'm now fully converted and will be purchasing sweatshirts from here on out. I believe this '

trend

' will be around for the long run, it's a model off duty vibe and will definitely be seen on the next run of Fashion Week,

you heard it here first!

NICCE

has a wide variety of contemporary streetwear including some really

chic pastel sweatshirts

and

unisex hoodies

, so you could buy your other half one for Christmas and then wear it yourself (

you're welcome

). Not only have they smashed the outwear, but they've got some very cool

underwear sets and basics

that are just dying to be Instagrammed! Visit the

official website here

!

UN-LIKING INSTAGRAM



I've been having a bloody good moan about every single social media out there at the moment, it's like we were best buds and now we're sworn enemies - we just don't love each other anymore... On my Instagram I've been posting stories about this subject, I've even been tweeting about it, so it's probably time I actually wrote about it. Here goes nothing!

I've fallen out with social media, mostly Instagram, which feels strange because we've been attatched to the hip for a very long time. For a wannabe creator and picture-maker, an app where you can make pretty grids with your personal work on is the dream. Honestly, when I first came across it I knew it'd be love at first sight. Now, it's a whole different story.



So here's me about to sound low-key pathetic while I moan about engagement, tragic! As we all know, Instagram has changed a lot recently with it's algorithm and shadow-banning. Not sure what this all means? Let me break it down for you.

ALGORITHM -
noun
noun: algorithm; plural noun: algorithms
a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.


In Instagram terms, this means that images and users with high engagement such as likes, comments, shares and views will rank higher on your feed. Which is my terms mean MY POSTS DO CRAP. I'm only small, so my posts have never received a lot of likes, but recently it's dropped increasingly. When you've only got a small following you don't expect all of the likes, but you do expect something. Last week I posted a photo I really liked, but it flopped so hard I had to take it down and sulk about it. This is what upsets me most. I, as a photographer, enjoy images and the ones I take. I take pride in my content and when no one else sees it or feels the same, that's really quite sad. I don't expect to 'break the internet' but I do expect Instagram to not hide my content from my followers. I need all the help I can get to grow myself as a creative, and not having this platform to support me anymore is devastating. 


SHADOW BANNING -
Stealth banning (also called shadow banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community such that the user does not realise that they have been banned.


Basically, our posts are starting to disappear and not become visible when using hashtags. Instagram responded to this by stating that
'When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags'. OK INSTGRAM let me try and build my business without the genuine help of a fucking hashtag. I personally don't see any issue with using this symbol, I often search for posts using it. To come back with that is a huge bite in the ass, and it's users didn't take it lightly. 

I'm not over exaggerating when I say that every single day I see at least three people talk about this ongoing issue. My problem is that I'm trying so hard to produce work that I love, enjoy and want to share with my online community, but I'm not having the support or platform I need to do so. 


I am not on a level where I have a huge following and this doesn't overly effect me, I'm attempting to grow myself and my personal brand at the moment, but I feel like it's not going anywhere. It does make me want to give up, but then I remember that yes it isn't about the likes and it is a little bit tragic to get emotional about it, but then I also remember that this is peoples careers and one day it could be mine. In reality, even these incredible creators are finding it a struggle because they're the ones being paid for their engagement, so actually they need the views more than me!




SHIRT - NASTY GAL | TROUSERS - H&M | RINGS - BLOODY MARY METAL

All in all, the whole thing is grinding on me. I never thought I'd be someone who cared about this, but all I want to do is succeed. On a recent programme titled 'Celebrity Hunted', Jamie Lang (Made in Chelsea) has a break down about not living his life to the full and caring too much about his Instagram likes, which completely shook me. It's so easy to feel self conscious online and I believe a lot of people related to this. Jamie, I'm with you!  We are the modern age, social media and an online presence is huge, so it's time our platforms had our backs again! 

I have a little solution for this, and I like to think it'll help a tiny bit. I use Instagrams one decent tool which is the notification button, which means I turn on notifications for my favourite accounts. When they upload a new photo, I get told! So, I can constantly see what they post (and it doesn't get lost on my time line thanks to algorithm) and like the image. Simple. I'm still seeing my favourite content and their still getting my love. 

I know I'm not the only one having a moment, so I wanted to write about it and almost get it off my chest. Also, if anyone wants to make a new platform I highly recommend it, hell if I had the brains to make an app I'd do it in a heart beat!
 

A LETTER TO THE BABES OF ASOS


Dear all you fashionistas that work at the ASOS HQ, how do you do it?! How do you all look so perfectly cool and effortless every single day? Please, teach me your ways! I've been slowly stumbling upon every single ASOS styists' Instagram, granted, there are dozens! But, I've found a fair few and nearly every one has given me heaps of inspiration. Being an ASOS stylist would be a dream, one of my personal dreams in fact. Styling up their pieces and snapping it for a living sounds like my idea of a good time. I hear it's very hard and competitive to land a job with such a brand, so that's just another reason I have serious envy for these guys and gals over at the HQ!

The three mega babes that I find myself scrolling through up to four times a day - guilty - include Olivia Smith (@asos_olive), Felicity Hayward (@asos_felicity) and Sara Thomas (@asos_saralouise). All three have completely different styles but each hold a part of mine, so I adore them all. The chick I'm focusing on today though is Olivia Smith. Urban, chic and fucking cool...


I've seen Olivia frolicking around with pants similar to these over on her Instagram, both work and personal (@oliviafayesmith). It's clear these are serious 'it-girl' trousers, all they need are the Kappa logo gracing the sides of them or a large Adidas label on the front to be that extra bit cool. I can't pull off sportswear as well as others, I'm too conscious of the fact I can't wear an ounce of leather if I do, so I tend to leave that to the experts. I'd like to give it a whirl and experiment though, this outfit alone is a step out of my usual style so I'm not doing too bad already.

Since buying these trousers from Primark I've had a crazy amount of compliments which has warmed my heart and made me realise how boring jeans can be. I'm bored of wearing black skinny jeans every day of my life - so here's to me experimenting! Go me! I've also been told these wannabe Converse are pretty cool to, probably too cool for me to be wearing. I'm kidding, it's important to embrace what we wear and even if we don't know if we can pull it off, go for it anyway. If you like it, wear it - my favourite motto.

BODY - ASOS | TROUSERS - PRIMARK | CHUCKS - PULL & BEAR | JACKET - ZARA | GLASSES - ASOS | JEWELLERY - BLOODY MARY METAL & DEPOP 
 
As this OOTD is ASOS inspired, I thought I'd share some similar pieces with you that can be found on their website. Firstly, the killer trousers that are all over their website. My top pick are these Cheap Monday pair that are without the white stripe and more expensive, but absolutely stunning. They also have some coloured versions like pink and blue which are extremely tempting. As for my shoes, you can get the official Converse pair but good luck finding them, and for a decent price at that. If you have no luck, check out all the flamed pieces online. These Jeffrey Campbell sneakers are an expensive dream but totally worth the money and have even more flames to swoon over.

It's fun to experiment like I have with today's outfit, especially if you've got a wide and eclectic array of styles like myself. Although this outfit is different for me, It's still got an element of grunge with the chucks and leather jacket. If I stick to my usual clobber too much I find myself in a complete rut, so I've started being braver with my outfits and it's done me the world of good mixing things up. As cheese as it is to say, I feel free, I feel like I can wear anything and the care I have about it is extremely minimal. So a personal thank you is in order to the inspiring babes who don't give a single crap about what others think. Thank you, you rule!

ZEPHER FT. THE SHANTICS CO HEADLINE GIG @ THE FLEECE BRISTOL | 10.1.17



On Friday the boys of The Shantics came to visit, not only to see me (joking) but to play at Bristols finest gig venue, The Fleece. They co-headlined with Zepher, who I've written and photographed many times before - have a read! I was pretty excited when they got the gig as I've only seen them practise in their very cool and cosy band room, so this was a right treat for me. You could say I'm a fan girl of the band, being friends with the boys in general helps I suppose. Friendship aside though, these boys are next level songwriters and performers. So, me and Louis of Zepher got together a big group of our nearest and dearest to watch the magic happen. It ended up being a fun night full of tipsy antics and brilliant music.


 
THE SHANTICS |  YouTube | Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Official Website
 


ZEPHER | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

The night started off with a couple of local bands, but sadly we missed them play due to taking far too long to get ready, typical of us girls. We managed to get there half an hour before The Shantics were due to go on so we ordered in the drinks, took our positions and waited for start of Colour Wheel to kick in. They played a set list of songs that are yet to be released which sadly means I can't share them with you. You can keep updated on their social media like me though, I'm waiting patiently for their next release so I can add it to my Spotify and listen at my leisure. There isn't a single track I'm not a fan of so I'm buzzing to see what these boys get up to in the future, It's going to be one hell of a ride! Their first self produced single, Maybe I... is available to listen to on both YouTube and Spotify so you should add it to your play list right away. To give it a quick listen it's available on my music player to the left of this page, or watch the official lyric video below.


After a glorious half and hour set from The Shantics, Zepher made their mark on stage, obviously killing it. Louis has started to include a tambourine in his performance which I'm super keen on, his rock and roll persona when throwing it off the stage is brilliant and certainly gets me going! They added a song or two I hadn't heard of before which was a pleasant surprise, and after spending the night before in Manchester I think they were still on a buzz that certainly rubbed off on us all. Being the entertainer he is, Louis dedicated a song to the city itself in a Mancunian accent, trying to be a Gallagher of course. All in all it was a perfect night for me, sirrounded by people the I adore most while being entertained by the boys and their ridiculous talents.

Thank you to both bands for making it a night to rememeber, let's do it all again soon!
 




(Photographs used are my own, please credit if used)
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BAND FOCUS | ZEPHER LIVE @ THE FLEECE BRISTOL | 2.11.16



On Sunday night I had the pleasure of shooting my favourite group of lads, Zepher. This is the second time I've gotten the chance to take their photos and this time I was put under pressure by taking my first ever set of gig photos. I was thrilled to have my first attempt with them though, as I adore each of them and will happily take their photo whenever they want, which I think will be often after how happy they were with these images. It was a huge weight off of my shoulders when they told me how much they loved them, I really didn't know if I would be any good at this type of photography but I have given myself a strong pat on the back after seeing these.




It was so much fun getting close and personal, capturing their performance in photo form. The gig itself was at one of Bristol most loved venues, The Fleece. Home to many clubnights and tribute bands like Guns 2 Roses, The Doors Alive and Novana, sounds like a laugh doesn't it? I'm yet to see a tribute band but I'm intrigued at the thought of it, as it's not like I'll be able to see Nirvana live, so why not enjoy a night of their music performed by a look-a-like band? Sounds like fun! The night I attended wasn't for a cheesy cover band though, it was for their Night Before Halloween event which hosted dozens of bands playing from 1.30pm till later that evening. I sadly missed the other bands though due to working all day, but made it just in time to see the boys.

You may of caught my last post on the band, where I shot some images for their Facebook page and took the opportunity to write about them and share some of their music with you, but if you missed it you can have a read here. It was a pleasure hearing them live once again, this time surprising me with some new material as well as my favourite track of theirs, She Trouble. I pestered Louis a few times to put it on the set list for me and he pulled through! It's my favourite and a definite crowd-pleaser.

If you're heading to Bristol or happen to be a local then keep your eye out for nights on at The Fleece, and definitely keep watch of Zepher and their social medias for upcoming events and new releases from them. The Bristol music scene is ecstatic so I highly recommend a night of seeing talented bands come together to support each other and play the music they are so passionate about.

Many thanks to the guys of Zepher for having faith in me and bringing me along, I had a blast!



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BAND FOCUS | ZEPHER | 2.10.16



Bristol is a thriving pool of creativity, there are artists swarming the streets and musicians everywhere you turn. Since moving here I've met many amazingly talented people that make beautiful works of art, or can sing melodies perfectly while playing intense guitar riffs, just one of the many reasons I love this city. I got the chance to capture one Bristol band that made me want to get out and see more of what the music scene it has to offer.

Meet Zepher, a Bristol based rock-pop band that will get you singing along to their songs instantly. The band consist of Welsh brothers Louis Ellis (lead vocals) and Toby Ellis (drums, vocals) and guitarist Shannon Edwards, who put in a lot of hard work that will surely bring them plenty of success in the industry. I was lucky enough to hear them play at a gig back in May. This was my first time seeing them and I was instantly hooked. I find it easy to love bands that fall into the pop-rock genre as they depend on catchy lyrics and epic choruses. Of course, most of Zepher's songs have those in spades, which made it a gig that I could enjoy every minute of. Their stage presence is electric, with each member playing with everything they have and using up all parts of the stage (bar Toby, who sits himself firmly at his drum kit getting into the moment).




I met front man Louis when I first started working at my job and without even asking, I knew he was a musician. Creative people usually ooze some sort of flair, he was no exception. Louis does the rock'n'roll thing rather well, which is ideal if you're the singer of a rock band. Shannon and Toby match perfectly also, which means as a trio they are sure to put on a show. Zepher have been together since 2012 and have been busy throughout those four years writing and recording original material and playing shows around the UK. The entire band have eclectic music tastes and influences and try to listen to a varied and diverse range of music. However, the group's original material is, in essence, riff-based rock that relies heavily on melody and pop sensibilities.

The band used to be a foursome, so have created music with other members in the past. I got to see them all together but I'm excited for what's to come with their new, slightly smaller team. Having recently dealt with the line-up change, they took some time away to concentrate on songwriting and their sound as a three piece, but they are now gearing up to make one hell of a return to the scene with brand new material and a bigger sound. The band are also in talks with various studios and producers with regards to recording new music for an EP; release TBC. With all these plans in place, they are sure to come back strong and ready to take on whatever comes their way.


My favourite Zepher song so far is She Trouble, released in November last year. Every time I think about it, it's stuck in my head for days - a blessing rather than a curse. There's no denying it's a complete tune that has a memorable chorus and a compelling sound. When scrolling through their YouTube to have another listen, I can across an absolute gem that I had yet to see, a 90's inspired power-ballad that isn't just a good tune, but a great time for Louis's hair. Grow it back! Hair aside, the great thing about their videos is the high production value, which is rare to see from an up-and-coming band. Usually it takes a good while before parts like that become decent, but Zepher have put time and effort into their music in all ways possible.

Zepher work so hard to make music their passion by forever practising and coming up with new ideas, which was great to witness when having the chance to shoot them. The boys asked me to take some photographs of them for their Facebook page - obviously I said yes! I've been wanting to try out music photography for some time now and what better place to start than with Zepher? A band full of talented lads with so much energy and charisma to give.



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WELCOME HOME | 24.7.16



One week ago I moved out of my studio flat and into a four bed house with my three best friends. A decision not to be taken lightly, but a one to definitely consider. Since we moved in we've had the most fun together, getting up in each other's business and just having a good old time. People always say that living with friends isn't as good as you think it'll be but I can't think of anything better than to live with three people I have chosen to call my friends.

I wanted to share some of it with you as it's coming together rather nicely, I'm sure our parents would like to see what it looks like too. So, if you're into home decor or you're one of our rents, then this is for you! I've tried to link a few of the pieces shown but a lot of it is either vintage or not available to buy online anymore. Hope you enjoy this little sneak peak around our new abode!



MY BEDROOM

I left home for the first time last year and since then I've lived in four different places. I'll be brutally honest, life's a bitch. I've got a lot of nice homeware out of it though which has come in handy when decorating our new place. It feels nice to unpack boxes that are familiar to you rather than buying a load of flat-pack furniture with zero sentimental value to them. My room is full of my style icons and coffee table books that I've kept for years, and even though I've seen them so many times before, I couldn't unpack my room without them.

I've got a lot of personal items on display, like a frame filled with photographs and gig tickets that me and Kieran have been to which I adore seeing every time I come into my room. I've also got my vintage Arizona varsity jacket hanging up by my beautiful bay window to remind me of my mother and our family. You don't really realise how sentimental you can be until you start to fill up a room full of your fondest memories. I'm totally in love with my new room and can't wait to make it even better when I cover the walls in giant posters of Robert Plant and Kurt Cobain.



HOMEWARE ITEMS

White lantern - Ikea
Arrow cross stitch - The Cove Boutique
Cactus - Ikea
Cork Board - Wilkinsons
Clear hanging photo frame - M&S
Popcorn basket - Poundland
Pulp Fiction print - Parlor Tattoo Prints
Bunting - Tiger
Pegs & string - Poundland




The rest of the house is filled with tacky knick-knacks that we all have a love for, like endless pictures of our favourite musicians and vintage home wear like my ceramic pineapple that was once used to store drugs in 70's (so the man in the charity shop told me). Like I said, so tacky but I wouldn't change it, a home should be where you can express your true self and we've certainly let all of our personalities come out and made it the homliest of homes for all of us.

I personally have a love for home decor which makes having my own space to get crafty pretty exciting and makes my hefty Pinterest board worth all the effort that went into re-pinning the 500+ images within it. It's not quite that LA loft space that features in my dreams, but it's something.



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JANUARY PHOTO DIARY | 26.01.16



This months been full of spending time with my favourite people and meeting a few new ones on the way which meant it was time for me to finally take some flicks. Taking my camera out when drinking alcoholic beverages seemed like a bad idea at the time but when your friends are all good looking people you don't tend to get a bad shot, even after the drinks start to roll in. They surprisingly enjoyed me shoving my camera in their faces which was great for me, get used to it guys! As well as bar hoping in Bristol we also took a little trip to London (it did included wine in the evening I wont lie). So, here's January's photo diary for your viewing pleasure...



TIGERLILY x