'14

Even though my life and everything around me was flowing nicely, my mind had switched and I fell into a deep, dark hole; a hole so full of detached, meaningless, unfulfilled life. I didn't want to live, but I didn't want to kill myself, and so sleep became my favourite thing to do and waking up was my least favourite. Life became uninspiring and I stopped creating images. I would force myself to take photos for keepsake but that love and passion just wasn't there anymore. Nothing was there. I was just living loops as an empty vessel.

I called myself unsuccessful and a failure because I had thought that success was measured by the amount of money I made, and boy was I struggling. I ended up crying myself to sleep on the night of my birthday. My first day as a 22 year old was spent at the doctors with needles in my arm and a piece of paper with the words 'Mental Illness Treatment Plan' sprawled on the top in bold. I was prescribed medication and given therapy but I took none of that. 

But then I realised that the more I answered truthfully to people's 'How are you?' and 'How have you been?' questions, the more I discovered that I was not alone. I found comfort knowing that there were others I could relate to - home and across the world. I realised that my feelings mattered, and that it's perfectly fine to feel like shit. I learned to love myself again; I learned to feel again. I'm glad I started talking to people about my feelings.

2014 has not been my year in terms of self-happiness, self-improvement or self-love. But I've learnt a lot and although that dark hole is difficult to climb out of at the moment, I can see that speck of light at the top and I know that there if a life full of colour in 2015.

This has been my year:


JANUARY

Test shoot with Georgia @ AZALEA

FEBRUARY

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1. Lydia @ Wink Models // 2. Rikie @ Scene for Marshè Collection // 3. Stephanie Steer // 4. Zhoe @ que models. Published on the cover of The Australia Times Fashion Magazine as well as Vogue Italia PhotoVogue.

APRIL

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1. Rokshana for Elegant Magazine // 2. Stephanie Iles @ Chadwick published in WOVE Magazine

MAY

1. Sarah M @ Brazen published in Yume Magazine // 2. Marian Wolfe published in Estela Magazine // 3. My amazing friend Delilah De La Rue for Skorch Magazine

JUNE

Beauty shoot with Emily in my backyard

JULY

1. First time shooting in a studio with Marian for Jute Magazine // 2. Chilling with Aurelia and her cat Goji // 2. Brooke and Riaz @ Pride for iMute Magazine // 3. Travelling to Seoul, South Korea // 4. Laura in Bukchon Hanok Village

AUGUST

1. Travelling to Japan // 2. Laura in Shinjuku, Tokyo (blog posts coming soon!)

SEPTEMBER

I was invited to photograph the Stage Label event as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. It was held in a penthouse on the 10th level overlooking Melbourne city. The night was spent shooting and eating pizza on the floor in a hotel room crowded with models.

OCTOBER

I became a finalist in pedestrian.tv's Blogster Awards and was invited to Sydney to attend the awards ceremony. My friends all chipped in to buy my plane ticket as a birthday present and I spent the weekend with my love exploring the city. The ceremony was held in a large studio, with a free flow of alcohol and food. There were people from different areas of the industry and I got too overwhelmed to socialise that I stood in the corner of the room with my boyfriend until it was time to call it a night.

Georgia @ Wink Models with designs by Elizabeth Barclay

NOVEMBER

I was invited by the editor of The Australia Times Fashion Magazine to accompany her to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals to take pictures of celebrities and bloggers in their attires. It was an amazing experience

DECEMBER

Juliette @ Vicious. She lit that fire inside of me and now I feel inspired to create again.


Looking back on the year that's been, I've finally realised that I've achieved some amazing things and I'm glad that I can end the year with word 'failure' out of my mind. I can't thank you enough for all the love, comment and support that has come my way. I am grateful for all the goodness and love that has been given to me and I wish everyone an amazing new year ahead. Here's to a new year of health and happiness.

she wolf

An amazing day back in May with a team full of incredibly talented, beautiful, smart individuals. I am the luckiest to have had the opportunity to work with them.

Photographer: Stephanie Thy

MUA: Cynthia Smyth

Hair Stylist: Tarik Jasarevic

Model: Marian Wolfe

Styling: from each other's wardrobe


BEHIND THE SCENES

a summer in seoul

We left for the airport in the middle of Winter. This was the first time I travelled with my boyfriend and I was excited to just spend more than a day with him. Our first trip together.


Seoul was hot and humid. Our clothes would stick to our skin as soon as we set foot outside the comfort of our air conditioned room. We explored temples and shrines and palaces, learning and absorbing the history and culture of Korea. My shoes gave up on me within the first few days and I walked with sore feet, my torn soles flapping wildly on the pavement. At the end of the day, I would jump onto bed and lay spread-eagle underneath the air conditioning, airing my red feet and counting how many more blisters I had created on my soles.

I had a photoshoot with a French model from Tokyo in the quiet alleyways of Bukchon Hanok Village. We chatted and laughed and I can still remember her reaction when I guessed her hometown correctly (a small town where I had spent my 21st birthday the previous year). It's always great to go back to my roots and shoot with just a model and I. No makeup artist. No stylist. Just me and Laura, creating pretty pictures.

Animal shaped figurine roof tiles (Japsang) used to show the grandeur of a building and as a shamanic symbol to chase away evil spirits

Animal shaped figurine roof tiles (Japsang) used to show the grandeur of a building and as a shamanic symbol to chase away evil spirits

Injeongjeon Hall, the throne hall of Chandeokgung Palace

Injeongjeon Hall, the throne hall of Chandeokgung Palace

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Nakseonjae Complex in Changdeokgung Palace

Nakseonjae Complex in Changdeokgung Palace

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

Hanok rooftops

Hanok rooftops

One day we went on a tour to the DMZ, the buffer zone between North and South Korea. There was a feeling I can't quite find the words for as we drove past the two eerily quiet villages on either side of the demarcation line. The division between North and South Korea was apparent to see as the two rival national flags flew high up on their gigantic flagpoles (the North Korean flagpole was much taller than the South's). The whole experience was a reminder of the tragedy of war and the separation of the people caused by a divided nation and I left feeling more enlightened with education but sadder knowing that the tension between the two Korea's is ongoing.

The road to DMZ

The road to DMZ

The view of the North from the Southern side of the Joint Security Area

The view of the North from the Southern side of the Joint Security Area

The Bridge of No Return through the bus window

The Bridge of No Return through the bus window

At Dorasan Station, the northernmost train station in South Korea. The sign is a hope that one day, the train station can be used to travel all the way up to the North's capital.

At Dorasan Station, the northernmost train station in South Korea. The sign is a hope that one day, the train station can be used to travel all the way up to the North's capital.

Military boys reunited with their parents

Military boys reunited with their parents

A few years ago, I became friends with Lucy from South Korea while she was studying in Australia and I'm so grateful to have met her and to have formed this wonderful friendship. On Sunday, Lucy's boyfriend hired a mini van and drove us around the city. We travelled north to south, east to west, exploring temples high on mountains and eating shaved ice to cool us in the sweltering heat. One evening, we went down to the Han River and everyone rode bikes along the path. I sat on the grass and watched with a friend who also had a fear of cycling after falling off a bike. He had put his arms out to block his fall and ended up breaking it. I didn't and ended up face planting the gravel road. We showed our scars and shared our stories as the sun slowly crept under the blanket of the horizon.

One night we walked all the way up Namsan Mountain and enjoyed the view of the twinkling city from high up the tower. The grounds were swamped with couples in matching outfits and the railings on the tower were covered with locks declaring their love. I have never seen so many selfie sticks in the one spot before in my life.

Walking through temples with Lucy and her sister

Walking through temples with Lucy and her sister

Pumpkin and red bean shaved ice

Pumpkin and red bean shaved ice

Walking up Mt. Namsan

Walking up Mt. Namsan

The view from inside N Seoul Tower and out

The view from inside N Seoul Tower and out

A boy massaging his girl at the bus stop

A boy massaging his girl at the bus stop

We went swimming in an outdoor pool by the river one time before dinner. The water instantly cooled our bodies as we splashed around while large dragonflies dashed above our heads. We ended the day sharing plates of food with each other at dinner. Dinner was always so good in the company of friends.

The nights were spent wandering through markets. Some were big and filled with flashy neon lights and big screens showing K-Pop music videos. Others were smaller and packed with stalls selling snapback caps and big framed glasses and urban clothes. 

One time, on our way down the quiet alleyway to our accommodation from a fun night out, we walked passed a home dry cleaning business. There was an elderly couple standing out the front under a small tube light. They were hunched over a small table, cleaning and wrapping suits while the rest of city was sleeping and it hit me how much they reminded me of my own parents.

Gunpla Expo in I-Park Mall

Gunpla Expo in I-Park Mall

Gunpla Builders World Cup

Gunpla Builders World Cup

Priscilla Musical. It's so surreal and exciting to see an adaptation of an Australian production

Priscilla Musical. It's so surreal and exciting to see an adaptation of an Australian production

I giggled

I giggled

Walking around Myeong-dong

Walking around Myeong-dong

Soon it was time to leave and I found myself on a plane heading towards Japan. I am so thankful for meeting Lucy. Seoul would not have been as magical as it was without her and her family.

tattoos and tradition

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While I was in Seoul, I did a little photoshoot with Laura (who has the coolest tattoos) on a sweltering hot day in Bukchon. We spent the morning wandering through the labyrinthine streets full of hanok villages, shooting and chatting before it was time for Laura to fly back to Tokyo.

europe diaries: germany and colmar

I fly from Paris to Berlin and stay in the home of a relative's friend. Their son Nexo picks me up at the airport and I spend the rest of the morning having deep conversations with him at the dinner table over orange juice. It was from that day on that I knew him and I would become great friends.

I sleep in his sister's room. The furniture doesn't match and there are small trinkets in every corner of the room that holds something so memorable she doesn't throw it away. It reminds me so much of my own room and my first night here is one of the best sleeps.

I meet with Mai Linh again on the other side of town and we wander through graffiti laneways and take silly photos in a photobooth on the street. The last time I had seen her was the previous year and I still feel so blessed to have friends around the world.

We go to a party one night near a bridge that overlooks a large lake. The concrete wall next to the entrance is painted with a big graffiti mural of Mother Mary and loud music pulses from the window like openings above it. We don't leave until it's sunlight again.  

Alleyway art

Alleyway art

The Brandenburg Gate quadriga

The Brandenburg Gate quadriga

East Berlin Wall

East Berlin Wall

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Nexo's family took us to Potsdam where we visited the Sanssouci Palace, a former summer palace belonging to Frederick the Great

Nexo's family took us to Potsdam where we visited the Sanssouci Palace, a former summer palace belonging to Frederick the Great

One night we all crowd into a friend's apartment bedroom. Hans plays his guitar on a mattress on the floor while the other boys play console games on the TV. We look like zombies with dark bags underneath our eyes. Other nights we walk through the park, relying on the moonlight to guide us to the lake where we stay to chat, everyone giggling at me trying to pronounce German words. On my last night, we wander the empty streets for a döner kebap stand and eat our meals in the quiet train station underground to keep warm.

My time in Berlin is over and Nexo takes me to the train station where we say our goodbyes. I can't find my seat number through the crowded train so I sit on the floor in between the carriages, my luggage towering over me as I watch the view of the sky through the small window high above me.

I travel to Munich to see Oktoberfest. There are youths and families dressed in Bavarian clothes and I look so much out of place in my jeans and backpack that people take pictures with me. The grounds are loud with excited screams of children and catchy pop music, that often conflicted with the music from just across the way. There are rides with big, bright lights and loud colours for all ages and adventurers and it is now that I wish I had a companion with me to enjoy all this fun. The noise of loud, buzzing chatter hits me as soon as I walk into the beer tents. There are thousands of people singing, dancing, and celebrating away to litre mugs of beer. One lonely man with a thick moustache kneels on one knee and presents me with a small pretzel ring for my hand in marriage while others ask me to join them in dance.

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, the former Hofbräu brewery site

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, the former Hofbräu brewery site

Oktoberfest food stall

Oktoberfest food stall

Soon I am on a bus heading south and turn 21 in a little town called Freiburg im Breisgau. Here I stay with my relatives and for my birthday, they drive us an hour to Colmar, France where we eat fruit and pastries. The town is almost whimsical with charming cityscapes and quaint little buildings. The similarities to Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle are clear to see and I stand on a bridge overlooking the canal, pinching myself to make sure this wasn't some kind of ridiculously realistic painting. The people here are as sweet as the pastel-coloured houses. It is such a big and beautiful difference from the bustling city of Paris. I end my birthday back in Freiburg watching one of my favourite movies The Lord of the Rings (except this time it's Der Herr der Ringe) and eating my black forest birthday cake.

Buildings in Colmar, France

Buildings in Colmar, France

Riding on the Hasenhorn coaster in Todtnau

Riding on the Hasenhorn coaster in Todtnau

I spend another few days in Freiburg, riding bikes around town and finishing off my university assignments. On my last day, I eat my last serving of weisswurt for breakfast and make it to the nearest airport in Switzerland for lunch. After a few short hours, I am back in my cousin's home in London, eating dinner with my family.