vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage

HIYAS

So you might have seen some of these family shots I did recently with my lovely neighbours. I’m so glad Kris asked me to do these. It’s something, as a solo parent always behind the camera, I often mean to do myself for my wee guy and I but typically haven’t got round to doing yet. I think family shoots still have a bit of a bad rep and I hate having my photo taken but having spent 90 minutes just hanging out with these guys as they did some of their favourite things it really made me wish I’d get it sorted for myself too. It’s a lovely memory to hold on to. Especially when your kid starts school and suddenly you feel like they’ll be a teenager in a sneeze. My wedding work is all about human connection so it’s a natural thing to also look for those wee moments for families, whatever combination of humans (and animals) that might involve.

Anyways, I’d like to do some more of these. I’m also getting my shit together (slowly) and working on a mailing list to send out print offers, photography discounts for new things I’d like to try out and event news so if you fancy a (Central Scotland) school holiday time family wander with me and my cameras, sign up to my mailing list at the bottom of this rant and you’ll receive a wee introductory discount for being an ace human who pays attention.

Also visit Kris’s store, Bon Tot, if you haven’t. It’s full of ridiculously awesome things for little and big folks.


WEDDING COUPLES, come see me at The Engine Works, 18 July as part of the latest evening Wedding Collective market.

These are the only wedding fair type of guy that I like to get involved with. They’re always overflowing with creative ideas and they’re a lot more gentle and interesting than the conference centre hard sell kinda things which just give me the fear.

It’s always a treat to catch up with the rest of the collective cos they are a lovely talented bunch of folks and they inspire my face greatly. Prepare for a love and creativity overwhelm…I’ll bring my best patter and some photos.

tickets here


Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable but they’re never weaknesses.
— Brene Brown

edinburgh portrait photographer

Let me introduce you to a very special human. This is Gemma Bromley. We met recently and are about to work on some wee creative ideas together. We are going to photograph invisible things. We are magical wizards.

Gemma is writing a book. She has recovered from a serious brain injury and has been through a bunch of trauma and come out the other side as just an incredibly inspiring graceful and kind woman who I cannot wait to work with. Gemma’s book is going to discuss how she has coped through her tough times as she wants to help others do the same, especially those who have lost a part of themselves through their trauma. Give her a follow on social media so you can keep in touch with her progress and to learn a bit more about her work.

Some of the photographs we’ll make will be based on my unhelpful words project which is open to anyone. We all have mental health, we all have times of struggle and I think the more we make discussing our mental health commonplace the better for everyone, wherever they’re at. Aye, so…email me on hello@solenphotography.co.uk if you’d like get involved in the portrait project.


edinburgh portrait photographer

I am the segue master. Just watch how smooth this is….This is Cori of Makeup by Cori (highly recommended FYI) taking part in my ‘Unhelpful Words’ project…Beat matched it.

Cori is a big fan of Bill Murray, puns and she tells really very incredibly lame jokes. These are facts.

I promised to gather the troops and launch an attack on the stresses of wedding planning. I think all makeup artists and hairdressers are therapists as they tend to have heard it all before and have great advice. So we’re easing in gently to this whole sharing thing with a wee bit from Aunty Cori about self care in the planning stages and the nervy hours before the ceremony.

“In terms of self-care, if you’re feeling that things are starting to get on top of you then take some time to work out what’s causing you to feel like this. If I’m feeling low, stressed or overwhelmed then I find that it really helps to remove myself from a situation and take some time to myself and try to remember what’s important. Also, talking to people helps.

I’m currently working hard on not feeling guilty about taking time to relax (even though it’s my favourite thing to do)! It’s ok to do nothing and you should make time to do it, whether it’s just having a lie down, reading a book or sitting in your pants all day eating ice-cream and watching trashy TV – don’t feel guilty!

On the wedding day, delegation is the key! You want to sit back and relax so make sure your bridal party know what the schedule is and what tasks they need to do before you walk down the aisle. It’s really important everyone knows when they’ve to be in the makeup chair and when they need to be ready.”

Things that help me when I feel overwhelmed include taking some time to scribble down how I feel to help process it as it often turns out to be past experience triggering stresses. I like making crap collages or printing photos as cyanotypes as I find tactile things calming and they usually end up sketching out my anxieties. I also go for a wander on the beach, jump in the North Sea, go to the modern gallery to stare at some paintings for a bit, make a list of small achievable tasks and pick 3 for that day and leave everything else to later. I’m planning on getting better at naps.


There’s a whole heap of other advice and some chats about sustainable wedding planning, body positivity and all sorts coming soon from some ace humans, so sit tight…In the meantime, here’s some stuff I’ve been watching/reading/listening to lately that’s helped me chill the fuck out…

I’m obsessed with Brene Brown. I recently revisited her original tedtalk on vulnerability and there is a Netflix special about her, go watch and tell me her earrings aren’t prawn crackers…Anyway, I’m deep into her book, Daring Greatly, which I’m loving. It’s like having a coach with a spit bucket and towel by your side at all times.

Raw Milk : A podcast which is great for self employed creatives but I think also has some really useful episodes for helping those navigating the stresses and anxieties of planning a major event like a wedding. In particular, there is some great advice about prioritising when you are facing burn out or your mental and physical health are struggling to keep up with deadlines.

The episodes Navigating Anxiety, Depression and Procrastination as a creative entrepreneur and Connecting to your Spirit through creativity with the painter Satsuki Shibuya discuss learning to say no, learning to recognise your own patterns and what you need to do to cope, how to organise around your strengths and reverse engineering the big goals into small achievable tasks as a way of dealing with overwhelm. I’d recommend these to anyone, they’re not as dry as they sound!!


Also, if you enjoy comedy gold featuring pop stars from the naughties I’d recommend paul _ danan _ official on instagram cos it’s actual genius.

And dinny even get me started on my new addiction of swimming in the Firth of Forth cos that’s a whole big rant in itself…so I’ll no doubt write that soon.

x