Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Azura January 10th - July 13th 2014

So Azura has been very different to Aurora. It took me a long time to adjust to the size of Azura and the size of the team I worked in.
Although being flown out to Barbados, Bridgetown wasn't so bad after all. It was an amazing three months to spend in the Caribbean. They are the friendliest, most chilled out people you will ever meet. They will refer to you as their friends and chat to you as if you've known them forever. And when it rains, they don't complain. They simply refer to rain as 'liquid sunshine'.

The islands although very similar, are all beautiful in their own ways. Barbados is a beautiful place to go on holiday as the island is beautiful and there is also shopping and night life. The night life is absolutely amazing in Barbados. Harbour lights being a night club on the beach, is probably the best place to go out drinking in the world!
Another one of my favourite islands was St Maarten. There is sooo much shopping to be done there. Also the beaches and places to eat are amazing. Honkey Tonks being my favourite place to eat and Airport Beach the best beach to go to. (Its called Airport beach because aeroplanes fly right over the beach!).

I only went to Grand Turk once but it was definitely a place to remember! You get off the ship and your on the beach straight away. Then go round the corner and there is Margaritaville! Was a brilliant day with the photography team.

Once we got back from the Caribbean, we did many Mediterranean cruises which I always love as I can go out jogging or just chill in the port. The best cruises I found were to Norway. Norway is such a beautiful, tranquil place. It makes a change to go somewhere in the world that is so peaceful and clean! I usually went jogging or climbing up the mountains in Norway as it was such a beautiful place to do so.
On Aurora I never had the chance to get off in Flam but on Azura I got the chance to. And it was one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I have ever visited. I got off the ship with Rose and Tom and we had the most amazing day walking through the mountains and up the mountain to the waterfall. I had a moment of feeling very fearless and free...

My last cruise of my second contract was to Russia, and I'd been looking forward to this cruise because it was my last and also because I had never been to Sweden and Russia before. The cruise was amazing and it was great to spend over night in St Petersburg just chilling at a small bar with Rose and Clancey. I visited the Peterhof Palace on the second day which was beautiful.

Like I did on my last contract, I took a polaroid in each port I was in. Here are all my polaroids from Azura...

This contract has been a very tough one as I had never spent 6 and a half months away from home before and I'm not gonna lie I did struggle. I wanted to quit at times, wanted to strangle people at times and wanted to jump off at times but looking back on it I did have an amazing time.
It is bloody hard work but its worth it to see so many places and to gain experience in what I love doing.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Looking over this year...

I've always wanted a non structural life. 
I've been brought up seeing people go to school, go to college, meet someone, get married, have kids and work for the rest of their life. Inevitably we all have to go to school and college but I never wanted the things that people did afterwards. 
At the age of 14, I wrote down in a diary all the things I wanted to achieve before I settled down. And looking over things, I have achieved some of those ambitions but even some that weren't on the list and all done in the space of a year.
This year I graduated from University. I achieved a 2:1 in Photography which I was pleased about. I knew I wanted to go on to do Photography and not choose a different path like a lot of people on my course.
So in April, I started looking for Photography jobs. I knew I wanted to get out of Portsmouth (as I'd lived there my whole life). I applied to be a Cruise Ship Photographer. 
I'd always wanted a job that enabled me to travel as I never wanted to have an office job. This job was everything I wanted. Photography and Travel. 

I got the job and I did a tiny bit of travelling before travelling!

I went to Alabama to go to my Brother and his now Wife's wedding (she lives there). We went to Montgomery and I have never met such friendly people! Everyone we met had such kind souls and were so happy to meet an English person! 

In Montgomery, we went to a F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgeralds home. I am a massive fan of The Great Gatsby and I was so happy to go to there house and learn about the two of them. The man in there was so knowledgable about them and the paintings Zelda did I found very interesting too. 

It was an amazing holiday and we also visited Gulf Shores and Atlanta which were also two beautiful places! 

Four days after America I went to Amsterdam with my best friend Eleanor. I also absolutely loved it there! I loved that there were so many canals and everyone went round on bikes. We chilled out mainly here and did what any 21 year old would do in Amsterdam! But we also went to the Anne Frank Museum which I found truly fascinating! 
We also got some bikes out and went cycling around Amsterdam which I'd been wanting to do for ages! 

We spent three days in Amsterdam and the next week, I graduated...

I also got told that I would be joining Aurora three days after my Graduation!

(See about Aurora on my last blog).

Overall, it has been an amazing year and I have been to around 40 different places in the world. 
I've learnt a lot about myself. I've learnt that I like life fast paced and that I also do enjoy the company of others but I also really need time to myself quite a lot. 

Someone once asked me on the ship why I liked going out in Ports by myself and I described it as "I like to enjoy places and if I'm with someone that doesn't share the same interest then you can't appreciate and enjoy the place as much". 

I've also learnt that my happiness doesn't lie within the UK and so after Ship life I will be travelling the world and after that moving somewhere else :). 

AND... that I don't want my life to be structured. I want to be young, selfish and see the world :). 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Since July 26th, I have been working on Aurora, a P&O Cruise Ship. When I first left, I was so excited to finally be leaving Portsmouth (where I have lived my whole life) and start a new journey sailing the seas and discovering new places.

My first day I remember so clearly. I arrived on board a scared little girl not having a clue where I was going and what I was doing really. But I met the commercial manager, Simon who was lovely and showed me round. I remember being overwhelmed by all the different sections to the ship and thinking, "How am I going to remember where everything is!". I then had lunch on my own in the crew mess which was an experience. I got stared at by a million indians and I had a curry which was the worst curry I'd ever had. I didn't eat in there for a while. 

I later on met my team which consisted of Shelley (my cabin mate), Jamie, Richard and Dan. They were all so lovely and luckily I clicked with Shelley straight away. I got into the job pretty quickly as you do because you're doing it every day (no days off). 

The shoots I had to do were Soft Focus, Gala Party, Couples, Tables, Sailaway's, Gangway's, Formal Nights, Special Occassion's and also working in The Photo Gallery selling the photographs.

I found the long days quite tough at first as we work 12 hours a day and then go out in the evening to the Crew Bar. The lack of sunlight as well was strange for a while as we have no window in the cabin and The Photo Gallery has no sunlight due to the life boats being outside and the boards of photographs covers the windows. 

The job was rewarding at times as we also did 1-2-1 sessions with the passengers telling them about their cameras and them being so thankful that you showed them a mode that wasn't auto. I also did talks about Photography and often got a round of applause. I also photographed a proposal which was really special as I was the only other person in the world that got to see that special moment of theirs. I also did a wedding and the lady cried looking through her pictures (win!). 

The job was also very tough at times with passengers being very rude and inconsiderate, sometimes we would get shouted at for doing our job which wasn't very nice. 

But I'm back home now and its amazing to look back on all the places I have been. I've been to Mediterranean a few times, America, Canada, Fjords and Caribbean. My favourite cruise had to be the Caribbean cruise. Everyone was really happy and the atmosphere was great on the ship! The ports were amazing. We went to Ponta Delgado, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua and St Lucia. We sat on the beaches and drank rum punch and just enjoyed being young and free, I had no cares in the world. 

My favourite port in the Caribbean had to be Barbados. I went on a photography tour with a photographer from Barbados. We toured around Barbados whilst he showed passengers different ways of looking. It was beautiful! I then got back and got a taxi to a place called the Boatyard. The boatyard is where all the crew go to erm not get drunk! I had a couple of rum punches which were amazing and started dancing in the sea! 

Another one of my favourite ports was Quebec. Quebec is in Canada (not a lot of people know about it) and it is a French Canadian place. It reminded me of Paris. We were there for two days and I couldn't get off till 9pm on the first day. So we did what sailors did and went out for drinks in the evening to a really good club. We all got a bit merry and had an amazing time! Unfortunately my alarm didn't go off the next day and this was because I'd left my phone in the club. So I had to get a taxi to the club and luckily some nice french canadian had handed it in :). From there I walked around Quebec on my own (I often went out on my own) and went down in the cable car to the 'old town' which was absolutely beautiful. Quebec is a place I'd love to go back to and explore abit more. I'd love to go into the Chateaux as I didn't have the chance to when I was there.  

I also really enjoyed Lisbon as well. Lisbon has the most amazing architecture and graffiti. It also has a bridge designed by the same people who designed the one in San Francisco, so they are very similar. I also loved walking around Lisbon on my own and discovering something I didn't see the last time. 

Before I went on the Cruise Ship, I told myself I'd do a little project. I decided to take a picture on my Instax Fujifilm camera in every single place I got off at. So here it is... 

 I have had the most amazing time on Aurora. I won't be going back to Aurora as I am being transferred to Azura which I am very excited about (3 months in the Caribbean!). I can say I have travelled some of the world now and I wanted to do this before I had any other commitments in my life. I'd like to look back when I'm older and say, "Yes I was selfish when I was young, but at least I have no regrets".

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Great Gatsby - The Film

Last Thursday I went to go and see The Great Gatsby the film. I was eager to go and see it and went in with an open mind, as I knew nothing could compare to the book.

I sat down and watched the people gather into the screen, one man walked in with a suit on and a fancy hat on his own, probably a crazy gatsby fan like me but I thought it rather cool and elegant that he came in dressed like that!

Anyway, the film I found absolutely beautiful. Like the book, the beginning is full of colour, vibrance and beauty and towards the end merges into greyness to portray heartbreak.

The film was shot beautifully and the parties were extravagant, Baz Luhrmann did brilliantly and was the perfect person to recreate this beautiful novel.

I found Leonardo DiCaprio was the perfect man to play Gatsby as his manors were exactly that of Gatsby's in the book, a mysterious man with a large element of coolness. Towards the end, I felt he did an excellent job of portraying a man completely in love and completely doomed.

Daisy, played by Carey Mulligan, also did well as she portrayed an effortlessly glamorous woman confused by love and secureness.

The film was beautiful and showed every single subject that Fitzgerald brang up within his novel. The story is probably one of the most heartbreaking I have ever seen. Daisy loved Gatsby but Gatsby was about to loose reputation and have his life of security destroyed and Daisy did not want to go down with him.

A magical story about love, loss, power and security as well as predicting the Wall Street Crash.

A must see, well done Baz Luhrmann!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Professional Practice

I went into University with quite a narrow view of what kind of Photography I wanted to go into, that was Architectural Photography. However, University has expanded my views on Photography. During my second year, I branched into fashion photography, recreating the 1920's vogue front covers. This gained me confidence in working with people and so I went on to photograph tribute bands for my third year project. I also photographed the event 'Mad Hatters Charity Tea Party' which raised money for those suffering with Cystic Fibrosis. These projects I have featured on my website as I feel they have been my strongest and I also want to show that I can work with a variety of different people and get the best photographs out of them. 

I have left out my current project as I feel it does not fit in as well with the other images. However, I have put a link to my blog on my 'About Me' page on which you can see the project and the story behind it. I do also still enjoy my architectural and landscape photography however, I want to combine this with fashion as I want to work with models and make up artists. Therefore, on my website I have put a section called 'Portraits' which show that I have worked with models, make up artists and fashion students. 

I have been doing projects outside of University during my third year, such as continuing my Tribute Band project by photographing The Bootleg Beatles. I found the experience enhanced my people skills even more and I want to keep photographing Tribute Bands. 

I have also photographed a group of Second Year fashion students work, which the photo shoot was held in Southampton in a cottage. This combined architecture with fashion which was perfect experience for me. 

Also, I was paid to photograph the band 'Vic Vincent and The Firebirds' in which I photographed them on stage and in the studio. This was interesting as I can see myself doing band photography along side me having a main photography job. My photographs taken in the studio of them were used on their album and were shown on their Facebook page which was good coverage for me. 

Also this year, I have found Twitter has been an excellent means of communicating my work. Through twitter, I have got my work featured on 'Business Boom', a website that show cases young talent within the artistic genre. My work can be seen via this link

I have also been featured on the Strong Island website, showing my recent project on my Grandparents garden. They described my work as 'atmospheric and thought provoking' which I intended my project to do. My work can be seen via this link -

I have also been asked to photograph 'The Mad Hatters Charity Tea Party' again this year which I am very excited about as I loved photographing it last year. My photographs from last year can be seen on their website -

After University, I intend to gain work experience with some Fashion Photographers and also revisit my work experience from last year 'Vision Photography' to gain even more of an insight into how a photography business runs. I am also applying to be a Cruise Ship Photographer so I can travel and work at the same time. 

Overall, I feel the course has looked at many different areas of Photography which I have found helpful in finding which genre I want to be in. I have a lot more confidence in my Photography and always want to push myself to do more. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strong Island

I was contacted a few weeks ago about having my work on Strong Island and now it's on there! Paul Gonella wrote about my work being 'atmospheric and thought provoking' which I am happy about as thats what my work intended to do :).

Follow the link where you can see my work being featured...

Also, the story behind my work is a few posts down so have a read!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I fell in love with dolls the moment I first stepped into my Grandmothers attic full of old German Dolls. I love how eerie the dolls are but at the same time very beautiful.
So today I came across a book in the library full of dolls and weird masks. I had to get it out!
The book is by Ralph Eugene Meatyard called 'Dolls and Masks'.
It is full of fantasy and eeriness, two things that attract me the most. 
Here are a few images that are in the book...