Paris with Priya – Part Deux
“You spend your life working. Discover the world as you go.”
Last year I took a visit to Paris and fell in love with the beautiful city. I vowed to come back to have more time there and see my friends more often. I feel extremely fortunate to have friends who live out there that give me the best travel guidance, hotspots, things to do, places to eat around the city. This vegetarian girl gotta eat at the right places!
This trip was VERY short and sweet. No really, I only had less than half a day to roam around. It wasn’t much a trip for leisure… but shhhh more of that coming soon *insert cheeky wink emoji*. Due to the nature of my visit, I stayed in La Défense, the business district of Paris, which was just a short train hop to the city centre.
I spent the day having a wander in 31 degrees heat and visited some of Paris’ main beautiful tourist spots that I had been to before. As well this I squeezed in some things I hadn’t done on my previous trip, such as visiting Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, and going on a boat tour along the river. I just love cities and areas that have water surrounding them!
I ended the day with re-visiting the Eiffel Tower from across the Trocadéro Square. It’s THE BEST view of the Eiffel Tower. At night, every hour on the hour the tower sparkles for 5 minutes. Of course I had to capture the sparkle again. Here is my 2nd video diary of Paris.
See you again soon you wonderful place!
Styled Wedding Photoshoot at Alrewas Hayes, Burton-On-Trent
I had been planning a styled wedding photoshoot since before Christmas 2016. Although I have worked on smaller styled shoots before, I had always wanted to organise a big project like this. I believe it is important to work on personal projects because it allows you to be creative with other wedding industry professionals and practice your skills.
Like Rochelle, our talented Make Up Artist said on the day
…this is our playtime!
There was no doubt about the venue I wanted to contact for this shoot. I had photographed and attended weddings and birthdays at Alrewas Hayes a number of times before and I knew this was THEEEE venue for this shoot. It’s just incredibly stunning and was so fitting for the theme of the shoot. I had my heart set on Alrewas Hayes from the beginning and was delighted when they said yes!
Although I’m yet to visit, I am a huge Italy lover (my business name SORRISO is actually Italian for smile). I love the food, the language, the little old villages full of greenery and vineyards. I kid you not I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to Florence, Tuscany, Venice… a trip I WILL be doing at some point! So I wanted to bring a little Tuscany vibe to the shoot with the décor and felt that Alrewas Hayes had the perfect interior and grounds for this. Keeping in line with the popular Greenery wedding trend of 2017 (as announced by Pantone), I wanted to bring greenery to the shoot aided with blush flowers and gold accents. I’m a sucker for countrysides and beautiful gardens so greenery was a must.
I enjoyed every moment of bouncing ideas off of each supplier and cannot thank each person involved enough for giving their time and skill to this project. We had so much fun that we decided to do 2 looks for the shoot and put a Luxe 1920’s spin on the second look. Mary who owns The Wedding Room in Nottingham turned up with 4 show stopping dresses and we decided to put our lovely model in the gorgeous Stella York gown to begin with, followed by the stunning Umbiel dress by Eliza Jane Howell.
Without much further ado, here is the AWESOME behind the scenes trailer filmed by the talented wedding videography company Story Cabin Wedding Films along with the photographs taken by me.
HUGE THANK YOU TO:
Venue: Alrewas Hayes
Videographer: Story Cabin Wedding Films
Wedding Dresses: The Wedding Room
Makeup Artist: Rochelle O’Brien
Hair Stylist: L H Professional Hair
Cake Designer: Elysian Cakery
Wedding Decor: Hayley Smith Venue Stylist
Stationary: Becky Lord Design
Silk Blush Ribbons: Ollie’s Studio
Models: Megan Howe + Matthew Addock
Camera Assistant: Bhulla Beghal
The difference between an Imitator and Sharing Similarities.
DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion and my thoughts in my words. Agree, disagree, agree to disagree. It’s cool with me!
Lets just keep this real from the off. It pisses me off when people confuse imitation and sharing a similarity for a number of reasons. More on that later.
I am all for people finding inspiration from your art, from your sense of fashion, from your poetry, from your youtube makeup tutorials, from whatever. Whatever we do, damn sure someone else has done or attempted to do before us and THAT’S OKAY! It’s human nature to have a passion for something and find others that have that same passion. We sometimes attach ourselves to a role model or someone that’s offering guidance to do your art, your business, your whatever in a better way right? Think of how many others are attaching themselves to the same role model. It is totally NOT OKAY to entirely replicate someone else’s work like this person has recently done on a whole new level of imitation: FStoppers Article – now that is just crazy.
Like many of my industry friends, I am a BIG supporter of the work of wedding photographer Jasmine Star… as well as Kate Hopewell-Smith, Ale Vidal, and Lara Jade for their use of natural light and lifestyle genre of work. Each off these photographers/videographers do workshops both online and in person. As I shoot with canon and have a similar background story to Jasmine, naturally I became a huge supporter of her work from early on in my career. I know many photographer peers that have followed her workshops and turned their businesses around. How amazing that there are so many professional creatives out there who are accessible and happy to share their knowledge to help others turn their careers and their lives around.
What I also find amazing is the community each of these role models have created. A community full of creatives all sharing the same passion, pushing each other to do better, supporting each other’s work. Granted, each individual is unique in their own way along with their work, but there are a lot of similarities because they have learnt from the same educator or share the same love for a style of imagery. I’m fortunate enough to freelance in my quiet time with some great companies and as a team we all learn from each other and share similarities in each others work… we’re not copying, we have been chosen by the companies because each of us are similar and produce work to their brand!
So is it fair to assume a person is imitating your work? If your painting, your photograph, your writing is completely copied, or redone to look like your work then yes, like the above link, that is a blatant copy. But if you have taken taken elements of inspiration from existing work and interpreted it in your own way, thats sharing a similar interest right? Let’s use me as an example… if you are a natural light photographer like me – I welcome you to the club, lets shoot together! If you are obsessed with lemon flavoured everything like me – let’s eat lemon drizzle cake while we take a sip of freshly squeezed lemon water. If you love modern calligraphy writing like me… let’s write each other a letter of support.
If you share those kinds of similarities, as do thousands of other people, if you share the same style of work, if you share the same role model… SUPPORT don’t SEGREGATE!
When I hear someone has tried to copy me, or another assumes I’m imitating them… I switch off immediately and distance myself from ever hearing this argument again. It’s becoming increasingly boring to hear. Unless my work has been stolen or completely copied where I can formally do something about it, I am completely unbothered when someone has a similar business model or way of photographing or way of social media-ing to me. Why? Because I refuse to be consumed in pettiness and if anything we probably learnt from the same role model anyway. There’s a clear cut difference to copying someone completely and sharing similarities. Focus on your business and make it the best it can be to achieve your personal goals, wherever you found the inspiration from.
Deep thought moment over and out!
How did you plant the seeds to your ambition? Ever thought about it?
This is something that I like to call “free writing”. What I mean by this is when you find yourself looking at something in deep contemplation and relating it to a memory. I do this often and find myself writing down the words as I get deeper in my thinking. Maybe I’m just over analytical? or maybe I just see the beauty and inspiration in the weirdest of things. Either way… I always try to keep it positive.
Do you know what this is? It’s Aloe Vera in its most natural form. It’s a wonder plant. Known across the world for its natural healing properties and health benefits. It was never bought like this. No no, it was gifted to my Mother by her cousin (we are from Indian descent, our family ties are all pretty close) as a young baby plant sprouting it’s little arms, reaching out to get bigger and better with nurture and time.
I found myself staring over at this plant while I worked on some freelance editing. I freelance a lot as a gap filler when my own work is quiet. My rebranded business is still fairly new so my own bookings are slowly picking up. Although I love the physical photographic side of the business, the other mundane tasks, like editing thousands of photographs, can become a little tiring and time consuming. So I found myself gazing at this beautifully strange plant and thinking “how on did you become so big!”
I looked over at my mom and asked “When did you get that Aloe Vera plant mom?”
She simply replied “3 years ago, it was given to me as a gift. It was just a baby plant with 5 or 6 little stems in a little pot no bigger than your average coffee tin”.
Aloe Vera never really dies. With the right care it just gets bigger and bolder. You can cut of an individual stem and refrigerate it for days, weeks and use it on your skin, in food, in drinks.
I asked my mom how she looked after it and she said “I kept it indoors mostly. Without fail, every 2 to 3 weeks, I watered it for 3 years. I kept it warm in the winter, and gave it fresh air with a few days outside in spring, summer. I can’t believe how big its gotten now. It’s going to need another pot soon!”
It was at this point my thoughts turned to my business. In my bored, demotivated state of mind, while I sat editing my freelance work, the thought of how far this plant had come along the way inspired me. Something as simple as nurturing this baby Aloe Vera plant and seeing its growth over the years made me think about where my business is going! Deeeeep huh? With time, with nurture, with consistency and continuity there is no limit to where you can take your ambition. There is no real boundaries if you allow yourself to work hard, take an action every day toward achieving that bigger goal you dream of. Businesses, like plants, need the right time, the right nurture, the right attention to grow and become a greater existence. Much like personal goals, relationships, careers.
Here’s a photo of how big the Aloe Vera plant is now. I had the assistance of my wonderful 6 year old nephew to show just how big the the plant is now in comparison to him.
Moral of the story… Plant the seeds to your ambition now. Be patient, be nurturing, be consistent, expect it to take time, but never stop those small steps to your reach your bigger growth.
Keep watering your seeds all,
This bank holiday weekend (29th April – 2nd May) I took a long weekend away for a city break in Paris. Something I have wanted to do for many years but the timing was always off. BOO!
In 2012, I was invited to head over to Paris to photograph a fashion event for Paris Fashion Week. I was so overwhelmed with the opportunity arising and super excited to visit one of the most beautiful cities my heart had always been captivated by. However, due to unforeseen personal circumstances my trip was cancelled close to the date I was due to fly out. My heart sank! After shedding a few tears, I promised myself I would one day go to Paris, even if alone, to explore the city’s beauty that is much loved by people around the world.
In 2012, I also started conversion work on my studio and shaping my business, spending a small fortune on turning my dreams into reality. This meant I had to sacrifice so many things I wanted to do in life and put many things on hold for the next few years while I worked hard, grafted, earned and saved.
Four years later, with a rebranded business in full swing and generally being in a better place in life, I finally got to tick Paris off my bucket list. As this trip was purely for leisure, it was even more incredible than I could have imagined. Luckily, I have some friends who live out in the heart of Paris that directed me to all the beautiful hidden places as well as the more commercially known places. The metro system was super easy to follow but I tried to avoid using it too much. To really SEE Paris, you need to walk and find your way around this beautiful city on foot. Every corner you turn has such beauty hiding behind it.
I stayed in an AirBnb in the 10th district of Paris, which was within walking distance of 2 main train stations and many metro stops. This is the district where the attacks took place in November 2015 but the apartment was located in a safe quiet environment. On the first day of my visit, I was eager to visit Place de la République, only 10 minutes by foot, to lay down flowers for the Charlie Hebdo and the November 2015 attack victims. Here, my friend and I shared a teary heartfelt moment, as an elderly couple maintained the flower arrangements and various other tributes that had been left on monument of the square. Paris has been experiencing various riots over the past few days that saw many of the candles and other monuments damaged in the process. The square was heaving with police but it was very safe and still very welcoming. I don’t think any trauma to the city will ever take away its beauty. Parisians are very much about celebrating positivity and good, never allowing anything to defeat their beautiful city. This was felt throughout my visit.
This little trip to Paris opened up my lust of wander for sure. Through the work I do, I have made friends for life out there and each one of them inspired me and taught me life lessons in different ways. Something I will always appreciate and cherish! I’ll definitely be back there soon as one trip won’t be enough to really appreciate the hidden beauty of Paris. Here’s a short video of all the places I visited as well as some of my favourite snaps.
See you again soon Paris. Je t’aime!
Paris in snaps
Laying down flowers at Place de la République, which was then displayed by the elderly couple maintaining all the tributes.
So many messages and tributes still there. So very sad.
“Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” is a French Latin saying for “tossed but not sunk”. At the time of the Paris attacks, this little cafe opposite the Place de la République statue was boarded up while it was being built. As part of the tributes after the attacks, a graffiti artist had written “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” across the board in graffiti art writing. Upon completion and opening of the cafe, the owners had then named it exactly that latin saying to show solidarity and strength for Paris. Right outside the cafe is a flat water feature, which acts like a mirror to show the reflection of the Place de la République statue monument.
The Eiffel Tower during the day and evening.
Remaining “love locks” close by to Pont des Art bridge. Parisians were never a fan of these locks and many saw them as vandalism to their beautiful foot bridge and river.
I couldn’t visit Paris without having a Ladurée Chocolat Chaud. Literally melted, hot chocolate in a mug!
Arc de Triomphe
Musée de Louvre
The sun setting over the Eiffel Tower in the distance. View from Pont Neuf, Châtelet.
Thanks for reading.
Creating Window Light Without Windows
– aka – Creative IMPROVISATION
As you know, I’m a natural light Wedding Photographer but I also offer lifestyle Portrait Photography. In my personal opinion, natural light is just delicious and makes people and things look just as delicious. No matter what the time of year or the weather, nothing beats natural light for me and my style.
My office space is very small. Small spaces come with very little natural light or opportunities to create images in front of big beautifully draped windows. So in order to mimic window light… one must IMPROVISE!
Recently, I did a little
experiment improvisation in my studio to try and create a self-portrait that resembled a backlit portrait. Here I am awkwardly test shooting on myself…
Below I’ve taken some snaps of my set up and how I created the back light affect… my secret for this was… drum roll please… a £1.99 white plastic shower curtain from Argos (a catalogue store here in the UK).
First, I set up a studio light behind my backdrop stand frame. Here you can see the shower curtain is draped to the right of the image just to show you the light behind the frame. This also gives you an idea of the dimensions of my studio office! The shower curtain acts as a giant diffuser to spread the light evenly. I kept the head of the light high as I wanted to create a little hazy affect of the light “spilling” over me.
Secondly, I secured the shower curtain onto the frame with some masking tape as it easily peals off without damaging the shower curtain.
Note: the apple box in front of my shower curtain was also a DIY job made by a friend! I searched google for “how to make photography apple boxes” and I found this awesome blog post by a fellow photographer Alistair Kerr. I purchased a huge piece of MDF from my local B&Q store for £32 and followed Alistair’s guide. I got 4 apple boxes from 1 piece of MDF (1 apple box can cost over £50!!).
The image above shows where I had the second light stand. It was directly in front of me on a low flash setting to fill any distracting shadows from my face. I layered two of my apple boxes up because I felt much more comfortable standing rather than sitting. Apple boxes are GREAT to work with because it allows you to move your body in “flattering” ways and gives your pose/posture support (as shown above).
A test-shoot turn useable images is always a win-win situation. Just a heads up, there was some serious side hip popping and leaning action in this one ha!
Camera – Canon 5D Mark III
Lens – Canon 50mm 1.4
Shutter Speed 1/160
Printed photographs, in my opinion, are the best way in which to receive your images. Although I offer digital packages too, many of my wedding couples and portrait clients love having physical hard copies of their images, which really makes their moments come alive again. Wouldn’t you love to have an image on display in your warm cosy home to remind you of those magical moments every so often?
The first ever wedding I photographed as a solo photographer was both nerve-racking and exciting. The couple were fun and generally pretty awesome to be around (shout out to Tim and Laurie). This couple have stayed in touch with me since their wedding and tell me how they like to get their wedding images out on every anniversary of their special day. They like to relive the day and remind themselves of the love and laughter that surrounded them on their wedding day. What great way to celebrate your anniversary!
My albums and individual prints are printed on a matted fine art card/paper, which gives a stunning colour result, detail and feel to the images.
Here’s a few images of my albums:
They come with a thick protective duster bag
They are beautifully bind by hand
They are placed in a lovely presentation box
Your names will be embossed in 22 carat gold on the front of the album
The cover is made from beautiful genuine leather
The albums are “lay-flats”. This means the pages are bound in a special way so no matter what page you’ve opened up, the book will always “lay flat” with an almost invisible middle.
This means images can be printed into the middle of the book with no distortion. Your images are printed on Fine Art cotton paper. The best finish for printed photographs in my opinion. It really makes the colours pop like no other. (Please note, the image of the couple in this album is not mine, its a sample)
Each album comes with a little “TLC Guide”. This outlines how to care for your album. With the right care, my albums are made to last a lifetime.
Others like to have some main images printed to frame around their homes, which they glance across at in a moment of calm and they are reminded of their special moments. How wonderful to stop for a moment during a busy day and just remember that beautiful moment you shared with loved ones.
Here’s a short (and very shaky) video I made of some of my more recent weddings and beautiful individual prints :)
If you’re stuck between wondering if you should purchase a digital package or an album/printed photograph package, I really do hope this helps you to decide.
All the very best,
Follow me around the inter web for the latest updates on photography and personal adventures
2016 Business and Personal Goals
On 5th January 2016, I celebrated ONE whole year of being rebranded as SORRISO Weddings and Portraits. The decision of rebranding came after years of feeling stuck in a part of the photography industry I wasn’t happy in. I wrote about my reasons to shed my old brand in my blog post entitled New Beginnings.
Rebranding has opened up so many new opportunities for me and I couldn’t be more thankful to all of the great support I’ve had from industry peers, loved ones and my amazing couples. I wrote about the journey of SORRISO in my 2015 review. Check it out!
I have to be honest, I’m not big on new years resolutions because I feel really disappointed in myself if I can’t 100% commit or achieve them. However, I always try and set realistic goals for the year ahead so here’s a little insight into the happenings of 2016.
- My top priority is to book more weddings of my own. I think I will always freelance for other photographers and wedding photography companies but to be able to create my own art in my own style is something my creative soul craves. Get booking folks :)
- Continuous development. I’m a professional but by no means a complete know it all. There is always something new to learn from others. That’s why I’ve made it a little mission of mine to attend a couple of workshops, networking events and exhibitions this year. What a great way to connect with other industry professionals as well as learn something new!
- BLOG MORE! When I rebranded I was adamant to blog my journey more. It didn’t happen. But this year IT WILL! I love writing but 2015’s roller coaster well and truly threw me off. Now I have set time aside to get blogging.
- Set more personal projects and shoot for myself. In my quieter times, out of wedding season, I want to go out and experiment a little more. Its a great way to learn new skills, improve the ones you already have and keep your creativity flowing. Just me and my camera on the road to new adventures.
- Wedding food, I do love you, but this year I need to hit the gym a whole lot more than I did in 2015. Being self-employed means I really have to look after myself. I can’t call in sick or get someone to cover a wedding for me because I am booked for my style of work and my personal approach to all of my couples.
- I love being creative. In 2015 I started practising calligraphy writing and then it became an obsession. Language and writing is something I adore exploring. I hope to become better in both throughout 2016. Again, I’m no expert but heres a little example of my beginner calligraphy.
- Make more time for myself and the ones I love. Simply THAT!
- Continue to be unapologetically MYSELF. One thing I struggled with when tryi
ng to push my old brand, was to really understanding myself. In the words of the ever so wonderful Jasmine Star, a US wedding photographer I find very relatable:
Know who YOU is!
Just for fun, here’s why I love J.Star!
Taken from CreativeLive’s YouTube Channel.
Being a young British-Indian female, I fell into the wonderful world of Indian Wedding Photography. I love my culture and my roots but felt that I wasn’t being taken seriously in this role and I wasn’t really being true to myself either. I love natural light, elegant, bright, lifestyle-esque imagery and this wasn’t really being understood by industry peers. I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing so rebranding gave me the opportunity to break away and start all over again. I really made it a mission to be MYSELF and know who I am! I’m now comfortable in my own self and will continue to display me and my work just the way I like it :)
I am keeping much of my goals a little on the hush. They are planted securely on my office wall for me to look at every day and work towards step by step. I find writing down my goals and visualising them helps me achieve them and works better for me than voicing them, thinking them and hoping they happen. So when I do a review of 2016 I’ll let you into a little more of what these goals are. Gotta keep a little mystery in the madness after all ;) Until then… make 2016 a happy one!
Follow me around the inter web for the latest updates on photography and personal adventures
TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN – The year of:
- A New Brand
- A Hair Cut
- New Connections
- Over 30 weddings around the country
- Being Published
- Personal and Professional Development
I’ve majorly slacked at blogging in 2015. I said I would blog more when I launched my rebrand and then I didn’t get round to doing it! Terribly sorry for the
procrastination glitch, but hey I guess thats my 2016 New Years resolution sorted!
I don’t know where to start with my year in review. An incredible amount of good, positive changes happened in my personal life as well as professionally over the course of 2015. I’ll try to squeeze in as much as possible in no particular order.
New Look, New Feel, Heres to Rebranding
On 5th January 2015 I launched my newly rebranded photography business SORRISO Weddings and Portraits. Shout out to Kultar, my brand and web designer for understanding my vision. YOU saved my brand from the mess it was left in. You interpreted my vision into a mature yet fun vintage brand without imitating others or making me look like I sell cupcakes and cookies ha! A huge thank you to Becky Lord Designs for adding beautiful elegant personal touches on all of my business stationary! You’ve both played a huge part in shaping the look of my business and I can’t thank you both enough! So pleased to be working with you both continuously! *Group hugs y’all!*
Being newly rebranded in an already competitive industry, I literally had to re-start my photography dream from scratch again! You can read the full story of what made me want to rebrand here. My rebrand felt like a fresh start and the opportunity to finally be completely myself rather than fit in.
Starting from scratch at the beginning of 2015 meant that I was to re-establish myself with a new client base. It hasn’t been easy at all but I wouldn’t change my journey for anything. I secured a handful of my own wedding bookings and was catapulted into freelancing and being a 2nd photographer for many other wonderful creative photographers. 2nd shooting allowed me to experience 30 weddings around the UK over the course of the year, which helped me explore my style and new found self in much more depth. Below are some snaps I took while freelancing/2nd shooting at various weddings.
Matt and Terianne – 2nd photographer for Finishing Touch Wedding Video and Photography
Tom and Clarice – 2nd photographer for Finishing Touch Wedding Video and Photography
Ross and Gemma – 2nd photographer for Finishing Touch Wedding Video and Photography
Chris and Leanne – 2nd photographer for Soul Photography
Public Speaking, Being Published and Fusion Weddings
Early on in 2015, my local newspaper covered my business relaunch story. Read here :) I was involved with the Prince’s Trust, who backed my business relaunch. After going through a short programme and launching my business, the Prince’s Trust listed me as one of their ‘Inspirational Speakers.’ I now give talks to groups of other youngsters involved with the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, who have a business idea and wish to explore it further. This has in turn given me a great confidence boost as well as the want to help and support other youngsters who struggle to turn their ideas into a paying business.
2015 gave me the opportunity to photograph my first fusion wedding of the year. I had met the Bride, Sim when we were studying at the same University many many moons ago. Having followed my previous brand, Sim had booked me back in 2014 for her 2 Weddings both being held in May 2015. I had become friends with the owner of Secret Wedding Blog (a blog based around interfaith, multicultural fusion weddings) and was asked if Sim’s wedding could be shared as part of the blog. Sim was happy to participate and upon viewing the blog herself, loved seeing all of the different unions between cultures and faiths this blog included. Little did we know of the heartbreak that was to come on the day of her traditional Sikh wedding. You can read her story here.
After sharing her story with this blog, Sim was approached by various media platforms to further share her story. In a difficult time and in the hopes of getting closure, Sim shared agreed to share her story with a handful of reporters. Along with this, my images were included in a 10 minute televised news report and then published on ITV News Central. They were also published in the November issue of Grazia Magazine UK (See below).
…and a huge shout out to Raj of Secret Wedding Blog for also publishing my work her beautiful blog.
Raj and I also had the opportunity to meet when she invited me over to stay with her during a weekend of a fun work turn play lifestyle photoshoot. This pretty ladies apartment is so cute and stylish, I didn’t want to leave! Whack on the Friends box set and put the kettle one… I’m coming back!
Personal and Professional Development
I started this post by stating that my rebrand had allowed me to completely and utterly be myself. This year started with my personal life being far from “together” and having to let go of a lot emotionally. I learnt that I only really had myself to create the life I wanted. I focused the whole of me on bettering myself personally and professionally. Professionally, I connected with various photographers I’m inspired by, I openly asked for guidance, advice and joined various online workshops and courses to keep my business head in-check. Personally, I’ve now become an avid gym go-er, I’ve picked up a new language by revisiting my old GCSE books so maintenant, je peux vous parler en français and I’ve become increasingly obsessed with calligraphy writing. If you’ve booked me for 2016, expect to have A LOT of personal touches and calligraphy writing all over your parcels!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of the fellow photographers and video companies that have hired me to freelance or be their 2nd photographer. Thank you to all of my friends who have supported me when things get tough and celebrated with me when good things happen. To all of the couples I have met throughout the year, you are amazing, thank you for allowing me to be part of your celebrations and always remain unbreakable. I can’t wait to meet all of my 2016 couples and continue my journey in a career I adore.
Wishing you all a 2016 full of love, happiness and new adventures. See you on the other side :)
Follow me around the inter web for the latest updates on photography and personal adventures
Change is learning. Change is leaving your comfort zone. Change is confusion. Change is growth. Ultimately… Change can be GOOD!
Some may know that I spent almost a year away from social media influences (mainly facebook). I spent a year soul searching and finding my motivation for what I love again. It was an up and down year but I don’t regret it at all. During this time away I embarked on a self-growth journey, doing many things outside my little box.
I’ll start with Priya Walia Creative, my old brand. I had launched Priya Walia Creative (PWC) back in 2010 and then launched my little studio and website in 2012.
I received quite an overwhelming response and following from it. PWC helped me learn so much about the industry. Some good lessons, some bad.
Being a British Indian female, it was almost inevitable that the assumption was made that I capture nothing but Asian events and people. I love my culture and my roots, but I do feel for business and for running it entirely alone, PWC became draining and a little unthankful. However, I still went along with it, almost trying to “fit in” because of the fact that I am a British Indian female and thought this was how I would be accepted as an Asian female photographer.
In January 2013, I made the decision to close down my personal social media channels and used an auto-scheduling app to keep my business live through social media.
So my year away from social media influences and detachment from PWC began. I felt this move had opened up so many more opportunities. I had various part-time and full-time temporary jobs. I also became heavily involved with charity work. I started getting “out there” as a person, meeting new people, friends and loved ones face to face again. I even copped myself a job interview 3 hours away from my hometown. At this stage in my journey (I thought) I had wanted to restart a new life out of town with a degree related role.
Throughout all of what was going on with me during my manic year, I always had my love of photography in my heart. A little bit like an unbreakable bond between my camera and I. I didn’t know how or when I was going to, but always knew I would continue my life as a photographer some day after my break away. I was constantly hoping and looking for a breakthrough that would get me back into the swing of things. That breakthrough finally came in November 2013 and boy what a breakthrough it was.
I’m not one for name-dropping, but those that know me well will know exactly who I’m talking about. I have followed the work of a particular internationally recognised cinematographer and photographer for a few years now. I was inspired by his imagery, his vision, his creativity and his humble nature. From connecting on social media (before deactivating) I had exchanged messages and engaged in his posts with support and enthusiasm for his work. The biggest thing that inspired me about him though, was that he was from a completely different background and upbringing to what he was capturing as the face of his company (I realise that this may now be a give away about who I am talking about).
So I reactivated my facebook one day and I saw he had posted a status about possibly needing an intern. I thought he was joking, so I simply posted “me me me!” not thinking any more of it. The following day, a cold, miserable Monday afternoon, I think around 4pm-ish I had a little red notification on my phone’s facebook app. Thinking it was one of my personal friends, I opened the message… and almost fainted. It was him with a simple message “I would love to have you, but your location.” I live in Wolverhampton, but his head quarters were over in Middlesex, outer London. I’m very lucky to have supportive family that live only a half hour drive from where he was based, so when he asked for me to be at his office at 9am the following day, I packed my bags on the spot, and headed to West London. If an opportunity like that knocks on your door, kick the damn thing down and GO GET IT! I guess you can say… the rest is history.
My opportunity interning for someone I had consider one of my biggest inspiration totally transformed my approach to my art and reignited my passion for photography. I always left his headquarters feeling positive, inspired and ready to plunge into change.
It’s taken me an entire year to find the right resources to help me on my transition. I have done many things out of my comfort zone to make today possible. I am now ready to share this change with you all.
Welcome to my new website, brand and journey – SORRISO Weddings and Portraits.
To my future Brides and Grooms, I look forward to being part of YOUR journey too and photographing your magical weddings.