Monday, 13 March 2017

Smashing camera shyness in Cambridge.

If any of you know me or follow my social media adventures, you may or may not have noticed that you won't often find a full, face on, headshot of me ANYWHERE! I know lots of people dislike having their photo taken and I'm no exception but when you run a small business and get the opportunity to take part in blog interviews, Instagram challenges, and even magazine features it quickly becomes apparent that people need/want/like to see the face behind it all.

So far, I think I've found a way around this by using shots of me at craft fairs or events but I'm usually behind a stall, pulling a silly face, throwing shapes or just a bit too far off to make out more than a cheesy grin - which all works fine by me but isn't necessarily good enough as a headshot that lovely magazine owner may be asking for.

When Lucy, (all round lovely, local Cambridge creative and owner of Lucinda Price photography), approached Claire and I about doing a headshot style photoshoot together I was a tad nervous about saying yes. However, I bloody love Claire and Lucy so the idea of being able to help Lucy out and spend the day wandering around Cambridge with them was too fun to miss out on so I ignored the 'I-hate-my-face' gremlins and jumped in!

The idea was to capture some individual head shots (professional but fun) as well as some snaps as besties (super duper fun) whilst exploring Cambridge via the walk Lucy usually takes her clients on. It was pretty tough pretending to be besties with Claire, I mean, it's not like we spend every day talking or love hanging out, eating pizza and chatting about cats all the time! So we had to  work hard to make it look genuine... obviously this is a silly joke as I LOVE Claire to pieces and like I said before, it was a lovely excuse to hang out.

Together, with our bikes we explored the famous sights and back streets of Cambridge, from Senate House and Kings College to Portugal Place and Midsummer Common. Stopping for relaxed photos, cheesy grins and action bike shots (with some silly boomerangs too) we had the nicest time and after the first few awkward snaps of my face I began to relax and almost forget there was a camera there!

Lucy made us feel so calm and comfortable, combined with stunning views of my new(ish) hometown and giggles a plenty, I spent the perfect afternoon in front of a camera. Say what?!? I never thought I'd say that, but it just goes to show you how good a photographer and how lovely a person Lucy is! Doing something like this with a bestie is honestly, the perfect way to overcome camera shyness, get some photos of you together (rather than those filtered iPhone selfies we're all so pro at) AND also get some damn good quality head shots to use for your business!

You'll have seen some of my absolute faves from the afternoon pop up on my social media accounts already (Instagram & Facebook especially) but I wanted to write about the day here because it was fun, it was SO valuable and I'm just over the moon with the outcome of doing something I would normally avoid.

If you need any more convincing about the fun of it all, you can have a read of Claire's lovely blog post over at AND if you're interested in working with Lucy yourself she is running a promotion right now, YAY! So you can get 25% off a session with the code SUNSHINE17, DOUBLE YAY!

I hope this post is valuable to you if you feel uncomfortable in front of camera but also need head shots - for business or pleasure. I wanted to tell you that's it's not all scary or cringeworthy if you find the perfect photographer and can make a fun day of it with your mates. The fact that Lucy offers this as a service and has experience with fellow small business owners, makes it the perfect solution if you ask me.

Pop over to Lucy's shiny new site at Lucinda Price Photography to see her lovely portfolio and check out the services she offers. Oh and don't forget Lucy's offer (save 25% with code SUNSHINE17) if you want to save some pennies. If you have any questions or comments about the day please feel free to get in touch - my peanut butter jumper was from RAD - most frequently asked Q so far!



Monday, 27 February 2017

A year to make and break habits?

Following on with my 'late to the new year' theme going on so far, I thought I'd carry on with my writing roll (while it lasts) and share a little post about the year ahoy for me personally - a more business focussed post will come later. In the past I've called stuff like this resolutions, goals, mini missions etc and have always been quite specific about things I want to achieve or aim for but this year I want to try something a bit different.

I tend to freak out when I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things so this year I'm trying to put a different spin on it all. This year I'm going to lay out a little personal tick list for myself (because I bloody love a good list) and in the same way I enjoy ticking off little daily tasks I'm hoping I will enjoy trying to tick things off this one too. 2017 is the year I'd like to create myself some new habits... and in the process actually break some naughty ones... maybe!

less and more list of mini objectives to consider
image : Pinterest link

So here is my little list for you to see (and feel free to hold me accountable for these at any point in the year!) Some might seem a bit predictable or a bit silly but for me, I know they will make a difference - even if I just try, let alone if I actually keep them up!

D R I N K  M O R E  W A T E R
Swap water for tea and I'd already win at this hands down but my skin and energy levels suffer when I don't drink the clear stuff enough. I know this and need to get in to the habit of filling my water bottle several times a day to sip on (I'd say glass but they always end up with a cat in them!).

Cat glass, full of water, with a cat in the glass!

It might actually help reduce the amount of caffeine I must consume too, which has to be a good thing. Oh and while we're reducing things let's throw in drinking less booze too as it's become far too easy to relax with a glass of vino in the evenings and this is not a habit I need to stick to.

W I W T  D O O D L E S
I used to do these regularly a few years ago (and even had one published in a book - I wrote about the excitement of it here).  I loved doing them, for no other reason than a bit of me time, a bit of fun doodling and just to capture a little snapshot of the month. For one reason or another, mainly time, I stopped drawing these back in 2013.

However! 2017 is going to see them return, in a slightly different style and one that will help me keep up with them each month too! YAY! I shared a peek at the end of January when I started them again and here it is again...

Cartoon style illustration of Jo Want, Hello Sunshine

...February has just been finished, and before the end of the month tomorrow (wtf! where did that month go?!?) I'll be adding it to the shiny new What I Wore Today 2017 album over on the Facebook Page too. They make me happy for many reasons so here's to more happy-jo-time each month!

W E D D I N G  P L A N N I N G  T I M E
I think this may be a pretty handy joint plan we've decided on this year, mainly to help keep things moving and so I don't get too overwhelmed with everything. So once a week Will and I are going to make sure we talk big day schiz, I mean otherwise we won't do it and I'll just keep putting things off and we'll never pick a date! Plus it's a nice excuse to have a bit of a date night once a week too.

Jo & Will Marmite jar

B E D  T I M E  R E A D I N G  
I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of staring at their phone before getting in to bed, even if it's just a cheeky check on Instagram to reply to some comments or catch up on pretty snaps. It affects how quickly I fall to sleep and can heavily influence the craziness of my dreams sometimes too! Last year I tried to read a bit before bed each night (it only lasted a few weeks), granted it was mainly comic books but it really made a difference to how calm I felt before bed as I often feel anxious at night.

Black cats and comic books

So this year I'm trying my best to do it even more, every night would be ideal but there are some evenings I just can't keep my peepers open - even for phone peeking let alone reading!

G E T  O U T D O O R S
I mentioned this is my little review of 2016 and it's a super important habit to keep up... I will take my ass outside at least once a day! I realise this sounds crazy because I guess lots of people have to get up and out for work, school runs, dog walks etc. Don't get me wrong, generally I'm pretty active when it comes to getting out and about - I go a bit crazy if I don't and with all the little adventures we plan it probably looks like we're always outdoors!

snapshot from a bike ride last summer to a yellow field in Horningsea village

However when the busy times of year take over or I feel a bit lost in my little black rain cloud days I can often find myself working through the day and late into the evening having not left the house. Not this year though, even if it's just a walk to the post box I will be outside every damn day!

C L I M B I N G 
Will is a big climber, he used to go a helluvalot more before he moved to the flat lands of Cambridgeshire, and as limited as the climbing around here is he still used to go a lot before he met me. So, another joint plan for the year... when we have a weekend that we're both at home without full on plans (rarely happens but there's hope!) we have agreed to spend a morning climbing together at Milton Keynes.

La Sportiva Jeckyl climbing shoe - all the gear no idea!

It's a bit of a drive but we did it this weekend and made the most of the time in Bedfordshire by having a picnic lunch at Sharpenhoe Clappers afterwards... there's also an Ikea mighty close by too!

For me, it's so I can improve my confidence as currently I daren't go climbing through fear of everyone laughing at me and for Will, it's so he can get more out of something he loves - climbing and me! haha!

After nearly 6 months Enid and I are friends! (Enid is the VW Golf who replaced our Smart Car last Summer). I realise this might sound bonkers but I don't drive often at all and since moving to Cambridge I only drove Smarty Smart a few times and that was basically just a big go-kart! So when Will bought Enid I was a bit nervous about driving her as she seemed much bigger. As time went on I managed to freak myself out more and more about driving her to the point I just didn't - I mean I barely need to drive here anyway so that didn't help!

Aaaanyway... last week I smashed my stupid insecurities and fears by driving down the A14 to Tesco AND on Saturday night I drove us all the way back from Nottingham. WOO! So here's to getting in the habit of driving more and getting my confidence back - after all I will want to drive my dream Campervan when they day comes!

...because it shouldn't be this hard to do it daily! I feel very lucky in that the dentist often compliments my teeth and how healthy my mouth is but I ALWAYS get told off for not flossing, especially when I moan about the tea stains that build up between my teeth because... yup, you guessed it... because I don't floss.

Take care of your teeth and floss

So...floss harps at the ready, I will get into the habit, even if it's just a couple of times a week! Oh and yes, floss harps are a must for me because embarrassing as it is, I always get in a mess with that bloomin' floss string you pull from a box!

So there you have it a few of the habits I'd like to pick up over the year... feels good to write them all down and hopefully I'll feel even better if I manage to keep them up.

Have you set yourself any goals, habits, new years resolutions? Or do you have any new routine goals maybe? Either way I'd love to know if you'd like to share in the comments below and Good Luck with what you may have set yourself... I'm off to floss now!