All posts tagged “photography

lily doughball bristol blogger - photo by lauren jayne hall
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Hanging Out at The Forge

One of my 2017 resolutions is to take this blog more seriously. I have a pretty hard time taking myself seriously in general, to be honest; I chalk it up to that crippling British condition of hard-wired self-deprecation, which also happens to be the reason why I’m completely shite at selfies, and the only time I feel comfortable is when I’m camouflaged in morris make-up.

For that very reason, there aren’t many decent photos of my mush on this auld blog, something which I have been vowing to fix for a long, long time. The Friday before last, myself and some fellow blogging friends (Lyzi, Fritha, and Charlie) plus the lovely and insanely talented photographer Lauren hung out at the absolutely stunning Forge to drink tea and snap some totes Instagram-worthy pics of each other. Read More

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Travelettes July Instagram Challenge

Well, I am back from Glastonbury alive and well, albeit a little burnt and peeling. Ewww. Not to mention the fact that it was so muddy I was convinced I was going to get trench foot – don’t panic, I didn’t! Despite this, I had the most awesome weekend, saw some amazing bands (DOLLY!) and drank far too much cider. Fun times!

I like to think that now the downright unpredictable June weather is behind us, we can look forward to some sunnier days. My good friend Sophie writes over at Travelettes, and reminded me that today is the first day of their brand spanking new Instagram challenge!

Now, let’s not beat around the bush – I’m not so good at Instagram challenges. I began the #100happydays challenge at least 3 or 4 months ago and have still not finished. It’s pretty daunting setting yourself up for at least three months of picture-taking – daunting even for a photographer! Often I found myself scrabbling around at the end of the day to desperately find anything which had made me remotely happy, which kind of missed the point of the challenge in the first place.

Now, the things I like about the Travelettes challenge – 1. it’s only a month long, 2. it’s a summery sunny challenge, 3. there are creative prompts for every single day, which will hopefully help me through the dry patches of inspiration! The full list of prompts are as follows:

travelettes july instagram challenge


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Let’s give this challenge thing another go, shall we?!

I’ll be joining in and posting my efforts over on my own Instagram. If you want to join in simply follow the prompts listed above with the hashtag #dailytravelette and check back every day for other travelettes efforts!


Summer is coming.

summer is coming


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The Creative Initiative #4

This one is a little late, so apologies.

This weeks theme was ‘gratitude’ – I swear they are getting harder every week!

I’m not the most sentimental type, in general. There is a lot for which I am grateful for, but it’s just not my style to gush about it, or admit it even, so this was a pretty hard post for me. I’m not saying that being vocal about what you are grateful for is a bad thing, far from it – I’m just not very good at expressing myself in that way.

What I did eventually settle on, and decided that I am the most grateful for, is my job – or more specifically, the people I work with. You will not meet a nicer bunch of people; there’s a lot to be said for working with lovely people, I’ve had some crap jobs in the past and had to deal with all sorts of unsavoury colleagues, so working with these lot is pretty much a dream come true.

funny post-it notes

funny post-it notes

funny post-it notes

We have a lot of laughs at work. There are many in-jokes between myself and the others who work in the studio, and the best ones get documented on my post-it wall. Obviously, because of the nature of my job, a lot of the humour is quite childish, and often based around whatever products we are working with that day. I can look up at it when I’m having a bad day and it instantly cheers me up. Visitors often give us strange looks when they walk in, but no-one has questioned the wall… yet!

The theme for next week’s creative initiative is ‘dreams’ (another tricky one!). If you would like to join in, then the rules are very simple:

• create something in based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavour on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

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The Creative Initiative #3




I have to admit, the theme for this week’s creative initiative really threw me. It was ‘go outdoors’, and the more I thought about it, the more I seemed to panic, and eventually came to realise that, apart from my day to day work routine, I really don’t spend much time outside.

I’ve always been a bit of a hermit; when I was little I would much prefer to stay at home and read a book or paint something instead of roughing myself up on my bike outside. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love riding my bike, but in the dead of winter I like nothing more than hibernating indoors, preferably with a mug of ovaltine and a jacket potato.

One thing I do enjoy doing from time to time, however, is taking a little stroll down the canal path at lunchtime. I love boats (obviously, I live on one) and it is mine and Tom’s eventual plan to buy a narrowboat to live aboard permanently. During this time of year this stretch of the Kennet and Avon is home to a fair few narrowboats, and I like to take a little walk and peer jealously into the windows lamenting the fact that we don’t own one.

I am also completely perplexed by locks. I kind of understand how they work in principle, but the more I stare at their cracked and creaky Victorian working parts the more they seem to completely baffle me. There’s also something about their lack of water-tightness (it is obviously not crucial) which makes me even more distrustful.

Nevertheless, I enjoy my lunchtime strolls. I would have liked to do something more than take a few snaps, such as a sketch or a little painting or something, but my half-hour lunch break doesn’t seem to stretch that far. There is always next week!

If you would like to join in with the creative initiative, the rules are very simple:

• create something in based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavour on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

The theme for next week is ‘gratitude’.
It’s not too late to join in, and if you do create something be sure to post the links in the comments section so I can have a look!

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The Creative Initiative #1

The main purpose of starting this blog was as a motivation to be more creative. Working 9-5 plus a long commute means there’s little in the way of energy left at the end of the day, plus there’s always a slight fear of failure at starting a new project. Creativity and inspiration work in a kind of snowball effect, it just takes the initial leap of faith to get going.

Which is why I got excited when I was reading the ever lovely blog Being Little (written by fellow Bristolian Lyzi) and came across a scheme called The Creative Initiative – a blogger link up with a focus on creativity. The theme changes week by week, and during this week you have time to work on and submit your artwork in whatever format you choose, be it photography, sewing, pencils, paint – whatever you like!

The rules are:
• create something in your sketchbook based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavor on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

Miss Jessica holly in Bertie dexter dress

This week’s theme is an open submission, so I thought I would share with you one of the images from a shoot a did recently with a friend of mine – the superbly talented Miss Jessica Holly. It was nice to use the studio for personal work, and we are already planning another shoot, although it looks like it won’t be until the new year.

The theme for next week is ‘What did you do today?’ and I’m already full of ideas!

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London Zoo

It’s been a pretty hectic week. I went home from work today sick, due to something I ate last night. I’m not sure whether I should let the restaurant know or not. Either way I won’t be going back; I was going to do a post on it and everything! Not sure they deserve it now. I also got some long lady nails stuck on last night, meaning I can so some more awesome things with kitten nail transfers.

The most strenuous activity, however, took place on Tuesday, when I went down to London to spend the day working with the lovely team at Coco de Mer. Whilst on the train I remembered the last time I was in London was absolutely aaaaages ago, when me and Tom packed a massive lunch, took a train and spent one sunny Saturday exploring the zoo.

(I know this isn’t exactly good blogging, sharing ancient photos with you all, but I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself and remembering 1. sunshine 2. not feeling ill and 3. all the animals!)

London Zoo is pretty spectacular, if you haven’t been before. The most impressive thing, I thought, was the architecture – the buildings are absolutely stunning, ranging from the beautiful 1920’s red brick reptile house to concrete block 1970s monstrosities, to the Grade I listed old elephant house, with it’s green copper roof. I took the time to read the descriptions next to each one – apparently the shape of the roof is designed to mimic the shape of elephants around a watering hole.

Most of these buildings have been deemed not suitable to house the animals any longer (mainly due to the fact that animals need a living environment, not a concrete enclosure), so they sit empty. The funniest example of this is the penguin pool, which is situated right next to the fish and chip stand. The amount of people who didn’t bother to read the sign saying something along the lines of ‘this exhibit is now empty you can find the penguins over there’ was hilarious – they persisted in staring at the empty pool shouting “PENGUIIINS WHERE ARE YOOOOU?”

Another highlight was the monkey enclosure, which houses these cute little hipster monkeys, and is pretty much open so you can watch them roaming around being mischievous. There was a sloth in there too.

I have no holidays left which I’m a bit sad about, but I’m determined before the end of the year to spend another Saturday exploring somewhere, especially if it involves animals.

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‘Busfest’ 2013

Wow, have I had a long day. I have just come back from a very important shoot for work and I am pooped.

Anyway, here are some images from the weekend – myself, Tom and my brother went to Busfest (formerly known as Vanfest) at the Malvern Three Counties Showground; it is a celebration of all things ‘veedub’, a collection of beautiful splitties, t2’s and wedges, plus a massive auto jumble of spare parts. My brother has a type 2 so is fairly enthusiastic about the whole VW scene – I can see the appeal but unfortunately lack the funds to own a camper myself!

We had a really nice time mooching around the various stalls and marveling at the beauty of the rusty old vans. I have to admit I like the ‘rat look’ best, somehow the rust seems a lot more natural on a VW, especially one so old. Also the sweary gnome is genius, I spent a good ten minutes chuckling to myself about that, same with the little sign the stall holder had written. I think it’s the end bit which really makes me smile – “go on, sit on one!”

All the van talk has got me thinking, and I’ve been searching on eBay over the weekend for a cheap alternative to a VW. I reckon it would be amazing to have the option to just up sticks and pop off down the road for the weekend.

I’m going to have to do a bit of saving first, though.

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Memories from Budapest

Quite a few of the blogs which I read and also follow on Twitter have recently taken part in the Travel Supermarket Holiday Postcards Competition, and I felt inspired enough to write my own.

In January of 2009 I visited Budapest, as part of a trip organised by my art college.

statue in heroes' square, budapest














My photography tutor was a bit of an eccentric, so as a group we were taken to sights which normal tourists don’t usually seek out. I remember walking for what seemed like hours to get to a flea market which was almost deserted, save for a confused old camera salesman who was probably quite surprised to find his stall suddenly overrun with a group of twenty-something photography students.

We took the Metro everywhere – the stations are relics of Soviet industrialism, and are beautiful; it reminded me of something out of Thunderbirds every time we stepped into the next one. The entire city has such a rich history which is evident in the architecture, grand Austro-Hungarian buildings from the turn of the century would stand next to stark, bleak Soviet tower blocks built just over fifty years later.

The brass shoes  on the side of the river are an art installation in memory of the Jews who were shot into the river during WWII. It’s quite a haunting site, looking over the river Danube at Buda, they seem to blend into the scene so perfectly but are a stark reminder of the troubled past which the city has. We also visited the House of Terror, which was one of the most moving, humbling and fascinating experiences of my life, detailing the country’s Nazi and Communist occupied history.

It wasn’t all so serious, however. One of the best memories I have from the trip was visiting the City Park, round the corner from Széchenyi thermal baths, with Heroes’ Park just visible in the distance. There was a hot lake in the middle of the park, and we watched a dog swimming away, happy as larry, chasing the ducks floating on the surface. Every time he got near enough to catch one he would get excited and splash around, alerting the duck to his presence which would then, of course, fly away. We watched him do this for a good hour, and despite how dull it may sound it was one of my most contented memories of the trip, sitting with friends having a mutual giggle at the stupidity of one dog, while the dusk settled and Budapest descended into another nighttime.

All these images were taken on Fuji Velvia on a Lomo Smena and a Pentax K1000. The competiton is open until Tuesday, and you can find out more here.

Thanks for reading!

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Brunel’s SS Great Britain

I love history. And engineering. So Brunel happens to be one of my favourites.

After living in Bristol for nearly four years we finally got round to visiting the SS Great Britain a couple of months ago.

It was full of strange waxworks which Tom found terrifying, and I found quite funny. We stopped off for tea and bacon sandwiches at Brunel’s Buttery on the way there (as you do), which is a Bristol institution in itself, and most definitely merits a visit if you are by the harbourside.

What’s great about the SS GB is that when you buy a ticket it’s valid for a whole year, for as many repeat visits as you wish! Seeing as I have a slight obsession with the aforementioned, plus boats in general, I reckon that is most definitely on the cards.
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