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Getting the DSLR off of ‘Auto’

colourful stadium photography
While I know I’m not alone in my love for photography, I have known for quite some time that I have forced myself into an undesirable niche photographers; the ones who don’t get their DSLR off the ‘auto’ setting.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve tried. I have attended a handful of ‘photography classes’ over the past three years but have always left feeling either confused (“Why have I spent four hours studying light leaks when 90% of my photography is reactive?”) or underwhelmed (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been ‘taught’ the rule of thirds when my only photographical strength is a natural knack for composition).

This time, things were different.

On Sunday, I spent the day with a group of fantastic bloggers and photographers at the Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield to receive a full-on masterclass from Pandora Maund of Going Digital. Unlike classes that I have previously attended, I came away from the day like a singleton returning from The Perfect First Date – I wanted to take a picture of absolutely everything in sight (the kind of camera lust that has dwindled since purchasing my first ‘proper’ camera as a teenager).

Instead of fiddling around tirelessly with manual settings, the day equipped me with both textbook and practical tips and knowledge that has – in my opinion – improved my photography tenfold. Not only that, but the Copthorne Hotel’s proximity to the football grounds of Sheffield United made for some super snazzy shots (special access is a beautiful thing, eh?).

My new year’s resolution is to never take a photo on ‘auto’ again.*

(*If I struggle, there’s always Instagram…)

photography class
creme brulee
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In Review: Muse of London

muse of london
Ater using some at-home hair colour treatments for a few months, it seemed as good a time as ever to make my first trip to Muse of London; a concept salon from colour genius Jason Cocking (he’s tended to the tresses of the Olsen stwins, Nigella Lawson, and many more hair goddesses).

I was stoked. And a tad late (eye surgery and London street signs are a hellish cocktail), so called to say I would be ten minutes behind.

Rushing in, I realised that the last time I was in the building was when it played home to the Lisa Shepherd salon. Same set-up, same waiting area; it was like I had stepped in the Twilight Zone for a second.

With a complimentary latte and a chair to chat to Jason in, we briefly discussed my hair hopes (a light and muti-dimensional ginger) before getting straight to the dye process.

Roughly twenty minutes later, I was taken to the hair sinks, processed and washed. When Jason came to look at the colour, I was informed he also didn’t have time for a blow dry but would rough dry my hair so I didn’t have to leave with a wet mane.

I’m not sure if it was because of my ten-minute delay (which I apologised to virtually every staff member for), but the service seemed quite impersonal and rushed.

The kicker? I adore my hair colour.Depending on the lighting, my hair looks everything from auburn, to strawberry blonde, to red (those photos were only taken two days apart). Though I felt the salon experience had room for improvement, the colour skills are undeniable.

In comparison to my other salon experiences, I would recommend Muse of London to anyone in the market for superior colour services, but would have to have a better overall experience to recommend it as a general salon stop. Fingers crossed for beginner’s bumps!

muse of london
muse of london
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Travel Blog: Postcards from Paris – a 48 Hour Vlog!

paris video vlog
I knew that the 48 hours Tiffani and I planned to spend in Paris were going to be all sorts of manic. Though I am by no means an expert, it was my chosen responsibility to deliver her an amazing weekend (after all, it was her first-ever visit to a language-diverse country).

After an eventful overnight coach trip from London, we arrived in Bercy and logged in to the Hotel Tonight app just in time to secure a fantastic deal for Hotel O (a gorgeous, central, and Pantone-hued design hotel).

The following two days were an unforgettable blizzard of adventure, carbohydrates, discovery, accidental seduction, Frenglish, and more.

But enough chat, there’s a vlog to watch…

What I Wore – Bleu

To satiate your international appetite before I share my video postcard from Paris, I think it might be time to pause for an outfit post.

Though I’d ideally be running around patisseries in a beret and stilettos, tackling miles upon miles of city streets in under 48 hours calls for a more practical ensemble. Casual pleats, bows, and tailoring it is.

What I Wore:
Blue tie-back pleated dress from Closet via House of Fraser
My trusty handbag
Bejewelled city sandals (old, similar here)


What I Wore – Julian Hakes and Babes

julian hakes
Amidst a rough couple of weeks between eye surgeries, my sister* Tiffani finally left the US and made her way over here to join me for two weeks of adventure in Leeds, London, and Paris. Not only that, but two of my favourite Londoners hauled their lovely bums up to Leeds to share in the excitement of her first weekend; an introduction to ‘night’s out’, cathedrals, mystery games, the countryside, latte art, the Great British High Street, and more.

I am a lucky lady.

What I Wore:
Julian Hakes Mojito Shoes from Cloggs (because what better excuse to whip out the coolest shoes I’ve ever seen – plus, they’re on sale!)
Polka dot shirt dress (similar here)

(*Not by blood, but – long story short – after her family took me in and became my family so many years ago, there is no better way to describe her).

julian hakes
julian hakes
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