It’s Over

An awful lot has happened this year, and not all of it has been good. I’ve been feeling very low recently. Not because of any one thing in particular but because of many things. Given that until this point, I have kept most of it bottled up I figured maybe writing about some of this stuff might help.

The first thing is just how difficult it has been making the transition from doing nothing to doing everything. I was out of work for the better part of 6 months, and now all of a sudden I am juggling a job and a degree. I feel tired a lot of the time and doing things for myself has become virtually none existent since the end of September. Of course, I understand that in every situation we’re in sacrifices need to be made, but right now I’m trying to find ways of re-integrating things that I enjoy back into my weekly routine. Exercise for example. I feel shit without exercise and the sooner I get back on that the better.

Secondly, little things are setting me off down the downward spiral again. I’m really struggling to keep my mind in a good place, and as always, as life does, it is just throwing a constant stream of challenging situations at me and I just don’t have the energy to handle them at the moment. This isn’t meant to be a pity party, just an opportunity to blow off some steam in the hopes that my permanently foggy brain may start to clear a little. I never know what to do anymore and I feel like I’m just aimlessly meandering down a path that isn’t taking me anywhere.

Finally, I recently had a major revelation. Since starting my course I haven’t quite been able to decide what direction I want to take my photography down. Torn between my want to be creative and the need to become more employable, a lightbulb suddenly went off in my head. I no longer love photography. In fact, I fucking hate it. There, I said it.

This has been a long time coming as it’s been a very long time since I picked up my camera with genuine joy and excitement about what I’m about to do, but now it has all become clear.

The Photography world is a mass of egos and mediocrity. I’d place myself in the mediocre category. I’m a tiny fish in an enormous, over saturated pond and quite frankly, does the world need another mediocre photographer? No. It really doesn’t.

I even closed my PurplePort account. I don’t use it anymore and more often than not I’d browse the pages asking myself what exactly the point most of it is all about. Did half of these images need to be made? Do they have an audience outside the model, photographer demographic? No, they don’t. For many it’s just a hobby they want to take further, for some it’s an opportunity to get your ego stroked, and for some it’s a genuine passion. But those are in the smaller numbers.

Yeah, I’m fully aware of how negative this sounds, and quite frankly at this moment in time, I really do not care. In fact, I truly believe that more people should be taking a long hard look at what they’re doing and asking themselves ‘Why?’ How many people go to University and study Photography because they hope to be a Wedding Photographer, or a Family Portrait Photographer? Not very many. This is meant with no disrespect to the people who do these things as a career, they’re challenging jobs which can be vastly rewarding and I know people who are hugely passionate in both of those areas, but if we’re being honest, these are usually fields we fall into because it’s a chance to use our skills to pay the bills.

It was never my dream to become a product photographer. It was a job I fell into because it would allow me to use Photography to make money, then incidentally, I grew to enjoy the E-Commerce industry which is where I decided to stay. So, what now?

I’ve decided to use the next few months to try as many new things as possible and see where I fit. Perhaps, I’ll fall in love with Photography again and I’ll pick my camera back up with feelings of joy rather than resentment once again. Maybe I’ll discover something completely new all together, which in my heart of hearts I’m hoping to do. Either way, I’m not a total quitter, if you throw enough mud against a wall some of it will stick, and then I can start climbing out of this hole.

The truth can really hurt, and it’s taken a long time to finally admit this to myself but I no longer want to drift along in an industry which is undervalued, underpaid and destined to keep the majority of people who fall into its jaws at the bottom of the career ladder all their lives. I don’t want to be in minimum wage jobs all my life. I don’t want to be working in studios which pay through the floor day rates then spend months chasing for my wages. It’s time to move on and realise, that while I had an absolute blast for the best part of the last eight years, this is where that journey ends.

I really don’t know what the future holds for me, and yes, of course I am scared. Fear is a large part of my nature, but there are many things out there I am yet to explore, that in itself is pretty exciting. Photography grinds you down, like many things in life, but it is an industry that can swallow you whole if you let it, and I am not about to let that happen.


What are you doing?

Well, the simple answer is I’m doing a Masters Degree! So there’s your answer if you don’t feel like reading any further.

This is a question I find I ask myself an awful lot. This is usually closely followed by ‘Why am I doing this?’

On this occasion, I have actually been asked to think about what I am doing and make a few notes for class this week. Being the Queen of over-thinking that I am, not only am I asking myself what am I actually doing, I’m also going to throw the ‘Why?’ and the ‘How?’ in there too. I could just write a few notes, but I’m kind of feeling inspired enough to write today, so we’ll go with this instead.

There is no simple, clear cut answer for as to what I am actually hoping to achieve by doing this, so I shall bullet point my answers for ease of reading.

  • Firstly, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I am riddled with self-doubt and suffer with an inferiority complex the size of a small country. I regularly write about how I want to improve as a Photographer and contemplate ways of doing this, so for me, applying to return to study was one way of getting out of that rut and actually doing something about it. This is going to be hard. I’m not naive and I am fully aware that I am probably going to feel a whole lot worse before I start to feel better, but here I am. There’s no going back now.
  • I want to be able to produce work, that I’m proud of, and if I can’t manage that, I at least want to be able to produce work that I don’t hate. I want to learn as much about lighting and creating beautiful, glossy images as I can. I don’t want to constantly compare myself to other artists and tell myself I’ll never be able to do that, I want to at least give it a bloody good try.
  • In addition to this, I don’t want to spend my entire life being a one trick pony. It’s hard enough to stand out in the ocean of Photographers that exist in the world today, and while Photography is my first love, I want to be able to do more with post processing, moving image and even create art without the use of a camera.
  • By the end of the first semester, I want to feel as though I am moving forwards. i want to be able to post blogs showing you that I have moved forward, and that my work is developing the way I want it to. I don’t want to hide things from the world any more, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable wearing the label of ‘Photographer’ forever. I don’t want to hide from the world anymore, and while I know I will never have the confidence to put myself out there as much as a lot of artists do, I would at least like to get to the point where I can maybe post an image or two and say ‘Hey, I’m Laura. I’m not the best Photographer in the world, but I made this and I’m pretty pleased with it.’
  • I want to be able to walk away from this course in a years time being able to say that I gave it my all and it paid off.

So, there is a very brief overview of what I want to achieve, now for the ‘Why?’

  • I’ve always toyed with the idea of taking a Masters program, but for whatever reason, life would never quite allow it for one reason or another. The main one of course being work. Making a living has to come first, so returning to study never felt like a viable option.
  • Having spent the best part of this year out of work, I decided that it was now or never. If I wasn’t back in work by September, I knew I wanted to be doing something constructive with my time, so I finally applied. Got accepted, then got offered a job. Sod’s law.
  • University wasn’t a great experience for me first time around. I really struggled on my Bachelors program for a number of reasons. The main one being my health being in a terrible place at the time, causing me to find things a lot harder than everybody else. Despite the fact I somehow managed to make it through, I know that under more positive circumstances I could have done so much better. Now I want to prove that.
  • I now have an incredible support network around me. While I am largely keeping this a secret, the people who do know have said they are all behind me 100% and this is really spurring me on.
  • When I look back at my time at University the first time around, it brings back a lot of bad memories. I want to be able to attach a much better experience to study this time, and when I look back in another 8 years time (yup, it’s really been that long since graduation!) I want there to be fond memories to reflect upon, such as ‘Yes! I remember the day I finally mastered that.’

Finally, How am I going to do this while holding down a job? Well, lets keep this one really simple. If I could complete a Bachelors while losing my eye sight, I’m pretty sure completing a Masters while holding down a job will be pretty easy! Well, perhaps not easy, but I’ll make it work somehow.

If I can finish this having spent most of my time on campus and not in a hospital, that’s good enough for me. If I can finish this and be able to wear the label ‘Photographer’ without feeling inadequate or ashamed, then I’ll know I can do anything.

Radio Silence

Hi everyone.

It’s 1.37 am on a Sunday morning and my late night procrastination has led me here. My eyes feel heavy but my brain won’t switch off, it’s just nagging me about all the things I need to do, should be doing or should already have done but haven’t. I was going to save something for the morning, but figured I may as well get it out of my system in the hopes I may actually get some sleep.

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the Radio Silence. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, it’s not that I no longer want to do this, I’ve literally just had nothing to say. I’ve been in a state of static the last few weeks. Life just seems to be standing still and I’m trying to push it forward, but it isn’t really happening. I felt my voice and my thoughts haven’t really been very relevant so have kept them to myself.

Then I realised, it has been exactly one month since I shot anything and almost a month since I last wrote anything, so these things combined have kind of shocked me into action a little bit. I should be doing something, no matter how little or insignificant. Periods of unemployment can be painfully demotivating, so it’s so important to keep yourself busy or you begin to crash out of life. While I currently have no shoots planned, I think I am slowly coming back to life.

I’ve been feeling really hollow and insignificant recently, I’m constantly running myself down and I need to snap out of it. I just need my fortunes to change, even if it is only ever so slightly, just so I can get on again.

So, what has been happening? Well, I’ve been spending most of my time looking for work. This is taking up most of my days at the moment, and I’ve just been on another run of unsuccessful job interviews, which is really starting to take it’s toll. I’m starting to lose the joy in doing things which I’ve always been so passionate about, and just generally feeling pretty ‘meh’ about everything. I hate it.

The past few days have started to pick up a little. I decided I needed to be doing something more useful with my time, so as of this Wednesday, I will be volunteering at my local Cats Protection charity shop, which I am really looking forward to. I’m so excited to be doing something worthwhile and actually gaining some useful skills in the process.

Joe has been working on a new design for my website. It’s looking really good so far, I just need to sift through thousands of files now in order to find some nice, strong content to put on it. I will write another update on that once it’s launched.

I have a few small ideas which I am researching in a last ditch attempt to save my failing Photography career, I just need to research my market a little more and see if it’s worth taking the time to pursue. If it isn’t, no harm done, but I am seriously low on ideas and fast running out of luck.

This could in turn lead to me having to make a very serious decision about whether I even want to stay in this industry. There is no specific reason for my recent pessimism towards it, but I will write a more detailed post about that another time, as a good rant often helps clear the air, and the way to carry on. If I do decide to leave though, I need to have a long hard think about what I’m going to do instead. I have no transferable skills, so that still doesn’t make me very employable.

It’s safe to say that I am in a state of flux at the moment. Hence the long silence, for which I apologise. Hopefully, things will start to work themselves out and business can continue as normal, but as much as I am trying, I am not feeling particularly optimistic about this happening any time soon.

Hopefully, I will be able to look back on this post in a few months time and realise it has all just been a critical case of creative block.

Floof Overload

Today is the two month anniversary of Leica’s early passing. When I woke up this morning, I instantly filled with sadness. Sadness, not just for Leica, but also for The Floofs that we lost. I think about Leica every day, sometimes it fills my eyes with tears and sometimes it brings a smile to my face. I love remembering all her little quirks, like how she could never meow properly so she’d just squeak instead. How excited she’d get at watching me spray deodorant on because she thought it was a can of squirty cream. The time she dive bombed Joe’s plate and ended up up to her ears in spaghetti. The adorable way in which she would follow Neko absolutely everywhere he went and how sad she looked when he went outside.

I’m glad I have happy memories of Leica. I just wish I’d managed to get a few more of the beautiful Floofs. The three remaining baby Floofs are doing really well now, they are growing and getting stronger, thanks to the amazing Lisa from Fur and Feathers. So, in that spirit, I decided that I didn’t want my last post about The Floofs to be a sad one. During the time they were were, they too put a smile on my face, and while I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t regret what happened to Sakura and Finn, I also want to remember them for the beautiful souls that they were.

Being a Mad Cat Lady with a camera always meant that they would be captured in pixels while they were here, so now, please allow me to share some pictures of these beautiful babies with you all.























If you have your own fur baby, please give them a big hug today and remind them how special they are.




Camera Casualty

Hello everyone,

After writing to you last week from under the sunny skies of my garden, it feels a bit crap to be back inside, hiding from the rain or whatever crappy weather being thrown at us next!

Sadly, one of my shoots from last week was cancelled, but I still got to go out and shoot a couple of little pink cameras. Cue, my first Camera Casualty! As anyone who has ever worked with film will understand, it can be a complicated process, many things can go wrong, so you need to be confident enough to relinquish some elements of control if you want to work with it.

I was shooting in town, with my Sister-in-law, Heather. We’d only been to two locations when the film ran out. Each film should come with 24 frames, sometimes more if you’re lucky, but this one died after we’d only taken 12 shots, annoying, but something we had to accept. We’re planning on going out again at some point to try again very soon.

When I went to collect my images the next day, there was a note on the packet. The man behind the counter explained that the film in one of the cameras had been jammed in the canister and had actually torn when they were trying to load it into the machine – that would explain why there were 12 frames missing. Luckily, the ones we shot were safe and I got some usable images from them.

So today, may I share with you the results from my most recent little pink camera antics.

Models are Heather and Alex.











Until Next Time.


Little Pink Camera Project

Roll up, roll up, if you like image heavy blogs, this is definitely the place for you right now!

May I present to you, the first stages of a little project I began work on in February. Little Pink Camera Project. Why Little Pink Camera Project? Well it does exactly what it says on the tin, I am creating images using a job lot of little pink disposable cameras that I bought.

I’ve always loved film and using analogue methods. When I was at uni, I was so reluctant to switch to digital, although ironically I was the first one to make the switch after a few problems made using a darkroom nearly impossible, but more on that story later. Towards the end of last year I decided I was feeling pretty jaded with a lot of things about the Photography world, from the sheer amount of Photographers that are out there now, to the images being produced and also my own frustrations at being in a bit of a creative slump.

It would appear that the nineties are having a bit of a revival at the moment, not only the fashions, but there are a lot of Photographers producing work that have that kind of aesthetic to it, which reminded me so much of my old collection of ‘The Face’ magazine. I decided to take this as a starting point to trying something new, so I began drafting up some mood boards on my Pinterest account. If you’re interested, you can check it out here:¬†

Once I gathered a few ideas. I purchased the first batch of cameras. I had a group shoot back in February so that is where I debuted the idea and shot my first few rolls of film. Naturally, as with the beauty of film, you never know what you’re going to get until you receive the images back from the printer, so of course there are going to be varying levels of successes and failures, but I’m sure the more I do it, the more I’ll get used to what works and what doesn’t.

The first batch of images definitely reflect this fact, some things were a flat out epic fail, it’s so easy to forget the whole finger over the lens thing on a range finder camera! However, there were definitely some amazing images too, I got exactly what I was looking for a couple of times, and I have already decided that I think the images work better indoors, with flash than with natural light. Then again, once the brighter weather comes I could change my mind about that.

A few people have asked me why I don’t just load up a roll of 35mm in my old SLR, but the truth is, I quite like working with restrictions. I feel like as a Photographer, my skills are pretty limited in the digital world, I’m certainly not as confident or clued up as a lot of people out there, I’ve just always tried to make the best of what I can do. Using the disposables means I am free to explore the limits of what they can produce using what I already know, and by stepping out of my comfort zone in one go.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this so far, and I am definitely investing in my second batch of cameras once my invoices are paid. I will try to write a little bit about the process and experience with each new lot of images, as this is definitely a learning process and there is still a long way to go, but I am very excited about what I can create.

For now, please enjoy a selection of the best images from my first few trial shoots.






















That’s it for now. A nice selection of raw and gritty images, in the literal sense!

I hope you enjoy, I can’t wait to see where this project goes.



It’s late at night on Easter weekend. I’m at my parents house in Devon. Naturally, being my childhood home, being here always stirs up memories of the past so it’s not unusual thing to feel nostalgic.

The thing is, since arriving here, away from all the recent events which have challenged me, it has also made me reconsider the future somewhat.

I have to admit, my confidence is at rock bottom at the moment. Lack of work coupled with low mood, doesn’t exactly do wonders for a person at the best of times, but recently, I have bee struggling to stay motivated and questioning whether I want to do Photography at all anymore. I’m a tiny fish in a pond so big, it can’t even be classed as a pond at all. At the very best I am average in most of the work I do and just feel like I’m stalling.

When I was 15, I knew I wanted to study Photography when I left school. I was adamant I would get out of town to do this too, Newton Abbot is hardly the hive of creative activity and I’d always had my sights set on Exeter College. When I eventually got there, it was everything I hoped it would be. I had the time of my life and I loved studying Photography every bit as much as I hoped I would. I’d never felt like I’d fit in anywhere before, and this new and exciting adventure is what propelled me to where I am today.

Being here, reminds me of my 16 year old self, and how happy Photography made me, so I’m using this period of reflection to try and reclaim some of that passion and excitement. I was never the best image maker in my class, but I wanted to be, and that drive has always stayed with me. Even now. I just don’t know how to give it the kick start it needs.

There are definitely some decisions to made in the near future. The adult in me knows I need to get things done, and by any means in order to keep things stable, however I need the teenager in me to keep screaming about the excitement of image making if I’m going to continue down this road. She was never a very confident person either, but boy, did she have vision. I can’t believe how enthusiastic and optimistic I was.

Perhaps one day, I’ll share with you some of the work I created back then. Mediocre images of an over-enthusiastic teenager let loose in a darkroom, before pixels took over. I really miss those days.

For now, the conflict between my teenage self and adult self will continue for the next few days. I know you shouldn’t really pick sides, but I have, and I am whole-heartedly rooting for her. I’ve been so very fortunate, I just hope that doesn’t end here.