20th June 2016No Comments

Lights And Curtains

A new era is starting in my photography – I recently purchased some lighting gear. So gloomy days and rain will not stand in my chance to photograph anymore. Around three weeks ago I was planning to see my friend Natalie, whom you might remember from this post. We were planning to go for a spring evening photowalk, as photographers do but the London was being rainy and gloomy. We might have just went for a pint but instead I decided to invite Natalie for a cup of tea to play around with the new lights.

So we spent an evening experimenting with the ring light and changing different set ups. Initially we were quite bored with the limiting framing for portaiture as I didn’t have a backdrop yet. How many times you can do the same shot over and over again? So we started playing around with some more makeup and dressing up.  Would be so good to have a make up artist who wants to just experiment and fool around for this one as the eyeliner I drew around Natalie’s eyes is far from perfect. It’s so hard to do it on someone else, so don’t judge me!

All in all, I didn’t expect much from my first experiments with the lighting but I am quite pleased with these shots, what do you think guys?

27th May 2016No Comments

It Ain’t Mean A Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing

Hello! Today I am sharing with you a photo session with Siana Videva. We’ve got in touch through my dear friend Reya as I was looking to come back from my photography break and Siana started to look her modelling portfolio. We brainstormed around a different idea initially which is going to show up on a blog in not so distant future. However we arranged to shoot entire day and we thought why not try to spontaneously shoot some other photos as well!

I was very pleased to discover that the dresses that Siana brought with her were very swing inspired. To release my thoughts from the agony of consciousness I am listening to a lot of music lately and to relax my stressed body I started dancing. And guess what has become my dance of choice – swing! So the spontaneous follow up shoot could not be better idea:) I actually have a feeling that perhaps in not so distant future when the charleston steps replace my usual walking pace, I will be looking to do more swing inspired shoots across the entire spread from Gatsby girls to pin-up dolls and victory rolls.

And seriously, people, swing is so much fun and the basics are really easy, because the rhythm is so distinctive that even if you miss a step, it’s easy to get back on track. As Ella Fitzgerald sings “It makes no difference if it’s sweet or hot, just give that rhythm everything you’ve got”. So it’s probably a great time to start learning how to dance charleston, because in few years it’s going to be its 100 anniversary and I have a feeling that it’s going to have a massive influence on fashion, design and trends in art and music. Vintage always comes back 🙂

21st May 2016No Comments

Monika

Today I am sharing a photo shoot from nearly three months ago. I know, I’ve been very lousy with updating the blog, but I have a feeling that the good creative times are slowly coming back. At least after I revised my expectations. I just want to take photos. Good or bad, paid or free, I can’t live without them.

There is a story behind these photos. It was the last photoshoot before my temporary breakdown and I was really pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. After so many cancellations, lost weekends, months of bad weather and few hours of daylight accessible only on the weekends I started really pushing myself to find people to collaborate with. Around January I started challenging myself to approach on the tube people I would like to shoot with. It’s very awkward and I was very shy and afraid they would think I’m some sort of a creep. I didn’t want to be pushy, so I just gave them my business card saying “Look, if you would ever want to try modelling and you like the photos on my website, just write me a message”. Most of them never replied, a few did long long weeks after meeting them when I had a quiet time, so things didn’t work out.

But one girl wrote back to me next evening after meeting her on the Northern Line. Her name is Monika, and it’s the gorgeous redhead you can see on the photos here. We took these photos in dark grey February in a wooden hut rented through AirBnB around London Fields. Renting AirBnB with a fellow photographer and and inviting models over was a brilliant idea of my friend Natalie. It’s great for the winter months when the weather is cold and bad and you have nowhere to shoot. You can see her take on the photos among others, here.  During that day we also shot with Sasha. But I still haven’t finished editing that part of the shoot (three months! I should be ashamed of myself). But I’m back on the right track and that’s a material for yet another post.

I am leaving you with the photos and I hope you would enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them:)

PS. Looks like Monika is going to appear here on the blog at some point again!

10th February 2016No Comments

Natalie

This Sunday I met Natalie Kivit. Canadian photographer who just moved across the ocean to London. They say social media is all about hype but if for every 100th person you meet in the web, you get along with one, this is how the Internet friendships start and this is how you can meet minds alike. I’ve met for the first time in person and if it wasn’t Instagram probably our paths would never cross.

We spent entire afternoon talking with passion about photography and sharing perspective. It’s interesting how many observations you can share coming from a completely different background. Also that was a very productive Sunday when it comes to location scouting, you should definitely check out lovely Chelsea Physic Garden in London.

Natalie is a few years younger, after graduating high school, she decided to take a gap year and go for an adventure. This year would be all about photography, meeting people and travelling. She speaks with passion, confidence and determination in her voice but also down to earth practical approach. It’s admirable how much she’s going for it, when so many people her age are waiting around for a permission.

I am sure she will create many interesting things and it’s one photographer worth keeping an eye on. She’s currently publishing on her instagram and facebook. I am really curious to see where her creativity and advantures will take her and while she’s here in London really excited about planning some collaborative shoots.

Good luck, Natalie! Keep going after your dreams and don’t loose your drive 😉

1st February 20161 Comment

Simoni

A couple of months ago when I was just starting the blog (though it feels like I am just a rookie blogger) I decided that one of the things I would like to frequently feature on my blog was collaboration with other bloggers based in London. My first plan of attack was approaching some bloggers from the contact list on the London Bloggers facebook group and though the response was in general quite positive, unfortunately none of this collaborations worked out in the same month of August because all the girls I approached were away at that time.

One of the girls I approached at the time was Simoni, Cypriot blogger currently based in London, author of Fashionable Rose. We have been in touch on and off for the last few months and at the very end of 2015 finally managed to find some time for a photo shoot together.

Simoni studied Textile Design at Middlesex University in London and after graduation she came back to Cyprus and started her own brand of beautiful hand-woven textile designs. Her brand is called Simoni Textile Designs and as you may guess, the bag presented on the photos is of her own design and production.

We met in Kensington Olympia and had a lovely time talking about or dreams and work on our brands. Simoni told me about her dedication to building her own brand for over five years and I am wishing her all the best with further work on spreading her love for weaving, creating unique designs for each customer!

25th January 20161 Comment

Nation of Dreamers #2 – Caz Brett

A month ago I featured Ulrike Schulz the founder of FoundSomePaper and The Social Hunter in my new cycle of posts Nation of Dreamers. Today I would like to introduce you to Caz Brett, a digital product designer at the BBC and a freelance graphic designer. I’m delighted to share with you a story of this brave and talented woman and how she embraced creativity in her career.

I first met Caz a year ago in short course in Graphic Design in Central Saint Martins. Her balanced sense of aesthetics and quirky sense of humor that appeared in her design mock ups charmed me immediately. A few months after we completed the course our paths crossed again when Caz organized a meeting to brainstorm ideas to create a self published magazine. When I was thinking of people to feature in Nation of Dreamers, Caz was one of the first people that came to my mind. I was really curious how she got such a cool job despite coming from a completely different background. A few weeks ago I told her about Nation of Dreamers project and invited her for a coffee to tell me about her story.

We visited a little cozy colorful cafe at Mile End. When I asked ‘Tell me your story. I want to know how you got where you are now’, she began much earlier than I expected.

Caz started her story from learning how to write. She told me how from the very first time she put together words on paper, she became obsessed with writing down all the details of her vivid imagination. As a little girl she had piles and piles of notebooks filled with ideas, images and feelings. She wrote down her dreams and recurring nightmares. As she was growing up writing took a form of escapism for her. She would pour down on a paper all the things she found difficult to talk about. All the dark thoughts and worries transformed into beautiful and complex sentences as she learned and improved her writing techniques.

At secondary school, Caz won a writing competition; the award for the winner was to meet a successful writer and learn more about writing as a career. Caz talked about the encounter with disappointment. The author turned out to be an obnoxious, chauvinistic and self-centered man. That led the 14 year old girl to believe that if she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, she would have to becom equally self-centered herself. Troubled by the idea of turning into someone like him, Caz stopped writing. As this was her primary way of dealing with emotions, giving up her passion swept her quite deeply into a depression, which Caz would struggle with on and off for years. During our conversation, Caz felt it was important to talk openly about the chronic depression she has dealt with for almost all her life.

After graduating university Caz started a job in with a management consultancy. Her role was within business improvement, which was essentially working with clients to fix problems and make things better. She found that empathy and the ability to understand human emotions really helped her in the new job. Experiences with depression and feeling lost allowed her to relate to people. However, the initial excitement at the potential of her role to help others quickly wore off and she started disliking the job.

She told me about a conversation with a manager when she shared her excitement about being involved with a local theatre company. Immediately, the manager took her to one side and told her that it was unwise to talk about such things in the work environment as it could look like she was not dedicated enough to her current job. Situations like that happened every now and again when Caz would dress in colourful clothes or in any way stick out from the environment. Working culture in which the slightest inability to conform and a tiniest spark of individualism was immediately addressed as inappropriate gradually led Caz to despise the work even further.

It took several years to leave the firm, and Caz took a leap of faith jumping into a role in a completely different sector – a far more creative one. Despite the negative experiences at the consultancy, she sold her consultancy skills and joined a small team managing internal business improvement for a technical area of the BBC. Leaving the consultancy and joining the BBC was one of the best decisions Caz made. Sadly, in the first year of joining a new team – doing a similar job, but in a happier and healthier working environment – she struggled with a number of health conditions, and her health deteriorated. During a business trip to Ireland, she fainted, and within a couple of weeks was in hospital in a very serious condition.

The problems with health were really a breaking point in Caz’s life. Lying there, sedated and on a drip, she had a massive wake-up call. When she nearly faced death, she realized that she had spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to take time for herself and truly live.

Following her recovery and on coming back to work, Caz started socializing more with friends at work and took up drawing as a new hobby. Encouraged by a supportive friend at work, she started learning more about design and using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. After a few months she left her job to pursue a career as director of operations at an emerging startup The Recipe Kit. The job has allowed her to further develop her skills in branding, the creative process, and best practice when setting up a company. After a few months Caz’s and The Recipe Kit’s paths parted as she took two months break to fully concentrate on improving her design skills and learn the right tools. After the period of these two months she came back to BBC, originally as a consultant piecing together requirements and putting together wireframes for mobile apps. She quickly developed an interest in UX (user experience) and product design, discovering a love and talent for designing how people interact with digital products, and currently designs web and mobile products. At her current job Caz is responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from designing colour palettes, creating style guides, designing icons and graphics and creating copy and mockups of apps. She talked with a lot of appreciation about her current boss who gives her a lot of freedom at work and an opportunity to explore her full potential.

We spent entire afternoon talking about design. Caz holds an opinion that design is much more about analysis and improvement of what works and what doesn’t than just ability to draw. “That’s why I am so interested in User Experience. The design has to be thought through and intentional. It’s all about the process. If you are missing the process then you don’t really understand what you’re designing.” Caz told me that there is one thing she really understood about failures and feeling of falling apart after she was hospitalized. “People, very much like designs, are constructed of many little parts that work together. If you feel like you’re falling apart, you can always find something to put you back together.” When asked what she is currently working on, Caz told me about a number of side projects ranging from design of greeting cards to a secret technology project. Over a coffee we are talking a lot about social factor of promoting ideas and starting friendships to support each others effort in creating our ideas.

Writing this fascinating story and putting the pieces together took me a long time, yet I can’t resist the impression that Caz’s story is just right at the beginning. I can’t wait to see where the future will bring her and discover more exciting things she created. And remember, we may be dreamers, but only when we wake up and let our daydream become our life, magical things will happen and nightmares will pass.

11th December 2015No Comments

Nation of Dreamers #1 – Ulrike Schulz

Today I would like to introduce you to Ulrike Shulz, the first person to be featured in my new series of posts Nation of Dreamers. Uli is an author of a really cool website Found Some Paper, where she blogs about art, design, social media and above everything she advocates for creativity.

Uli comes from Germany and studied Theatre, Film, and Media at the University of Vienna. For last four years she worked as an Account Manager in an advertising agency. After graduating she wanted to find a job in creative industry and relocate to London. She approached her goal in quite an unusual way. Ulrike used Twitter to connect with industry professional active in social media. She created a hashtag #HireUlrike and asked people to take photos with a piece of paper with the hashtag written on it. Uli created a tumblr blog where she would upload all the photos of people who would support her job hunting. Her effort soon paid off and she was approach by Guardian to write a short series of postson searching for a job through Twitter. Entire campaign has drawn an interest from social media professionals who invited her to networking events. Ulrike told me it required a lot of patience, effort and doubts but her campaign eventually paid off and after 6 months of job search she was offered a job at a social media company We Are Social.

Uli is a bit of a jack of all trades. She loves art, design, social media and networking. In the beginning of 2015 she started blogging about the eclectic mixture of her interests and started teaching herself about art and graphic design. Her journey has led her to take a brave step towards a freelance career and a couple days before our photoshoot she handed in a resignation. Starting from January 2016 Ulrike is planning to take part in and Art Course at City Lit and embrace the freedom of being able to work on a variety of projects as  a freelancer.

Ulrike is an expert in social media, a fluent blogger and keen event organiser. These are only a few of the skill to mention but she has much more to offer to the freelance world. You can read more about here services here.

I admire her courage and wish her all the best in her journey in the world of freelancing!

And in the end, my dear readers, I would like to encourage you to dare to dream and work hard, because skills pay the bills and dreams come true!

10th December 2015No Comments

The Gingers

A few months ago I did a photoshoot with my friends Marta and Chris. We all thought it would be a cool idea to take some ginger photos. That was also the time when I lived nearby Camden Town, so I was really into the idea of to try doing some band photoshoot. Especially that a few days earlier Marta posted a snap on her instagram account that showed how this idea would work out brilliantly.

You are already familiar with Marta and her blog riennahera.com as she posed to my photos many times. Chris on the other hand is a real rockman, he plays in two bands “Dirty Notes” and “The Last Bugles“. He’s currently working on studio material which is going to be released next year.

The photoshoot worked out brilliantly and I am very pleased with the results. However, it had no other purpose than just experimentation to try new forms of portraiture. Now, I can honestly say, I can do band pics. So if any of you, my dear readers, is a musician in the need of good photography, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

Out of boredom, I thought it would be funny to come up the name for the band and entire playlist for their indie rock debut album. They prefer to call themselves “The Gingers” but perhaps it would be more appropriate to call themselves “Pie & Mash” as one of the photos could already serve them as an album cover.

The Gingers – It Wasn’t Cool When They Laughed At School

Side A – Brother From Another Mother

  1. My Sister Told Me
  2. Don’t Go To The Hairdressers
  3. Everybody Knows The Ginger Beard Is Weird
  4. Mama Tell Her To Leave My Shirts Alone

Side B – Sister From Another Mister

  1. My Boyfriend Is Allright
  2. Horses
  3. Wave Your Hair When The Sun’s On Fire
  4. Sister From Another Mister
  5. Going Home

As a punchline to my irony, you have to admit, that you could totally be able to find an album like that in the Urban Outfitters vinyl section.

The entire band photoshoot and album playlist is a work of fiction but if you pester Marta and Chris enough, who knows maybe they will actually come up with a song.

30th November 2015No Comments

Last Afternoon In Sofia

During my last week long holiday in Bulgaria, I could not miss an opportunity to try arranging some photo shoots. Luckily during my University times I made a lot of lovely friends that come from Bulgaria and during my short visit in Sofia I have been introduced to even more cool people by my boyfriend Ivan.

Weeks before I was wondering if any of Ivan’s friends would be up for a portrait session but then I found out that our common friend Danche, who also studied with us at University of Glasgow, recently relocated to Sofia. The choice was easy as she is incredibly charismatic and warm person. I have had a chance to see some photos she posed for from her other photographers friends and I could see so much charm and good energy on them. I was certainly delighted to find out she accepted my invitation. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with where the life has taken us after graduation.

After a coffee we too some photos with Ivan’s assistance. I will take this opportunity to remind you to check out his flickr photostream, he is a keen photographer himself, as you could see from some portraits of me on this blog. The photoshoot was really a lot of fun, throwing leaves and good vibes. I am really pleased with the results. If you agree, give me a little like on Facebook on this post or the heart on the end of the page.

I really enjoyed shooting with Danche and I am hoping next time we see each other, we will find some time for another creative collaboration.

6th November 2015No Comments

Hello Autumn – Primrose Hill

This photos are nearly a year old and they come from the first photo shoot I did with Marta. It was way before I even started a blog and decided that I really want to show my photos out there in the world. I feel like these photographs have such a strong autumn feel with the leaves dancing in the wind and slowly falling onto the ground. I simply could not share them at any other time than in the middle of autumn and as I decided to go public with the website in the middle of spring, despite their obvious charm, they did not really fit the mood.

Having moved around London empowered me to do things that I always wanted to do – find courage to approach people I find interesting. I didn’t know anyone around and making friends was a challenge on its own. I thought what would be a harm in saying ‘Hey, I like your blog and I take photos myself. Would you like to meet up for coffee and a chat?’ and I was right, it worked like magic and I started meeting people I already shared some interests with over the web. Marta was the first friend I made like this. It was last autumn at Primrose Hill and back then we created the photos you can see here. I took at least 20 000 photos since then and my photography and editing style has strongly developed since then. I was shyly thinking I would like to get more into photography and create a portfolio and a year later I have one I am proud of and even more ideas hatching!

Modelling: Riennahera

Location: Primrose Hill, London