Friday, 13 January 2017 / Nottingham, UK

My Photography Experience

5 Ways to be a photographer

How To Make The Best Photographs

Your Guide to Being A Photographer

Best Photography

I've always liked photography and I see it as a form of art and, maybe more strangely, story telling. I studied many different photographers through A Level Art and I also relied on them a lot when getting inspiration for my creative writing pieces in University (I studied English with Creative Writing).

One important thing in that, though, is that I studied other people's photography and never really got into it myself. Although I have always wanted to, I couldn't afford a good camera and, to be honest, didn't understand how to use the camera to create different photographs.

In starting my new job, one of my colleagues has introduced me to photography and I love it! It is a hobby of his and he has definitely passed on his passion for it to me!

 After taking an afternoon out of both of our schedules, he explained to me everything I needed to know about cameras. He taught me everything from shutter speed to how to achieve the type of photo I wanted. He also taught me how to edit the photos using Adobe Lightroom.

I am lucky to be able to have full reign of the camera provided to me by work so I am making the most of learning as much as I can whilst I have it! (as well as saving up for my own)

So, after a few months playing about with it, I am pretty confident that I am starting to develop a style for my photographs and understand what I'm fully interested in, which is telling a story or creating a feeling through one or a series of photographs.

*Top Tip: One piece of advice my colleague gave me was that every photo needs to tell a story. There needs to be a main focus which you can accentuate when editing and everything you do should work towards telling the story that you want.

I really enjoyed taking this series of photos in Nottingham so I hope you enjoy looking at them. Oh, and see if you can create your own story/feelings from them!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

13 Things They Don't Tell You About University

1. Cheap vodka will become your best friend.
Playing ring of fire whilst drinking the cheapest vodka you could find in the shops will become one of your most treasured past times. Don't worry if you think this sounds revolting, it's easy to get past the taste of window cleaner when you know you have £1 snake bites to look forward to later in the night.

2. Not all of your best nights will be drinking.
I have so many fond memories of staying up with my housemates playing endless games (like murder in the dark or pub quizzes) or filling our living room with our mattresses and having giant sleepovers or, even, settling down to watch The Great British Bake Off each week (students need to rest too)!

3. Buying toilet roll is more stressful than your dissertation.
OK, slight exaggeration but you most probably will have constant arguments about who bought the last lot of toilet roll or even disputes over the quality you buy. Seriously, try and figure out a good 'toilet roll plan' before this happens.

4. There will always be one person in your halls that you never see.
Ours was in room 103. The conversations about the mysterious person that doesn't ever come out of their room will keep you entertained for hours but always remember try and invite them out a few times, they might just be really shy and afraid to approach you. Unfortunately, we never saw 103 no matter how many times we tried so we eventually left them to it and continued to ponder over the mystery behind the door...

5. Everyone cheats in the student quiz nights.
We started off playing fairly but after attending a few times we realised that everyone around us was cheating every time. Eventually clocking on to this, we went on to cheat and win every time... I don't think that's something we should be proud of but, oh well, everyone does it!

6. What will you compromise, a snake bite or your tin foil?
Having very little money leaves you constantly making decisions like this and I'm sure you can imagine which one wins every time... Let's just say, it feels like you're living in luxury when you go home and have a selection of condiments instead of one very nearly empty bottle of ketchup.

7. Third year is like being in a thunderstorm full of referencing and Freud.
As an innocent fresher, I always heard third years saying that this was the year when the party stops. I always thought 'Eh, we'll manage to go out at least twice a week, we'll be fine!' I was wrong. I barely had enough time to do work for all my modules let alone squeeze in two nights out and two mornings as a zombie. Oh, and I felt like I gained Sigmund Freud as a housemate this year.

8. Your halls will constantly smell like illegal substances.
I'll let you come to your own conclusions on this one but it is very likely that your halls will acquire a similar stench to mine did. Oh, and they don't quieten down until about 3-4 am so living in halls completely puts your sleeping pattern out (this will have a lasting effect for the whole 3 years).

9. You can cook half decent food on a student's budget.
The 'students only live on noodles and beans' myth was quickly shattered for me when I realised that quite a lot of people could afford to eat reasonably well (mainly pasta) and, more importantly, could cook. You will, however, have the odd week here and there where you can only afford toast or a £1 pizza from the student shop but this is definitely not all the time like you're told.

10. Never been 'that drunk friend'? Chances are, you will be at University.
Every single one of my friends has been the one that got 'too drunk' on at least one night out and there is nearly always one every night. Here is my opportunity to thank my friends for dragging me home and putting me to bed on numerous occasions so, thank you (you know who you are).

11. Your friends will become your family.
While I'm on the subject of great friends, you will never find such an intense bond as the one with your Uni friends. I mean, where else will you be forced to spend every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment with complete strangers? There isn't one thing you won't know about each other, like a family, and you honestly create the strongest relationships with these people. I can honestly say, my Uni friends will be my best friends forever.

12. You will argue about scones.
I'm sorry but you won't be able to avoid the constant debates about how you pronounce the word 'scone'. This comes hand in hand with the North vs. South debate and they will be debated for the whole three years with no resolution. You say 'scon'? No way, it's scooooone!

13. University is the best experience of your life.
University is so unique and, speaking as a recent graduate, I feel like I'm going to struggle to top it. I heard this when I was thinking about going but I never really believed it. A strange city, studying English, surrounded by strangers? It didn't sound like my cup of tea but who knew that strange city would eventually feel like home and the strangers my best friends? One of the best things is you can be completely yourself, you can open your mind to new ideas and you can (sorry about the cliche) grow as a person.

13 things they don't tell you about University

Disclaimer: These opinions are all my own and derived from my own experiences as a British student. They are not facts and your experience of University could be very different!


Friday, 6 January 2017

The Pressure To Be Perfect and How To Beat It

Do you ever feel like however many things you change in your life, there will always be something next on your 'to-do list'? 

After spending hours on Pinterest looking at 'perfect' interiors owned by 'perfect' women who eat 'perfectly' clean over Christmas, I knew that when we got home I wanted to dress our flat ready for the new year. This year, I would achieve my 'Pinable-life'.

I worked all night organising and changing things and I was actually really happy with the end result. It wasn't perfect but that was OK. It's our little space and we love it. I guess, I like a change and what better time to do it than at the beginning of a new year? I've always been one of those people that can only work well in certain places so having a flat that I was happy with can only help me in being the best I can this year...

'So, now what?' I asked myself when I settled down to finish the last piece of chocolate I was going to allow myself for at least the rest of the month. I didn't mind the flat wasn't perfect but I wasn't content in finishing that task. Why? Because now it was time to focus on my 'clean' recipes and get back into working out again after Christmas.

My point is, there's always something I can be doing next.I will never be perfect but I will never feel content either. Have I fallen onto the hamster wheel we call 'society'? Am I aimlessly running round and round, working so hard to achieve but never reaching an end goal?

We move so fast nowadays that it might be an idea to just stop once in a while. Maybe I should turn off all my devices and have a few minutes, an hour, maybe even a whole day just feeling content with what I have.

To conclude this very unstructured post... I will never achieve a 'Pinable-life' because the people I look at on Pinterest don't have 'Pinable-lives' either! I'm sure they have a list as long as me of things they need to change as well. 

I'm so grateful that I have writing to turn to when I feel overwhelmed. It's the only way I can make sense of things in my head because I am often thinking too fast to realise what I'm feeling. It helps, taking time out to write everything down and I hope that my rambly thoughts are beneficial to anyone who is feeling the same as me. 

I'm going to take my own advice and chill out every once in a while with no technology on to sway my judgement. I mean, I don't think it would hurt us to just stop once in a while and not think about what we've got to do next.

I hope you got something from this post because I know it helped me writing it!

Monday, 2 January 2017

10 Things I'm Grateful For

Happy New Year everybody!

I'm really not into all that 'new year, new me' stuff because I know that I'll make some sort of commitment because its the new year and just not stick to it. So, I've decided to share with you my list of everything I am grateful for so I can enter 2017 remembering all of the positive things in my life.

I hope you're all having a wonderful new year and enjoyed your time off work! So, grab a cuppa and check out my list of everything I'm grateful for.

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