Living Out Loud

The phrase image crafting is often used in quite a pejorative way. And while I would agree that feeling in any way socially obligated to present a perfect image of ourselves is far from healthy, I would also argue that allowing ourselves to inhabit the best and fullest versions of ourselves can only be a good thing.

Indeed, this is the central idea behind this blog, and one of the philosophies I endeavour to live by. We all deserve to Live Out Loud.

What a delight it was therefore to spend a day recently shooting photographs for my new website with my dear friend and creative partner Cathy Pyle. Cathy and I share an aesthetic that is rooted in emotionally-resonant found moments  those often overlooked every day details that can elevate us beyond ourselves if we let them  as well as a friendship and working relationship that is honest, easy, supportive and fun. I knew I could trust Cathy implicitly to help bring my vision for this site to life.

So with the generous sash windows of my flat open to the cowslip-bobbing summer morning, Cathy and I took time designing each of the banner photographs for the main pages of this site. Working from a limited palette of colours and textures (as well as with some delicious props) it took an hour to set up each image. And I had so much fun playing stylist (especially with that burrata!) But I also learned a great deal, and not just about composition and light  I also learned about myself. As each of the images came though via live-feed to Cathy's laptop I realised I was seeing a visual narrative of who I aspire to be as a writer, therapist and human being. And that was quite a moving experience I can tell you. Living Out Loud always is.

Here are just a few out-takes from our lovely day:

The scene behind the image. Photograph © Cathy Pyle

The scene behind the image. Photograph © Cathy Pyle

Small details, like handwriting in pencil rather than pen, make such a difference to the texture of an image. Photograph © Cathy Pyle

Small details, like handwriting in pencil rather than pen, make such a difference to the texture of an image. Photograph © Cathy Pyle

Not only did this image pose challenges compositionally, it was also pretty hard not to consume the props... (we did, later, of course!) Photograph © Cathy Pyle

Not only did this image pose challenges compositionally, it was also pretty hard not to consume the props... (we did, later, of course!) Photograph © Cathy Pyle