Photography equipment (Recommendations)

Capturing moments and preserving memories is one of my favourite past times. Did you know that the majority of our memories are actually based upon photographic evidence? However in Julia Shaw’s book ‘The memory illusion’, she explores the idea that a lot of these memories can actually be considered as false memories. Despite this contrasting view, photos have the power to recall as well as invoke emotion. How much could you really recall from your childhood if you didn’t have a picture to help you fill in the gaps?

Since I have a photography section on this blog without any content 🤧 I thought it best to start off with a small list of the photography equipment I use.

1. An IPhone

I’m sure that an iPhone making the list will not as come as a surprise to most. Iphone’s are amazing for capturing content, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to do so. The ‘portrait mode’ on the newer models adds somewhat of a professional feel. Although I hardly use the portrait mode, it’s a nice to know that it is there, as it does come in handy for the odd nature shots. I personally use the 8plus & have since been told that this particular model features one of the best cameras across the entire Apple product portfolio.

2. Canon G7X Mii

This small but powerful camera is amazing for travellers or those who desire something that’s lightweight and doesn’t compromise on quality. The Canon G7X Mii has advanced controls, giving you the flexibility to shoot in manual. However, if like me you’re still stuck auto there’s no need to worry as you’ll still get some decent shots. I originally purchased this camera to vlog for my Youtube Channel, so the added feature of a flippable touchscreen (for no other reason but so that I could see myself whilst filming myself) was the icing on the cake!

3. Canon 77D

Last but not least is the Canon 77D. Yes it did set my bank account back a little bit, however it is definitely worth the investment. A decent camera body is pretty much the foundation, which you can then build upon by purchasing different lenses. This camera is also intended to bridge the gap from entry level hobbyists to professionals. It includes a helpful interactive guide on the screen showing you the optimal settings for your desired picture, easing you into shooting in manual. The 77D is also WIFI enabled, allowing you to send images straight to your phone. This WIFI feature is also available on the G7X Mii, and is honestly a lifesaver if you don’t always travel with your laptop.

Hopefully this post has been of use 🙂 There are so many other cameras out there so make sure you research heavily before spending any money. I am by no means a professional however I am always willing to learn, so if anyone has any photography tips or recommendations please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading 🙂

4 Things to do in: Toronto (on a budget)

I was super nervous to be flying on my own, so naturally, when I landed in Toronto, It completely slipped my mind to let the immigration officer know that I needed to activate my IEC visa. This is basically a document that allows you to work and live in Canada for up to 2 years.

** I’ll either create a video or a post on here with more information on how to apply for the IEC Visa**

After around an hour of stressing & fighting back the tears, after being told by the immigration officer that I wouldn’t be able to activate my visa. I managed to sort it all out and leave the airport with my 2 year IEC.

‘Ey’ – This was the first thing I noticed upon arrival.

No matter where you are in Canada, (in my case Mississauga and Toronto) I’m telling you, this word will haunt you for days, if not weeks. I’ve been back in the UK for like a month now, yet I can still hear it echoing at night.

Anyway, let me get down to business and give you my 4 things to do on a budget in Toronto.

1. Grafitti Alley

Discovered on my Instagram explore page, Graffiti alley is just that; a small alleyway in downtown Toronto covered from top to bottom in…you guessed it, graffiti. My suggestion would be to go before it gets dark out, as I didn’t notice any street lights & the area seemed to be a little dodgy.  The alley was flooded with photographers and models when I visited so I would say its a very photographable (is this a word?) location, just make sure to crop out the garbage bags.

Price = $0

Taken by a stranger

2. Toronto sign – queen street west

You cannot travel all the way to Toronto and not take a picture of/with this sign. As generic as it may seem, it is a great way to pass the time & people watch. just in front, there is a flight of stairs which brings you to a bridge overlooking the sign and the traffic (both people & vehicles) below.

Price = $0

Outside the Toronto sign

3. Shark club sports bar and grill

Located just outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street, stands the Shark club sports bar and grill. The atmosphere combined with the food makes this a good all-rounder, perfect for casual dinner dates. The menu is pretty extensive as far as menus go. I’m a really fussy eater, yet I managed to find a few things that met my dietary requirements. Given its central location and amazing view, it’s surprising that shark club sports and bar grill does not burn a hole in your wallet.

Price = $40 (2 course inc a drink/on average)

4. Niagara Falls

Ok, so Niagara Falls isn’t actually in Toronto, but who would I be if I didn’t add it to the list.

However much it costs is down to you, you could visit Niagara and not spend a penny or you could go all out and break the bank. In my case, the only thing I spent on was souvenirs. (If you’re looking for a souvenir shop, there is one in the Eaton centre which is pretty inexpensive).

The side streets towards Niagara are filled with various excursions such as; haunted houses, 5D cinemas & many more. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of this, but it is most definitely on the cards for next time.

Honestly, I cannot describe just how beautiful the Falls are, the pictures definitely don’t do it justice. It’s one of those things that you need to see in person, even add it to your bucket list if need be.

As I went in September, it was quite cold and misty, so we didn’t spend long and I wasn’t about to risk my cameras getting wet.

If you bring your passport with you, you can always walk across the bridge to New York. It’s crazy to see just how close 2 separate countries really are.

So there you have it, my top 4 things to do in Toronto, wasn’t too sure on how to structure this post so I hope this was ok 🙂 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Canada, it was amazing to meet family members I never even knew I had, and just to experience life as a Canadian.

Until next year Toronto….

CBT & me

In honour of National Suicide prevention week, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog post to my battle with mental health issues, and a review of the treatment I am currently receiving to help overcome this.

I’ve always known I was different, too quiet, too weird, too emotional…

I just never really took the time out to notice the negative impact this was having in my life.

January 2018 was the month that I decided to take my mental health a bit more seriously.

New year new me right?

Not exactly…

After 8 months on the waiting list, I was finally booked in to receive CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy). I had a minuscule amount of knowledge on the different types of therapy offered, due to taking a semester-long course in my first year of university. My mom (yes I spell Mom with an O as opposed to a U) is also a trained counsellor, so she was able to give me a little bit of an insight ahead of my CBT sessions.

However, this didn’t ease my mind at all. You see, I’ve never actually fully confided in anyone about my issues. On the odd occasion I did,  it was all very surface level… I just knew that no one would understand me or where I was coming from.

Skip to the present moment & I am now on my 5th session of CBT, beginning to have doubts as to whether this will be beneficial in the long run. In my first session, my therapist was quick to label me with depression & social anxiety which I thought rather unfair to those going through worse things than I. The sessions sometimes leave me feeling more down than before, mainly due to the fact that I sound ridiculous when trying to articulate thoughts & feelings into words.

One thing I have learnt so far is that we are not alone, although it may feel like that on most days, there are people ready to listen even at the times when you don’t feel like talking. I’ve been where you are, in fact, I’m still there, I can’t say that it gets better but you do learn to adapt and rid yourself from unhealthy coping mechanisms that only provide a temporary release.

With that being said, if anyone ever needs to talk just send me a message, I’m here to listen.

4 lessons to gain from Internships

The annoying cycle of applying for grad jobs and either not hearing back, or hearing back only to be told that you don’t have the necessary experience to be considered for the role.

I’m sorry, but how else are you going to gain that experience if employers are not willing to give you that opportunity? This is where the dreaded word ‘Internships’ come into play.

A lot of people look down on internships because of the low, or sometimes even non-existent pay. Yes, I agree time is money, and you should be paid for your work. However unpaid internships (within reason) show great resilience and passion for your chosen field.

Now, of course, you don’t want to go overboard and accept every single unpaid opportunity you come across, as this will not work in your favour when applying to paid jobs. However, once you do gain that Internship, paid or unpaid, there are a lot of things that you will start to discover. I have put together a list of 4 lessons you will learn from undergoing an internship, to help you to understand just how valuable they can actually be.

Top 4

1. Organisation

Organisation plays a key role in…well, just about everything. Since interning, I have learnt that it is a very vital skill you need in all walks of life. You will soon learn the art of to-do lists and the wave of satisfaction that flows within you once you begin to tick items off. A lot of note taking will take place also, don’t trick yourself into thinking that that piece of information will stay in your head!

2. Clarity

Think of internships as a trial run. Almost everything has the ability to look good on paper, however, you will never truly know whether your dream job is actually something that you want to pursue, until you try it out. Interning is a great way to do just this without any long-term commitment.

3. Time-Keeping

Internships are a great way to perfect the art of great time keeping & prioritisation. These skills are needed in all aspects of life, once they are learnt at this level, the easier they are to transfer and apply to pretty much anything

4. How to converse 

Conversing/small talk in the working world is daunting but necessary. You never know what doors are waiting to be opened or what contacts are yet to be made, just by striking up a conversation. Stuck on what to talk about? Maybe start by connecting with team members on LinkedIn. This way you’ll be able to grow your connections whilst also having a peek at their interests, giving you somewhat of a direction for future conversations.

That is all for now! Thank you for reading, hopefully, this has helped someone somewhere. If you have any more tips or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

The Incredibles 2

90’s babies, It’s been a long wait.

It is common knowledge amongst everyone who knows me that I live for superhero movies (from the marvel universe of course). Now, I would like to think that my obsession with superheroes, all started off with the first Incredibles movie, which was released when I was 8 years old. So of course 12 years later, I could not miss the 2nd installment of the movie that basically shaped me into the lover of all things marvel that I am today.

Incredibles 2 proved to be one of the few movies actually that needed a sequel. It pretty much started were it left off all those years ago, with a little recap included to jog our memories.

What I loved about this film was the play on gender roles, which in 2018 are practically non existent. It was great to see a film aimed at kids representing a modern family, where the female (in this case Mrs incredible) actually went to work & became the breadwinner of the household, whilst the male (Mr incredible) stayed at home and took care of the kids.

In the film we see some resistance from Mr incredible, who is having a hard time adjusting to his new ‘role’. In my opinion this represents our society, as the ideology of women being child bearing machines & housewives have been around for literal centuries. This type of representation especially in today’s day and age is extremely important. It is vital that kids of all ages can see the diversity that exists within families. No longer are we subjected to the stereotypical gender roles and the binary oppositions that come with it.

The modern family has changed quite drastically over the past few years and it is time we start to see the current state of our society reflected in all media forms.