1/52 Lost & Bound
‘We are bound by nothing except belief’ – Ernest Holmes
I’ve been feeling creatively out of touch recently, and I think it’s because I’ve missed constructing an image routinely each week like I did last year. I absolutely love all the work that I get, from all my clients to weddings etc, but I’ve missed the release that I get by producing different ideas and evolving throughout my personal work.
Out of this frustration sparked the idea for this image, I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself to conform, and I always feel insecure about what people may think of my weird mind/ideas. I just can’t cope to hide the visions that I have anymore so I am officially starting my second 52 week project!
2/52 – The light that remains
‘There is a light that never goes out, that never leaves when they leave. It remains and is adored through words written and memories told. It will not extinguish.’
I lost my grandad at the age of 8 years old and back then I didn’t understand the effect that cancer had on so many people’s lives. Only when I grew older I could truly understand the destruction it creates.
We remember those we have lost to cancer through the light they bring in our hearts and through actions we take to prevent others from feeling the pain.
On the 2nd July I took part in the 5k ‘Pretty Muddy’ Race for life with two of my friends. The race is to raise money for Cancer Research UK, who not only research to find ways to prevent the disease but also to help those in recovery to bring light in the dark times.
I have set up a Just Giving page and I would really appreciate if you could donate to this incredible charity (no matter how big or small of a contribution):
3/52 - Rosewater
Thank you to my Grandad and Nanna (Roy) for helping me with this shoot and letting me cut the heads of these beautiful flowers. All taken from their garden of a million rose bushes. I was testing artificial flowers and feeling a little bit deflated that my idea may not work, so my grandad suggested the rose heads and they worked so perfectly. I love my family for always understanding my visions, however weird they may be! – Also to Jack for shooting this whilst I floated around in the freezing cold pool!
4/52 - Solace
Jack came home from work and bounded straight upstairs to my office “Holly, bring your camera, quick get it, come on I’ve got something to show you!!”.
I’d been feeling so overwhelmed with my work and I was thinking over how much I’d done and how much I had left to do, but with no energy, all I wanted to do was nap. I wasn’t tired, I just didn’t want to think for a moment, I needed peace from my unsettled mind.
Running down the stairs, he said “come look, look what I’ve found!”, I leaped outside, with no shoes on the gravel, hopping along to the car. There it was, a beautiful butterfly resting on the tire (Derek, as Jack called him). I carefully picked it up and examined it but it seemed to have broken its wing. The rain was torrential that day so it wasn’t a surprise that the butterfly couldn’t explore. It crawled over my hand and vibrated it’s wings as it tried to fly. Unsure as to how long it had left to live, we popped it onto the flowers to see if it would feed from the nectar, but with no luck there was nothing more we could do.
Moments like these remind me what it means to be alive. There I was struggling to stay awake, anxiety ridden, exhausted from all the work and along comes this beautiful creature to rescue the day. A friend text me, she told me that the symbol of the butterfly landing on you means that you have a peaceful spirit. I was far from peaceful on this particular day, but it had found me, rescued me, and provided me with the peace I was hoping for.
For it is up to you and me
to take solace
in nostalgia’s arms
and our ability
from fleeting moments.”
― Sanober Khan, A touch, a tear, a tempest
The Unkown 5/52
This week has been such an emotional rollercoaster. It started off with a comment which caused a huge blow to my confidence, a doubting of my ability and the pride I had left had been well and truly dented.
I’ve had fun times with old friends, made some new friends and also photographed one of the most amazing weddings ever this weekend. I’ve photographed agency signed twins, finished off some commercial deadlines and manage to edit shit loads of pictures. (oh and update my accounts!!) All whilst feeling so over whelmed and run down.
And so this week I’ve been wading into the unknown with a flame on a candle that I relight each day, all in hope I make a good impression on the world. But in reality, not really knowing what the hell I’m doing.
I’m not wishing for a comfortable ride, but hopefully next week will present a clearer direction.
6/52 - Gravity
This week I went in the forest to film some videos and to generally just get away from the office. I was sat beneath the trees on a fresh stump when a dog starting barking at me, the owner apologised and continued to walk past me. He turned back and asked me what I was doing, so I explain about the videos and he became interested. He asked my name and he introduced himself as Wolff (with two F’s).
We sat for a while chatting, and he said he was into poetry. I asked to hear some and so he read from his little book. I sat and breathed in the air whilst listening to his work. The conversation progressed and he confided in me about relationships and his recent heartbreak. I told him about recent struggles and we chatted for a couple of hours.
He thanked me for the chat as he said it had given him a different perspective on it all, I said the same. Our conversation couldn’t have come at a better time and I felt fate was on both our sides that day. It felt like we were destined to cross paths.
Thank you Wolff, for stumbling across me that day. & Also Happy Birthday. You made my day a little brighter.
8/52 - Sunday Evening
Had a busy busy week of weddings, so not had chance to fully express creativeness in this weeks 52 week image. Instead this is just the reality of my Sunday, super chilled (well I don’t actually sit on my coffee table that often, but yeah). My aim this week is to do an epic all out image including lots of youtube videos and tutorials!
9/52 - Holding On
10/52 - Cultivate
Last week I took the time to water myself, stripping it right back to the things I need in life. Rest, self-love, family and friendship.
I’m back to editing, weddings and everything else this week, and I feel so fresh and rejuvenated. Hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend, here in the UK!
11/52 - Blossoming
I’ve travelled over 1300 miles in the past two weeks for weddings and photoshoots. (…and a weekend away with my girls and a break up north with my family). I’m tired and need reseting, but I finally feel like the doubt has lifted and my creativity is oozing again.
12/52 - ‘A LITTLE NONSENSE NOW AND THEN IS RELISHED BY THE WISEST MEN.’ – ROALD DAHL
Amy – the teddy that lives under the bed.
I few months ago I found the teddy bear that used to lay beside me from birth to… well I’m not quite sure when I gave her up. She brought back so many memories and emotions that I forgot had existed. One of those being the most intense sense of companionship. How amazing for an inanimate ball of fluff to have such an impact on the mind. 🐻
13/52 - REAP
I travelled north this past weekend to celebrate my Auntie’s birthday with a surprise party. On Saturday myself and Jack took ourselves on a 6km run with Rosie round the countryside where my parents live. We came across a corn field with a huge great tree in the middle and decided to go back after and venture in.
Around the tree, the corn became lower and gradient in heights. We snapped away and played around in our own little private world. It was amazing to feel so secluded yet free from the outside world. However on the way back out we got a little bit lost but took the decision to go in a straight line and hoped for the best! (We made it after getting hit in the face by multiple leaves and pulling bugs out of our hair in the shower after)
14/52 - Dragonfly Hotel
An unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar thoughts. The experiences that I’ve had during my hotel stays this year have brought me sleepless nights and lots of solo meals. But I’m happy with that because in a season that is oh so hectic, a night in a new place, in a new bed brings that familiar sense of growth.
(plus I’ve had a hilarious time documenting it all over on my snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/hollyrosestones)
I might not say it enough, but I bloody love my job.
16/52 - Soothe
A pretty late entry to the project but here’s my image for week 16.
I pretty much got over every fear and apprehension I had about travelling on this trip. A year ago I would never have hopped on a plane for 20 hours to travel across the world. It’s way too far, I’d always tell myself. I decided to abandon those emotions at the plane door and swallowed each day of doubt with a positive declaration. It was such a soothing experience. Something I can’t put into words. Just imagine yourself on a humid, heavy, unbreathable day and dropping into a tempting, cool (ish) swimming pool. That relief.
That’s how it felt.
This was taking in the most beautiful villa where myself, Jack and our friends stayed for three nights. It’s just outside Ubud in Bali and it’s called Villa Kayu Lama, perfect if you want to hire bikes to travel around on because Ubud centre is about a 15-20 minute car journey, all the reasons to get your helmet on and cruise!
17/52 - My human diary, greatest supporter, therapist and personal comedian. I’m pretty damn lucky to have you.
18/52 - Freedom
A time when I was feeling a moment of exemption from most true life responsibilities.
19/52 - Happy Halloween
Last weekend I went pumpkin picking at PYO Pumpkin with Jack and my friend Abbie. It was the hardest experience of my life trying to pick a pumpkin that spoke out to me out of about 10 thousand pumpkins. It was hilarious because I kept picking one up but then putting it down and replacing it with another, I’m just so indecisive! (Here’s the blog post I posted this past week from the PYO day!)
I then spent an evening last week carving the pumpkin which was also pretty hard because I didn’t have the right tools for the job and almost cut my finger about 50 times with the knife. 😂 It was fun though because I decided against carving a face or anything traditional and went for a starry scene instead. I was carving the pumpkin with the image below in mind and I aimed for a more ambient tone instead of it being ‘scary’!
I vlogged the whole process of creating the image, from setting up the scene and choosing the dress to shooting the image and editing it. If you’d like to see how I created it, then check out the video below. This video is the first in my aim to post two videos a week during the month of November. I’m then hoping to carry it on and see how I get on with the uploads. I have so many ideas for videos so if you’d like to keep up with them, then click here to subscribe to my channel. and wish me luck!!
20/52 - Sparks Fly
‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’
We had so much fun creating this image, I’ve only ever used sparklers at weddings for the ‘sparkler exit’ images, so it was great to use them and have a little bit more control. Below is a behind the scenes of how it was made, and of course a little vlog and speed edit as always. I almost set my hair on fire, and I’m sure you’ll be able to see my face of fear when it happens!
21/52 - Beneath the skin
I’ve had the most fulfilling day today! This morning I eagerly challenged myself to photographing 5 concept ideas within a day, which of course, is only about 6 hours in the November daylight. Pfft.
It was super stimulating and setting the challenge made me realise how much I’ve actually been afraid of failing this year. I always grew up with a quiet confidence that I knew what I was doing. However, this year, all that changed and I grew to hurt myself by doubting everything that I loved and was good at. (All the creatives out there, you feel me?!)
The best part about photography though, is that every experience/shoot is completely different to any other. I THRIVE off this now. I’m constantly being fed something new and I’m always learning.
So with that said, I’ll trade all those failures in and pick myself up some brain bricks and cement, and build my way to those fist pump moments.
This was my first concept of the day, it seems ages ago now. I vlogged it all so I’ll be posting it on my youtube channel very soon! (and then you can find out if I managed to photograph all 5!! 👀)
*FIST PUMP* ✊
22/52 - Navigating the wilderness
23/52 - Bygone
27/52 - Paint Your Thoughts
This image is a homage to all the artists I know who are utterly and passionately consumed by their ideas. Translating the concepts that follow us around day and night is such a brave and soulful experience. The feeling of euphoria I transcend when creating is unexplainable. I have no real understanding for the butterflies I experience whilst editing an image but I know that without putting the brush to the canvas, I could not cope.
I’ve been sitting on this idea for a couple of months now, it’s been revisiting me over and over again. I’ve been practising a new mindset recently, one that includes telling myself out loud to stop all negative thoughts. It’s been working so far and by painting my thoughts, it’s allowed me the freedom to introduce new ideas. I’m so content that I’ve finally reached this place!
28/52 - Lighter Than Air
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Van Gogh
I’ve done a few things lately that I thought I’d never be able to do, and today I flew (..even if it was only by the power of photoshop!). This image was inspired by Emma Bloom from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the girl that’s lighter than air.
Thank you so much to Cass for helping me create this image!!
29/52 - Burnt Out
At the weekend myself and Cass decided to go for a little explore to shoot some new concepts. I’d had these in my head for a little while and Cass volunteered to help me out with shooting them. Check out the behind the scenes video over on my YouTube (link below!)
30/52 - Stillness
'I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.'
- Today by Mary Oliver
Today I've been in edit mode catching up with all the incredible shoots I've done over the past couple of weeks and editing all the videos.
I was drawn to this poem by Mary Oliver and I now feel a sense of permission. Sometimes you just need a day off, right? I think I'm ready for one of those mysteries very soon.
As always, the video for this image will be up on my channel on Sunday. <3
31/52 - Rescue
There’s a new behind the scenes video over on my YouTube today. It’s a very open, honest video on how and why I created this image! 🕊
32/52 - In Touch
I had so much fun creating this image, ‘Jack point with intent, pull harder, ok don’t strangle me!’ – I had a red rash on my face after though because the gloves were pretty much like sand paper. I’ve posted a behind the scenes of how I crater this image below too, go check it out!
33/52 - Phosphorescence
- A word I learnt whilst researching what to call this image.
I've been surrounding myself with beautifully minded people recently, ones that I can absorb positivity and re-emit a new energy. It's been a breath of fresh air!! (apart from on this cliff when myself and Cass almost lost our breath in the treacherous winds!)
34/52 - Emerald
I took a weekend off last week, the first in a very long while. Jack and I packed a picnic & supplies and journeyed over to Whitstable, a seaside town I’ve always wanted to visit. It was an overcast yet warm day, so I threw on my new emerald green dress and dove into the sea (although, I say dove, it was more of a hobble and wobble because of all the sharp stones).
I’ve been feeling a little uninspired to create from drowning in client work recently (not complaining, I just lost the ability to balance for a little while). So I made it my mission this day to force myself to create. I’ve realised recently that motivation comes in waves, but the real work is done when you force yourself. This took every ounce of my effort to produce, but I did it, and it’s worked.
35/52 - Golden Road
Myself and Sara ventured around the city yesterday, we went thrift shopping in Brooklyn and I bought a new prop dress. We jumped on so many other forms of transport (including the ferry where I almost lost my hat in the wind!) and ended up at Washington Street with the most amazing view of Manhattan Bridge.
After moving out the way of multiple cars, taking photos of a post man and getting called out for having great moves, we finally got this shot! Of course inspired by one of my favourite child hood films, the wizard of oz! 💛
36/52 - We Stand Tall
This image was taken at the abandoned 69th Street Transfer Bridge on the Hudson River. Built in 1911 it was used to transport rail cars from New York to New Jersey and stopped service in the 70s. I was lead to this incredible structure by Sara on my first day in NY and in Sara’s exact words she said ‘Holly you will love this!’, and I absolutely did!
37/52 - The Host
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
– Mary Oliver
38/52 - Off the Beaten Track - & taking a break from social media this weekend!
39/52 - The Call
This image is dedicated to all the amazing people working as part of the emergency services around our country. These people have lives of there own with families surrounding them, yet they risk everything for public safety – complete strangers to them. They are courageous and heroic and to hear that they had dealt with the situation at London Bridge within 8 minutes is mind blowing.
I’ve found it hard this past couple of weeks to regain myself positively since the Manchester attack, and then to be in a place just hours before another attack happens makes me feel lifeless. But knowing how insanely brave our community and society is, is just incredible. Knowing that help is only a phone call away, how wonderful is that?
If we can take one thing from this incident, it would be that we KNOW we can trust them. Let’s always treat them with respect, honour and commend them & give them what they deserve – all the praise in the world.
40/52 - By The Boating Lake
From a voyage I took through central park on a day I discovered things about myself that I never thought I’d be able to do. (Like setting up this shot and getting changed into a dress in front of fellow lake goers and boat rowers, in the middle of the day in NYC!)
When I first began this journey of self expression through photography, I would often let fear override my ability to project the perfect shot. However, as recently as ever, I made a pact with myself to never EVER let that get in the way. Hence why I took myself off to New York a few weeks ago to challenge that notion.
& Here I am, shooting on the side of the lake without a care in the world. (Also, coincidentally bumping into Thomas Langley & Amy, who were casually rowing a boat past me – in which I jumped in for a little ride!)
What an incredibly delightful day!
41/52 - Moving On
Life's got pretty damn hectic recently which means I've been away from my beloved photoshop for too long. I'm making my way through mountains of wedding editing (which of course I love) but it means I haven't had much time to be creative. I sat down to edit this image last night from NYC, and I just couldn't make it work. I had so many ideas for the outcome and the way I wanted to see it, but everything I did just did. not. work. In the end I decided to keep it simple and use no photoshop for a change.
So, Here's a pretty raw image from a shoot in New York that was meant to turn out differently... but it didn't and that's ok.
42/52 - Escape
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
― Mary Oliver
This shoot was hilarious/scary/sweaty (NYC weather!) and exhilarating to fathom! I was pretty much unable to balance my tripod in the right position on the fire escape without the risk of it taking a huge tumble to the pavements below. So my beaut Sara helped me out with this!
I'll be posting the behind the scenes video from this day over on my YouTube in the next week or so! I'm also currently planning my next venture to take my YouTube videos to the next level! (all will be revealed soon!)
43/52 - Alter
I spent some time at home recently with my family in Doncaster. It was therapeutic and soothing to feel secure in my surroundings, especially as the home I grew up in has the most amazing garden full of blooms. I came home, back to Kent with a new office/studio space to prepare and it's been so amazing to spread a little further and organise my props and dresses a little better. Beneath all the weddings and videos I've created, I've been settling myself into a change of atmosphere and head space. It's so refreshing and I can't wait to see what I can create from this new work space perspective.
44/52 - The House of Green
Solid you stand
as the vines creep,
nurture your growth
as the world sleeps.
The house of green
will always be seen,
to those that cultivate,
44/52 - Prickle
45/52 - Passing Through
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver
My job takes me to beautiful places. Ibiza blew me away!
46/52 - Part 2
47/52 - Breathe me in
48/52 - Transpire
"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living." - AN