January 27, 2015

#Blessed

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In the past few years I’ve found the saying, 'the grass is always greener on the other side' to be undeniably true. More often that not, I picture that thing that’s on the other side to be a bright light at the end of a super long tunnel. When I moved to Geelong almost five years ago, my new school and new home were those bright beacons of light I was racing towards. When I ran into the light, everything seemed pretty similar to what it was like before I moved and I couldn’t work out why. 

When I scroll through Instagram, I get serious FOMO (fear of missing out for those of you who aren’t up with the internetz). This is partly because I follow a lot of people who make a living out of travelling and taking photos (#jealous), and partly because right now, my life isn’t really all that exciting or #magical. It’s easy to make fun of those people who like to remind us on a daily basis that they are so #blessed but I’m also a teeny bit jealous of them. 

Now I know that Instagram is only a highlight reel of someone’s life. If someone was to analyse my feed, they would discover than in the past three weeks I’ve gone to the beach and eaten a ridiculous amount of delicious food but my reality has been quite different. While I’ve been posting photos of the beach and my diet, I've been test driving an insane amount of cars and applying for so many rental houses with no success. 

Obvi what I share on social media is exactly what I do IRL (in real life for you oldies).

Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Carolyn, what the heck does Instagram, #blessed and your boring everyday life have to do with that old green grass saying my parents have been telling me over and over since I was like, five?’ Well chickens, I’m here to tell you that Instagram graced me with an epiphany this morning.

This time last week I was adventuring around The Twelve Apostles and  Loch Ard Gorge (see photos). Today I’m sitting in my pyjamas on my unmade bed in my super messy room that I probably should be cleaning, whilst I contemplate how acceptable it is to have chicken nuggets for brunch. Only moments ago, I was scrolling through Instagram, feeling pretty bummed out about my current circumstances when I realised that it’s not about what is on the other side but it’s about what you make of it.

I can sit here and feel sorry for the fact that I don’t have my license, and that I'm suffering from major cabin fever while people on Instagram are out eating brunch with friends and visiting amazing places. OR I can make the most of all of this spare time I have and use it to read books, watch new things or you know, actually edit some photos. 

It’s about what I do with the time I have that determines whether or not this side of the grass is greener. 

It’s like a lightbulb just switched on in my brain. If my fifteen year old self realised this in 2010, I probably would have had a better time enjoying my life rather than dwelling on the past.


So this long weekend I decided to make the most of my life. I went to see some friends perform in a musical and I spent all of Sunday lounging around at the Australian Open watching some awesome tennis with my little brother. Although the introvert inside me is wanting to hide under a blanket and spend some time away from the rest of humanity, I'm glad that I seized the weekend.


Hopefully you also had a nice long weekend (if you live in Australia)! Let me know what you got up to in the comments below! 

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January 11, 2015

Sunday Inspiration: Best Performances by Tim Walker


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Someone hold me because I'm in shock from awesomeness overload!!

I'm sure Tim Walker needs no introduction. His photos capture so much whimsy and wonder that his work is both aspirational and envied by anyone and everyone who wants to get into fashion photography and portraiture.

I've never particularly classified Walker as an inspiration until I stumbled across this body of work featured in the February issue of W Magazine. It's not that I don't like his work, I just find his use of extravagant props and art direction so other worldly to the budgets that I'm confined to in my work. Sure, it would be nice to have models posing with a lion, but where the hell am I going to get said lion from and how much is that going to cost me? It's just not something I can aspire to right now.

Anyway, as you know, I'm a big fan of simple portraits (see previous work with Tavi Gevinson) and I love personalities and expression. I'm also a really big movie buff so naturally these photos combine all of the elements I enjoy about photography and life in general.

(above: Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly in The Imitation Game)

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(Amy Adams in Big Eyes / J.K Simmons in Whiplash)

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(Emma Stone in Birdman / Reese Witherspoon in Wild)

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(Dakota Fanning in Night Moves / Elle Fanning in Low Down)

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(Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars / Bradley Cooper in American Sniper)

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(Keira Knightly in The Imitation Game / Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin)bloglovin

(Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner / Tommy Lee Jones in The Homesmanbloglovin
(Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game)

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(Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in Into The Woods)

January 1, 2015

Hello 2015!

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Happy New Year folks! I hope you've all had an amazing and safe holiday period with your family and friends!

2014 has been a strange year for me. I've been seeing a lot of posts recently on Instagram/Facebook about how grateful people have been for the last year and how it was 'the biggest/most exciting year of their lives' etc. I don't know about you, but I've been experiencing major FOMO whilst scrolling past these kinds of posts. You see, I don't feel that way about 2014 at all. In fact, I haven't felt that way about life probably since about 2009/2010. All I keep thinking about is, am I doing something wrong? Why am I not feeling this content with the past year? 
It's not the fact that I don't allow myself to be content or happy, it's just that this past year has been so...mediocre for me. Sure, I've had my fair share of milestones this year, like moving out of home and starting university (again), but those milestones are clouded by the negative experiences that lead to their happening. I kind of feel like I've been living under a grey cloud for the past three years despite the supposedly gleeful moments of graduating high school, starting university etc. 
For my birthday, I got a gorgeous leather planner from Paul's parents. I also got some stickers which are love heart shaped and say 'live bright' in gold writing. I stuck one of the stickers on today's date about a week ago and I guess it's kind of a new year's resolution for me. Live bright, as in living to the most of your ability (whatever you ability may be that particular day), enjoying the things that are good, striving higher, achieving more, dreaming more and thinking negatively less. 
In truth, I'm rather excited for 2015. I'm travelling back to Perth with Paul at the end of February for a close friend's 21st, I've already been booked for a couple of weddings and I'm participating in a few exhibitions. There is possible travel to Queensland and New South Wales on the cards and there are a few bigger things, which aren't photography related, that I can't mention just yet and they're probably the most exciting of all! :)
Stay tuned, hopefully this year will be something I can feel content and proud about.
(On an unrelated note, here are some photographs I took in Perth during September with the gorgeous Elise!)
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Let me know how you spent your new years/what your resolutions are for 2015!