Category Archives: Body image

The Chilli that kept going

 I had grown this chilli plant from seed last summer and had brought it in last autumn because it was still sorta green. I thought it was going to die but on my kitchen window sill, under the sun and a drink of water whenever we remembered, it is still with us.

I’m not sure if you can see from my terrible snap but there is a very distinct ‘dead’ bit. There is browning, the leaves don’t look overly healthy and honestly, I was going to throw it away.

Middle of January came with a surprise as it started sprouting new growth. I kid you not, it has tripled in size now and even has a couple of flowers, meaning a couple of chillies!

Maybe it’s the way I think but this gave me hope. Under the right conditions, we too can carry on and grow and blossom – even from seemingly ‘dead wood’. It gives me hope that no matter how broken we feel, how wounded we are and how much we are hurting, there is still a chance we can nurture something beautiful. We can still carry on and things can get better. It doesn’t matter what has happened before (although it will be a part of us) we can still carry on and achieve what we want to, what we need to.

So no matter what you’re feeling like right now, maybe this is where you are meant to be. Maybe this is the ‘before’ and you will figure out strategies, rebuild yourself, you will rest and recharge, you will make the conditions right for you and one day, you will get to the ‘after’.

One day you will get to new growth and be the person you really want to be.

If you struggle with your mental health, why not join me for my new 6 month program Head Garden where will look towards nature for more examples and inspiration to help us with our mental health. For more information please click on the image below. We would love for you to join us <3


Relationship with food

“I hated my body. I hated me. I used to cry myself to sleep most nights. I fell into the deepest, darkest depression and I was so lost and lonely. I avoided mirrors, hated it whenever we needed to go out because things simply didn’t fit anymore. I didn’t want to see anyone, because all the other mums looked like they had it together, they were coping and looked great. They’d gone back to pre-pregnancy weight and shape. To lose my weight, I started skipping meals and only eating chocolate or puddings. I was horrible though, so grumpy, shouty, snappy. Eventually the weight did come off but looking back I can see what a damaging way I treated my body.” Words from a client

What is your relationship with food and your body? Do you skip meals to lose weight? Or eat for comfort?

Our relationship with food is one that some of us don’t even think about or we obsess about it. Our relationship with food is extremely complex, some of it from our childhood, maybe even from when we were weaned onto solid food. It is sometimes the only thing we feel we can control but it has also been used to control us.

With my busy clients, food seems to be the first thing that goes, simply ‘forgetting to eat’. Or scoffing down comfort, high energy, low value food while feeding others well. Or with those who are feeling low, there is simply not the interest.

Where would you start with trying to sort out your relationship with food though? This is something so ingrained in you and you have your default reactions and actions, habits difficult to break.

I would say self compassion and self love which in itself isn’t an easy step to take. If you do see yourself as someone to take care of and love, the first question would be, “What would you like to eat today?”. Use that gentleness you would use with your best friend, your child and start to look after yourself.

Not eating well contributes largely to our mood, so it is a good place to start. If you’re struggling with this, as many of us do, please seek support. You’re not alone in this xx



How to look good in photos

Everyone worries so much about how they look in photos, here is a quick guide to help you relax and be more comfortable having your photo taken – and seeing yourself in images!

Did you know that many of us suffer from Petit Mort when a camera is pointed at us? Yes, we freeze and have a ‘little death’!!


  • Show your good side (it’s often the side where your hair parts).
  • Lower your front shoulder slightly to create more dynamic angles and elongate your neck.
  • Stick out your chin a tiny bit to prevent double chin.
  • Express yourself through your eyes: think positive thoughts or just bring energy into your gaze.
  • Blink halfway through a count of three (if the photographer gives you one) so that your eyes won’t be mid-blink for the shot.
  • If you’re posing for a full body shot, turning your body three quarters of the way towards the camera, with one shoulder closer to the camera and one foot in front of the other. This will make you body appear slimmer than if you were facing the camera face on.
  • For seated shots, extend your neck and then tilt your head down slightly to get rid of double chin actions, as well as views up your sinuses.
  • Forcing a fake chuckle will transform your cheesy smile into the genuine you inside. Think of a funny joke, pretend the photographer is naked, or just think of someone who makes you happy – your natural smile will emerge and make you look a lot better.
  • Remember, action is your friend.  Place your hands on your hip, and laugh. Smile at another person in the photo and engage in a short joke. Let your personality shine through your activity and you’ll be surprised at how much more photogenic you really can be.
  • Make sure you feel proud of who you are. If you feel like you are ugly, then you won’t look your best in the picture. If you’re uncomfortable with your teeth, learn to smile with your mouth closed and ‘smile with your eyes.’ Remember, you can experiment with all different kinds of emotions. The main thing is to always be aware of your body.
  • Feel comfortable, confident, and have fun!


  • Face the camera head-on; you don’t want to look like you’re having a mug shot!
  • Stand too far apart when posing with a group. Even if standing much closer than usual feels odd, it will look natural in the photo.
  • Hesitate to take a lot of shots—the more pictures you take, the more you’ll have to choose from when it’s time to select your favorites.
  • Just stand there! Experiment with poses and give the photographer a range of expressions.
  • Don’t try to bend your body into uncomfortable or awkward poses – just be yourself and let your mood take over your body.
  • Don’t just settle for a half-felt emotion – commit fully to the shoot.





Radio interview from 4 years ago

Sorting out my folders from way back, I have come across this interview. It is amazing how I am talking about using photography to help others heal. Very much in the first stages of photo therapy!

I talk about how the question of ‘If you had 6 weeks to live, what would you do?’ My motivation to start on this path and actually start living my life.

Talking about body image and how so many women used to ask me to photo shop them to look ‘better’ but in principal, I never did. I talk about how the first steps to body confidence is to learn to like ourselves and turn all the negative talk from others to positive talk within ourselves.

I talk about gratitude practice and how it can change our perception of our lives and help with our mental health. I used to offer listening sessions but now as a qualified counsellor I feel confident in offering these sessions, knowing I have had the proper training to hold a safe space for others.

I had been offering online courses where others were being helped so much with one participant coming off her antidepressant medication from doing the photo exercises and a woman facing a midlife crisis accepting herself.

And I define what success for me is; seeing clients feel happier in themselves and knowing I have done my part and given back to the wider community at large.

This journey is not an easy one, with lots of ups and downs, learning so much about myself, changing, building my self awareness and being the truest self I can be. The first step, stopping myself standing in my own way.

And my one bit of wisdom I would tell my younger self? Trust your instincts, believe in yourself, ask yourself what your needs are and what you need to do to meet them.

Have a listen and let me know what resonates:

How do you see yourself?

For many of my clients, body image comes up as an issue and it has been an issue with most women I know. When I was doing family portraits as a photographer, this is one thing that came up the most.

We are simply not happy with the way we look!! We are forever comparing ourselves to others and feel ‘not good enough’. We view our bodies with a warped perception of how we look.

I wanted to share this video with you, not because I think you have a disorder but just wanted to highlight the point on how we can distort what we see about ourselves. This video really made me stop and rethink things about me and I wonder if it will help you.  Have a look…

You tube video

Now have a look at yourself in the mirror.
What are you focusing on?
What negatives can you see?
Is it really as bad as you see it?
What positives can you see?