Archive of ‘Photographs’ category

Playing catch up

Before I start feeling inexplicably guilty for not writing anything non-work related forever, let me start by saying hi. How’ve you been? I hope that those of you who do ocassionally find themselves on my blog haven’t missed me too much – in fact I’m pretty sure that the majority of you follow me on Twitter and are subjected to my word vomit on a daily basis. If you fall into either (or both) of those categories, then THANK YOU.

As I’ve been gone for a while, I figured I’d launch my new look blog with a little catch up.

February 2014

Back in February I spammed everyone who follows me on Instagram with photos from Hakkasan, where Charlie and I had our first ‘Dim Sum Sunday’ experience. We opted for the Signature menu (hello additional champagne and cocktails) and sat back as 6 equally beautiful and delicious courses were delivered to us. But February wasn’t all elegance – I also reverted back to my teenage years and went to see Taking Back Sunday at KOKO with some great friends and ended up in Burger King. So swings and roundabouts.

March 2014

March was particularly busy as Mum and I went to see Yoncé and Charlie and I celebrated our anniversary early. We like to go out and do something together rather than buying gifts we don’t really need, so I took him to see Book of Mormon and he treated me to dinner at Soho’s NOPI afterwards, which we both enjoyed, but felt lacked something in comparison to Ottolenghi in Islington. I also got to spend time with one of my dearest friends Elizabeth at the Martin Creed exhibition, where we giggled at fart boxes and danced around in a room filled with balloons.

April 2014

In April I went to Chatsworth House for the first time in years with my family. As beautiful as the house is, I could just as easily spend all day exploring the gardens. Back in London, I went to see one of my favourite bands Brand New at Troxy for the first time EVER. Don’t ask me why or how, but I’d never gotten around to seeing them before and I wasn’t about to miss them again. The gig was everything I had hoped for, although if you ever find yourself at Troxy you might want to drink a lot of water: it’s a stunning venue but the air con was non existent and I saw at least 5 girls hit the deck before Brand New even hit the stage.

I also took a trip to Leeds for the weekend to visit the girls I lived with at University and had THE BEST time. I’ve only been to Leeds on a handful of occasions but each time I’ve fallen more in love – does anyone else feel the same way? Like all great weekends away, my mini break revolved experiencing some of the best food and drink Leeds had to offer, including…

Leeds 2014

Red’s True Barbecue

As tempted as I was to try their infamous donut burger (yes, you read that correctly) I opted for a giant helping of the best pulled meat nachos I’ve ever had. If you like your meat with extra meat, GO. IMMEDIATELY.

The Alchemist

After stuffing my face at Red’s, I was in the mood for a strong beverage. My resident Leeds girl Zoe took me to The Alchemist, where you’ll find smoking cocktails, colour changing cocktails, glittering cocktails…my cocktail ‘A Night at the Movies’ even included popcorn!

The Botanist

Before I left Leeds, I got the chance to sample The Botanist’s deli style menu, which is perfectly suited to an afternoon of nibbles and drinks. The hanging kebabs looked delicious, the cocktails were great (despite slightly slow service) and the staff were extremely friendly.

May 2014

May was a blur of adventure, fun and excitement. Charlie and I went to Lisbon to stay with one of my oldest friends and had an amazing time. I wish we could have stayed for the whole month, but we had to get back to London for Charlie’s birthday surprise: Les Mis. I managed to hold it together until the interval but after One Day More, I basically cried throughout the entire second act. Towards the end of May, the nerves set in as I got ready to be photographed by Rankin! I joined 10 others who had also entered Hunger Magazine’s Selfie competition at the studio for a surreal afternoon of posing – Rankin even jumped in for a couple of fun photos. You can see the full winners shoot here and if you visit Hunger’s Tumblr, you’ll even see me in GIF form…

Rankin shoot

In June I discovered a handful of new pubs in the area thanks to Streatham Food Festival, which I only regretted slightly as I joined the inspirational Curvy Kate ladies for a photo shoot to promote their awesome new strapless bra – keep your eyes pealed for more news soon and look out for the Ultimate Uplift campaign…

June 2014

June was also the time for new tattoos. I’d wanted to get a tattooed by the immensely talented Rebecca Vincent at The Circle for a while, so when she announced a charity day for Sensory Leeds, I emailed her immediately. Now I have a beautiful tattoo AND I can feel good about the money going to such an important non-profit organisation. You might have seen my pinecone on Instagram recently as I’ve been documenting my #100happydays – I’m almost at the half way point and haven’t given up yet!

Trips & Tips: New York

So you’re off to New York. You’ve got your flights sorted and a list as long as your arm of all the typical tourist spots (and an even longer one for those “off the beaten track” places that friends have recommended), but you’re not sure where to stay, where to start, or what order to do them in. These are just a few tips that were passed onto me before my NYC adventure, plus a few I discovered for myself along the way.

Stay with Airbnb
I couldn’t recommend Airbnb any higher – I even wrote a review about it over at The High Tea Cast which you should totally read.

Get a New York Pass
If you’re heading to the big apple for 5 days or more, this is for you. It’s a great way to save money and get free entry attractions and/or queue jump at certain hot spots. The only downside is that you have to use it on consecutive days, but if you want to make your dollars go further and cram in as much as possible, it’s worth it.

Hire a bicycle
When you’ve been doing that slow ‘museum walk’ combined with looking up in awe all day, then trust me; every part of your body going to ache, particularly your lower back. Midway through our trip we hired a bicycle for the day from Blazing Saddles and it was the best thing we could have done! It gave us chance to really see the city in a new way (we picked ours up from the pier and rode up the Manhattan greenway to Central Park) PLUS you get a free 24 hour hire with your New York Pass (another example of how awesome the pass is).

Bike hire in New York

Network
Twitter is a fantastic resource for travelling – I stumbled across some great bars and restaurants by simply asking around. Think about it: most of us use Twitter every day for catching up with news stories and for recipe ideas etc, so why not utilise your ‘hive mind’ for tips on places to stay, eat and do stuff? If you’re already following someone who’s already been to New York (or even better, lives there) then chances are you’re going to enjoy what they recommend – otherwise you wouldn’t be following them.

Eat whatever you want
You’re on holiday. You’re staying in a city where every flavour imaginable is on your doorstep. I’m not saying eat yourself into a food coma (which I totally did, but hey, we’re all different) but if you’re on a diet, give yourself a break. Check out some of my favourite spots here!

Walk The High Line
The High Line is a disused freight rail that has been transformed into an aerial park, running along Manhattan’s West Side and ending in the Meat Packing District. It’s a beautiful and unique walk with benches along the way should you need to rest (or take in the view), a sun deck, and some great food vendors too!

The High Line in New York

Top of the Rock VS The Empire State Building
The trouble with the Empire State is that when you’re at the top of it, you can’t see it! The best advice I can give you is to visit the Rockefeller Center during the day – it’s less crowded, plus you’ll get a clearer view of New York – and go to The Empire State Building at night. As the last lift is at 1:15am, Charlie and I decided to go for dinner and drinks first – when we arrived around midnight we couldn’t believe our luck as we walked straight through! No 4 hour queues, no school trips, no screaming children, and a breath taking nightscape; yes, visiting one of the worlds busiest Observatory’s out of peak tourist hours definitely had it’s perks.

Top of the Rock in New York
Top of the rock view, New York
Empire State view at night
Empire State Building view

Harbour Cruise
I’m not a big boat fan, but somehow Charlie managed to convince me we should add a Circle Line River Cruise to our list and I’m so glad he did! We opted for the ‘romantic’ 2 hour sunset trip around the island which is timed to perfection – it was light on the way out, the sun went down as we reached Lady Liberty, and it was pitch black by the time we reached the pier. Perfect.

P.S Yet another freebie with your NYC Pass!

Circle Line River Cruise
New York river cruise

The Burning House

“If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.”

the burning house

I’d been meaning to submit something to The Burning House for a while after becoming addicted to the site last year, but every time I attempted to curate my belongings I hit a barrier. It may sound trite, but for me, the word conflict really sums up the whole process up perfectly. As I looked around my room, I found myself questioning everything; did I really care about saving my laptop? Did that make me a materialistic douchebag? In years to come would I regret not rescuing more photographs? Should I leave everything of monetary value behind and focus purely on the sentimental?

After trying (and failing) a number of times to whittle my life down to a handful of items, I came across A Sentimental-less Dimension – a lovely post written by the equally lovely Spadge. There was something in the familiarity of her words that made me want to try again, and a few minutes later, I found myself emailing Foster Huntington, with my submission. READ MY ENTRY HERE!

By the Hills

Another sneak preview of some of the work my talented little sister has done for her upcoming exhibition. I’m so proud of you Jessica!

Jessica Hill make up artist

One of the boys

Remember when I mentioned that my awesome sister needed someone to take part in a gender change project as part of her makeup and prosthetics course?

girl change to boy
girl changed to boy

My Talented Friends: Rick Nunn

On his website, Rick Nunn admits that he’s “generally antisocial, but catch me on the right day and I might try and be nice to you”. Bumping into him on a particularly sociable evening, Rick and I threw a few friendly insults at each other and struck up a friendship based on zombies, cats, good movies and loud music. Armed with new umbrella boxes, fuelled by coffee and in need of someone to shoot on short notice, Rick took this photo of me a few days later, and the rest is sushi and sarcasm filled history.

A designer with talent by the bucket load, this boy is one seriously dedicated creative and one of the hardest working people I know (I’m pretty sure he never sleeps). With an impressive photography portfolio, Rick has an army of loyal followers on Flickr, and dedicates his free time to capturing beautiful images, as well as putting together informative articles to share with the rest of the internet. Just don’t call him a photographer – it makes him uncomfortable.

Rick Nunn

Hey fucker. Taken any photos today?
Yep, totally took some photos of some dinosaur pancakes that I made. They were tasty, the pancakes not the photos.

dinosaur pancakes

How did you get into photography?
In 2009 I was forced to give up one of my biggest passions (skateboarding) due to injury — I bought a dSLR to try & fill the gap it left. Being a graphic designer I had always been engaged with not only the visual aesthetic but also the visual hierarchy of any composition I was creating. I think this largely contributed to photography making the transition from hobby to passion very early on.

You’ve been praised a lot for the quality in your Fifty of Fifty projects. Where do you find the inspiration (and time) to shoot like that?
Inspiration, from everything. Literally everything. There’s no way I could identify any specific sources – I ingest such a huge amount of visual material on a daily basis I think it all ends up as some sort of mind soup and I just dip into it for ideas. As for time, basically whenever I embark on a project such as my Fifty of Fifty, sleep just goes out the window, as well as any sort of social life. Sacrifice = reward…right?

just add water

Did you feel like death after completing your 365?
The 365 was relatively easy to do, anyone can take a photo every day if they always have their camera with them and the commitment to see something like that through to the end. My Fifty of Fifty projects have been much harder, maintaining that level of consistent quality is a killer.

Quitting is not an option, is it.
Death before dishonour.

Would you consider doing it again in the future?
Yes/No/Maybe/Probably/Okay go on then…

You’ve taken some great commercial shots for AnyForty, is fashion photography something you’re interested in?
Definitely, a well presented and well dressed person is great to photograph. You can expect more of this in the future!

For someone who isn’t a people person, you really capture personalities in your portraits.
I genuinely LOVE portraits. There is nothing more interesting than trying to capture someones personality in a photo. People often don’t realise how much of their personality is projected visually – clothes, posture, hairstyle and so much more all contribute to it, and I love getting that in a still image.

John Huntsman

If you could give 3 tips to anyone who owns a camera and wants to do more with it, what would they be?
1. Make friends with people better than you – you’ll push yourself harder if you’re trying to keep up with them.
2. Try prime lenses, they changed my life.
3. Keep it with you at all times, you can’t use it if you don’t have it.

Ok, let’s test your sharp shooting: film or digital?
Digital

Black and white or full screaming colour?
Colour, but it does’t need to scream.

Voyeurism or narcissism?
Voyeurism! For me narcissism is always a last resort.

Rick Nunn, cabin in the woods

There’s a fire and you can only save one camera and one lens.
5D MkII & 135L

Finally, do you have anything special lined up this year?
Not really. I’ve got some ideas, but I’m not sure on time scales. I’ll probably end up doing another Fifty of Fifty, despite hating the idea of another by the end of the last one!

Want to know more about this awesome guy? OF COURSE YOU DO. Why not check out his website here and stalk him via Twitter.

Faux Christmas

For over four years at University, my housemates and I celebrated ‘Faux Christmas’ with each other before going home to spend the 25th with our families. We differed in a lot of ways to other shared houses – we all lived, ate and functioned together like a real family.  Except in our family ‘Mum’ was a red headed girl called pickle, and her ‘husband’ was a 6’5 gay man from next door. There were no locks on individual bedroom doors (which, once or twice caused a few unexpected surprises…) and you wouldn’t find any named labels on forgotten moulding cheese at the back of the fridge.

This year due to babies, jobs, and the small fact that Singapore is quite far away, the usual gang were unable to celebrate Faux Christmas together. I was however adopted by a new family, consisting of my boyfriend and his friends, and got to witness another version of this joyous, fictional holiday. I like to think that these mini ‘traditions’ we invent go someway towards shaping how we spend our Christmases in the future – and for me, it’s just as important to spend the festive period with the unique family units we create for ourselves.

Secret Santa gifts
Too much food at Christmas
Christmas party games

Brixton

When I first told my friends and family back home that I was moving to London and would be living a stones throw away from Brixton, their responses were mixed. The question I perhaps met most frequently was “But doesn’t Brixton have a bad reputation?” You may think that this is a fairly generic stance from someone living outside of London, however I’ve found more and more that a lot of people I meet here seem to have the same view.

For any faults the area might have, I love Brixton. It has gumption. You’ll experience diversity in age, race and sex just by taking a few steps. The market is a particularly fascinating example of what happens when cultures mesh – the food variety, the languages, even the fashion – it’s always growing and evolving. It is, unfortunately, becoming more hip even despite it’s shadows – there’s a notable influx in ‘trendy’ eateries and trendier cliental. If you’ve never been to Electric Avenue, I recommend you go now whilst it’s still holding onto it’s roots.

Brixton Market
Places to eat in Brixton
London market
Vegan cupcakes Brixton

Borough Market

After the Indian summer faded and the wind began to set in, last weekend felt truly autumnal – Saturday evening was almost bitterly cold.

Over the weekend I went to explore Borough Market with Charlie and his parents. I love food at this time of year; the deep colours of the vegetables, the comforting stews and soups with rustic bread, thick chunks of smoked cheeses, and that unmistakable smell of mulled wine. After elbowing our way through the hustle and bustle, we picked up some pieces for dinner, drank a little champagne, ate a huge pork and stuffing baguette, and saw the rest of the afternoon out in the pub. Perfection.

Borough Market
Borough Market mushrooms
Borough Market vegetables
Borough Market bread

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