27/08/20 BLOG 12: COMFORT
Hi everyone, Anna here. This week, I decided it was time for me to haul my somewhat dusty and underused creativity out of storage and try out one of Kathryn’s Masterclasses!
I decided to have a go at the Comfort Flat Lay that we posted last week. Reading through it immediately sparked off thoughts about what I would put in my own flat lay, how I might arrange it and what I could use as a background. It felt great to allow myself some time to get creative and made me reflect on how much I enjoy taking photographs. All of the photos were taken on my camera phone – although for full disclosure I did a bit of editing to some as I enjoy that part of the process as well. I also took them on a particularly drizzly Glasgow day and the colours didn’t pop as much as I had imagined they would.
Deciding on what to include in my own Comfort self-care flat lay led me to think once again about what self-care I have had the time, space and inclination for recently. I’ve spoken previously as part of Together Alone about some of the things that help me at times of stress or struggle and this gave me the welcome chance to reflect on this again. I had a nice wander round my flat, gathering the bits and pieces I needed after spending a couple of days thinking over what I would like to include.
I don’t have coloured card in the house so spent some time searching around for a suitable background to display my items. I settled at first on a blanket made by someone special to me – I love the print and it added to my feelings of comfort around the items I had chosen. I laid them out beside a window to try and maximise the natural light and let the endless sorting around begin! It took me quite a while to decide which way round to place my items and as you can see, I changed them around a good bit – including changing the plant I had in it several times! I felt a bit like goldilocks – nope that one is too floofy, nope that one is too tiny, nope that one takes over the entire picture! I also knocked a plant over mid-shoot, leading to some emergency mopping up procedures (although no plants were harmed in the making of this flat-lay…!). I’ve included a photo of the water as I really liked the shape and how it caught the light.
After taking several shots, I decided that my wool wasn’t bright enough. I then decided that my background blanket was a bit too wrinkled (something I realised afterwards I actually quite liked!) and not bright enough and decided to move everything onto a mustard yellow chair cushion.
I felt like an actual photographer, shifting things around, standing back, muttering to myself and trying to decide exactly the best arrangement. I wouldn’t say that my finished images are particularly professional, but I certainly enjoyed the process of creating them.
I settled on a plant and wool and after a good while of playing about got what I felt was my final image. Looking back through my photos, I realised I actually really liked one of my earlier images with a different set up and have included edited versions of them both as my final flat lays!
MY COMFORT FLAT LAY
Working from home and generally being locked down has meant that my (rather too many!) plants have had a lot of extra care and attention. This is something that has helped me just as much as them. Spending the time taking care of them, moving them around to find the optimal position for them in the flat where they can flourish, tending to them with my toddler (who really, really enjoys spraying them with the scoosher!) and watching them grow and flourish has been a hugely positive experience for me when so much has been so uncertain. I don’t think I realised how much I have used my plants as a form of self-care until trying to decide which plant to use for my comfort flat lay resulted in me apologising to the ones I didn’t use!
After 5 months of lockdown I am now on (wait for it…) day 22 of Yoga with Adrienne’s 30-day yoga series: Home! I have found her videos so useful – they help me to move my body in a way that helps various aches and pains, as well as reminding me to breathe. Plus, her dog Benji is the actual best!
Knitting has always been something I turn to when I’m feeling anxious, stressed or need time away from my phone. It keeps my hands busy while I listen to or watch something and helps take me away from mindless scrolling. I can currently knit 2 things – hats and squares for making into a blanket. I relied pretty heavily n the needles taking me away from endlessly scrolling through worrying things about covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic and several friends and friends’ babies now have new woolly things to keep their heads warm in the colder seasons. I find knitting provides a mixture of distraction, comfort and satisfaction at producing something tangible at the end of it.
I LOVE a good podcast and have found myself consuming them even more so recently – there’s something about wanting to connect with other people, with stories and with voices that has been even more important to me during the pandemic. I’ve listened to old favourites like The High Low, The Adam Buxton Podcast and This American Life, as well as exploring some new favourites with The Missing Cryptoqueen, Brown Girls Do it Too, Unlocking Us with Brene Brown and The Stubborn Light of Things.
Self-care does involve allowing yourself space for joy and I have been deriving a lot of joy from these wee guys recently.
I’ve spoken previously on this blog about how I lost my interest in reading recently. This book has helped me to re-find some of the comfort and pleasure I used to take in reading. It is such a fantastic read and I hope it has reignited my connection with reading and self-care
I really enjoyed exploring this masterclass. It gave me the chance to do something creative and the time and space to reflect on self-care. I was surprised at how much I got into the role of photographer. I’m going to try and get outside for Kathryn’s Movement Masterclass next so watch this space for more images.
If you would like to give any of our series of photography masterclasses a go you can find them HERE. We would love to hear how you get on! You can contact me via our contact form HERE.
Looking forward to chatting sometime soon,