Turning 21

Camera: Canon G7X Mark ii
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-powershot-g7-x-mark-ii/

I can’t say I was too pleased with the idea of turning 21, despite it still being so young in the grand scheme of things, I suddenly felt that my 21 year old self would suddenly feel the entire pressure of “adulting” and the long list of responsibilities that come with that.

Today, I wanted to discuss the whole aspect of “getting older” and the genuine pressure and anxiety I feel as each year goes by. For a while, I thought I was alone in feeling this way, but after discussing the way I felt and the pressure I seem to put on myself to achieve as much as physically possible in a year, I realised I wasn’t alone.

I took it upon myself to research and look further into the subject of feeling anxious about completing as much as possible before you turn a certain age. I realise to many, this may sound ridiculous.

That’s because it is.

Since the age of around 18 and leaving for University, I started to apply a little more pressure within certain aspects of my life and especially in terms of work, I felt the “need to succeed”.

You see, I have always been ambitious. From my Primary School days and getting chosen to be Head Girl, I have always wanted and needed to excel in whatever I put my mind too – and I am not saying in any way, shape, or form that this is a bad thing, because it isn’t. It is in-fact a great trait to have.

However, it does require a certain level of balance between being ambitious and putting too much pressure on yourself. From the age of 18, I started to set myself goals and what I wanted to achieve before I turned 19, which worked out well – but also meant that if life took me in a different direction or I didn’t quite manage to do everything I’d hoped – I’d feel horrendous guilt.

This is when it becomes a problem.

Life is filled with high’s and low’s and sometimes with that, plans can be diverted and you can be taken down a route you’d never of dreamed of. This isn’t an issue. Nobodies life pans out exactly how you write it down and this can be a hard pillow to swallow.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

So, instead of allowing myself to feel a sense of pressure on every birthday – I have decided to start listing the things in life that I have achieved, and the things I’ve completed and seen. At the age of 21, I can say that I am a BA Honors Filmmaking Graduate from Bristol University, that is now the Founding Director of her own Film Production Company, surrounded by a wonderful set of friends and the most supportive Family. I’ve experienced a huge amount for someone that is 21, and seen parts of the world that I never even thought of. To say all of that and reflect on the person I am, and the things I have completed, makes me extremely happy and only makes me want to achieve more – which I will, but not under the constant pressure of needing to do it all before I turn 22.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

The moral of the story, is to live life how you want. If at the age of 40, you decide to quit your job and travel the world.

Go for it.

If you are turning 18, surrounded by friends that are all planning on leaving for University to do a degree and it isn’t in your best interest to do so –

That is fine.

Live life in exactly the way you want too, and never feel pressurised or anxious about comparing your life to somebody else’s.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

21 for me, is a year of building myself. A year of pushing my company to the limit and achieving great things. A year of enjoying myself, travelling and spending every moment I can with my Friends and Family. I have ideas and ambitions for where I want to go in terms of work, but there is no pressure.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

If you ever feel the same way I did, please do not hesitate to email or DM me on Instagram and we can chat. Don’t feel alone.

Best Photography Location’s in the UK: Cornwall Edition

You don’t have to travel far and wide to see a fantastic view, one of which is based along the Coast in Cornwall.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

After being sent to Cornwall for a shoot last week, it meant I had the chance to explore more of the area and of course, take photos.

I have only been to Cornwall once before, living so far away it has always been difficult to find the time to make the seven hour drive down, however since moving to The Cotswolds earlier this year, places such as Cornwall have been made more accessible.

I was sent to shoot along the coast of Portreath, and after finishing the initial shoot, we decided to explore further along the coastline, and this is when we discovered the fantastic views below.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/
Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/
Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

I have to be honest, this location isn’t the easiest to shoot along – and due to the sheer height and how steep the cliffs were, it made it very difficult to get into the right position – so if heights are an issue for you, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this location.

However, if you’re willing to do some climbing for the perfect Instagram, this location is definitely worth your time and effort. The water, as blue as some of the oceans I’ve seen across the world, and the surrounding scenery was absolutely beautiful.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/
Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

I spent around an hour, wandering the cliffs and taking as many shots as physically possible. I am happy with the final outcome of the photos, some not as focused as I’d like however it was ridiculously windy at the top of the hills where most of these photos were taken, and this caused me to rush a few shots.

They have all been edited as normal in Lightroom, except this time I have found a new-found love for Peter Mckinnon’s presets and this is what I have used on most of the photos featured in this post. His preset in ‘North’ is a personal favourite of mine, and one I find easy and suitable for most of the photos I take as the colours seem to work really well not only with my Instagram theme, but for professional shoots also.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

You can download Peter’s presets using the link below for a really good price. I find the presets work for a range of different photos, and I’m finding myself reaching for them on a regular basis.

https://sellfy.com/petermckinnon

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/
Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

For more posts like these, please check out my Instagram page for more location based posts and recommendations.

All photos used within this blog post are taken and edited by myself. Editing Software used: Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Photoshop Express for iPad.

An M&M Lover’s Dream

The perfect recipe for an M&M lovers dream. These cookies aren’t for the faint-hearted, and one is enough to cure your sweet cravings for a week.. but these M&M Pretzel Cookies inspired by Tanya Burr, are the dream.

M&M Cookies taken using the Canon 5DIV. Photo taken by myself.

To create these cookies you will need..

Ingredients

  • 200g of M&M’s of your choice (I used the ‘crunchy’ M&M’s). If you do have a nut allergy, you could also use Smarties.
  • 200g of Salted Pretzels (I used Salted Caramel Pretzels)
  • 200g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g of Golden Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 325g of Self Raising Flour
  • 1sp of Vanilla Extract
  • A dash of mixture if the consistency seems too thick (I used Soya Milk and this worked exactly the same).
  • 1tbsp of Golden Syrup

The Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oc and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper or ‘baking parchment’.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and finally adding the golden syrup to give a light and fluffy texture.
  3. Next, add the one large egg to the mixture.
  4. Gradually add the flour until you mixture reaches a thick consistency.
  5. Then, add the teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture.
  6. Once you have done this, the M&M’s and crushes pretzels can be added to the final mixture.
  7. If the mixture seems slightly too dense at this stage, adding a splash of milk will give the mixture a better consistency.
  8. The cookies can then be separated into 10 – 12 small balls depending on your desired size of cookie (as they do spread a significant amount!).
  9. The cookies can be placed into the oven for 12-13 minutes. Please do not be alarmed when taking the cookies out of the oven, as they may not look cooked. This is normal. The cookies will harden and become more firm as they cool.
  10. TIP: Before adding the cookies to the oven, I took a teaspoon of the Crunchie Chocolate Spread and added this into the middle of the mixture. As the cookies cook, the spread melts into the centre of the dough.

The Ultimate Gingerbread Recipe: Festive Edition

Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Photographed: Final Gingerbread

Gingerbread.

The perfect Festive snack. Or two.

After many years of making gingerbread and trying to perfect a recipe, that isn’t too sweet or too spicy – I have finally nailed a recipe that is delicious, and works a treat for everyone around the Christmas season.

If you would like to read further into my recipe (inspired by the lovely Tanya Burr) please see below.

You Will Need..

  • 75g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 75g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg (Or two small)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Golden Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp of Black Treacle (This is the secret ingredient that makes the gingerbread all the more tasty!)
  1. Firstly, you must dust the surface you have chosen to use, with flour.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar into a bowl, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the one egg, the table spoon of golden syrup and black treacle along with the flour.
  4. Combine.
  5. Add the remaining spices and baking soda to form the correct mixture.
  6. Roll out the formed dough into a thickness of your desire, and use Gingerbread men cutters (or other festive shapes) until you have used all of the dough.
  7. Place the gingerbread men into the oven, on the middle shelf, for around 10-12 minutes depending on your oven. Oven should be set to 180o.
  8. Once the gingerbread are done, they should be crispy at the edges, and a lovely soft consistency in the middle.
  9. Dust with the remaining flour.
Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Camera Used: Canon 5D IV

Where To Eat: Amsterdam Edition

Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Photograph Taken: Amsterdam
Food Provided by: SLÁ Amsterdam

During my time in Amsterdam, I was lucky enough to try variety of different foods, from a few different places within the City. After delving into some research, it became apparent that Amsterdam offered a large selection of Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants and cafes to explore.

Being Vegetarian, this really appealed to me – and I was excited to explore Amsterdam’s culture and food the most I could, in three days.

SLÁ

The image above, is one taken in the idyllic park in Amsterdam City Centre. It was my 20th birthday, the sun was shining and my spirits were high. After stumbling across a small cafe named ‘SLÁ’ – I thought it was worth a try of their huge variety of vegan foods. These delicious bowls were 100% Vegan, and tasted fantastic. When walking into the cafe, you are faced with an over-whelmingly large bar which offers bowls upon bowls of different salads, meat-free options and sauces. You simply go in stages, choosing your base to the bowl, your “meat” or protein and finally, your sauce.

Before choosing the vegetarian lifestyle, I wasn’t aware of simply how many options there were for vegan and vegetarian foods. Of course, everyone seems to think that all vegans and vegetarians nibble on is “rabbit food” – but this is just not the case.

If you are heading to Amsterdam in the fore sable future and fancy dabbling in some new and exciting flavours, please do head to SLÁ. I have left a link to their website at the bottom of the page, and also their Instagram page if you wish to follow them.

REE7

Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Photograph Taken: Amsterdam
Food Provided By: REE7

The photo of sweet treats shown above, is taken at REE7. An idyllic cafe featured in the centre of Amsterdam. After seeing hundreds of photos online, and an Instagram filled with adventurous milkshakes and cakes, I knew I had to try out REE7.

Although not strictly vegan or vegetarian, this cafe offers a wide selection of foods, and the most amazing breakfasts you could imagine. I seem to remember scrolling through my Instagram feed and coming across REE7 and their ever so famous milkshakes. After searching further into where the cafe was and the food they sold, I was desperate to try.

Camera Used: Canon G7X
Photograph Taken: REE7, Amsterdam
Food Provided by: REE7

Ree7 describes itself as a cosy “lunch room”, situated next to “Jordaan”. The menu ranges from delicious sandwiches, to adventurous soups and salads (Yes, you can make a salad adventurous!). Whether you are with friends or family, REE7 advertises its self as the perfect location for a spot of lunch, or a hearty breakfast.

All cakes, and sweet treats are baked fresh, and a cosy table is awaiting you. I have to say, the entire time I was sat within REE7 – I felt at complete ease. The cafe is designed and made to make you feel at home, and it definitely achieves this.

Camera Used: Canon 5D IV
Photograph Taken: Amsterdam
Food Provided By: REE7

All in all, I had a wonderful experience in Amsterdam (travel post to come soon!), and the food was great. Both of these cafes are excellent, and I would highly recommend you visiting.

SLÁ – https://ilovesla.com/

Ree7 – http://ree7.nl/

Both cafes are featured on Instagram under the same name.