April Catch Up

April Catch Up

Hello hello HELLO (read that in Rupaul’s voice), I thought I’d do a little blog series as a monthly catch up to share what I’ve been doing and liking as well as projects that are in the pipeline too.

At the moment I’m not in a position to hire a studio (if anyone even know’s of a decent white wall, I’m there!) so I’ve been trying to expend my horizons in a few different directions and try new things. I’m still very much inspired by conceptual, surrealist and fine art portraiture but it’s taking a short break until I have the means to create the images I really want and feel rather than making a half attempt with half the resources.

SO, the first thing I’ve given a little go is…

A little bit of still life…

I’ve been enjoying setting up a mini (make shift) studio in my house at the moment where I can set up some still life. Mostly these photos are intended for premium stock photography, but it’s made me think that maybe I could also use this in my own work too. Using a simple blue background is SO effective and the colours I can get from it are so awesome.

Journalling

I have been journalling on and off for years, but a few years agoI discovered bullet journalling which opened up to me the whole online journalling and planning community. I am yet to find the unicorn that is ‘planner peace’ where I feel like I have totally nailed my organisation through journalling, but I’ve found it to be something I really love doing.

I was suggested a video on youtube which was someone doing a flip through of their general journal for 2017 – containing everything from song lyrics, days out, gratitude, things they found inspiring, business cards…. anything that felt like it meant something on that day to that person. It was not for organisation, it was for fun of the process, and perhaps a bit to look back on in the future. This changed everything in the way I do things. I’d been trying to keep a bullet journal but whenever I would get ‘arty’ with it, it would dilute my planning and to do lists and all became such a jumble. Therefore I now work with a couple of different journals including a new handmade one which is my do-whatever-I-want journal. I’ve been collecting photographs, things from my day, painting and exploring new artistic expression in this handmade journal, and I still have a pristine and working bullet journal on the side. It is WORKING and I love it. One of my favourite things to do at the moment is to watch Charmed while journalling at my desk. I find it relaxing and fun.

Perhaps one day I’ll film a journal flip through of this one, I’m not sure. But here’s a link to the video that inspired me, and I liked this video too.

Editing Experiments

The thing about post production in software like Adobe Photoshop is that the possibilities are limitless and there is always new things to learn, new techniques, new shortcuts. I’ve discovered two things this month: glitch photography and gradient maps.

Yoga and Mindfulness

I have been reading everywhere for years that the ‘secret’ to feeling better with depression and anxiety is through yoga and mindfulness. I’ve given it a go many time before, found a bit of a benefit, but then quickly forgotten about it or moved on to something else.

This month I dug out a book from the archives of under my bed called ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ that I’ve had for years and decided, why not? I need something to sooth my soul right now. It’s an 8 week mindfulness course, and I started by doing a short mindfulness meditation every day. Prompted by this, and noticing I had started to become more mindful, I found the book Frazzled by Ruby Wax at the library and read the first few chapters. She was a huge advocate for mindfulness practise. In one of the books it mentioned how a man had tried yoga to broaden his mindfulness progress and that he found doing it everyday, so again I thought – why not do both? I’ve got nothing to lose and I feel terrible. SO. I’m only about 3 or 4 days into the daily yoga + mindfulness practise and I do feel like there’s been a slight shift in my perspective. It’s almost like someone is putting a bit of a magnifying glass into my life and showing me all these details I would usually be too stuck in my head to notice. I’m new to the practise, but I’m going to carry on and hopefully write a blog post about how I get on with it.

The yoga routine I’m following is this one here.

Published in TWO magazines!

When I wrote down a list of goals for 2018 (which reminds me, I must dig them out) one of my main goals was to have my work somehow featured in a magazine – big or small. In April this happened and completely by suprise. A while ago I took some photos of the cosplayer and model Onyxeia of her Black Cat cosplay, and this month she had a feature in Starburst Magazine which is available all over the UK including W H Smith which was where I picked it up – woohoo! Goal met.

Secondly though, I received confirmation that a photo I submitted to the ‘details’ edition of Dear Photographer had been accepted and will be in the upcoming magazine. I have pre-ordered my copy from America and I can’t wait to see it when it arrives. Keep an eye out on my instagram if you’re interested in seeing that when it arrives.

The Denim Jacket ™

This month I bought a denim jacket from ebay (costing a whopping £4.20) and I finally been putting to use all the badges and pins I have collected from various things. There is still room for LOTS more but I really can’t wait to wear this now that spring is here. Wearing a baggy tshirt, leggings, boots, denim jacket and a scarf is my new favourite comfy daytime look.

What’s happening next?

This summer I have a few exciting projects coming up including working on another film as an on set photographer / stills photographer which I am super excited for. I will most likely be telling you a bit more about that over on my Instagram nearer the time so do check that out if you’re interested.

I am looking at starting at least one new personal project too – this will either be a portrait project or a documentary project. It’s been a while since I’ve had something that I can really sink my teeth into – so although I’m very much in the research and planning stages at the moment, I’m looking forward to having something to work on that’s just for me.

Thank you!

If you’re reading this, I want to extend a huge thank you for your support in reading my blogs and liking my posts. It means so much that someone is interested in what I do.

If you’d like to follow along I invite you to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin’ and please feel free to reach out and say hello!

Have a great day,

Jas

Bonding with Birds – Birdworld Surrey

Bonding with Birds – Birdworld Surrey

Bonding with Birds… like a Gilderoy Lockhart novel… get it? Last week my mum took Jack and I out to Birdworld Surrey in Farnham. Now, this was quite a bit deal. Having lived in the area since university in 2011, I have been wanting to go to Birdworld so badly but it was one of those things that I just never got around to even though it only takes around 15 minutes on the bus. But at last, last week, we went.

I love birds, I love them a lot. I also love dinosaurs and actually all kinds of animals so getting to spend some time with them was really great. It worried me that it would be like a lot of zoos where the animals are in small enclosure – especially with birds where I feel like they need the space to fly. But overall I felt like the animals there looked really well taken care of and had plenty of room to roam about. I think a lot of them where also allowed to fly outside, like the birds of prey, and birds like the Penguins where also part of breeding programmes. It was very informative and educational too.

humboldt penguin swimming at birdworld surrey

colourful parrot at birdworld surrey

My favourite part of the day was meeting the Cockatoo which is in the 8th photo – the white bird with the crazy yellow hair do. We approached it because it looked like it was being quite social and wanted some attention against the bars. We said ‘Hello!’ and was greeted by it saying ‘hello’ back to us in it’s parroty squawky voice. I still wasn’t convinced it was repeating what we where saying but it soon whistled back to my mum, made kissy noises, said ‘who’s a pretty boy’ and when we where in fits of laughter proceeded to laugh along with us.

I’m very into ornithology, the study of birds, and I would absolutely love to study more into it and do what I can to help and discover more about these beautiful creatures. My joke beforehand was that we where actually going to Jurassic Park for the day to see real life mini feathered dinosaurs. I’d love to see these animals in their natural habitat one day Isla Nublar.

robin on a branch at birdworld surrey

baby goat at birdworld surrey

cockatoo at birdworld, surrey

I want to take more photos like this, I just love the happy memories and wonder of the natural world mixed with humans that it puts accross. It shows our human curiosity and highlights how much we need to look after the natural environment around us. Next I would love to go back to the London Aquarium and Natural History Museum. If you know of any other places then please do let me know as I’m keen to explore.

I hope you have enjoyed looking through these photos! I invite you to follow me on Instagram for more updates.

Jasmine Aurora x

Switch Off

Switch Off

This image was one of those that just flashed into my mind one day and I had to make it because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

For me it represents those tough days of depression or anxiety where you’re stuck in negative thought cycles and wish you could step outside of your head for a breather. It’s also for those nights where you’re awake at 4:00am and wish you could turn off and go back to sleep.

conceptual photography about mental health by jasmine aurora

‘Switch Off’ by Jasmine Aurora

Windy Day

Windy Day

I have re-discovered a few things:

– How much I love conceptual self portraits.

–  My bike which has been on a permanent sleep over at my in-laws for the last year (thank you for looking after it!)

Something I love about photography is how much you can take a prop or a concept and just make so much from it. Ugh, I love it. I’m going to do MORE!

‘And in that moment, like a swift intake of breath, the rain came.’ -Truman Capote

Windy Day conceptual self portrait Jasmine Aurora

‘Windy Day’ – Jasmine Aurora

I also snuck in some general portraits while the light was still pretty awesome.

Filming for National Poetry Day

Filming for National Poetry Day

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of coming along to some filming sessions of a creation by Jack Jewers to do some film stills photography and assisting. It’s the first time I’ve been on a film set as oppose to a photography one, and I have to say I completely fell in love with the whole thing and can’t wait to do more in the future.

In two short days (one day in front of the camera, and one day helping out behind and taking stills) I learned a lot and met some amazing people. I love love love how they worked together to bring a concept to life. There were times in set where there was so much smoke I felt like I was in Jurassic Park or at the very least the Upside Down from Stranger Things. When the final project is released to the public I will update this post and probably add it to my instagram too <3

Director & Producer: Jack Jewers, Campbell Challis
Cinematography: Tom Blount
Production Assistants: Emily Tait, Simon Hutchings, Justine DuHart
Actress: Sophia Eleni

I’m available to hire for photo sessions, documentary or to commission an art piece so please do get in touch if you have a project you would like to work together on.

Film Stills photographer london surrey camera man camera man Film Stills photographer london surrey Sophia Eleni on film set behind the scenes film still photographer behind the scenes film set photography jasmine aurora smoke film director watching set behind the scenes with smoke and lighting Film Stills photographer london surrey filming behind the scenes slate camera assistant runner make up artist working on film set london behind the scenes Film Stills photographer london surrey behind the scenes film set smoke silhouette Film Stills photographer london surrey commercial dramatic lighting

Thank you to Jack Jewers for inviting me along for this process and allowing me to take photographs.