17 Things I've Learnt So Far in 2017


In words spoken by Kylie Jenner, 2016 was the year of realising things and oh boy yes it was but 2017 has opened my eyes to the world and made me think about things a lot more than usual. It's been a weird year already and we're not even halfway through. It's been a rollercoaster, it's had the best and the worst of times all mixed together. I can't put into words what my life is like right now but here's some things I've realised this year so far...

1. Taking a leap of faith towards your dream career is challenging. Taking a massive jump into self employed life has been hard, I can't quite come to terms with the fact that I've actually done it and it doesn't seem real at all. All that said, it's liberating, I feel stronger than I ever could've dreamed and I've never been happier.

2. Don't let the energy of a bad breakup get you down. Focus all that energy into making a better version of yourself and follow your dreams. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Moving out is huge and it really should be thought through a lot more than I did but on the other hand moving home in defeat isn't too bad either. It's not something anyone ever wants to do but family are always there at the end of the day.

4. Just because your path in life is different doesn't mean you're lost. It's good to be different, you own that shit, be a boss. 

5. I am too emotionally attached to chicken nuggets, I realised this after I cried in the middle of the road at 1am after I dropped my nuggets. 

6. Falling in love with my work and my photography is hands down the best thing I've ever done. It sets my soul on fire and I'm pretty sure my camera's never gonna turn round and tell me it doesn't love me. As long as I've got a camera in hand I don't think you'll ever catch me without a smile on my face.

7. I don't have my shit together, my online persona puts across a front that I'm bossing life when in reality I'm not but that's okay. It's overrated to have your shit together anyway.

8. Support your friends in every way you can, especially your creative friends. Self employed life ain't easy kids! Go to a show, buy some art, pay for your photos. Remember your favourite bands/photographers/artists were all locals to somebody, support local creatives. 

9. There is a massive issue with gender in all industries but especially the music industry. I am forever being offered specific work or tours with bands to then later be rejected because of my gender. Sexism is real folks. 

10. It's nobody else's business how you spend your hard earned money. Buying something expensive doesn't mean you're not relatable anymore, you just like nice things. If you can afford them then what's the problem? Buy that designer handbag, book that trip to the Maldives, spend £4k+ on a camera, you do you babes.

11. I realised I have to do my own tax return this year and I already want to die. Send help and chocolate and copious amounts of wine.

12. I am the queen of overworking myself until I'm too ill to work. I need to learn to take a break before my eyes go square from staring at a screen all day.

13.  When people ask you what you do, "I shoot people for a living" is never a good answer. It's funny though.

14. If you don't ask, you don't get. Contact people, make friends, network, get your brand out there!

15. Pizza and cocktails are always a good idea.

16. Travelling the world is really cool, even if it's just to a new town in your own country. I can't wait for more adventures in the rest of 2017, especially exploring so many new cities in the UK whilst touring with bands.

17. My job is no where near as easy as people think it is. I am forever explaining to people that it's not all travelling around and happy snapping. There's lots of late nights, early mornings, bad lighting, stressful shoots with impatient people, chasing invoices and a hell of a lot of junk food. There's only so much junk food you can eat before you start craving vegetables. 

I Work In A Sexist Industry


I've been thinking a lot about this post lately. I wasn't going to write it because seriously, what's new? Sexism is everywhere. It's a predominant feature in so many industries, I'm not saying we haven't come a long way with sexism because oh boy we have but it's something I've experienced a lot over the past few months.

I'm a photographer. I mainly shoot bands but I dabble into a bit of sport here and there. I guess, yeah they're not the typical girly types of photography but then what would you class as a 'girly' type of photography? Fashion? I don't think so, the majority of my favourite fashion photographers are male. The majority of my favourite photographers in the industry are male full stop. I'm not saying there is a lack of female photographers because there's not, they're everywhere and they're incredibly talented. 

I work with so many great bands, venues and promotors on a weekly basis so I'm not going to disclose venues/bands/promoters in this post because I'm not here to attack people, I'm just here to talk about a taboo subject that really isn't talked about enough. We're in 2017 guys, why is sexism still a thing. A while ago, I went to shoot a gig, like I do most weeks, it's my job, I'm used to it. The majority of the time there's a pretty even split of male and female photographers in a photo pit and more often than not it will be more males than females, this never bothers me. For this particular show I was the only female, I thought nothing of it at all, no matter who I'm shooting alongside, I'll always respect people's space and just have general photographer etiquette. Unfortunately this is not what the others in the pit thought, I was physically pushed out of the way multiple times when I'd just jumped into a spot for 5 seconds to get a shot, I wasn't in anyone's way, I wasn't ruining a shot and as I said I would've been there for 5 seconds and moved again. This meant someone went out of their way to try and ruin my evening/shots/potential client work. I was disheartened to say the least.

I questioned the photographer after the band played to get the response that I was 'just a girl' and 'my shots didn't matter because I was female so couldn't be shooting for anyone respectable'. I was disgusted by what I had heard and spent the rest of the night trying to avoid contact with anyone in the pit and left as soon as I'd got my shots. I love going to gigs, I am a music person, I never ever leave gigs early. Why did someone think it was ok to treat me differently because of my gender? Luckily I went home and my shots were good enough to send back to the client but what if I'd got home and they weren't? How could someone who knows how hard it is in the photography industry, try and ruin someone else's work just because we don't have the same body parts? 

I recently toured with a band. An all male band. To me, this was completely normal. To others, not so much. I had various people make comments about it, claiming that I must be sleeping with one of the band to land a tour with them. Why can't people just accept the fact that there are talented female creatives that people want to work with for other reasons than the fact that they've got boobs and a vagina? 

I've just started shooting sport, especially football. It's a hobby of mine as I'm an avid football fan. It's photography that I do for fun to take myself away from my work. I turned up to a match a couple of days ago for a steward to refuse me pitch side access, even though I was wearing a high vis that specifically said photographer on the back of it. His words were 'you can't possibly be a photographer'. I'm sure you can imagine how shocked I was stood there, camera in hand, as all the other photographers made there way pitch side. All male, may I add. Like I'd really turn up and make my own high vis photographer vest to try and get access to a local town game. Luckily this was all solved quickly by the media team and was put down to a 'misunderstanding in communication'. Major eye roll.

Who gets to decide what a photographer looks like? Who makes the call on what a typical 'female' style of photography is? We are all different as creatives. I like bands and football. Some girls like fashion and landscapes. Who cares? At the end of the day we're all creatives who absolutely adore what we're capturing so why should gender come in to it? 

I'm not the first one to experience this in the music industry and I'm sure I won't be the last. Creeper's Hannah Greenwood experienced sexism last year whilst on tour and wrote a post about it which you can read here

Also Alice Hadden, a brilliant female music photographer that I follow closely and founder of VINLYNOISEBLOG, wrote about her experience;

"Personally, I've definitely had my fair share of dealing with sexism in this industry. Whether it's being referred to as a groupie whilst on tour/at a gig; having to prove myself as a good photographer purely because of my gender or simply being patronised because I'm a young female aspiring to do this job that some people don't see my gender pursuing.
Most recently, I was at a Circa Waves show at the Barrowlands, Glasgow in March and despite it being an incredible show, this was the first time I was on the end of sexist remarks. The comments made were about the fact that I was the only female photographer in a team of around six photographers - something I never pay much attention to - and the jokes were about my "lack of talent" as a photographer because I was "competing" with all males. Whilst I didn't take this to heart (because I don't believe my gender should ever come between a job), I feel this issue needs to be spoken about on a greater scale because had this been a couple years ago when I was sixteen and just starting out, I don't know if I would've continued."

Female photographers are absolutely killing it in every single aspect of the industry and I'm so proud of every single female that works in a sexist industry. You're absolutely smashing it, continue to do you babes. Fuck everyone else. We will fight the stigma. 

My Camera Set Up For Blog Photos


I'm a photographer, I think that's pretty common knowledge to everyone now. I work in the music industry predominately but also shoot events/sports/literally anything else you could ever think of when the time calls! In blogging, photography is everything. The better the photos, the more attracted people are to your blog. Aesthetically pleasing photos are the rage so I thought I'd share my current camera set up for my blog photos and what my next few purchases will be to broaden my collection.

I shoot on a Canon 6D, buying this camera has changed my life completely but I have to say that the lenses are more important than the body by far. I would much rather invest in a good set of lenses before a good body. The 6D is a full frame camera which just means the point of view isn't cropped like it is in every other body except the 5D and 1D series. Basically if you have a cropped sensor, then your lenses will be more zoomed in than they will on a full frame. It doesn't really make a difference as such, it's only something I've noticed since taking my photography professionally. I shot perfectly fine on a 600D and I would recommend the 700D to anyone that's looking to buy their first DSLR on a smaller budget! 

I own a variety of lenses, all made by Canon. I'm not a Canon lover as such, if you use Nikon, that's great, if you use Sony, that's great too! I'm not overly loyal to a company but why fix something that ain't broke? As I shoot lots of different events I have to own a range but for blogging I use only use one lens at the moment. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is my ultimate holy grail lens. The lower the aperture the greater the depth of field, which is what creates that dream blurred background that everyone wishes for. I must admit it does make photos 10 times prettier.

I often get asked if I use an additional lighting for my photos, which I don't, but I want to break the stigma of using studio lighting. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. If you know how to use studio lighting, it's great, you can achieve that daytime look so easily and nobody will ever know you took those photos at 2am because you couldn't sleep and your brain wouldn't stop thinking about photos. I get that people like to shoot using natural lighting because it's the thing people rave about the most in the blogging world to achieve the best photos but studio lights could change your life. Also, never use your on camera flash to take your blog photos. Please, never do. 

My list of things to add to my camera kit is never ending but there's a few things I want to add specifically related to blogging. As I used to own a cropped sensor camera, my 50mm was a lot more cropped and I got used to shooting in that frame with it. Now that I own a full frame, I still love the 50mm but I want to invest in an 85mm for portraits and fashion photography. I've got my eye on the Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4 as it's being reviewed as the best of the best at the moment, they're consistently sharp and I fall in love with every photo I see taken with one. Sigma are pulling it out of the bag with their Art lenses and the f/1.4 aperture is tempting me for the perfect depth of field. 

The other thing on my list to buy is a more compact camera. I love my DSLR and I wouldn't ever dream of replacing it but with the idea of vlogging popping up in my mind every now and then I'm desperate to invest in a smaller camera. An alternative to the blogger favourite Olympus Pen is the Lumix GX800 4K CSC Camera. It features a flip up screen which is perfect for vlogging and for getting those perfect Instagram selfies. I can't take a good selfie on my phone, let alone a proper camera so I have no hope, but its an Instagram bloggers dream. The best thing about it is that it's got wifi, which is perfect for quickly sharing photos over to your phone so you can upload to your social media on the go! 

I can't wait to expand my camera collection further! I'm thinking of doing more photography and camera related posts on my blog, possibly starting with a full explanation of how to confidently shoot fully manual, let me know what you think!

This post is sponsored by Panasonic but all views are my own.

32 Jackets You Need This Winter


Is it just me or did it get ridiculously cold all of a sudden? Where did all this talk of snow come from? This sudden winter spell is the perfect reason to treat yourself to a new jacket or two to wrap up warm in, take a peek at some of my favourites of the season so far. Be prepared for lots of faux fur and suede...

My ASOS wishlist is crazy full right now, about 75% of it is jackets and coats. Not to mention all the coats I already own that are sitting in my wardrobe unworn... I have a problem I think!

Have you picked up a new coat for the colder weather recently?


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