I’m into my training with Aspire at the moment who have really helped me to start to move toward my direction and vision. Over the coming months the site will be fully taking off and be launching. The site went live in March quite early, pre training. This was my decision as I think that sometimes people just have to get on with things – before they are ready, before everything you want is perfect, jump into whatever you want to do. Stay positive, become vocal about your ambitions and visualise your future.
I have a distinct vision of where my photography will end it. It’s a long road – you have to be patient. It’s a craft that bruises ego’s, knocks you down and loves stirring your self doubt. If you can realise it’s a process, if you can apply yourself and commit to learning then you will move forward.
I’m going to split myself between wedding, lifestyle and fashion work. I’ve got a lot to do, a lot to work through. I’ll be posting on the blog regularly and you can of course also connect with me via social media.
I recently shot a bridal mini session with Emma Marshall from VAIN Chester. Big thanks to Lorraine Hunt for doing the make up on our feature bride Anna Latham, to Amy Swann for providing us with the bridal hair pieces and to Honeybomb Vintage Bridal Boutique for providing us with a dress to shoot Anna in…
I’ve currently engaged in training with Aspire Photography and my business at present is definitely in it’s infancy! I’ve been thinking about the concept of modern v traditional a lot.
I don’t believe that any time would be right to wait for the site to be released – there’s no time like the present and the site has been live for about 3 months now – which has passed in a blink of an eye.
My overall goal for the business will see changes over the coming months to what you see now. When looking at ideal business as part of my Aspire training I came across this notion of split whilst looking at my peers. Modern v Traditional always seems to be played off against other like you have to choose one, I’m finding that’s it’s definitely something that client’s have come up against as well. Wedding’s with evolve with cultures and I’m seeing for example some beautifully shot weddings in bars and coffee shops, weddings in bohemian caravans and tents.
I’m not concerned with settling as a photographer in one camp or another – all I’m concerned with is ‘STORYTELLING’. My goal for my own business to be blend the new with the old, move with the times, infuse design with photography… as long as my prime concern as a photographer is storytelling I’ll always have a voice. If you are a bride and groom struggling to decide the look of your wedding then my advice to you is always to true to yourselves – plan your day based on your tastes and your interests. If you want to stick to a traditional ceremony then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all – you should embrace tradition! If you want to embrace the alternative then go wholeheartedly with it… whatever your choices seek out what gives you joy. Build a scrap book, search online, use pinterest, it’s your project.
I recently caught up with Judith Bond who joins us today to tell us all about her cake business. Judith is a bespoke Cake Maker from North Wales and is the owner of Judith Bond Cakes based in Llandudno. As well as Wedding cakes, Judith specialises in celebrations, cupcakes and corporate events and has customers all along the North Wales coast and into Chester. Judith is an enthusiastic photographer and a member of the Welshot Photographic Academy; keen networker belonging to Network She and Mingle for Business; and she loves writing her blog charting her delightful adventures in cake. You can find out more about Judith on her new website www.judithbondcakes.co.uk. Her work has also been published in Cupcake Heaven Magazine.
PJ – Everyone loves cake but when did you first decide to pursue your business venture?
JB -Making cakes is a second career for me. My first career started after watching “Working Girl” and spending 18 years working as an Executive PA across North Wales. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as Melanie Griffith’s life but it was fulfilling and quite challenging. In 2003 I married my Harrison Ford, became Mrs Bond and moved a bit closer to my second career. After a break from work, a friend asked me to make her wedding cake and I knew this was the moment and if I didn’t grab it, it might not come by again. So I said yes, made my first stacked and fully decorated 4 tier wedding cake, and Judith Bond Cakes was born.
PJ – Describe your approach to business in a few words…
JB – From the beginning I was determined to run my business properly and professionally so I am fully registered with a 5* Hygiene Rating. My customers are at the centre of everything I do and I seek to always given them a little bit more than they paid for. I seek to show integrity in my work, be trustworthy in my relationships and honourable in my business dealings. I have always tried to make Judith Bond Cakes stand out from the crowd by showing excellence and innovation in my work.
We are excited to be approaching our 3rd birthday and owe a big debt of gratitude to our loyal customers and friends who have shown real support and encouragement all the way through.
PJ – Describe a typical working day for you…
JB – One of the reasons that I love this job so much is that there simply isn’t a typical day. My work is so varied that every day brings new challenges and opportunities. I might have a long day in the kitchen baking a tiered wedding cake or 300 cupcakes for a conference. The next day might be working in the office writing my blog, processing my photographs and sending out invoices. Evenings are busy too with business networking meetings. I’m a member of Mingle for Business, a brilliant business network across North Wales which I attend as much as I can. My days are structured around cake deadlines and deliveries so every week is different.
PJ – What inspires you?
JB – I’m inspired by so many things – coastal walks; sweet peas, tulips and hellebores; frothy cappuccinos; quiet stays in rural cottages; exploring historic buildings and museums; the colour white; heading out with my camera; great Spanish wine and tapas; the late afternoon sun in Sa Riera and spending time with Mr Bond and our mini dachshund, Henry. I love to write and never go out without a notebook to jot down new flavour combinations or an idea for my next blog.
PJ – If you could make a cake for anyone in the World – who would it be and what would you make them?
JB – I had to think about this question and I suppose the answer should be a celebrity or world leader, or perhaps a royal? But the truth is I have a nephew and niece living in Northern Ireland who I only see a few times a year. I miss most of their birthdays and there is nothing I would love more than to be able to bake and decorate their cake every year. Benjamin will be 17 next month and his cake would be a Star Wars Theme with maple cinnamon sponge. Hannah’s birthday follows in June and this year I think she’d love a MAC Make up Cake, probably Chocolate Fudge.
PJ – Give us 3 cakes that everyone should try…
JB – At Judith Bond Cakes we have a cake menu of 12 distinctive flavours that we offer to our customers for their celebration and wedding cakes and cupcakes too.
First, if you dream of the Italian Riviera when you close your eyes, you should definitely try our Almond Amaretto flavour – nutty almond white sponge covering in luxurious amaretto buttercream topped with crumbled amaretto biscuit.
Next up, everyone’s going mad for Salted Caramel and it’s by far our bestselling flavour – rich chocolate sponge filled with oozy salted caramel sauce swirled with creamy caramel frosting.
Finally, if you order one of our epic chocolate fudge cakes you won’t be sorry. It’s rich but milky at the same time, perfect for chocolate lovers. We use buttermilk which gives it an extra smooth creamy texture. One of my customers called it “epic” and the name kind of stuck.
PJ – Which books/magazines are currently on your bedside table?
JB – To be honest by the time I get to bed, reading is a bit of a struggle. You’d be surprised what a physical job it is when you’re on your feet all day in the kitchen – and some days can be very long! However, I do love reading and if you see me on holiday either by the pool in Spanish Catalonia or tucked up in a cottage on the North Yorkshire Moors, you’ll find a hefty pile of books have travelled with me.
By my bedside you’ll find a copy of ‘Wedding Cakes’, the Squires Kitchen Magazine that I buy myself every month. It’s full of beautiful photographs and keeps me up to date on trends in the cake world.
You’ll find CH Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening – short daily inspirations to keep my life on track and remind me to trust God’s plan for my life.
You might also find a Catalan phrasebook which has been around for a good few years. Despite many years holidaying in this wonderful unspoilt corner of Spain, my language skills have not improved one jot.
PJ – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in business?
JB – When I first started out I was given an invaluable piece of advice, which I think of almost every day. When you own a business, you are head of every department and responsible for everything. Focus your valuable time on the aspects of business you enjoy and you’re good at. For the parts you don’t enjoy and are weaknesses, get someone else to do them. So for me I have an accountant so do my tax return, I have an IT specialist to look after my computer and I have a web specialist to look after my website. Everything else I do myself – and enjoy very much.
PJ – What digital and social media channels are exciting you right now?
JB – I have used Facebook for business since I first started out and have an extensive following and good engagement. I get strangely excited about twitter and love the scope and speed that it brings to the business. #NWaleshour is always a highlight of my week where I engage with other local business owners and attend the monthly #tweetups when I can! I find Instragram and Pinterest quite addictive and spend a lots of time collecting ideas and photographs to inspire my cake work.
PJ – Finally – what does the next 6 months hold in terms of the business?
JB – Good question! If you come back to my house on the Great Orme in 6 months I’m hoping you will find me in my Cake Cabin working away in what will be decorating and storage space with an area to meet customers, drink coffee, chat cake and take in the spectacular view across Llandudno Bay. It’s just in the early stages of planning but I’m already beyond excited, so watch this space.
I recently caught up with model and blogger extraordinaire Holly White for a chat about her blog ‘Holly Loves The Simple Things’ and all things fashion…
PJ / So you recently signed for IMM models, can you tell us a little about how that came about …
HW/ I actually began talking to IMM back in October 2015 when they scouted me off of Instagram. At that time, I’d never modelled before and had just been taking blog photos of myself in my garden. They asked me to come down to London to meet them and for them to basically see if I actually had any potential or not.
Back in October, I was still a little bit insecure with myself and had the most awful drawn on eyebrows haha (why God? why?!) so when I went down to meet them, I didn’t necessarily scream ‘model!’. However, they still seemed to like me so kept in contact with me and had placed me on their UK Talent Pool Board.
If we fast forward a bit to February 2016, I’d been modelling for almost 4 months now and had had a lot more experience in front of the camera. IMM asked me to go down to London for a test shoot without really knowing whether I was still completely hopeless at modelling or still had dreadful drawn on eyebrows or not. Essentially, I did the test shoot and the same day the gave me a contract and asked me to join their Main board of models! Ever since, I’ve been so so happy!
They’re honestly some of the nicest and most caring people out there in this industry and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be signed with them. (I cried on the phone to my Mum on the way back to Euston station because I was so overwhelmed haha)
PJ / Your ‘Holly Loves the Simple Thing’s’ blog attracts a loyal audience, can you tell us how you started the blog …
HW/ I started my blog after dropping out of College back in November 2014. I had been diagnosed with some illnesses and had basically become house bound. I needed something to distract myself and one day I remembered that back in the summer I had actually started a blog. I’d barely written on it before and had been doing exams when I first started it. I decided it was time I tried to pursue my blog since it was always something I’d wanted to do after reading blogs and watching YouTube for years and now I had so much free time to spend on it!
PJ / What ignited your love of fashion and who is your biggest inspiration?
I’m not really too sure what ignited my love of fashion. I was actually really really unfashionable until I was about 14, but then I think I just started to see how I could express myself through what I was wearing and show off my personality through different outfits.
“I’ve always been influenced by so many different people. I especially love Alexa Chung, The Olsen Twins, but I also find inspiration mostly from Bloggers and even just people walking on the street!”
PJ / It’s clear that styling is your strong point – any plans or ambitions to work as a stylist in addition to work you to now?
HW/I’d never really thought about becoming a stylist until I started modelling. I’m completely rubbish at trying to style myself when I’m the model, but I think I’d be pretty good at it if I were styling someone else! I think it’s something I definitely want to give a go in the future.
PJ / What books/magazines are currently on your bedside table?
HW/ I absolutely love reading Vogue and Elle magazines. I’m not so much interested in actually reading the articles as I am at looking at the trends and especially all the adverts in the front. I love admiring the different editorial shots and models!
PJ / As a model you are really driving your own folio and have a distinctive brand, how would you describe your brand in a few words?
HW/ I’ve never really thought about my ‘brand’ before. I would maybe say, minimal, natural, fun and quirky. But I honestly don’t really know haha!
PJ / Which model would you most like to work with and why?
HW/Oh wow! There are sooooo many models I’d love to work with! I obviously love Alexa Chung and I’m currently obsessed with Frederikke Sofie, Ruth Bell, Kendall Jenner, Peyton Knight, Edwina Preston, Emma Laird and soooo many more! But I think I’d absolutely love to work with Kate Moss – she is the queen!
PJ / Your images on the blog are wonderfully simple and minimalist, can you give us 3 tips on mastering the selfie?
HW/ Find the light – A good selfie always needs good lighting! 2. Know you’re angles – Remember which way to position your face in order to get the perfect flattering shot. 3. Have fun with it – Don’t take your selfies too seriously!
PJ / If you could invite 3 people – (dead or alive) to dinner who would you invite?
HW/This is such a tough question! Off the top of my head I think I would have to say Marilyn Monroe, Alexa Chung and Karl Lagerfeld – but that’s without really taking the time to think about every possible person I could choose from…
PJ / What are you watching at the moment?
HW/At the moment I’m really into watching old seasons of America’s Next Top Model. I’ve been working my way back all the way from Season 22 and now I’m currently watching Season 3. It’s just so addictive but I suppose also pretty educational for someone just starting out in modelling.
PJ /Where do you like searching for creative inspiration?
HW/ I love looking at images on Instagram and Tumblr. I always feel really inspired by images that people take whether that be of a place, object, person – all photos are unique and I love seeing things from different people’s perspectives! I also love reading blogs and magazine articles – I like people who stand up for what they believe in and share their thoughts.
PJ / How do you balance the demands of working creatively?
HW/ Being both a model and a blogger can be quite difficult sometimes. If I’ve got a busy week of shoots or I have a casting, then it’s difficult to make time to photograph outfits and write posts for my blog. I find the best way is always to plan ahead. I plan my blog posts in advance and make sure I’ve always got posts ready to go in case there’s a time I’m super busy and unable to shoot. I plan out everything from the photos I post on instagram, to my tweets, absolutely everything – it’s best to be organised!
PJ / What’s your favourite film and why?
HW/ As someone who absolutely loves films, this is a really tough question. There are some older films that I love such as The Breakfast Club, 10 Things I Hate About You and Clueless but there are also some more recent ones that I adore such as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Theory of Everything or Legend. It’s too hard to choose – I’d need a good week to think about it!
PJ / Six months on a desert island and you can only take a limited amount of beauty items with you… what’s going in the bag?
HW/ I’m quite simple when it comes to beauty so this wouldn’t be too stressful for me! I’d take my trusty Forever Living facewash, a good lip balm (something like Carmex) and some shampoo and body wash, obviously!
PJ / What fashion trends have you really loved this year?
HW/ I’m absolutely loving the frills / pleat trend. I just love the feminine vibe that it gives. I also am loving the pastel pinks and denim, as well as the quirky glasses that everyone seems to be wearing.
PJ / One day of clothes shopping anywhere in the World – where would you go?
HW/ I’ve never really been anywhere other than my local town or into Manchester/London for shopping. I’d probably have to just say London because at least I know that they would have places I love to shop and pieces that I can afford. There’s no point saying Paris when my bank balance says £3.09 haha!
PJ / What’s your favourite fashion brand and why?
HW/ I absolutely love shopping on ASOS. They just have absolutely everything you could be looking for with such up-to-date stock and always give you a variety of styles. I just love them!
PJ / Can you give us your current 3 favourite Blogs?
HW/ 3 is way too small a number, but some of my absolute favourites are: Sammi from http://www.samanthamariaofficial.com/, Chloe from http://www.thelittleplum.co.uk/ and Patricia from http://www.peexo.co.uk/.
PJ / Where can we expect from you, the blog and the youtube channel over the next six months?
HW/ It’s hard to predict the future but in terms of Blogging and YouTube, I just want to keep at it. It’s something that gives me so much happiness and freedom to be creative and express myself. I want to begin talking about some more ‘hard hitting’ subjects whilst also continuing documenting my person style. Hopefully more and more people will find my blog too – It’s always exciting to see growth on your platform.
Then, in terms of Modelling, I can’t wait to start pursuing it fully as my job. I am so passionate about it and have the world’s best agency, so we’ll just have to see where the wind takes me!
You can follow Holly at http://www.hollylovesthesimplethings.co.uk
So the site is live and it’s taken far too long for me to get to this point. Thankfully my designers at Stride quickly worked on a site for me to kick start my career and get started…
Over the next 6 months I’ll be working extra hard to improve everything about me as a photographer. Photography can be a frustrating medium and we are our own worst critics – but never ever give up on anything that you set your heart on.
Critics will always be there, so will obstacles but it’s about working through them positively and always moving forward.
So… in 6 months time the site will look different to what it is now and I’ll be able to look back on this post and measure how far I’ve come..
Here’s a great fashion blog to connect with from author Holly White. Holly at 17 has quickly established herself in the World of blogging and her site is constantly being updated with new fashion recommendation, advice and product reviews. You can also connect with Holly on her YouTube channel.
I will be interviewing Holly for a fashion blog on the sister site – so keep an eye out for that on my Squarespace page…