Sometimes, we jump in and change the narrative. Staring it in the face, living it out and seeing it reflected back feels sooooo good! This is a woman I feel so privileged to have met: not only is she hilariously funny (a good quality to have as a comic writer/actor), intelligent (also good over morning coffees when you feel you’ve erased your brain) and lucky enough to have amazing hair; she also conceived and wrote her own one woman play to uproarious success. Here’s looking at you, @emmakatejerrold 💕💕💕
Your environment really influences how you feel. I didn't truly understand this until we moved house. First world problems aside, the condition it was in really impacted on how I felt. It angered me that as a former rental, a family had had to live in it as it was. But it really did get me down on an almost daily basis. So what will you do to make the place you spend most of your time in an inspiring one? It might be crazy starting with the garden, but I’m happy we’ve added some greenery & life (although if you kill plants as easily as I do, I may end up just buying flowers).
Visit us at our local #nunheadarttrail this weekend- we’ll be sharing the portraits of Nunhead women as well as some of our other #libertysessions . You can also book into your session! Open Sat & Sun 11am - 6pm, on Rosenthorpe Rd. Look out for the sign! We’re artist 66 on the art trail - www.nunheadarttrail.co.uk has full details.
Day 10 // #mybrilliantbrand Challenge:
Opportunities - I love that @libertysessions gives me the chance to create something that can give back in a big way. I’m not talking about giving a photo session to a woman who might not be able to afford one - I mean working with survivors of domestic & sexual abuse to reassert their confidence, giving a space to refugee mothers to re-connect with their children, and supporting many other women to overcome challenges themselves. We’re currently working to register as a charity (an onerous task in itself) so we can make waves in a big way - if you’d like to pay a session forward, are a charity who’d like to collaborate or you want to support us in any other way, please do get in touch. This photo is of an amazing woman based in Argentina who uses yoga as a tool to relax and recover after trauma.
Oops - slightly stressful few days and forgot to post! Day 9 // #mybrilliantbrand Challenge:
How I build inspiration into my work - I’d love to hear here what you all do to build inspiration into your daily or weekly routines? I recently started taking time for myself to be inspired - going to more exhibitions - of art, photography; making time to chat to like-minded people who I know will drive me forward, right down to ensuring the right books are present and looking back at me from my bookshelves. I’ve been lamenting the closure of the Women’s Library that used to be in Aldgate so if anyone has news or suggestions on where I might find a similar space to visit and inspire me please let me know!
Day 8 // Brand Stylist #mybrilliantbrand Challenge: What inspires me most in my business - Everyday women fighting the good fight move me to create: from undocumented women rising up against the hostile environment and battling crippling maternity charges #allmothers ; to those of us standing up publicly against sexual abuse and finally finding our voices taken seriously #metoo
These issues anger me and I believe anger can be used positively for a movement to gain traction. These women and their (our) deeds, campaigns and needs drive me, inspire me to create and to find beauty everywhere, both inside and out.
Day 7 // Brand Stylist #mybrilliantbrand Challenge: Where I find inspiration - I’m intrinsically guided by a history of feminist theory, but I get inspired by women every day, everywhere - from long-time heroine Frida Kahlo to today’s female photographers rewriting beauty around the world, @atlasofbeauty Mihaela Noroc. Kahlo and her Mexicanidad (love of mexican heritage) inspire me to use colour, difference and love and examine ourselves against all odds. My work may have a long way to go to honour these people but these things inspire me to constantly improve.
Day 6 // How my brand looks and feels - in a straight lift from my branding notes, I hoped this new logo would help us to come across as: carefree, liberating; a kindred spirit who’s clear on what you need and want. Campaigning for women’s equality, all the while being motivational, creative, fresh and inspiring to you. #mybrilliantbrand#libertysessions
Day 5 // Celebrate - want to know how Lorena felt before and after this shoot? She was looking to open up and reveal her true identity, one she felt she’d hidden, for the courage to dress more boldly and express her true self instead of hiding it away at home behind closed doors. After her session she hugged me and thanked me - here’s her reaction to her photos: “You outshone yourself!!! I can tell you the story behind every single photo, I love them all!!! You’ve touched my soul!!” #mybrilliantbrand#libertysessions
Day 4 // Who I work with - What I admire in my absolute favourite clients? Their excitement, bravery to step in front of my lens and the acknowledgement of a change they’ve made or are about to. Like this woman right here, who wanted “to let the world - and myself - know, that the real ‘me’ was back”. And how she did. Women rising up. My absolute favourite clients. #mybrilliantbrand#libertysessions
Day 3 // The experience - I’m super relaxed (you might have guessed that by now), so I like you to feel that way too. Before you even step foot in my home studio, we’ll have chatted through what you’re looking for, how to find out what you’re looking for if you’ve not got that figured out. In fact, anything you’re afraid of: showing your teeth, your right upper lip freckle, big scary camera lenses (I don’t use those)... A refreshing coffee or even a glass of fizz to calm your nerves, a look through your wardrobe picks and we’re shooting through my playlist choices. And whilst we may have planned out what and how we want to do your shoot, there’s always room for organically changing things as we go along - sometimes that’s when the magic happens!#mybrilliantbrand#libertysessions
Day 2 // #mybrilliantbrand The magic I bring - My style is positive, relaxed and creative: I love light and colour for this reason; I love how strong and diverse we are as women and I want beauty to appear natural, universal (not photoshopped) and still beautiful. My vision might not suit everyone - and that’s ok - but it’s a feminist one and it comes from the soul: that we are so very capable of so very much - and these portraits go a step to celebrating, recognising and reinforcing that. @thebrand_stylist
Part 1 of @thebrand_stylist ’s two week challenge to get my Insta groove back - follow #mybrilliantbrand and #libertysessions to find out more about us! What I do - I aim to empower women to be who they really are through portraits. The thing I do better than anyone else I know is motivating women. My clients tell me I have just the right touch to make them feel relaxed and themselves in front of the camera. To feel capable, to feel great, to feel loved. As a manager, a mentor, photographer and friend - I can boost your spirits when you’re down, I can big you up when you’re feeling amazing, and that’s half the key to a relaxed and natural portrait isn’t it?
Only one space left... if you live/work/have a connection to Nunhead and you’d like to feature in our #nunheadarttrail gallery, ping me a DM. Looking for a diverse range of Nunhead women to feature, so if you’re interested or know someone who would be good to feature, get in touch and I’ll tell you more. 😊
Sometimes life gets in the way of your plans... this pretty much sums up my year... baby, new house renovation and a camera which I refuse to put down despite all those other little life stresses... and so the launch plans get delayed amidst a flurry of dust, paint pots and baby-gros but hey, they’re a-coming, just a little later than planned!
As a mum of two boys I’ve come to accept I’ll never raise a feminist daughter - but I’ve also come to realise, as this quote encapsulates so we’ll, that if I can raise two feminist sons the world will be a much more equal place for all of us. We do our sons a great disservice in expecting them to fit such a narrow macho mould. “We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity becomes this hard small cage and we put boys inside the cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear. We teach boys to be afraid of weakness, of vulnerability.” - Chimamamanda Ngozi Adichie - TED Talk - We Should All be Feminists
Ever feel like this is your wardrobe? It’s days or weeks like this when you know it’s time to take action and shape up, shake up your wardrobe and buy clothes that fit your new shape, your new budget, or acquaint yourself with your new body. Action is far better than self shame, take it from me. Oh, my post-baby2 body has pushed me through diets, exercise (not a word I used much), and a new wardrobe and the year is not yet done! But hey accepting it has made me feel so much better than failing to squeeze into old clothes.