“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow and transform.” – Roy T. Bennett
Stepping outside of my comfort zone is an area I’ve always struggled with just to avoid anything that involved change because to tell you the truth…I didn’t want to feel any form of anxiety. Along the way I started to realize that I wasn’t really growing as a person and I needed to find a way to creep out of my shell. Ever since I discovered a passion for photography I knew that I wanted to pursue it as a career at some point which did involve challenges and most importantly…growth. I like to challenge myself in every piece of project I create as I love to explore a different range of themes. Last year I brainstormed a few ideas for projects and I really wanted to produce a fashion portrait series that focused on growth, change and transformation (I sneaked in a few conceptual ideas of course).
It’s great to get away from the busy streets of as you get the chance to discover such beautiful locations outside of London. I browsed online for a location that could fit well with the theme and relatively somewhere that wasn’t too long of a drive. Alas… I stumbled across the mesmerizing Camber Sands which was indeed very sandy! I loved the setting of it as it reminded me of the Moroccan Sahara desert (on my bucket list). It was surprisingly windy and cold out there to the point it was impossible to photograph Lauren without getting sand in my eyes. I had to wrap my cardigan around my head as that was the only way I could see through the lens. As I was preparing for the shoot I completely forgot how to work a camera as I haven’t used mine for over five months. Luckily it all came back to me, it was just hidden beneath…
Whilst shooting in these windy conditions, I noticed how well it was fitting with the concept as it brought a lot of fluidity in the shots. As we were on a schedule I wasn’t able to try out some of the ideas I brainstormed which was fine as I like to be spontaneous in my shoots and stumble across something unexpectedly. I got to use this snazzy accordion I purchased from EBay which I managed to snag for a decent price. It was my favourite part of the shoot, along with the use of bubbles of course! Overall, I had a great time collaborating with Lauren as she is such a lovely person who you can literally talk about anything with during a 2 hour car journey. I have worked with Maisie before for my conceptual Native American shoot and she did a fantastic job with the hair and make-up. I definitely wanted to collaborate with her again as she is such a wonderful artist and I get along with her so well. I don’t know what I would do without Elisha, I have known her since high school and she has been such an amazing friend throughout this creative journey. She has been so helpful and is willing wake up at 6am just to help with a photoshoot. I am very pleased with the outcome of the portraits as they turned out better than I expected.
We originally planned to shoot the project at Hampstead Heath with a different model I reached out to but it didn’t exactly go according to plan. I try not dwell on these as along the way I started to realize that some areas in life are out of your control. I tend to come across a lot of obstacles throughout my photography journey, I have cried and at times I wasn’t exactly in the right mind frame. It’s very important to take a step back and to take care of your mental well-being. I wasn’t in the greatest head space in the year 2015 due to personal reasons which contributed to me losing interest in photography and not being productive. I was very closed off during that period which I hope not experience again but I’ve learnt so much from it. At times I may experience sudden changes in my mood but it’s just something that is part of me and I have found a few solutions to improve on this.
The only advice I can give to readers out there is to never give up on your passion and even though you will come across a few bumpy roads along the way…try to stay hopeful! 🙂