Category Archives: ~ personal ~

For those that don’t know, there has been a LOT of yoga in my life recently.  When I first moved to Basel I joined a yoga class and I used to go three times a week.  It was one of my treats that I gave myself and I loved it.  It was a small class and I quickly became friends with the teacher and the other regulars.  Then with the arrival of my gorgeous little girl I switched to pre-natal yoga where I met yet more wonderful people.  Post baby I had quite a bit of a break from most exercise apart from walking with the pram, the obvious carrying and all other exhausting baby related activities.

Then there popped up a Bikram Yoga place in town and  one of my pre-natal yoga buddies (Belinda) highly recommended it to me.  She was full of wise recommendations, so I gave it a go.  It took about 10 sessions to really get into it, but I was soon hooked.  When I got my office in town in Basel (rather than working from home) I took the plunge and invested in a 6-month unlimited membership.  As on my work days I would be working 10 hours or so, taking a 2 hour break for some yoga was a bit of a no-brainer.  I loved the heat, I loved the 90 min long classes and quite frankly I loved how it made me feel about myself.  Not only did I tone again and remember that I had tummy muscles, it was really good for my self image to be staring at myself in a mirror for so long in what amounted to not much more than a bikini.

Fast forward to moving back to the UK.  One of the first things I did with my Bikram buddy Karen was check out if there was a studio in Sheffield.  I was so happy to find Hot Yoga Sheffield, it wasn’t a Bikram studio, but one which was still hot and with a range of different classes.  I had got used to my standard Bikram class, but I didn’t realise how much more in love I could be with Hot Yoga.  I quite quickly signed up for my New Starter Special and just loved all the teachers, the range of classes and the new accents of the teachers.

As I continued to go when I could (the change of earnings hit me quite hard moving back and it wasn’t always possible that I could go as often as I liked) I ended up signing up for a posture clinic one weekend about 9 months ago.  It was a great way to spend a whole weekend that I had to myself without Maia and after the rush of work I often have in the lead up to Christmas.  It was at this weekend that I spotted an invitation for Energy Exchangers at the studio.  They were looking for Juicers and cleaners in exchange for unlimited yoga.  I swear, I almost begged them to consider me.  I’m so glad I was given the opportunity I was to become an Energy Exchanger, it was both humbling and meditative taking 4 of my precious hours to clean a space that gave me so much calm, grounding and peace.  In exchange, I have become a familiar face and part of the Hot Yoga Sheffield family.  So much so that I have upgraded my Energy Exchange status.  I am now the Studio Photographer and will be moving my home office to their new Studio that will open in the new year.  Exciting times.

With my new role I have been taking photos in classes for the studio that have been drip feeding into their social media avenues.  I must say, the novelty of seeing my photos anywhere never grows old.  I can flick through Linked In, Facebook, and now Instagram and see my photos being used for profiles etc.  It’s the same when I go into clients houses and see my art from their sessions up on the wall.  It’s uplifting and beautiful.  I often stop and think – oh how pretty before I remember that I took that photo.  Amazing.

The journey is only just beginning too.   In fact, tomorrow I start to train with Collins & Barth School of Yoga to become a Kids Yoga teacher.  I’m floating about the possible option of my oferring Private Family Yoga classes too.  Something to do on a rainy day together in your own home or a sunny day out in the garden.  It’s so good for everyone, it really is.

With all this yoga I want to offer something new.  I’d like to take some photo sessions for yogis.  Not so they can show off what they can do, but because I think being a yogi and practicing yoga brings a beautiful sense of calm and I think that especially if you have some photos taken of you out in nature in some yoga poses it can not only empower you to know that person in that photo is you, it can also have a domino effect on bring you back to that feeling of calm that yoga gives you.  I’d like to offer one lucky person a chance to win a Yoga Photoshoot including the option of a piece of wall art at cost (no profit to me)!

My daughter was treated to a Private Yoga class with three of her friends for her birthday.  They loved it:

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This is me on the very last day of the 30 day challenge in July this year.  I totalled 46 classes over the 31 days, which came to 56.5 hours of hot yoga!  I was feeling amazing at the end of it.  You can read more here.

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Win photos of you out in nature in some of your favourite yoga poses:

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For extra points, spot the two pairs of boots (above) that a naughty lab cross (below) moved around from behind a tree!

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Enter below:

TrophyWin a Yoga Photoshoot
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A 1-2 hour yoga photoshoot out somewhere pretty, ideally around the golden hours of the day (sunrise or sunset).  Included are up to 20 digital images with a range of poses and types of shot (detail, wide angle, portrait, landscape).
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Contest Rules & Disclaimer

Terms & Conditions: Yoga photo session to be taken near to me. This could be in Sheffield or when I am visiting over in Basel. There will probably be some walking/driving about to get a few different locations, so expect to be with me for 1-2 hours. Ideally it will be taken close to sunrise or sunset for some golden light magic. The shoot must be taken within a year of it being drawn and offered. Included will be up to 20 different images delivered via a digital link to an online album. One picture of your choice can be ordered as wall art in consultation with me and you can purchase at cost (optional, but advised).

 

WINNER : Hilary Jones

Congratulations Hilary

 

This week started with a photoshoot.  In fact, I have three photoshoots this week, so I might be using pictures that I like from those shoots and sharing some insights.  The fortnight continues…

 

Day 8: Mother and Daughter

It’s always good to get a more creative angle when you are taking portraits, I love that my 50mm can focus on just one plane and everything else is a creamy blur of colours.  It was also quite windy on this shoot and all the girls were in pretty dresses, so it’s nice to crouch down with mum and get a bit of a cuddle.

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Day 9: Pets (Our pet house bunny Hazel)

Never work with children and animals, isn’t that what they say?  They are my favourite to work with, I wonder what that makes me??   I have no child in the house at the moment, so my focus for today was on taking photos of our pet house rabbit Hazel Bunny.  Trickier than you might think as she wanted to get a bit closer than I intended (i.e. hopping on top of me as I try and take a photo, whilst lying on my back).  Here is our beautiful bunny:

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Day 10:  Long exposures

I’ve wanted to do something with stacking photos for a long time.  Often you see them done with stars in the night sky (when you see the circular trails as the earth moves and they don’t).  Well, I just pointed my camera out of my attic window at the road outside my house and took a few hundred long exposures.  I then deleted all the ones that didn’t have any moving lights in them and stacked the rest.  I’ll definitely be doing this again, but with perhaps something a bit more interesting.  Here’s my picture:

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Day 11: Erm…

Day 12: Profiles

It’s often some of the first and last photos that I take at a shoot that I love the most.  This one was taken at home whilst daddy was getting ready and I was drinking my cup of tea.  I just love these kinds of shots.  Beautiful.

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Day 13:  Wonderful Indian colours

What a beautiful party!  I have always been a big admirer of sari’s and the way that Indian women dress.   I love colours and textures and fabrics and sari’s are just wonderful, then add the jewelry and bindi’s, well!  These were taken at a well attended event for a special little girl.  Everyone looked wonderful and I even got to borrow a sari!

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Day 14:  Coming soon!

Ah, alliteration!

It’s been nearly a year since I moved back to the UK from Basel, Switzerland.  It’s been an interesting year, a thoughtful year, a year where I have battled (and am mostly winning) with my ‘stuff’ and one in which I have sort of given myself a bit of a year off from too much work.  That’s one of the main reasons you’ve not seen too many updates here.  Well, that is about to change!  My year is nearly over and I have recharged my creative juices, refreshed my thinking and am ready to have my camera in hand whenever you see me!

To kick this all off, I am lucky (?) enough to have a full two weeks to myself;  no child, no big events or occasions – just me, my house and my camera.  In those two weeks I have big plans, for both me and my work.

So, my summer challenge to myself is to do a creative focus on photography for a couple of weeks.  Each day over the next two weeks  (27th July until the 9th August) I will take a different challenge or focus that involves photography and see where it takes me.  I will happily take requests and suggestions, leave a comment below.   Feel free to join in if you like too!

 

Day 1:  Rainbow colours (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)

Here is a row of rainbow coloured photos from around my house and garden (it’s rainy today here in Sheffield, so I didn’t go out further afield).  I’ve exclusively used my macro lens (Canon 100mm F/2.8 IS L).  These photos took less than 5 minute to take (and a bit more than that to upload, edit and format).

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Day 2:  Texture (50 shades of Grey)

This one is easy.  My absolute favourite texture in my house is contained within my 4 amazing Gotland Sheepskins from Little Whitehall Farm.  I have 4 now, well, I have three and Maia has one.  They are all cherished and make up a feeling of home and happy memories.  These photos have not been converted into B&W.

 

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Day 3:  Unusual Perspective

Something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while.  A unusual photo, the solution to how it was made is up on my FB Fan page if you are interested!

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Day 4:  Arty nude

The most PC one for this page.  Purposely blurry.  For those that are not offended by breasts, I also tried to emulate a photo I liked.  Click here to see how I did.  Password is emulate.

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Day 5:  Film Developing and Sensor cleaning

I’ve noticed these last few days that I have quite a bit of dust on my sensor.  I had film to develop too, so I have taken the opportunity today to go to Harrisons, the camera shop with the best reputation in Sheffield.  I thought it was about time we got aquainted.   It’s a nice shop, with knowledgable staff and lots of pretty shiny things.   I kept to my mission – sensor cleaning and putting my film in to be delveloped.  Next Tuesday I will find out exactly what was on the films.  In addition to the array below, there was also a disposable, a lomography fisheye roll of film and an underwater disposable.  So, nothing every exciting today, but how many of you have rolls of film undeveloped or sensors that need cleaning???

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Day 6: 
The Best Camera

Armed only with my phone I planned to join a Meet Up group for a ramble in the Peak District.  As it happens, I had traveled to the start for the walk that was happening the following day.  I was a long way off where I should be.  This caught my eye, so is my Photo Focus for today, alongside a pretty view that I took cycling to a Dairy farm later that day to buy some milk direct.  The aim of the post will be to re-iterate Chase Jarvis and say that,  The Best Camera is the one that is with you.

 

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Day 7:  Find some Vitamin D

So, I went back to the Edale train station and found my walking group.  I took my little camera with me this time and here are a few awesome landscapes from my 13 mile walk.  Lovely.

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Current ideas for future days:

  • Take a photo of each bike for insurance purposes (for you it might be jewelry, tech gear or any other valuables)
  • Back ups and digital  de-cluttering
  • Abstract B&W pics (of me?) – this concentrates on contrast
  • Pets
  • Get rolls of film developed (I know I have at least a couple of rolls I need to take in)
  • Stock take camera  gear and use something you haven’t for a while (I have an awesome filter that I’ve rarely used, but felt I *must* have)
  • Updated headshot (with a white background for application purposes)
  • Friends and loved ones
  • Instagram my meals for a day
  • Awesome landscape
  • Lego people (or any other toy) and silly situations
  • Light – the main focus of the picture
  • Dark – the main focus of the picture
  • Pick a photo that brings you joy and do something with it
  • Thank you cards