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How I took self portraits on my solo trip in Italy

self portraits in italy

Hello! My trip to Italy in September was beauuuuutiful and I’m finally getting round to talking about it here. You may or may not know that I went by myself. Of course everyone wants to get those holiday pics while you’re away, and I’m no different.

I took many many selfies, but there was some points where I wanted to get a different angle shot.

I never thought I’d be able to pose in public, especially by myself. But I frickin did it!!

Even though I thought I needed to be with people to feel confident enough to do it, I think being alone is actually what gave me the confidence. No one there knew me and it felt so free.

So I thought I’d show you some of the self portraits I managed to take and tell you a bit about how I got them.

I only took my phone on this trip. Hauling my camera around everywhere didn’t seem ideal, and plus I was worried about pickpockets. 

I meant to take my little phone stand to get better self portraits but my dumb brain forgot to pick it up before I left. So that meant I had to try and take all photos of myself by balancing my phone on whatever I could find in the moment. Which was sometimes very risky. But anyway, here we go.

The Gardens

self portraits pisa

The first self shot I got was on my first day in Pisa. I visited the Botanical Gardens and at one point I stopped to chill on a bench for a while and saw this as my first selfie opportunity. There were a few people round, but I’d say this was the quietest spot I snapped a picture of myself over the weekend.

I put my phone on self timer and balanced it against the armrest of the bench. And snap! After a few attempts, this is what I got. I do think the lighting could have been better, but I actually really like the shadows cast by the trees. I feel like it makes me look a lil mysterious, hah

The Museum

I captured this photo while in Florence! The one place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I went to the Uffizi Gallery, which was frickin’ unbelievable. I took of a lot of photos of all the beauty in the building, but at one point I wanted to capture a moment of me being there.

There was an area with some benches about halfway round and I wanted to take a moment to chill as it was starting to become a long day. And of course I had to use that moment to get my next self portrait.

This setting was much busier than the gardens so apart from having more balls, the way I got the pic was the same.

The Rocks

This little shoot led to some of my favourite photos from the whole trip. I spent one day seeing a few of the Cinque Terre towns, which I totally recommend visiting btw!!

In a moment of total self love and confidence, I stuck my phone in a gap in a rock on the beach in Vernazza and posed my lil heart out. I think this gorgeous velvet swimsuit combined with the incredible time I was having just made me feel amazing. So hell yeah I strutted my stuff and posed my little heart out!

I got quite a few stares while I was getting these self portraits haha, but it was so worth it! Not only because I adore the photos, but also because not caring about what people thought of me in that moment has given me a push to do that more often when I’m in England, and not just when I travel.

So those were the 3 self portraits I got while in Italy! No, they’re nothing you’d see in Vogue, but they represent me pretty well and I’m super proud of them. Mainly because of the confidence it took to get them hah!

But as you can see, I took them on a fairly small scale so it really wasn’t that noticeable. It’s so easy to get paranoid and think everyone is staring at you, which is why I never got any self shots when I went to Prague.

But in a weird way, it’s kind of liberating to pose in public!

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The bus got me thinking

bus

I feel like I talk a lot about how much I do by myself and must come across as a super confident person. I rarely talk about the anxieties I used to have. Maybe because my mind seems to have blocked a lot of it out. Or because I think it makes me too vulnerable.

Who knows. But now I do want to talk about it because now I’ve actually thought about it, I’ve come a bloody long way!!

The other day I was walking past a bus stop that I walk past every day but for the first time, I actually registered it. Which then made me think back to when I was too scared to get the bus.

And it made me smile. From a time where just thinking of getting on a bus would make me feel physically sick, to now enjoying my train journey every morning. Well, when they’re actually running properly, hah!

That sounds like something so simple, but that was a huge step for me. And I didn’t even realised it.

But when I do remember how much anxiety filled me, causing me to rarely leave the house in my teenage years, I’m so proud of myself.

There’s still many things I have to overcome and improve, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t need little tweaks here and there. But the fact that I can now go out by myself to gigs, pubs, even get on a frickin plane, is amazing – if I say so myself.

bus

Because I know how awful I felt filled with worry about the simplest daily occurrences, so those were never even things I considered doing.

The reason I wanted to write this post wasn’t to say how I’ve overcome a lot of my worries. I wanted to write it because I hadn’t even realised that I’d done it. Yeah, I know how crazy it sounds.

Of course I remember how I felt every time I got a little victory, like when I first got on the bus alone. But now that was years ago and I’ve done more things since, it got pushed to the back of my mind.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We need to think about those small wins more often. As tiny victories aren’t tiny at all because they lead to another challenge which we can overcome and so on.

No, it’s not easy, but it’s possible. Because now I live for those little victories. And you should too!

If you’ve read this whole post (firstly, thank you) you should think about some of your little victories. However big or small, just dig through your brain and surface some of those wins that you forgot about.

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I never used to like having my photo taken

photo taken

My mom found out some old photos last month and there were loads of a young me posing with a cheesy grin.

I don’t remember being that camera happy child, but it made me smile.

From as far back as I can remember, I always hated having my photo taken. The majority of my secondary school life was spent avoiding the camera, and always offering to be the photographer for my friends.

Now I think about it, I know when my opinion on pictures changed. When I was little, I didn’t care about what I looked like. I wasn’t one of those childs who would always try out their mom’s makeup and what not. I just plodded on with life, having a whale of a time.

But of course when you get to secondary school, things are completely different. I still never wore makeup apart from mascara until I was 17. That was out of choice, but I never felt as pretty as the other girls. My self confidence in general was at the lowest it’s ever been. I wasn’t my biggest fan. So I didn’t want any evidence of my current, now past, self.

never used to like having my photo taken

Now I’m 20, I think it’s a bit of a shame that I don’t really have any photos of the majority of my teenage years. Apart from the old school photo my parents bought. I mean, those forced ones are probably the worst of them all!! I’m sure I’d prefer one of the silly selfies I took with my friends.

On the other hand, like I said, it wasn’t a time in my life where I felt the best about myself. So maybe I’d feel worse if I kept seeing my younger teenage self everywhere, reminding me of those days. But we’ll never know now.

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise when I say, I don’t hate having my picture taken anymore.

People don’t believe me when I tell them I used to hate having my photo taken. I mean, you’d only have to take one look at my instagram to think I was lying.

Even I find it funny that me, a girl who was incredibly shy with zero self confidence, now has a fashion and lifestyle blog and a YouTube channel. Of course I had gained a lot more confidence before starting this blog, mainly because I had begun to find my personal style and found a job I enjoyed.

photo taken blog post

But ever since starting this website, I’ve really started to believe in myself. Having my little space on the internet has made me grow as a person and inspired me to keep doing the things I want to do.

I’m much happier with the way I look and myself in general now, and it’s the best feeling ever.

From a girl who despised being on camera, to now having a hobby where being on camera is the main focus.

I feel like a different person to that girl with zero confidence now. I still have days where I don’t feel too good about myself and there’s not a day where I don’t think about how I used to feel.

It’s taken a while to get to this point, but it’s so refreshing to now love having my photo taken. Or shall I say, taking my own photo. I never thought I’d have a camera roll with one selfie, let alone many.

Self love is a feeling I hope everyone can experience at some point in their life! We all deserve it.

Do you like having your photo taken?

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How I survive going out ‘out’ by myself

out by myself

Survive is the wrong word. (Honestly, I just couldn’t think of anything that summed up the post better). It makes it sound like being out alone is a life threatening thing, which only the thought of it is. Actually doing it can be a piece of cake once you’re used to it. It’s my self confidence that can be a pain in the arse, because some days it makes me feel like I can’t do it, when I know I can.

When I was about 14, I was going to gigs at least twice a month with my friends or my sister. Whenever I’d see someone by themselves in the queue I used to think they were so brave. Like, they left the house and came here to have a good time by themselves? Honestly, it freaked me out a little because damn, I was shy af, so that level of confidence didn’t seem achievable to me.

Then I grew up and somehow managed to push myself into situations that I didn’t think I was capable of. Even the smallest things, scared the hell out of me, like asking to use a changing room in a shop. Bloody hell, the amount of times I’d be too nervous to ask and take home clothes too big and then have to get a friend to return it for me because that was a struggle too.

A lot of things still fill me with anxiety, but I’ve managed to overcome some of my big fears. One of them being going out alone.

Well, it wasn’t like I just went out and literally “faced my fears” and then I was fine. It’s still something I often get nervous about, but I love it at the same time. To the point where I’m going to Prague by myself in less than a week (!!!), which makes me want to scream in both excitement and fear.

It was a very long process of me plucking up the courage to go out out just in my hometown alone, because of worrying what people would think of me, and some days I still struggle with confidence. So I thought I’d share some of the ways I survive going out by myself.

out by myself

Feel confident before I leave the house

Okay so this is technically something I do before I go out but it definitely helps ease me into it. All us girls know how much more confident you feel when wearing matching underwear. I do my best to feel like that every time I go out, but I especially make the effort when I’ll be out by myself.

I’ll spend a little bit longer on my makeup or wear an extra cute outfit to boost my confidence. I like to look in the mirror and think “hell yeah” – that way I feel more positive about myself and consequently I have less fears.

Go late

This took a lot of practice and went against my rule of always being early… Sometimes I can’t help myself and still turn up to places before I need too.

If you’re like me – have to be early, but feel insanely awkward when there’s nothing to do – it’s good to get wherever you need to be at a time comfortable for you.

For me, the only negative about going to a gig by myself is queuing, but I also like to see all the support acts (gotta make the most of it). So I learnt to compromise. Queue for a little while to catch the first band. I add on an extra 10 minutes to whatever time they say the doors open because, let’s face it, they never open when they say they will. And I do my best to get there when the queue is moving or virtually non-existent, so I don’t have to stand around feeling like a lemon.

Go early

Time to contradict myself. When I felt comfortable enough to go for a drink by myself, I soon learnt that my “go late” rule only works for gigs. Popping in for a quick drink about 7pm on a Friday is not a good idea when you don’t want to be pushing through a crowd just to get in the door.

Instead I switched to going about 5pm – 6pm. That way I’d get there while it was still a bit quiet and not so overwhelming.

The same applies to going to events in the day. I absolutely adore finding unique clothes at vintage sales, but sometimes they can get a bit busy. Some events offer an early bird ticket, for an extra £1 or so, to get in an hour before general opening times. I think it’s WELL worth it. Not about being uncomfortable this time, this is just to make sure I get the good stuff, hah!

But if you’re not a huge fan of crowds at those kinda events, that might be a good tip for you.

out by myself

Have a comfort blanket

Even after doing the things I’ve mentioned, I still have moments where I feel anxious. Because of that, I like to have a “go-to” for when I need a bit of help.

My first little comfort was smoking, which I don’t recommend!! I always thought smoking was gross and said I’d never do it. I hadn’t even tried one until I was 18 (I was a good kid) but that was when I started having a few whenever I’d go out with friends. A “social smoker” with the occasional fag before work was all I was.

I could make a pack of 20 last me weeks. But of course, carrying them with me was my safety blanket whenever I needed it when I was out alone and on edge. And that meant that I’d be lighting up one after another until I relaxed, which isn’t the healthiest thing to do.

But the last cigarette I had made me vomit (wow so cool!!) and that’s put me right off again. So for now my comfort is my blog. When I have an anxious moment, I get my phone out and start writing. Even if just for 2 minutes and it’s absolute nonsense, because writing is such an important part of my life, it gives me the boost of confidence I need. Technically a more antisocial alternative but a healthier one at least.

And that’s about it! This was a difficult post to write because it’s really all about personal experiences, so I can’t really give tips that I know 100% work in growing confidence to go out out by yourself, only offer the things that have worked for me.

Hopefully someone will take something useful away from this post though!