Your world looks so beautiful. How has training as a photographer shaped the way you look at everyday life?
Oh, it has definitively shaped it. Though I have always been one to see beauty in the ordinary. I majored in Arts for A-Levels and learnt a lot about composition, colours and design. So, while this is something that comes very naturally to me today, being a photographer helps me to see the small things, to take care of the details. And this helps me to slow down and look even closer.
What advice would you give someone struggling to see the beauty in their daily surroundings and routine?
Slow down. With Instagram and Pinterest we consume the world through photographs these days. Of course, this is a win with so much beauty literally at our doorstep, but we risk losing the ability to honour what we have in real life. Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet. You only see their top highlights and everything looks fun and easy, but you never know what is happening behind the squares and how hard it was for them to get there. Also, when we constantly compare our “real yoga pants and no make-up” self to some curated, glittery and shiny content on social media, we always lose and this is what holds us back from finding joy in the everyday life.
Growing up, what was your dream? How has this influenced your becoming a wedding photographer and mentor?
I wanted to become so many different things. As a child, I remember putting a towel on my head and pretending to have dyed hair. I dreamt of becoming an actor and a book author, an artist and teacher. I always wanted to CREATE and BE whatever I wanted to be without putting a label on it. And I guess this is pretty much what I finally became. Some detours were needed, but I am glad this is the path I chose.
What would you consider your most transformative life experience and how has this shaped your approach to your work?
Love this question! So, I guess it all comes down to two things. The moment I recognised what I am actually capable of doing – that I matter and that I am able to make a difference. This was a huge boost for my self confidence. And the second one was for sure when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I saw our lives literally flying by. Sitting in the hospital, with the smell of sickness and hope, this has been the turning point in my life. I decided that this life might be too short to postpone my dreams. The next day I went into the office and quit my job. I thought I have to close this one door to be able to see what else is out there, to find my way. And limiting my opportunities turned out to be strong driver for creativity.
You are a big supporter of women following their dreams. How has this emerged as a key theme for your life?
Something bad, that was even intended to harm me, turned out to be a pivotal moment for me. A female friend denounced me tremendously in public. I actually wanted to quit my photography work and go back to an ordinary office job – I didn’t want to be exposed anymore, I didn’t want to be that vulnerable anymore. But then I realised that what she did was the complete opposite of what I wanted in life and of what is missing in so many situations. LIFTING others. And helping people GROW. There is enough for all of us and I truly believe that magical things happen when we support each other.
All the weddings featured on your website and Instagram look like so much fun. What’s your favourite anecdote or story (that you’re allowed to share!)?
Oh, it always is! Over the years I’ve experienced many funny stories and coincidences. The one that comes to my mind right now is when Facebook suggested I would be interested in becoming friends with a woman I’d never met but found interesting as she had pink hair. So I contacted her to ask if she and her boyfriend would be interested in a casual shoot just for fun, and it turned out that he proposed just the day before. We ended up meeting for their engagement shoot and now they’re getting married on Mauritius this year and guess what: I will be there to photograph it! This story, like many more, is the reason why I believe in the law of attraction and that the universe is sending us the right things at the right time!
What does healing mean to you? And what healing do you think is needed in the world right now?
To be honest, I didn’t grow up believing in healing. It is something I first experienced myself when my mentor helped me dig really deep to find the reason why I started this work and then transform it into my vision. It was then that I realised I can heal myself only when I allow myself to be seen. I think the world needs more people who find the courage to get to know themselves, who forgive themselves and who honour the fact that we’re all broken somehow. We are all just in need of love and belonging, this is what makes us human. It is also what connects us, but right now it often divides us. When we start to respect other people’s wounds we can truly heal this world.
How do you contribute to this through your work?
With both photography and mentoring I can help people, especially women, to find their own beauty – inside and out. I am privileged to be able to help them recognise their true selves, so that they can grow and find their own way. They are then able to write their own stories – the ones they would love to tell one day.
Who, what or where inspires you?
Someone who inspires me with her whole beautiful being and her words is Nadia Meli. Also women like Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert and my dear personal mentor Charlie. These women have all touched me deeply with their words. I also find inspiration in words: I write and read daily to get into my creative flow. Sometimes it’s a color and very often it’s a new place I explore that brings a bunch of new ideas.
What would you like us to know about you?
Although I never considered myself especially creative, I come up with new ideas almost every day. I just don’t have enough time to follow every one!
What is the next challenge you are taking on in life?
It definitely is to really take Fearless & Forward off the ground, we’re hosting the first retreat in autumn and working on an online mentoring program behind the scenes that will be launched later this year!
If you could leave us with just one message what would it be?
“Everything comes to you in the right moment. Be patient.”
Thank you so much for your time! xx