The Highs and Lows of 2018: New Beginnings, Heartbreak and Breaks

January

It started off with moving into my first studio alongside the fabulous and skilled Sarah and Andras. Kicking off with an editorial with Artem and Tara with hair and make up by Athena, and my first ever shoot with Karine (Aesthetic Candy).

Finally finished the majority of edits from the Marrakech shoot trip, where we took along 9 brands – Abigail London, Apricot, Bianca Blu, Bozena Jankowska, Desiri Couture, Iris Sandals, Manoya, Maysson, Trubikini. A very hectic, but successful trip. 48 looks within 2.5 days on 10 hours sleep in total! Felt like the living dead at the end, but a great outcome and good learning curve. You can see a few of our faves here!

Followed by a 2 week beautiful, and mental, trip to Brazil with Benjamin, and later accompanied by my best friend Anna and her partner Ben. Anna is one of my partners in crime, who I started Suitcases and New Places with (our travel blog), she’s an extremely talented writer and marketer. Brazil showed me how fun and healthy life could be – honestly their attitude towards bodies should be learnt by everyone – every body type is celebrated. It opened my eyes to how much further the industry and brands in general need to change. Our industry has definitely made a start, but there is a long way to go – I look forward to seeing more change in 2019. In short – make sure you take a trip to Brazil to enjoy the culture, music and life it has to offer. Here are a few photos to sum it up:

February

Back from Brazil landing into reality, as Fashion Week begins. Shooting Fyodor Golan, Markus Lupfer, House of Holland, Roland Mouret and Roksanda for TCS, as well as in house for Emilia Wickstead and G.H. Bass for Sane PR. And as if that wasn’t enough, Natasha a brilliant solo PR expert secured me a slot on London Live, so I made my first TV appearance. I looked like a blob with hamster cheeks, because despite telling my (non-pro-model) clients – back straight, shoulders back – I for some reason cannot listen to my own advice. Gawwwwddd. Anyway, please learn from my downfall. Despite the posture etc, the interview went well and was a fun experience! Thank you Natasha and London Live <3

To take a day break from the world of fashion, I had my yearly shoot with Nina – poptastic and beautiful with character like no other. We smashed it:

To end the month, I did an editorial – very different to my usual style – with a set designer and art director called Emily Jӧnes. This ended up making front cover of iMirage:

And to top it off, post shoot, Benjamin and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary with amazing tasty food from The Camberwell Arms.

March

Starting March off with a bang, we shot two editorials in one day – Print vs Print and Print vs Block with my gals Lucy and Veronika. Print vs Print featured Sydney and was printed by Elegant Magazine and Print vs Block featured Hannah, and was printed and made front cover for 7 Hues Magazine. 2 magazines I highly recommend for their beautiful content.

A street style shoot with Danya (Etiquette House), a successful business woman from Saudi Arabia, led me to start The Stylogue, as Danya opened me up to the idea of having an agency for visiting influencers and lifestyle bloggers, so it was easier for them to create shoots during the time spent visiting London. With the website nearly complete, I am looking to launch The Stylogue in January – so please keep your eyes peeled and give us a supportive follow (@thestylogue)!

A Suunto x Tribe shoot is always fun, creating content for their collaboration competition with Allen and Sarina. Thank you Allen for introducing me to Amer and Sarina – this woman makes me want to be more active – I’ve never seen so many hikes, runs and climbs on one account – very inspiring!

Always trying to find time to meet up with my photography pals, I finally managed to find a slot where the talented Eloise and I could both meet. Another inspirational woman who works on a brilliant project, photographing tribes and people across the world. I would love to join Eloise on one of her trips when I finally have the time and money (saving for a house, hen parties, weddings and living in London kind of makes the latter disappear) – unfortunately I missed out going to Mongolia with her a while back, but I will make it my aim to make one of Eloise’s future trips! Anyway – go check out her amazing work here. https://www.campbellpicks.com/

This was also the month that I had my first intern – Tash – work with me. Tash is a brilliant joy and blessing to the world, and has the patience of a saint and the ability to calm me down within a minute in stressful situations. A talented actress, who is combining her skills of photography with the acting industry, and has started her own company shooting headshots and portraits for other talent. So if you are looking to get some new headshots you know where to go… https://natashashahphotography.com/ Tash – you are brilliant, and deserve everything you want to achieve in life – I know you will make it happen.

Rest of the month was spent editing, and a lovely ski trip in Austria with my Dad and the clan. Skiing, sunshine, views, beer, wine, endless food and mountain air = a happy Lauren. Thanks Dad!!

April

Shooting Press Day for TCS, although a very long, hard working day, is always a pleasure working with the TCS team. Smooth operators, truly friendly and fun people to work with. https://www.thecommunicationsstore.co.uk/

Pin Pin Wigs campaign shoot next – love these wigs – a fun shoot with colourful backdrops and energetic, charismatic models, Bleu and Floss.
A proud moment seeing my Mum and sister doing Ride The Night, forcing my best friend Becky to come along with me – thanks for coming despite the cold and the fact it was midnight! My Dad tag teaming with Demelza 101 – Sittingbourne to Paris with some crazy ass inclines. So proud of all 3 of you for what you achieved and raised for these 2 important causes!

May

May bought along a new client, the beautiful, energetic Claire (releasing her single in Feb 2019), and a fun outdoor shoot at this amazing in White City.

Next up, a Sterling and Singh shoot, at another brilliant location, kindly lent to us by my friends Graham, Pat and Chris after a polo club let us down very last minute. Thanks guys – greatly appreciated! Extremely windy day, but loved the shots.

Another new client, House of Spring, fronted by Radhia. I loved shooting her creations.

I also started doing food photography again, with the start of my sister’s online vegan bakery, The Vegan Bakes. https://www.theveganbakes.com/ Absolutely delicious, and delivered to your door. If you are a vegan or not, go try some, you will not regret it. Anyway, it made me realise how much I’ve missed and love shooting food. Looking to get into this more in 2019, so I created a new site focussed on food photography and videography: www.thesocialeat.com

June

Starts off with flying to Geneva, to go hang out with my bestie since birth Chloe and our friends Katy, Kate and Liv. Given an Audi (very different to my Suzuki!), drove to Thollon. Thanks Auntie Bev for letting us borrow your chalet! Thollon, Evian and Yvoire are all beautiful and highly recommended – walks in the mountain, paddleboarding, games, booze and food – what more could you want?

Came back to a fairly quiet month, but obtained a new client – Native In Me – run by a fabulous dude named Kenneth. Looking forward to our campaign shoots next year!

I also met Grace for a lifestyle photoshoot around the Great Portland Street area, to create images for her new life coaching company.

Unfortunately June couldn’t have all the ups. I had to say goodbye to one of my soulmates, Ted. One of the biggest heartbreaks I’ve had to experience in the last few years. A member of the family, and a big source of joy and happiness gone; he is still missed. I do think this had a massive impact on my work productivity too, kind of hard to see things straight and keep to the goal plan when you are hurting. Feeling slightly more back on track now, and lots to look forward in 2019 should hopefully push me further back on to my original tracks!

Ended June by heading to Sicily with Dad and the clan. A truly amazing place with extremely tasty food and wine, as well as gorgeous surroundings – a good place to start healing too.

July

From Sicily back to London, where I did my first beauty editorial of the year. Very enjoyable! Loved working with Storme and Karine on this, alongside beautiful model Giorgia (thanks Lucia (First)!) Extremely happy with this shoot, which was then published by Ellements Magazine:

On what felt like the hottest day of the year, I shot the Sterling and Singh lookbook with Christine (model), Neecol (hair and make up artist), Celyn (styling) and Chantal from 33 Jewellery (jewellery artist and styling). 100% silk and a hot light is not the one. Thank you Neecol, Celyn and Chantal for hand fanning Christine and I – think we would have fainted otherwise! I’ll buy a electric fan for this summer.

Side note: Cannot wait to plan our Malta abroad shoot for this year with Christine. Send me a message if you are interested in getting your brand on board. As let’s be honest – what better way to sell your product?

Ending July with an editorial shoot, Flash, with Karine/Aesthetic Candy (styling), Neecol (hair and make up), and Chloe (model from First – thanks again Lucia!). Shot in a crazy cool restaurant called Sarastro. We made the cover of VGXW magazine – woohoo! Thanks VGXW <3

August

Starts with an Amer, Tribe x Salomon content shoot – fast and fun as always.

Onto the weekend supporting my sister with her first Vegan Bakes stall. Lots of hard work, learning curves and laughter.

Followed by a break in Yorkshire with Benjamin and his wonderful family.

Once back in London, I had my first radio interview – exciting (also nervous) – with Hoxton Radio, thanks to Natasha and David (thepreshaah). I weirdly was better on TV than radio, so something to work on there! Fun little shoot after with David around Spitalfields market.

Finished creating the Sterling and Singh lookbook, which was actually quite enjoyable to make. Email/call me if you would like me to do yours!

September

With September comes a crazy and chaotic lifestyle. Invisible mannequin shoots a plenty, and a creative product shoot with A Little Find.

A thankfully quieter Fashion Week this season, with Markus Lupfer, House of Holland and Roksanda with The Communications Store and in house for Emilia Wickstead. This time I was doing VIP shots on top of the backstage and catwalk, which was quite interesting – definitely pushing myself outside of my comfort zone!

Followed by a weekend away in the Isle of Wight for some time out.

My first trans photoshoot with the delightful and glamorous Savannah at her exquisite home avec parrots, assisted by the wonderful Tash.

My friend Chi started off her Banh Mi business this year – Ăn Đi – commissioning me to shoot her menu before the big launch. Go get her Banh Mi at Brentford Market on Sundays, also try her delicious cookies too! Note: Tried and tested during the shoot – so highly recommended!

October

Invisible mannequin shoots, creating PDFs for future shoot trips and blood tests to see why I am tired ALL the time (spoiler alert: B12 and iron levels are low, because apparently I am not a great pescetarian – whoops!)

Started improving my fitness by doing the couch to 5K app, aided by the voice of Sarah Millican and a ballet lesson by Off The Rails accompanied by Anna. Ballet is not my forte as we found out, but my gawd could you feel it the next day! I will go again..one day..when my foot heals.

Midway through the month, I went off to Cyprus to see my extended family – Wendy, Gem and Meg (missed you Jade!). I would highly recommend Cyprus in October, as the weather is still great, but the nights and general temperature are more bearable! Plus easier to get a beach spot and cheaper flights – ideal.

Once returned, came the start of Bright Banana, which I am creating with my bestie, Hugh – a fantastic graphic designer. It is a creative agency filled with top notch freelancers to push your business. Again keep your eyes peeled for the launch this year!

Finishing up the month with a test shoot with 2 fabulous models – Hannah and Suraya Rose. Styled by Rox, assisted by Emma, hair and make up by Neecol. Both editorials out in 2019, and I cannot wait to show you.

A few days later, and the second glitch of the year happened….on 31st I broke my foot, right before the busiest month of the my year. Double yay. In short, I came out from having my second blood test for ye ol’ B12, ran for the bus thinking I was going to be late for an appointment to fix my phone – turns out Apple made up the appointment, so I was rushing for nothing. Thanks Apple… Anyway, tried to dodge some tourists and ended up sliding down the kerb, doing a 180° twist to push myself back onto the pavement to avoid being hit by another bus. Made the bus, but broke my foot. Moral of the story? Don’t rush, it’s not worth it. Do as the Italians do.

November

I walked around thinking the break was a sprain for a few days. Kings College Hospital pointed out it clearly wasn’t, so a temp cast and air cast later, I am non-weight bearing and hopping around with crutches. Thanks NHS – we appreciate everything your staff members do! Here would also be the time to say thank you to my Benjamin for being my temp carer, and to my besties Lottie and Anna for keeping my spirits high when I needed a bit of a boost. And a final thanks to my Mum for all of the above – as if she doesn’t have a stressful enough job caring for cancer patients, she also had to deal with me calling her up every few days having a frustrated cry down the phone and coming to care for me whilst Ben was out of town. So thank you Mumma, you are the best.

Back to work a week later. Now, usually a TCS Press Day is a breeze, but this time it was a tad more challenging! A 12 hour shoot on one foot is not the one. You really do need every limb to do this job. Which is why I’d like to say a massive thank you to Tash for making it happen, and ensuring it went as smoothly as it possibly could. Also a shoutout to Petra and Hannah from The Communications Store for your support on the day – you are both one of the calmest, kindest and hard working women in the industry – and it always a pleasure working with you both.

Next fun shoot was with new brand, Studio Squig. Founded by the incredibly talented and creative, Sarah. Sarah creates handmade, beautiful gold jewellery. Hair and make up by Neecol for this shoot – 4 looks in 3 hours – welldone! Here we shot 4 beauties, Giulia, Caitlin, Liliane and Freddie. I think we can proudly say, we smashed this shoot.

Young Ones continues to grow, and I love shooting their ecomm. This time with Jessica and Toby:

As I like to make the most of my studio days, I shot another beauty shoot with Sonya (model), Pamela from Panda Make Up, Jaz (hair) and Karine from Aesthetic Candy (styling). Fun as always, and I cannot wait to see it out in a magazine next year!

Bellum campaign the following week with fab team, Sophie (W Model Management), Neecol (hair and make up), Tash (assisting me) and Hurcan from Long Walk Production (video). Minor hiccups, but the photos and videos look great – so who cares about hiccups!?

Another Only Girl gig at The Curtain in Shoreditch. Some new tunes played by El, going from strength to strength. Check out her new stuff <3

December

A trip to the Lakes for some much needed rest with Ben and family. (Very) fresh air, drinks, food, films, music quizzes and puzzles – LOVE.
Then back to London to watch the Queen, the one and only, Lauryn Hill – a dream fulfilled.

BRING ON 2019!

….

A final (slightly smushy) note:

Thank you Dad for taking me skiing and to Sicily, it is greatly appreciated and allows me to get the headspace I am always in need of! Cannot wait for Canada!

A big thank you to Benjamin and my Mumma – this year has been filled with monthly depression, heartbreak and breaks – but thanks to your support everyday, I have survived it all. My appreciation runs deep, and although I am extremely shit at showing it – I hope this brings it to light. As I said – bring on 2019!