Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Lena Söllner's girls


While I've always been into self-expression through style (and had an ongoing preoccupation with fashion at large), I've never quite mustered the guts nor skill set to delve into the art of actually creating the garms I clad on my body in. Which makes my awe and admiration for the humans who dedicate their craft to making clothes all the greater. 


Case in point is Lena Söllner, who recently commissioned me to capture her latest collection – after spotting my work for fellow fashion student Farah Sydney, funnily enough. As I touched upon in my post about Farah, the soul satiation is my sole motivation behind any photography side jobs I agree to take on – so if it ticks my creative boxes and involves good people, I'm in. 

Here's a little curation of the outcome. 














Location: Prince Charles, Kreuzberg

Sunday, 27 August 2017

The art of doing nothing




It's no coincidence that our most hectic life phases are often synonymous with our lowest levels of productivity. I say this from both first- and second-hand experience. The bigger the to-do list(s), the more overwhelming the "dos" become – so you don't. And yet we continue to perpetuate the normalisation, not to mention glorification, of being too busy to just be.

How many times have you been asked the small talk classic "how are you?" and responded with the equally anticipated "tired," "busy," or some other synonymous variation? We're all guilty of it, and this isn't to dispute that you're actually tired or busy. But: constantly reminding yourself (and others) of that fact does nobody any favours.


Far from enabling original, engaging conversations – which can (and should) be an incredibly energising part of our day – this type of chat encourages an unhealthy ping pong match of one-upmanship, as if feeling exhausted is the pinnacle of prosperity. It exacerbates the equation of cool with a life practice that's unsustainable, draining and – paradoxically – inefficient.

Working hard and working incessantly are not one and the same. Much more pivotal are the intentions and purpose in the act of doing – the quality of time utilised – rather than the quantity of hours spent being a hotheaded busybody. We've never had so many technological "aids" at our disposal, and yet we find ourselves in a relentless cycle of meetings, multitasking and mobile apps. Having the space to focus on just one task, see it through and, above all, do it well, can seem like an unattainable luxury.

In short: the all-pervasive "no days off" mentality is detrimental to a long-term healthy mind and body. The societally imposed synonymity between working 24/7 and being successful is more harmful than helpful. On the other hand, granting your (one and only) body the time to stop, feel, process and recover is an essential means of restoring the energy and headspace to perform at our best – and in turn, get more done.

I'm tired of our tiredness. We're all busy. Not having enough time is the new black – it's up to us to buck the trend.

 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Cashew cream carrot cake (VG + GF) 🥕


I never met a carrot cake I didn't like. The perfect amalgamation of savoury and sweet – also, part of your five a day, kinda – this beautifully textured baked treat is an ideal accompaniment to any afternoon tea date. But why share?


If you're not in the business of dietary requirements, that's quite alright: rest assured you'll still very much enjoy this vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free variant on the root veg-based cake classic. And health!  


FOR THE CAKE, YOU WILL NEED: 

> 250g buckwheat flour (spelt would be nice too)
> 200g coconut sugar 
> 4 tsp cinnamon 
> 1-2 tsp nutmeg 
> 1 tsp Himalayan salt (my preferred choice, but don't make a special trip to buy it if you just want to use the salt in your cupboard) 
> 3-4 tsp baking powder 
> 200-250g carrots, grated
> 150g apple puree 
> approx. 50ml plant/coconut oil 
> optional extras: sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped walnuts 
> a loaf tin, well greased


FOR THE FROSTING: 

> 150g cashews, soaked and drained (I pop mine in a bowl of water overnight, but a couple of hours will suffice)
> 1-2 tsp vanilla extract 
> 2 tbsp agave syrup (or maple, if you fancy)
> 2 tbsp coconut oil
> 2 tsp lemon juice
> a splash of your chosen milk (I use oat or almond)



THIS IS HOW WE DO IT:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
2) Combine all the dry cake ingredients (minus the coconut sugar) in a mixing bowl.
3) In a separate vessel, whisk together the apple puree, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
4) Pour the liquid mix into the bowl of dry ingredients, and whisk together thoroughly – get as much air in as you can! 
5) Add the grated carrot (and optional extras if you're including them), folding until thoroughly combined. 
6) Put the cake mix into the greased loaf tin, then pop in the preheated oven for approx. 35 minutes. 
7) For the frosting, put all the ingredients into a decent blender (my NutriBullet works great) and pulse for about one minute – until a smooth, creamy texture is created. Once made, put it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
8) When the cake has completely cooled, generously spread the cashew cream on top. Have your cake and eat it.   


Sunday, 21 May 2017

The fashion statements of Farah Sydney


A little while ago, I promised myself to only agree to photography gigs that nourish something other than my financial status; that feed my soul rather than my bank account. Not that creative work shouldn't be valued in a monetary way – not at all – but when it comes to my own passion pursuits, away from my full time weekday work, I want to be investing my time into projects that elevate myself and others on a deeper kinda level. My recent shoot with upcoming fashion designer Farah Sydney ticked aaall of those boxes. 


While there are doubtlessly downsides to social media culture, it's pretty indisputable that – when used consciously and moderately – channels such as Instagram provide a platform to cultivate connections that extend beyond the online environment. They can be a place to cultivate a network of likeminded, lovely humans who share their own talents and symbiotically raise the talents of others. So when Farah slid into my DMs the other week and asked me to capture her new collection (feat. models she also stumbled upon via IG), my interest was immediately piqued. 



On speaking to Farah, it became clear that fashion is more than a superficial accessory to her. It's a means of pushing forward her own values; creating garments with a cause. As an unapologetic proponent of female power and straight up egalitarian, aligning myself with Farah's vision (and helping her realise it) was a no-brainer.  









From the quality of the pieces to the equality imbued into their fabric, every element of the collection was thoroughly considered and created with care. Inspired by the magic of diverse skin tones and perspectives, Farah's work is a product of love at every level. Hate isn't welcome here.





Location: Aufbau Haus, Kreuzberg