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Personal

This last week saw me doubting myself at almost every turn. Call me naive, but I didn’t think it’d be something that I expected to happen especially at this point. When I made the decision to take my blog full time, I was full of so much confidence so much so that nothing scared me. Almost as if I was on top of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t lost my confidence, I just experienced a moment of weakness by letting certain fears occupy a space in my head. The thing with self doubt is that only you can really talk yourself out of it. Others may try to convince you otherwise regarding the things that make you question yourself. But if you’ve not managed to convince yourself, these doubts will linger on. The effects of this is often very crippling. Almost as if you’ve experienced some kind of mind paralysis. You’re stuck with these thoughts and you can’t find your way out. Having experienced this a number of times, I know exactly what it feels like to allow myself get caught up in it.

I’m a strong believer in learning from past experiences. One of my favourite speakers phrased it rightly; success leaves clues. I always tend to think back to the last time something similar happened and try to figure out how I managed to get myself out of it. Seeing that my time is valuable being my own boss means I cannot afford to lose any of it wallowing in something negative for too long. To regain control of my mind, I went out for walks which is always a good idea. Getting a bit of fresh air and a change of environment is a great place to start. Giving more thought to this, I felt it was time to plan another short holiday so I got one booked for September. I listened to Holocene by Bon Iver over and over again. Although, it could be described as a sad song, it does tend to get me writing in my journal thus allowing my creative juices to flow. I faced my fears by revisiting my old work to see how far I’ve come which is always a good source of inspiration. That’s why I never delete old posts. It serves as a good reminder of progress to myself and others alike. It makes me feel even more human cause I know I started from somewhere and now I’m here.

I’m excited to say the weekly vlogs will be making a comeback on my YouTube channel so be prepared to see more of me. I’m looking forward to sharing  my new life and hopefully give you folks some insight as to what it’s like to pursue a career in blogging. I’ve got a few projects lined up and looking forward to taking you all along with me.

August 8, 2017
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I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve done one of these but the plan is to be back on track with my usual schedule. I have some huge news for you lovely folks. I QUIT MY JOB! Yep! My last day at work was on the 17th. For some of you who don’t already know, I had a full time job working as a Financial Accountant in a bank alongside my blog. I didn’t make this decision lightly. I’ve been blogging for a little over three years now and initially didn’t know what to expect from this journey. Somehow I found my passion. I fell in love with photography and became good at it. I managed to write an eBook  sharing the things I’ve learnt about it as well. So naturally, I have been contemplating pursuing my blog full time for a while now, and was scared to actually quit my job because it provides for my current lifestyle. But lately, I’ve had this voice in my head saying to me “do it, do it“. How I knew it was definitely time to finally do it was that each time I thought about not having my job anymore, I felt very much at peace with myself.Growing up, I’ve always had a creative mind. I remember keeping a journal of dreams and writing poems my mind couldn’t even comprehend. When I go back and reflect on  the words, it’s mind blowing how I can apply them to certain scenarios that have taken place even very recently. It’s almost like listening to the lyrics of a song for the first time and thinking to yourself “this song is definitely my life story”. I strongly feel like this whole process allows me the opportunity to assume the role of creative director even more so than ever before. I by no means think it’ll all be easy but I’m ready to put in the work to get to where I want to be.The amount of support I’ve gotten from my family and friends has been incredible. Every single one of them have encouraged me to stick with it and hold on to the dream. This has given me a lot of boost to stay focused and do more of the things I love, after all, its brought me here thus far. So what would you expect from me now? Well, I plan on creating more content on my YouTube channel and on this space as well. I want to say a huge thank you to all you lovely folks who have stuck around. I really appreciate you all. I’d love for you to carry on showing me love as this is now my new way of making a living. You can do this by engaging with my content, following me on my social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook) and also purchasing a copy of my eBook. I look forward to this new chapter of my life and hopefully you stick with me on what I hope will turn out to be an amazing ride.Thanks to my girl Samio for taking these snaps of me.

July 27, 2017
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Recently I shared a post on Instagram asking you lovely folks to take part in a Q&A blog post where I answer your burning questions. Thanks to everyone who engaged by leaving comments. Hopefully this should serve as a reference post when similar questions get raised. Let’s begin!

Which other YouTubers do you follow/watch?

I follow quite a few YouTubers but can’t keep up with their content due to time constraint. The ones I religiously watch are not what you might expect from me though. I never miss a h3h3productions and SoSonia video.

Which camera do you use?

Canon 5D MK III.

Favourite place you’ve ever visited?

Mykonos, Greece.If you have NO idea how to style yourself, where’s the best place to start? 😊

Jeans, jeans, jeans! You can never go wrong with a pair of jeans. It makes for an easy start. You can then throw on a tee or top, pair with sneakers or shoes.

I would love to know what to look for when scouting locations to shoot ❤️

The two things to consider are colours and your outfit. Do the colours in the location compliment your outfit would be the question to always ask.

Where’s your favourite place to vacation?

Europe! Something about it feels very romantic.

Whats the best thing about being a Yorkshire lass?

I’m not a Yorkshire lass but I do love a good Yorkshire pie.How did you get your boo to take all of your photos? Is he professionally trained?

I got Craig to take my pictures by having a mutually beneficial arrangement. I know he loves a good back massage so I trade in a 15 minute massage for every hour he spends shooting me. Now you know how much I work my hands off when you see a good picture of me, lol. He’s not professionally trained. We’re both self taught photographers.

What’s your biggest goal that you’d like to achieve by the end of 2017?

To make full time blogging my career.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

A lot of my inspiration comes from music. You won’t catch me listening to mainstream songs as I do love the odd unique pieces. Music sets a lot of the tone for my work. It’s become my way of communicating.

How do you edit your videos?

I edit my videos using Final Cut Pro.

What are the 5 things you can’t travel without?

My camera, glasses, hat, jeans and journal.How old are you and how years have you been married?

I’m 30, soon to be 31 next month. Although a lady in Tesco wouldn’t sell alcohol to me because I didn’t have my ID. Took that as a massive compliment as you can tell, lol. I’ve been married for over 4 years now.

How do you take such cool pics?

Thanks! I try to focus more on taking a good image rather than capturing a product. I always say if you have a strong image, it should capture the attention of the viewer by making them stare long enough which should in turn draw them to the product.

I’d love to know your camera kit

You can find out my complete camera kit as well as my editing process by grabbing a copy of my eBook.

Any posing tips?

Yes! Music! Just before shooting, listening to music that fits your current mood and keep replaying it in your head while posing. This should get you moving.That’s the end of this Q&A segment. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Looking to do more of these in the next coming months. Leave a comment with your thoughts.

 

 

July 12, 2017
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I bring you the 21st episode of my week in black and white with so much joy in my heart. Joy that has come about by the immense support I’ve received from strangers around the world in the last couple of days. One of these beautiful souls shared my eBook to one of her Facebook groups which saw my sales hit record high. I couldn’t be more grateful. I received a lot of emails and direct messages from people who have felt inspired after seeing my work. It is beautiful to see how doing the things you love can make someone else go after the things they so desire. The truth is I love what I do when it comes to photography. My passion for it is what keeps me going. I’ve learnt that if I carry on doing the things I love, I am bound to succeed. My passion for creating something extraordinary has led me to want to take Instagram Stories to a whole new level. If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you should. There you’ll find me creating and sharing short stories which I must say do come across as very comforting. There I get to express myself through my choice of music and image framing hence why Carla Bruni’s French pop classic “quelqu’un m’a dit” has been stuck in my head.

Giving back what we receive is only natural. After all, that is what life is all about. We give and we take, only to give again. Keeping in that spirit, I am looking for ways I can give back the joy I’ve experienced these past few days. I came across a fellow Nigerian blogger, Grace, who shared her story on Instagram about her struggle with depression and how she managed to overcome it in the past months. I thought it bold and inspiring to say the least. I know a lot of folks can relate to her, myself included. So when she shared how she’s been trying to raise funds to further pursue her studies to enable her become a professor, I thought it to be the perfect opportunity for us to show her some love. If you’d like to find out more about Grace and contribute towards her post graduate degree please click here.

Well, it’s nearly 1 am and way past my bedtime considering I have to be up in two hours to catch my flight to Hamburg. On that note, I’ll call it a day, or should I say night? Either way, see you folks on the other side.

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Grab a copy of my eBook here.***

June 24, 2017
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For the past couple of weeks I’ve been asking myself the same question over and over again. What is going on? This is mostly due to the events  that have taken place very recently in the UK. Also, hearing troubling stories from friends sharing difficult experiences is making all kinds of worried. It’s very easy for me to think worse case scenarios in the face of difficult times. Trying to gain control of my thoughts is something I’m learning which isn’t easy especially with someone like me who tends to bottle a lot in. I was away in Mykonos when I woke up to the news of the attack in Manchester. I remember going through the motions in my mind and finding a way to make peace with it as I always try to do to avoid my thoughts spiralling out of control. When I returned back to Manchester, I could tell that things were different. My Church happen to be located in St Ann’s Square where flowers and messages of condolences are being put down. I and Craig were asked to volunteer on Saturday to help with the candle stands in the Church as people kept coming in to light candles in memories on the people who lost their lives. It was hard to watch people cry. One thing that was clear though was how it’s brought people together. I remember the curate saying to me how a man wanted to buy a condolence card from the book stand and was short of fifty pence. She said, a number of people waiting in line to sign the condolence book offered to give him the fifty pence which was very beautiful to watch. It made me hopeful. But sadly, that same night, another attack would take place in London.

As much as I appear somewhat public with my life by sharing on my blog and social media, it’s sometimes very hard for me to gather my thoughts when bad things happen. All I want to do is be alone and listen to music that somehow holds a meaning to it all and eases my worries. One that makes me feel like everything will be okay. Having accidentally stumbled upon “Jane The Virgin”, I can’t help but think it’s fate. Something about the way things can go all so wrong but somehow they manage to find their way back to a place where everything was fine even in the midst of troubles. Trying times are to be expected and they draw strength from the relationships they have. Something about the music when kind words are spoken make me want to tear up from all the emotions I’ve been bottling inside. Laughter is not absent too because tears of joy is proof that it will all be okay, again. As I write this post I’ve got Moody Jane playing in the background and I can’t help but hold on to the feeling of hope. Hope for a better us, and hope for a better world.

***If you want to edit like me, you can! Grab a copy of my eBook here.***

June 6, 2017
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It feels like I haven’t managed to keep up with my blog schedule and other things that aren’t blog related if I’m being honest. I’m learning a lot these days that it’s okay not to be okay. I’ve never been the most popular girl or one to have many friends which in a good way has given me the chance to build a sustainable relationship with the people closest to me. When you get close to people, it’s only natural that you get to love and care for them. So it’s hard not to worry about them every now and again especially when they share their burdens with you. A bit like how Kim Wexler (from “Better Call Saul”) feels about Saul’s current plight. The same also goes for celebrating in their successes which is even sweeter when you’ve been a part of their journey getting there. Lately it feels like all I’ve been doing is focusing on everyone else (as I should because they are my people and I love them dearly) but me and I didn’t even know I was subconsciously doing this. It took a call from one of my close friends who was kind enough to spell it out to me. She reminded me that as much as we love the people closest to us, we can’t always control what happens to them just as they also can’t control some of the things life dishes to us. All we have to do is let them know that we’ll always be there for them no matter what and that in itself is all the assurance they need; knowing they can lean on you when the time comes.

I always tend to look tough and act like I’ve got everything together (which I totally haven’t) and it was nice to know that my friend could recognise that I too have needs of my own even when worrying about everyone else. It’s not that I didn’t know this before but it made me realise even more so that it is okay not to be okay especially around the people you love. Watching a lot of “Jane The Virgin” (my cheesy pleasure is what I like to call it) on Netflix has helped hit the point home too. It’s okay to break down in tears and pour your heart out even when it feels like you’re choking on your words just as it’s okay to scream and do a little crazy dance when you share news of wonderful things that are happening. Considering the paradigm of life; there are highs and there are lows. The latter we always get to learn from and perhaps draw some strength from. This is eventually what makes us who we are at our core. So let your guard down is what I tell myself these days. You’re human too. One who like Jane is all the wiser that it’s okay not to be okay. 

May 15, 2017
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Where do I begin? Apologies for the absence of a black and white piece last week. I’ve been recovering from all the travelling and catching up on work. Abuja was great. Although it did feel like I enjoyed the village a bit more at first. I and Craig got loads of practice babysitting for my sister. I think we’re more than ready for kids now after this. We enjoyed spending the week with family and eating really good food. At the top of our list was Suya. Having a resident “Suya Man” (that’s what his sign actually says) literally behind our house, we consumed it as much as we could. For those wondering what this delicacy is check out my previous blog post where I share more.

It was great to be back to the city where I was born. We went on walks in the street where I grew up which is where my family still resides. It was very nostalgic to say the least. I tried my best to explore more of Abuja than I did when I lived there. I found the huts and cultural artefacts much more interesting than the modern day architecture depicted in the city. As our time was limited, we didn’t get to visit Kaduna where we were hoping to spend some time at Kajuru Castle. A place we plan to factor in during our next visit. The mosquitoes were quite friendly to me and didn’t bother me one bit. Although I can’t say the same for Craig as he got a well deserved welcome after being covered in what I’ll describe a “mosquito tattoo” lol. There was so much sunshine that made me sweat all the time but I loved every bit of it especially when comparing it to the ever dull UK weather. When it came to the end of our trip, we said our goodbyes and returned to Manchester to what would seem like winter in December. It was hard not to miss Nigeria. Going back to work was also a struggle but it had to be done.

In the last few weeks I’ve lost two family members. The first was my cousin and more recently on Friday was my aunty. It’s been a gentle reminder for me live life to the fullest. Doing the things I love and more importantly with the people I love. It’s hard not to accept things for what they are. But I’m a strong believer that there’s always something good that comes out of a bad situation. Only time will tell. I urge everyone reading this to disregard the voices that hinder you from living the life you want with the people you want and give life to everyone and everything that makes you happy.

May 3, 2017
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