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My Week in Black and White

This week’s black and white post is going to be very different from the rest. I decided to share my playlist after one of you lovely folks asked what inspires me. The answer is music. Truth be told it’s one of the few things that inspires me. The right song can ignite a spark in you that can burn through a lifetime. I’m one of those people who doesn’t listen to a lot of mainstream music. In fact, you’ll catch me listening to the same songs and artists over and over again. Most of the songs I love listening to take me back to a particular moment in time and hearing the words and sound feels very much like de ja vu. I’m one for deep thinking so music with lyrics that have substance tend to move me.

One might say I tend to be drawn to sad songs. They seem to be the ones that move me the most. Whenever I feel down, I listen to music. And if the song can move me to tears in that moment then it means it’s giving me the comfort I need to let it all out. I always say after sadness comes joy so it’s no wonder I feel inspired to find joy in other things after listening to these songs. The first song on my playlist, Holocene by Bon Iver, is one I accidentally came across when looking for inspiration on Youtube after feeling unsure of what type of content to create. And now it is my go to song whenever I feel stuck. I’m actually listening to it right now while typing up this post. It always seems to get me writing down creative thoughts. And then we have A Life That’s Good which I came across while watching the TV show Nashville. It’s a song of gratitude. One that makes me feel very grateful for the little things in life like family and friends.

The list goes on, and so do the circumstances in which I came about them. You can listen to my playlist here to see the type of music that inspires me. And hopefully it gives you an insight to more of me.***If you want to edit like me, you can! Grab a copy of my eBook here.***

August 18, 2017
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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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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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My week has been full of travelling. We first set off last Wednesday night by train to London where we caught our flight to Nigeria the following morning. Only that we had to first make a stop in Instanbul and then board a flight to Lagos. We arrived Nigeria on Thursday night. I had almost forgotten what it was like to be here until we quickly got reminded by a hustler at Murtala Mohammed airport who wanted $50 from us in the name of “fast track”. You’ll be pleased to know that we did not succumb to his antics. Within two hours in the country, I asked Craig his impression and he said all I can see is everyone exchanging money for something, lol. Welcome to Nigeria! We spent the night in Lagos where my brother met up with us. He ordered the best Dominos pizza ever. It was called the chicken suya pizza. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and headed to the airport where we had to board our flight to Enugu, again, not without a lot of kerfuffle. We arrived at the airport to find a delay with the check in due to the bizarre luggage control system. After checking in at the counter, you still need to follow your luggage to make sure it gets checked in. After clearing security and arriving at the plane, you still need to make sure your luggage arrived to be boarded on the plane. We had to identify our luggage before taking our seats. In the end our flight was delayed for an hour. While flying, Craig got a chance to see Nigeria from the sky and was mesmerised by how beautiful it looked.

We arrived at Enugu after less than an hour from take off where we caught up with my other brother who drove us down to my hometown, Alor in Anambra State. There we met my parents and other extended family who had been awaiting our visit. As a kid, we usually traveled down there almost every year for Christmas. I remember dreading it because it was such a long drive and I found it quite dull and deserted. But after living in Manchester all these years and taking up photography, I have started to appreciate nature a lot more. We stayed at our family home which was surrounded by different kind of trees. Craig was excited to explore the town and took long morning walks with my brother who showed him Nkwo market and other monuments. We had a lot of guests coming to the house to see us. There was loads to eat and drink and we didn’t waste any time tucking in. It was good to see really old family photos which brought back a lot of memories. On Easter day, I and Craig got shown how to hold a live chicken which was the one of highlights of my visit. Craig got to see animals he had never seen before and hear the crickets at night. He also experienced proper rain which he thought was very meditative as it made beautiful sounds when it hit the roofs and tree leaves surrounding us. On Easter Monday, we were back on the road. This time heading to Abuja, the city where I was born and raised which is where I’ll see you lot in next weeks posts. 

April 19, 2017
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I’m losing my mind, or at least I think I am. This past week has been very stressful for me compared to other weeks in 2017. Where to begin? I’ve kept to my schedule of rising early to make the most of the day but I’ve been pushing it with the amount of sleep I’ve been getting. It’s not bad overall, it’s at least six hours sleep a day. I’m trying to get organised but have faced quite a few obstacles with other matters arising like being on the phone for over two hours to customer service trying to request additional information from a service provider or having to step up and fulfil other obligations that I’ve committed to like giving my time to others for very good reasons. I promise to go into more details once I’ve cleared my head a bit more this week and gotten extra hours of sleep.

I actually stuck to my plan and made a daily list of things to do at the start of my day and tried to tick them off. I did fall short on a few but that was due to the issues I sort of touched on in the first paragraph. I think the way I’ll have to approach this organisation is by allocating a time slot for each task and try and stick with it. This should help keep things on track. There are bound to be lessons learnt when one takes on a new adventure such as getting organised, lol. The obvious one here is to take life easy. Sometimes we make all these grandiose plans and then life happens and halts all operations. We just have to stop and address it then move on with the knowledge we’ve gained. What was lovely to see was how my friends and Craig found a way to cheer me on even without being deliberate. I got sent links to inspirational videos, positive materials and even memes which made every bit of this stressful week a lot better. It’s good to have a great source of support but sometimes it’s not always there but the one place I’m sure to find it is in seeking the word of God. I reached for it as it always brings me comfort no matter my situation.

Lying in bed at what seems to me a little over half past twelve midnight typing up this post on my iPhone (as I always do when trying to keep up with scheduled posts) doesn’t exactly help my sleeping pattern. So let’s call it a night here. I hope your week has been miles better than mine. If not, cheers to a fantastic week ahead.

MY WEEK IN BLACK AND WHITE: I'M LOSING MY MIND

April 4, 2017
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We’re on number twelve guys!!! I’m extra excited this week if you can’t tell already and that’s because we’ve booked our trip to Nigeria! It’s been circa six years since my last visit and Craig has never been which means I get to introduce him to my culture just as much as he’s done the same for me. My parents love him to bits and can’t wait to show him around. We depart exactly a month from today so let the countdown begin.

I’m happy to say that I’m also fully recovered and have been slowly diving back into work. I collaborated with Elie Beaumont and Lola Mattei which I shared on the blog and have quite a few campaigns lined up to shoot in the next coming weeks. I also shot my first current favourites video which you can watch here. I let you in on all the stuff I’ve been loving at the moment.

It was International Women’s Day on Wednesday and it was amazing to see the amount of support women offered to one another. If I’m being honest, I don’t seem to remember International Women’s Day being in the spot light in the past few years and much as it was this year. My conclusion for all the coverage this year is feminism. Feminists want to be heard now even more than ever as they should especially given all the events that transpired in 2016 which I prefer not to go into at this point in time. And if you haven’t figured it by now, I too I’m a feminist. I would say I have always been one ever since I could remember. Growing up in a home where I got to express myself and watch my mum go after her dreams with all her might gave me courage to stand for the things I believe in. Sadly, it would seem that feminists of today are sometimes seen as a nuisance and the message of what it really means to be a feminist gets lost in all the chaos. I think it’s time we made the message clear. So, if I were to describe a feminist, I would write this poem.

She was born with a voice, one that couldn’t be ignored as she spoke so much truth. Truth that comes from a place of love; love for herself and so many others who have somehow lost their voice. Tell her your problems and she’ll fight for you and stand with you as you work through them. She understands what it means to embrace oneself in entirety. Empathy is her motto. And though she may always appear strong, she is just another being trying to find her rightful place in this world. She is and will always be the feminist.

Onyi Moss

March 13, 2017
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