I had my first day back in the studio with Catherine this week and it was so much fun! After months of feeling limited in terms of what content I can shoot safely, I’ve really felt quite stunted on the old creativity front. My little Manchester abode is pretty small, so shooting options were in pretty short supply during lockdown – I quickly felt myself becoming quite detached from taking pictures each day, and really started to fall out of love with it…
I’ve never been a ‘natural’ in front of the camera and much prefer taking pictures of other people or landscapes/objects etc. However, the imagery is kind of vital to go along with the writing aspect of having a blog – especially when you’re discussing clothes or products of some kind. I’ve really found my flow with it since working with someone who I now consider to be one of my best friends, so it’s been nice to ease myself back into a work rhythm over the past few weeks.
I’ve slowly felt my creative mojo coming back after a long stint of feeling disconnected from everything. There’s still a lot of guilt and shame attached to taking pictures of yourself and it’s definitely something I’ve struggled with over the years. Especially this year when it’s mostly felt in bad taste to share the simple joy of an outfit whilst the world is on fire. It’s definitely taken me a while to get back to the basics of my job without beating myself up about it and second guessing everything. At twenty eight, I’m a firm believer in documenting life in all it’s forms. Whether it’s meaningful images for your personal collection, or just some snaps of a cute new blouse that makes you feel good. Plus, you get to appreciate everything over and over again when you document it. I love looking back at old outfit posts on here and analysing how I’d style things differently years later…
For this particular studio shoot we played around with a black backdrop! I love the slightly cinematic/almost painting effect that this gives and it really adds extra drama to such a unique blouse…
If you haven’t heard of Maison Cleo then I strongly recommend checking them out – I’ve followed them from the very beginning over on Instagram and it’s been amazing to see what they have achieved so far. They are a French independent brand run by an incredible mother and daughter duo. All of their pieces are handmade to order and they only take a maximum of around thirty orders in total when their online shop opens each week. They also source all of their fabric from couture houses, designers, and factories within France (much more sustainable & zero waste). I just LOVE that everything is handmade and that you can send your adjustments over when you purchase – the whole Maison Cleo experience is generally a much slower, thoughtful, and kinder one. They also now stock a few pieces exclusively over on Net a Porter so it’s worth checking them on there if you find yourself missing their weekly Wednesday evening shop opening…
Photographs taken by Catherine Booty
Blouse – Maison Cleo, Trousers c/o – Sandro (similar here), Necklace c/o – Buckle Bow Pearl
SHOP THE LOOK
I can relate to the feeling of guilt when shooting during these times, but I think now more than ever we need to (safely) embrace creativity in all of its forms and remind ourselves that when lockdown happened, it is artists we turned to: whether it be through TV shows, blogs, films or else! I will definitely be checking out Maison Cleo x
You are looking so cute in this vintage outfit! Love your shirt!
This is such a stunning post, Alice! Even in the midst of a very saturated industry, your blog has always stood out to me because of your creativity and vulnerability. In addition to your beautiful styling and the way you capture everyday moments, I feel connected to you as a person and you come across as very authentic and genuine. I completely get feeling slightly ashamed of photographing yourself – I have a blog myself and sometimes struggle with the same thing – but I wholeheartedly believe that during a time when all conversations seem to revolve around what is ‘essential’, we are in desperate need of escapism and beauty, and as long as we thoughtfully engage with the issues that our coloring our lives right now, we can still include the regular style, beauty, and personal reflection posts with a good conscience. Your blog always offers a bit of respite from the external chaos, so thank you.
I’ll definitely check out Maison Cleo! I love the idea of made to order pieces created from reclaimed materials. I think this is an amazing way of ensuring a brand is sustainable as well as inclusive, and the garments are incredibly gorgeous. I’m in love with that gingham blouse, and it looks dreamy photographed in front of the black backdrop (I agree that it makes the photos quite cinematic).
Sydney Russo | thesydneystories.com