Hey there! If this is your first time to my blog then welcome. We are a little family of four based in Arbroath Scotland and we spend a lot of our time in the outdoors. My name is Zephy, my partner’s name is Alex and we have two children Ace and Hazel who are the funniest creatures I have ever seen. We love to forage, bake, create and travel around, mostly indulging ourselves in a more simple life in a digital age because it’s healing for us all.
I am a lifestyle photographer and blogger with ADHD, and I have spent a good decade figuring out what it is I am meant to be doing with my life and business other than motherhood. As luck would have it, I found photography 5 years ago and it was finally a way of combining all the things I love into one place. I have photographed portraits and weddings for most of my photographic career, but now I am diving a bit deeper into what is going to be sustainable for my family and I. I have always been incredibly creative with a high motivation to create anything and everything, but it actually stopped me making progress at times. Growing up, I was often made to feel bad by others for being ‘gifted’, mixed with perfectionism and anxiety, I actually suppressed a lot of my creative skills in fear of being called a show off. Filled with all this potential and not feeling like I was ever good enough, I have been on a real journey of discovery since having my first daughter Ace 11 years ago. Since then, I have grown in creativity, met my soulmate Alex and had our daughter Hazel. Combined with my recent diagnosis of ADHD, I now feel I can find peace with and forgive myself a lot, letting go of those voices that held me back for such a long time. It’s taken me nearly 10 years to accept that it’s ok to be inspired by lots of different things, and to carve out a job that is suited around me, my ADHD and my family life.
I have made the bold decision to combine both my photography business and my personal work as I embark on a new journey of lifestyle photography, mentoring, teaching and blogging which I couldn’t be more nervous but excited to do. This blog is now a combination of my photography blog Zephyre Rose and With Love from A to Z blog, one I started with my daughter Ace when I was a single parent but will be documenting our adventures as we travel around Scotland. Having ADHD it’s so easy to have a billion different projects going on which previously I felt a lot of shame, but now I feel only joy that I have so much to share. I hope all of my current followers enjoy this new direction that my business is headed and that you all will take something from this little blog.
Come follow our journey here and on Instagram and I hope you feel inspired to make your lives a little more simple!
For Mental Health Awareness Week our house was filled with Colour, both my 10 year old daughter and I are very sensory creatures and we love to express our thoughts and feelings using colours which is both calming and fun. We have been talking about each colour and what each colour means to us like what does a particular colour feel like? What does this colour sound like? To our suprise, we came up with everything from the feelings of anger, the smell of grass to nostalgic hairstyles and Disney princesses.
It’s been a fun project creating the masks and getting into characters for what I think each colour represents to me but what is your favourite colour and what does it mean to you?
Check out the behind the scenes on our Instagram page!
Here are just a few of the things people have said to me when they see my face. Growing up I had a few spots like most teenagers, but what I didn’t know is that when I got pregnant I would suffer with postpartum acne so severe that my face itches, it hurts to put make up on and i’m so embarrassed by my skin to the point I don’t even want to go outside. My closest family and friends know about this, it goes away once I stop breastfeeding although scars remain but otherwise I really hate talking about it let alone sharing pictures of it. My daughter is always telling me to get in the photos without my make up she says I’m beautiful the way I am, half the time I don’t because I know how bad I feel looking at them. I started a project called Mums Get In The Photograph last year which encourages mums to get in the photographs even though at times we don’t want to, and I realised that this was the start of me opening up to being a more honest version of myself in front of the camera. Watching my daughter be so brave recently made me realise I want to be brave now… I’m always honest in my photography and this is the most vulnerable thing I have ever shared and have wanted to share for such a long time but I was too scared until now…. but if I don’t show how normal this is to love myself like this, taking beautiful portraiture in my natural skin how can I teach my daughters to? This is an act of self love….and I’m selfishly loving myself right now…
‘We have to be women we want our daughters to be.’
After sharing the above image recently, I have started to embrace my natural skin and share images with minimal retouching. Recently after sharing the image on social media below in cherry blossoms, I had an uneccessary comment that brought up a whole lot of issues I feel are in the industry. I don’t often get angry let alone share about it on social media but what happened to me was part of a bigger problem within this industry and I am angry about it and so should you be. Some of the comments on my post sharing my views really shocked me trying to tell me I was in the wrong, telling me it was my lack of technical knowledge and that I was too sensitive to understand what they meant. Do you think this is the only comment that has ever been said to me or that I have witnessed within photography? No….if you think for one second that this isn’t a problem, then you are part of the problem. Despite the negativity, it hasn’t come close to the amount of support I have received. I hate being centre of attention and I hate drama but the day I shared an image of me with my postpartum acne was the day everything changed with me for my photography….for my daughter’s sake I will continue to share minimally retouched images of our skin and them to watch me educate and teach other people that it’s beautiful. For whatever reason, the original commenter felt the need to reach out and apologise to me, and it’s a start. Let’s be in a world where we can make mistakes and then we grow from them. I will be part of the change…
I still feel like there aren’t enough images out there that represent faces like mine, especially around adolescence as this is something I am particuarly passionate about within my photography work. My daughter returned to school this week and was anxious as she has started to get a few spots and was worried about what others might think. Even though I tell her otherwise, encouraging her to love herself, it shows that I can only do so much….but I will show her how empowering it is to love yourself and to continue documenting it within my images. Since posting these images, I have had so many women come forward sharing their own thoughts and journey’s of living with acne and a lot of them feeling like they were the only one! I will do everything in my power now to use my camera and my face as a tool of helping other women to show that they are not the only one and that we are all simply beautiful. This is for my daughters.
Last weekend I took one photo every hour on the hour as part of the Phlock Live #phlocklifeinblackandwhite Weekend Mini Challenge. It was so lovely to see and enjoy my home in a different way, and I although I am a total perfectionist I loved being restricted to what was right in front of me…We had such a wonderful day which ended with a shadow play that totally failed as it collapsed and we all fell about laughing 😂 (I put two of these images in because I loved them so much!) Although it was a challenge for me having to set my alarm and think on the spot every hour, I felt like I spent more quality time with my girls than I have in ages and was really enjoying watching them just be their beautiful selves…I did a similar project about 10 years ago when I took one photo every hour for 24 hours and each hour had a different theme…it was really intense but I have wanted to do it again for a while. I will be doing an hourly challenge over at my little photography community Wild Rose Family very soon for anybody looking to challenge themselves creatively, so come get involved!
With Love Flat Lay is a project born out of LOckTh
With Love Flat Lay was born in Lockdown 3.0 and inspired by previous projects such as Rainbow Garage Doors. After homeschooling a 10 year old and having to look after a toddler as well things, can get a bit tedious at home and although I loved my last Lockdown project Window Series I longed for a bit more colour in my photography and also my Instagram feed. This project took a couple of weeks to do and I started with the rainbow first and the rest sort of followed. It’s suprising how much you find of the the same colour when you start looking for it….I had my eldest look around the house for all the coloured items and we styled and photographed it whilst the little one napped, once she woke up there was this amazing sensory experience for her to play with! I super enjoyed this project, it’s taken a while to clear up but it was totally worth it! I don’t think this will be my last colourful project, so checkout my Instagram With Love From A to Z and why not try your own flat lay using the hashtag #withloveflatlay
Hello September, one of my favourite months! This month I get to celebrate my birthday, my partner’s birthday and the start of my favourite season….AUTUMN! This month is going to be full of amazing opportunities to take photographs which I will be blogging about weekly and I will also be encouraging all the mums to step in the frame as part of the #mumsgetinthephotograph project.
So read on, grab your camera/camera phone, here are just 3 Creative Photographs To Capture This September, enjoy!
1.Back to School Photographs
The kids are finally back to school after quite a few months off, we all probably have mixed feelings about it but we all want to document it no doubt! Usually we prepare for the traditional, clean school photographs in front of the stairs/by the front door or in front of the school. But now I think this year it’s time to up our game and get super creative. How about taking the kids in their uniform (or whatever they are wearing for school right now) and take them out and about photographing them on location. I find candid images so much nicer sometimes and enables you to really document your kid’s personalities! Or why not try one of the creative trends at the moment perhaps getting all your kid’s toys waving to your kids goodbye as they walk out the door? How sweet! And I know it’s all about our little ones in their new uniforms but how many of us actually get in the photographs with them to document this memory? Get in your images with your little ones this year and let’s celebrate a new school year!
2. Changing of the Season
Autumn is nearly apon us and this is when the leaves start to turn, creating the most beautiful colours. This is by far my favourite season for photography, the light and colours always lend a hand for dramatic effects. Why not get your kids out and capture them chucking the leaves up in the air? Or a nice photographic shot of your family looking all cosy indoors from a scene in the window outside looking in? Or maybe get yourself dressed up in autumny colours yourself and go take a self portrait (click HERE for tips on how to take a self portrait). Whatever you decide, Autumn will provide lots of colour, atmosphere and great scenery for your images so get out and about and fill your pictures with lots of autumny goodness!
3. Golden Hour Photographs
The sun is starting to set a little earlier now and September is a great time to get out and about and take photographs in the early evening. Golden hour is the hour and half before the sun sets or when the sun rises and is the most flattering light to capture images and it can create some really magical moments. Don’t be afraid to play with lighting here as you can create some wonderful images experimenting with backlit photographs, trying to get some beautiful sunflares and silhouettes with your subjects, also by directly facing into the sun once it has nearly set will create the most amazing orange glow across your faces!
If you do capture any of the above please share with me over at With Love From A To Z and if any mum’s fancy being brave and getting in the frame, please use the hashtag #mumsgetinthephotograph on your public photographs and share over on our Instagram Mums Get In The Photograph to get featured!