Preparing for the weeding with engagement ring for I don't like weddings post

I don’t like weddings

I don’t like weddings but when one of my oldest friends is getting married I expect to be invited. I might not even be able to go but I still want to be invited.

It has been a whole hour since I found out my friend got married. I know what you are thinking now, yes that is right, I was not even told it was happening.

Happened to find out on social media. Yes, we did go to school together. We used to be pretty close friends. Still catch up when we can. But as it turns out I end up finding out he got married via Instagram stories.

Probably the same way I will find out when he has kids. Or maybe those are just shared on Facebook and I won’t even know for a few months or even years.

As that wasn’t bad enough this Instagram story was actually a repost from someone he met like 5 seconds ago.

Couldn’t help but react to this said story. Should have just congratulated him considering he literally just got married.  Instead I asked if my invite got lost in the mail.

He proceeded to talk about wedding budgets and how he had to reduce the guest list.

120 guests and I didn’t make the list. Nice.

Might be overreacting but it is fair to say that this has annoyed me. I get that weddings are expensive but at least tell me it is happening and why I am not making the guest list.

He did apologise for not telling me. I congratulated them. We left it at that.

Did I tell you I don’t even like weddings? Should I not be upset by this? How would you react?

Thank you for reading and please come back whenever I write another post! 
New blog posts used to be out every Wednesday at 6pm but these days you never know.

Things are Changing

Recently I have decided to separate this blog from my photography. Instead of mixing it all up here. I am creating a blog for photography only, where I will also have my portfolio.

This blog will become a place for travel stories, random rants and personal posts. Which is what it was meant to be anyway.

My photography website is currently under construction. When it is done I will share the link with you in case anyone is interested in following me there as well.

In the meantime I am not sure how often I will be blogging here. As I get busy with shoots I cannot always make time to blog on a weekly basis. Hopefully I can manage to be somewhat regular but only time will tell.

You can subscribe by email to know when I post so you don’t have to keep coming here.

There is a box to enter your email somewhere there on the right. Or you can follow the blog on Bloglovin (also somewhere there on the right).

Hope you won’t miss the blog too much.

Thank you for reading! 
New blog post whenever I get the time to write. Hopefully soon.

cameo island in Zakynthos for travel money post

Talking Travel Money

Just got back from a long holiday, 20 days away, 19 nights so let’s talk travel money. Most people are not going to tell you how much they actually spend when they go away. But I am.

Many times I get asked how can I afford to travel so much. And I must tell you that it is not by getting the crazy cheap deals out there on packaged holidays in which sometimes you don’t even know where you are staying until you get to your destination!

I am not the type to go on all inclusive holidays. Or packaged holidays. It is a bit more work to plan but I like to explore the destination I am visiting and to be in control of where I am staying. Also don’t want to be eating hotel food the whole time.

When possible I tend to book places where we can cook. You can save some money by not eating out all the time. And in some destinations getting an apartment is sometimes cheaper or the same price as a decent room.

Twenty days away is a bit longer than your usual holiday and it can get a little expensive to be away for so long.

As most of you know I am now working part-time, which means that I have to be a little more careful with how much I am spending. But it doesn’t mean I have to stop enjoying my holidays (at least not yet ahah).

Let’s talk travel money now. All the figures I am sharing with you on this post are the total numbers for 2 sharing accommodation and a rental car.

Flights came at £322 return for two people. None of the two flights were at silly hours of the morning or night. We flew into Zakynthos and flew back from Kefalonia. The ferry between the islands cost £16 for two.

We rented a car for most of our time in Greece and that came up to £474 fully insured. In petrol we spent £98.

As we didn’t have a car for 2 or 3 days we needed a couple of transfer services/taxis. That came up to £32. These were planned in advance so no time wasted while away trying to figure it out.

A total of 19 nights spent between Zakynthos and Kefalonia (Greece) came to a total of £887 (average £47 per night). All the places had a kitchen and were booked on Booking.com. Only one of the places had a swimming pool.

Pocket money used mostly for eating out and food shopping came to about £632. That is only £32 per day! We literally did no other shopping apart from a couple of magnets.

Since banks can charge a fortune in fees when paying in Euros we opted to use a credit card that charges no fees and a Portuguese card that also has no fees since the account is in Euros anyway.

Withdrawing money for free in those 2 islands seemed virtually impossible so we only did it once. That cost us 4 Euros! Most if not all places accept card payments. We only did it as the local car rental company did not have a card machine on them when they delivered the car to us and we had to pay for the car then.

Every year we invest in a couple of travel insurance policies. That covers us and any car rentals for the whole year. This year those two cost us £125.

We are thankful for never having had the need to make any claims under those insurances but we never travel uninsured. We almost had to use it because of bloody Sixt in Switzerland.

The amount of Go Fund me pages out there because people couldn’t be bothered to get travel insurance is shocking. It’s usually not even that expensive. If you can afford to travel you can afford to get insured. Sorry about this little rant.

So how much travel money did we end up spending in 20 days on the Greek islands?

In total we spent £2408 which comes to £1204 each. An average of £60 each per day.

With that money we explored most of Zakynthos and Kefalonia and came back home with amazing memories from another trip to Greece.

Do you also write down how much you spend when you go away on holidays?

Read about our time in Crete: Planning, Heraklion, Chania, Kissamos and Balos, Elafonisi and Kedrodasos and the video. More on Zakynthos and Kefalonia coming soon.

In the featured photo, Cameo Island in Zakynthos

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Waited Two Years for This

We had to cancel it on Monday but we made it happen on Thursday. Just over two years after we met. I waited two years for this.

After seeing each other every now and then and occasionally shooting at meetups we finally got to collaborate without a crowd around us.

Shio was one of the first models I have ever shot. She was modelling at my very first meetup. Hosted by the UK Shooters back in August 2017. She is seriously one of my favourite models to shoot! You can always find a crowd of photographers surrounding her at meetups whenever she is modelling.

Thinking she would be too busy or wouldn’t really want to shoot with me I had never asked her to shoot.

Maybe a little silly of me but Shio is a legend in the London photography community and I wasn’t sure I was ready to collaborate with her.

When she asked me if I wanted to shoot with her I was ecstatic! At the same time I was super nervous. What if I messed it up?!

Once again I got out of my comfort zone and I said yes. To be fair I didn’t even think twice about it. It would be stupid to say no.

Thursday we met at a tube station and headed to the shoot location. Honestly I had not planned much as from experience I always end up doing something different from the initial plan.

The first location I had in mind fell through as photography is not allowed there. Now I know why no one is shooting there. Duh.

From there we just started exploring our surroundings and shooting wherever we thought we could get good shots.

All this poor planning led us to a closed funfair!

We had so much fun sneaking around the funfair taking silly shots but it didn’t take long for people working there to notice us! When they did everyone was super welcoming and they even put the lights and music on for us.

After we got all the shots we headed to the pub for a drink and ended up chatting for a long time.

I had such a good time! Even though I messed up some of the shots I also got some of my favourite photos ever.

Here are some of the shots we got on the day. Enjoy!

We started off with some park and lake vibes and lots of laughter as dog owners just crashed our shoot. We had to move temporarily as they did not care about being in our way.

Soon we got our trailer park series. We had so much fun shooting with these.

At the funfair we got some colourful and fun shots.

Big thank you to Shio for asking me to shoot with her! Already looking forward to the next time.

Oh, almost forgot to tell you. The blog will be a bit quiet for a few weeks while I go check out a couple of islands in Greece. Keep up with me on my Instagram.

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

shio at the uk shooters meet in august 2017 london photography community

London Photography Community

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of my first experience within the London photography community. I have been to loads of events since, made new friends and started making money from photography.

A massive thanks goes to the UK Shooters team that started me on this journey. Another one to Abu for introducing me to these events and to my first client, Reo, for trusting me to shoot her.

If you want to get involved in the London photography community you should follow UK Portraits, Capital Ports, The Portrait Mission and Lensminds. If you live outside of London, some of these pages also organise events in other UK cities.

I have met photographers outside of the community that struggle to build a portfolio as they have no models to shoot. Honestly if you live in London you have no excuses! There are meetups happening all the time with amazing models you can shoot for free. So just get involved.

In the beginning I was super anxious about being around so many strangers and having to be social with people outside my circle of friends. I was also super shy to just go ahead and shoot models before meeting them properly. But once I got past all of that I was fine.

People are generally super friendly and welcoming and sometimes they are just as uncomfortable as you are.

After two years of events I sometimes just join to see my friends and to socialise. I definitely don’t shoot as much as I used to. Guess once you have your portfolio sorted you don’t have to get all the shots.

I am super grateful for everyone that puts in the effort to get everyone together and to grow the photography community in London.

Leaving my comfort zone again and again was super stressful but this journey has been an enjoyable one. In the end it was all worth it!

In the featured photo, Shio (as shot on my first meetup)

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Almost 4 Photo Shoots in 1 Week

Almost 4 photo shoots in 1 week? Yes, that happened last week. In this post I will tell you how I got through a crazy busy week and why the fourth shoot didn’t happen.

Initially I had two test shoots booked for a model agency I have just started working with. So it was looking like a not so busy week. I was ready and excited to do something new.

Quickly the week became way busier by having two new clients booking me.

Very often people cancel or reschedule photo shoots, but not that week. Out of the four shoots everyone showed up! Must be a new record.

Tuesday I shot with Aliesha for a test shoot and I got some of my favourite shots ever. The weather was just right, the location stunning and Aliesha did a great job.

Here are some of the shots we got on the day.

Wednesday the shoot with Belén finally happened! We had to reschedule twice before due to some crazy weather conditions in London. We were out in Camden and got to play with some soap bubbles. It was a lot of fun. On Thursday I met Hugo and we had a long and fun shoot around Barbican until sunset.

On Friday I was a little tired from such an hectic week but I got out of the house to go meet Amber in Chalk Farm. This was my second test shoot of the week. The rain had stopped for a few hours so I thought we’d be OK to shoot outdoors.

Once I got to Chalk Farm it was pouring down! We waited a while but the rain didn’t stop. Sadly we decided to cancel the shoot. Hopefully we get to shoot soon.

Even though I didn’t get to shoot I still had lots to do so once I got home I went straight back to editing!

This is the story of how I almost had 4 photo shoots in 1 week, hope you enjoyed it. If you want to book me check out my portfolio and get in touch 🙂

In the featured photo, Aliesha

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Trying out Flash Photography

After trying out flash photography at the Divurgent workshops I went and bought my first external flash. Nothing too fancy. Just a £50 one from Yongnuo.

At the workshop I got that light to bounce on white bathroom tiles and loved the results.

In this gallery: Clara

I had no clue what I was doing (I still don’t) but thought I would try it anyway.

Since then I haven’t really used the flash very often. I love natural light and flash photography can look a little unnatural. Also my hands are tiny and the flash is quite bulky and heavy.

Once you are starting off in flash photography, particularly with manual flashes it can be a bit tricky to get the settings right. Guess it is just a case of trial and error. Watching a few videos on YouTube will definitely help you understand the basics so watch away.

Here are a couple of shots I have taken using external flash after the workshop.

In this gallery: Karolina

More recently I used my flash indoors as there was not enough light and tried pointing the flash directly at the subject. At this point I had no clue what results I was going to get. This type of light can be unflattering so I thought it could turn to be a disaster.

To my surprise I ended up with some of my favourite photos.

Credit to the model that was amazing at posing and her outfit was perfect for the location.

In my opinion these have a very film like feel and are quite striking due to the harsh light of the direct flash on the subject. What do you think of them? Are you keen on flash photography?

In the featured photo and the last gallery, India Allen

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.