Wednesday, 19 July 2017

California: Places

Firstly, let’s talk about the pad.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not everyday I jet off to Los Angeles to stay in a star-studded dream home.  We rented a luxury AirbnB in the Hollywood Hills that would act as our base for the week. This beautiful accommodation left us wanting for nothing and even promised the chance of rubbing shoulders with our A-List neighbours.


With the help of Air BnB, finding a suitably suave spot to hang your hat for the holidays can be surprisingly affordable if you shop around the site and split the cost with friends.

A quiet and peaceful escape, "the Hills" felt entirely separate to the crazy crowds and traffic jams that city slickers might experience downtown. Ample opportunities for running at dawn, kickin’ back poolside or sippin' a breakfast brew in the shade.


A trip to the pier was our first taste of LA livin'. A Santa Monica stroll offers an eclectic take on the West Coast- you never know what (or who) you might find.

Soak in the sun at the beach. Strike a pose beside beautiful blue beach huts (OC style), take a turn on the ferris wheel or chomp on a corn dog.

(3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica)

I don’t know about you, but when LA turns up the heat, I want to find Froyo, and fast.

Pinkberry has a few selections of base yoghurt, but for me it’s all about the toppings. Choose your tub and go crazy with killer combinations of tasty treats (naughty or nice), slip on some shades and catch your breath with a quick cool-down.


Downtown is a bit of mystery.

Queues of traffic stretch as far as the horizon, but when you hit the city there is a odd sense of calm. Everyone relies on their car to hitch a ride just a few blocks, so finding folk on foot can be rare.

If you are looking for people, they are probably honking horns in the tailbacks trying to make their way in or out of this palm packed madness. Sun splitting the trees. Sparkling skyscrapers. When all is said and done, nothing quite beats the buzz as you descend on this urban jungle.


This is best known and loved as Hollister beach. Before you start calling your agent to schedule a shoot or feel instant pangs of regret that your beach body could be packin’ a little bit more of a punch, you will find yourself very easily blown away by dreamy ocean views.

The pier. The crashing waves. The soft sand. There is nothing more zen than splashing in the surf with your toes dipped in crystal clear waters or taking a stroll along the strand as the salty sea breeze pecks your cheek.

Spending a couple of hours here is total heaven. Top up your tan. Take a walk with your current Spotify jam. Wile away those final moments of daylight brushing up volley skills and make sure you don’t dare leave before time lapsing that killer sunset.

(1 Main Street, Huntington Beach)

To hold off hunger at Huntington, I would also recommend swinging by Ruby’s.

It has that dainty diner feel that has me all in a '50s flutter. This retro hang boasts burgers that are hard to beat, magnificent milkshakes, a mug o’ joe like you see in the movies and a pretty peek at the beach.

All that is left is for somebody to slot a few coins in the juke box...

(1200 Getty Center Drive)

Aspiring culture vulture? - get yourself to the Getty.

Feel free to peruse a stunning selection of exhibitions. Take a turn around the pretty gardens or drink in the stunning views from vantage points all over the city. Art buffs have full permission to lose themselves amongst treasured gems from around the world.

(Griffith Park, 2800 East Observatory Road)

We found ourselves ditching our Uber half way and sprinting to the top for the final few seconds of sunset sky that money just can’t buy. As the sun dips in the distance, every angle grants a chance to overload your Insta.

If you recently enjoyed LA LA land at the movies, a trip to Griffith offers breath taking views across Los Angeles. Take a time-out here, even if you just want to swing around a couple of lamp posts to re-enact those gorgeous Gosling scenes.

Whether you are after a classic snap of the legendary Hollywood sign or perfect pink hues as the sky catches fire, no visit to LA would be complete without a trip to the Observatory.

Griffith is golden hour at its finest.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Bethany, Circus Lane

Bethany and I had a beautiful afternoon in dreamy Stockbridge.

Whilst catching up for brunch at The Pantry, we soon found ourselves on one of the most Instagrammable streets in our city (yep, you know the one.) With the weather playing Russian roulette, we skipped along the cobbles- duckin’ and divin’ to grab a few sneaky shots between showers.

Even with the weather working against us, capturing this Canadian cutie was a piece of cake. Bethany and her family have relocated to Scotland whilst her husband Chris pursues his PhD. With two adorable girls and new baby on the way, the Medland fam are living their Celtic fairytale.

Bethany has many colourful strings to her rather versatile bow. Her hands are rather full with being a SAHM (stay at home mom) but she is also a very talented hair stylist, photographer, blogger and is no stranger to belting out the occasional sassy vocal whenever the mood strikes.

I love a wander along Circus lane, with or without my camera. A perfect place to style a few pictures in the prettiest of locations. Colourful houses, darling little benches, cobbled streets and sweet lanterns to light the way. What’s not to love!

My mini shoot with Bethany was super casual and candid. Honestly, sometimes girls just wanna have fun. It is best to not take life too seriously and often you will find that the best shots come out that way. Natural poses that are not overly forced are often the most flattering.

Here is the best of Queen B

PS- If you find yourself passing by The Pantry, the waffles win.

Hands down.

You will thank me (your bathroom scales, not so much)...

How do I connect with Bethany's blog?
Instagram: @bethanymedland

Monday, 15 May 2017

Liv, Portobello Beach

Liv and I headed straight for the ocean to create new images of her-edited to blend with her style.

Originally from South Africa, she is a free-spirited, sassy songstress and a local worship leader in the city. Her personality is refreshing, open and carries a total spirit of freedom, so the beach seemed like the perfect setting for our mini session.

May has gifted us a few days of glorious sunshine so we wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity by hitting a local beach during golden hour to play with the different light as the sun dipped on another beautiful day.

Shooting at sunset is an ideal training ground for those looking to get to grips with their camera settings and allows plenty of room to experiment.  Making even a minor adjustment here and there gave us some beautiful shots that we both felt happy with.  Liv preferred a muted/flat, vintage look to the final feel of her pictures, which proves that there is just as much power in the edit rather than the simple capture.

I have included a few images from both styles below to demonstrate how the images translate differently even when working from the same set of shots.

Love how changing up the location creates a new experience and puts a different spin on the final product.

Here are some of the best bits!


How do I connect with Liv's music?

Facebook: @livcomleymusic
Twitter: @LivComley
Instagram @livcomley
ITunes:  Liv Comley

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Rachel, West End

Last weekend, I took a wander around the West End of the city with my favourite “girl about town.”

Rachel is an American expat who now calls Edinburgh home. Suffice to say Scotland really seduced her. It’s where she pursued her Masters Degree and met the man of her dreams, all whilst exploring the historic cobbles and corners that make this country straight up adorable.  Studying in the stunning St Andrew’s, these days you will find Rachel happily exploring Edinburgh on a daily basis with her beau.

We share a lot in common. She loves to travel to different countries. She is a connoisseur of some of the classiest cuppas in town. She is a dab hand at all things digital, but also loves nothing better than putting gold ol’ fashioned  pen to paper to express her thoughts. She is also a keen blogger, so please be sure to check out With Love from Rachel." 

Rachel and I decided to capture some images of her in the West End starting at one of her favourite coffee shops, Cairngorm Coffee Co. This cult coffee spot has such a bright and airy feel, and with marble/copper accents and cute colourful cups, it is a total blogger haven.

We then took a stroll around some of the quaint cobbled streets close to where she and her husband shared their first flat together after making their move to Edinburgh. The signature stone work and distinctive doorways make this location a total pleasure to shoot in.

I hope you enjoy some of our highlights!

How do I connect with Rachel's blog?
Facebook:  @wLovefRachel
Instagram:  @rachellmoreland


Friday, 24 March 2017

Stand Before Kings

In a world of advancing technology our scenes are awash with start-up companies, freelancers and creative industry professionals. Many of us choose to personally identify as a 'creative' and enjoy the label.

Let's take a second to dispel a modern myth. One increasingly common flaw encountered when pursuing creativity is to mistakenly ring fence 'creatives' as a curious clique that cannot be freely accessed or permeated. Truth is, we are all gifted differently and uniquely by the Chief Architect of the heavens and galaxies. The Ultimate Designer. Simply stated, if we are made in the image of our maker, then each of us are, by nature, a 'creative.'

Check out or click here to read the full article.

How can I connect with Something More?
Facebook: Something More
Instagram: @somethingmoreuk
Twitter: @SomethingMoreUK

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

When My Monkfish met Tigerlily

Fashionable foodie blogger Hilary Sturzaker has launched her latest collab with the top chefs at Tigerlily for her take on a lovely limited edition menu, currently available at the restaurant Sunday-Friday.    

Two mains for two from the lunch menu or feel free to snap up a starter and main at £15 a pop from the evening menu.  This special selection showcases fresh produce sourced from the local farmer’s market.

A cunningly crafted menu perfectly blending quality ingredients, but still affordable for those a little conscious on cash. You really can have the best of both worlds. 

Enjoying fancy food doesn’t have to pull on your purse strings!

The My Monkfish menu offers both a luscious lunch or equally delectable dinner option.  I was invited to take a guest to check out what they were serving up for supper.

At first glance, you can tell that these are carefully curated choices rather than an exhaustive list of every available culinary combo, which immediately appeals to me.

I like to think of Hilary working with the kitchen to hone her high-end helpings, savouring the experience and finally arriving at a menu that they feel proud to present to customers.


To start, chicken satay skewers with chilli yogurt and my guest picked the spiced winter root vegetable soup- the perfect recipe to warm those cockles if you are feeling a little under the weather.

The chicken was tender, with a spicy sidekick to tantalise the tastebuds.

The soup was fresh, flavoursome and piping hot- served with sliced bread for those who fancy a quick dip.

The table was also prepped with extra oil and balsamic vinegar as the classic accompaniments to start any good meal.


For main, I chose the slow braised beef shin served with celeriac, parsnip puree, kale and a pancetta jus. My guest preferred the Peelham Farm pork belly with a serving of root vegetables and chive mash.

Both main dishes were a veritable meat feast. Slow cooked soft meat oozing with taste and each pairing worked well to accentuate the flavour. 

To wash things down, I was curious for a cocktail. After a sneaky peek behind the bar, I selected the Raspberry Standard- mixing Russian Standard Platinum vodka, raspberry, lime, sugar and Prosecco.

My guest, keen to kick a cold into touch, ordered up a tall fresh juice. The Super Orange blends mango, celery, apple, lemon, orange, passion fruit and carrot.

This 100% natural health kick pick is one of many on offer at Tigerlily if you are interested in sippin’ on a little summin’ summin’ to get your glow back.

The beauty is that whether you are in the mood for cheeky tipple or something “so fresh and so clean”, they cater for every taste.

Why don't you stop by to try a taste at Tigerlily and hang out with Hilary’s menu?

How do I connect with My Monkfish?

Facebook:  My Monkfish
Twitter:  @mymonkfish
Instagram:  @mymonkfish

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