The Concept of Expression: Patrick Connolly

Kicking off 2019 with a bang, the next subject I have photographed for the photography series, this photo-set being the first for 2019, is my close friend, Patrick Connolly.

As these photos were taken on New Year’s Eve given I was at a New Year’s Eve Party to ring in 2019, these photos were taken in low-light conditions, and with surprising results, these photos came out better than I expected.

A fraction of some of these photographs were normal headshots, while some of the photographs were off-guard facial expressions Patrick made that he probably wouldn’t necessarily make if this involved him looking directly at the camera. It’s often the off-guard photographs that are the best photos.

I hand-picked three of the photos from this photo-set to upload to Instagram beforehand and they’ve gone down a storm after I changed them to black and white with surprising results!

I’m pleased with how these photos turned out and I’m quite amazed that the low-lighting with the flash on compensated the photos in such a way that they stand out really well.

If there’s any improvements I could make, please let me know as your feedback will really help me to improve on the photo-sets I produce in the future.

Alex Smithson

Maria’s Market Café. The Centrepiece of Borough Market!

Maria’s Market Café serves as the centrepiece of Borough Market and captures Borough Market and her café even during the busiest and most quiet times of the year!

Have you seen the architecture of Borough Market? Come across Maria’s Market Café?

I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

Date of Photograph Produced: Saturday 5th January 2019

Variety & Quality at Borough Market!

Get the finest foods and drinks with different varieties and qualities at Borough Market!

If you’ve been to Borough Market before, I would love to hear your responses.

If you haven’t been to Borough Market before, but are considering going to Borough Market soon or sometime in the future, I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

Date of Photograph Produced: Saturday 5th January 2019

London’s Feeling Gloomy!

In the midst of the freezing cold weather, London is feeling gloomy under the clouds. With 2019 already here, it’s no surprise that Winter is in full swing!

What makes you feel gloomy?

I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to January! Happy New Year! 2019 is Here!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019 on Mother Nature, everyone!

2019 kicked off with a bang thanks to the New Year’s Fireworks going off in London, meanwhile, I partied the night away and have been enjoying myself as I celebrated ringing in 2019 with my friends, and as you can imagine, 2019 is going to be action-packed with so much content as I’ll be publishing more frequently now I have more quality time on my hands and I’m also going to be photographing more models for my mental health photography series, The Concept of Expression.

I’m so excited to keep publishing content and I cannot wait to show you what I’ve got planned for this year!

Until then, Happy New Year & Welcome to 2019 on Mother Nature!

Alex Smithson

2018: A Year in Review

2018 has been an incredible year! Despite some ups and downs along the way, this year has been so much better. It’s been, to be honest, one of the most eye-opening years of my life as I’ve faced a lot of challenges, developed a better skill set whilst going from my first job to my third and fourth jobs after quitting self-employment, and then opening up about my own mental health after a lot of courage of speaking openly about it.

Losing one of my close friends also taught me a lot that we should always value and cherish the time we have as it will never come around again and it’s wise to make every second count.

Closing 2018 in style, here is the year in review!

January 2018

1.1.2018 – 2018 kicked off with a bang, and I mentioned I would publish now and then due to the fact I’m working full-time, meaning articles will be published less frequently so I can prioritise my time more on my job over writing and publishing articles.

10.1.2018 – On every magazine cover or newspaper you’ve read, you may notice there’s been the odd airbrushing or two on all of the magazine and newspaper covers of someone famous you know. “The Discomforting Perceptions of Airbrushed Photographs” aimed to get the point over clearly and concisely as an episode of the talk show, Loose Women, aired before this article went out as the Loose Women talked about airbrushing on photographs considering body dysmorphia is becoming worryingly common, considering a vast majority of some people feel insecure about how they look and appear, and that they feel they should fix what makes them insecure when they shouldn’t.

20.1.2018 – Far too often, mental health is often shunned to one side by many of those who believe it doesn’t exist. Some see it as an excuse to make anyone who suffers from mental health feel like they cannot prove their worth because they’re different to everyone else. “Mental Health: Make a Difference” allowed me to lay down on the line my realistic views and I refused to hold back my real emotions and views and I felt so much better to speak up in confidence about it considering mental health is something that’s very close to my heart and that I always support anyone suffering from a mental health condition.

31.1.2018 – Kicking off the first photography article of the year, I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, Wesley Baker. With his work being featured in and Croydon, with one of his most notable pieces of artwork being the centrepiece of Croydon Flyover of the hit cartoon, Astro Boy, Wesley’s CDNZine and CDNStore Instagram accounts boom with artistic values and energy, and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph him. To see the full article, click here.

February 2018

1.2.2018 – February started off with a bang with the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games being just around the corner, meanwhile, February was set to be a very busy and exciting month ahead.

2.2.2018 Justin Timberlake released his first album in five years, Man of the Woods, to the world and with a completely different and unique sound that captured the old-school nostalgia whilst reminding us all of how far he has come since his breakthrough début album, Justified.

19.2.2018 P!NK‘s record: “What About Us” inspired me to write the article with the same song title as I wanted to cast a light on the world and how the whole world has seen for itself the unrest, violence and hatred that’s been talked about on the news, but that it hurts to see that no one can get on.

28.2.2018 – Despite the travel chaos on the 24th February due to a tree that fell on the line, leaving me and some passengers stranded at Sanderstead Station, I enjoyed my trip up to Oxted & Hurst Green and seized the opportunity to photograph Oxted Station and The Oxted Inn.

March 2018

1.3.2018 – March got off to a freezing cold start as the Beast from the East impacted the United Kingdom, with Storm Emma impacting the United Kingdom almost immediately after the first ounce of snowfall.

3.3.2018 – Storm Emma impacted the United Kingdom as the Beast from the East reached its end, but the wintry weather didn’t disappear fast enough, and as such, fell on the day I finished my shift to go on annual leave for a week. “Brrrrrr…It’s a Winter Wonderland!” gave me the opportunity to take a snapshot of the winter weather whilst I waited to get the bus home considering I finished earlier than the original time my shift usually ends as my place of work closed early due to the torrential snowstorm.

8.3.2018 – Following the first photography article I published after the start of 2018, which featured my close friend, Wesley Baker (CDN), I photographed my close friend who I’ve known since secondary school, Samuel Cato.

13.3.2018 – Art and colour are full of beautiful abstracts, but it’s the abstraction of abstract art that makes art unique and interesting. “Beautiful Abstraction.” allowed me to talk in more detail about the vibrancy art brings, as well as the time and effort someone has taken to make that art piece a masterpiece.

17.3.2018 – The United Kingdom woke up to a sudden blanketing of snow and as “Snowfall Saturday” suggests, you can probably tell I didn’t expect to wake up to the snow considering the weather was nice, sunny and warm the day before.

18.3.2018 – On Snowdrop Sunday, the Beast from the East decided to blanket the United Kingdom with more snow and freezing cold temperatures.

19.3.2018 Manic Monday sure made the start of the week manic and full of chaos considering anyone like myself getting into work would be a challenge because the roads were a little icy, while the pavements were more or less clear of the snowfall. Manic Monday, which was a record by The Bangles, written by the late music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, was what inspired me to write this article with the same name.

22.3.2018 – Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st March were wonderful days to visit Oxford Street, as the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and considering that it was nice and sunny, I seized the opportunity to photograph the landscape all of yesterday, but one of the stores that grabbed my interest the most was the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store.

The smell of the store as I walked in hit me straight away and it was so welcoming, it smelt like Starburst as I walked into the store, and the fact it spanned three floors full of bath bombs, make-up and even skin care products that smelt so nice meant I was able to produce a really good set of photographs.

They even provided me with a free sample of one of their products after they allowed me to dissolve one of their bath bombs in their sink and as a random act of kindness from one of their members of staff who was intrigued by the photos I showed them yesterday, they gave me a free bath bomb, which made my day so much happier. If you missed the photo-set I produced, click on “The Lush Life of Oxford Street!

After producing the photo-set of my visit to Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store, I photographed my close friend, Mikey Andrews, and considering the photo-set of Oxford Street was my best work to date, the photo-set of Mikey Andrews for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” was also my best work to date considering I was able to produce both photo-sets with much less noise in the photos, which is a first in quite some time considering a few of the photo-sets I’ve produced have been noisy and somewhat grainy.

My trip to Oxford Street ended on a perfect note as I bumped into the Olympic Diver, Tom Daley, and the Oscar-Winning Actor, Dustin Lance Black. If you missed the photo-set I produced featuring my close friend, Mikey Andrews, click here.

April 2018

1.4.2018 – As the next few weeks were set to be very busy, this meant I wouldn’t publish as much due to work, but that I would try to find the time now and then over the course of April to see if I could publish some articles when the free time becomes available.

On the same day, I officially published a new landing page for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” as I wanted to make sure the photography series gets its own designated page.

5.4.2018 – After much hype, anticipation, rumours and a social media storm that sparked frenzy about the iconic roast master following the success of Activision’s reboot of the bestselling original Crash Bandicoot trilogy with Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Spyro the Dragon finally marked his comeback in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which, just like the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, comes with fully remastered versions of all three of the original Spyro games originally produced by Insomniac Games.

6.4.2018 – Since the start of 2018, the rise in knife crime has worsened, as it was revealed that more than 50 lives were lost, with most of the stabbings taking place in the space of the week commencing Monday 2nd April 2018.

14.4.2018 – It was an emotional rollercoaster, and I was away for a whole week as I paid my respects to a close friend of mine of two years who passed away on the 6th April. I chose to not publish anything for a week as I needed to come to terms with losing my close friend suddenly, but also so that I could process the news better. I paid tribute to my close friend by publishing a tribute that featured a photograph I produced of the moon with inspiration from Bruno Mars‘ ballad, Talking to the Moon.

15.4.2018 – Societies nowadays, especially now, expect you to suppress your real emotions to build an image of emotions that they expect of you. In this case, you put on a face where you look happy to everyone else, and that you are made to look like you can make it alone, but deep down, you feel broken, torn up inside, and you feel the true pain where you have been forced to suppress your real emotions because societies want you to look strong, when in reality, you are strong, but they feel the need to nitpick and make you feel like you’re weak for showing the real emotions you were born with.

21.4.2018 – Whilst on my way to work, I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to photograph mother nature in her finest form.

29.4.2018 – A week before, the United Kingdom baked in hot and muggy weather, with temperatures soaring to nearly 30°c.

May 2018

1.5.2018 – May was set to be a much busier month considering I would be working and completing work-related documents, which meant I wouldn’t be able to use some of the free time to publish articles, apart from the fact I would be able to publish articles here and there when I could find some of the free time.

4.5.2018 – We had the lovely sunny weather and I marked the occasion with inspiration from Star Wars, as I photographed Mother Nature in her most wonderful form on the way to work.

It sure was a wonderful day, as Mother Nature was Blushing Pink in the wonderful, sunny Spring weather.

6.5.2018 – The weather continued to be wonderful as ever as Mother Nature showed off the Gracious Greenery of Spring, which gave me an opportunity to photograph the natural landscapes whilst I was on my way to work and on the way home from work.

8.5.2018 – I made the most of the Bank Holiday with the wonderful weather, as I seized the opportunity to photograph some more plants and flowers whilst I was on the way to see Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, whilst experimenting with the exposure of the photographs I produced.

17.5.2018 – Mental Health Awareness Week gave me the chance to urge all of you to come together to support everyone and to also be in your friend’s corner.

19.5.2018 – Nature was certainly Tickled Pink with the wonderful, yet breezy and sunny weather.

This day was special considering Prince Harry & Meghan Markle got married at Windsor Castle, meanwhile, Mother Nature was wonderful to let this day be special by going all out with the sunny weather and the beautiful royal purple flowers.

20.5.2018 – Continuing the Royal Wedding Celebration, Mother Nature let Royalty lay her red carpet of flowers to celebrate Meghan & Harry on their royal marriage.

She also made sure everything was a Silky Spring for this occasion considering I discovered a silky-looking plant that looked like a four-leaf clover symbolising luck in disguise.

Nature was bliss, however, as the Royal Weekend ended on a high and positive note, as she beamed vibrant colours, not to mention that she created a blissful atmosphere that was tranquil.

21.5.2018 – Mother Nature blossomed in Peaceful Purple during the remarkable and peaceful Royal Weekend.

The lightning was so electrifying on this gloomy Spring day that it almost knocked my internet out, as it did try to rain, with the sudden bolt of lightning explaining why my internet connection was almost knocked out.

22.5.2018 – Nature blossomed beautifully in her Mellow Yellow form and in all her glory.

24.5.2018 – Mother Nature glistened green, and it was safe to say she was making the most of the sunny weather as she blossomed and beamed with bursts of greenery.

She also managed to burst with Vivid Vibrancy, as there was a breeze in the air to make the mood of Spring feel like home.

Not only that, but she presented a Bokeh of Flowers, which proved to be a sight for sore eyes…literally!

Mother Nature even went as far as to bare her soul by creating a relaxing atmosphere that even settled me, with a hint of the breeze to set the mood to be just right.

25.5.2018 – The weather was on and off when I was on my way to work, but the weather didn’t stop Mother Nature from blossoming her beautiful side as she already blossomed beauty, with an elegance about her that was exquisite and definitive.

26.5.2018 – It was a Tropical Spring, as it was mostly sunny and warm, with a tropical feeling that lingered in the air.

There was a Sultry Summer spell before the big lightning storm that was expected to impact the United Kingdom, which was safe to say for Mother Nature, as she was ready to make us aware that a huge storm was coming!

It was shocking, as the United Kingdom did, in fact, witness a massive thunderstorm with nothing but torrential downpours after a couple of weeks of hot, humid and muggy weather, but it proved Mother Nature was ready to let rip one heck of a powerful, yet tropical storm.

27.5.2018 – Mother Nature was Beautifully Radiant, as a photo I took on Friday 18th May proved why she was so vibrant and beautiful.

28.5.2018 – Despite the ‘Mother of All Thunderstorms’ battering the United Kingdom, it was safe to say that the Sweltering Sunny Spell of hot Summer weather officially arrived.

31.5.2018 – The model I photographed for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression”, on Monday 28th May 2018, was my close friend, Christian Aranda Montilva, as I continue to aim to raise awareness for mental health.

June 2018

1.6.2018 – June was set to be a whole lot busier considering I would be doing two early morning shifts, with my annual leave holiday coming up at the end of the month.

It certainly was a joyful start to June, as the weather was wonderful despite the start of the month being hot and humid.

It was rare to find a beautiful begonia plant during the Summer season, as it’s a plant I hardly see around nowadays.

2.6.2018 – There was a dazzling daisy and a generous geranium around, but it was good to see nature in full bloom.

3.6.2018 – A beautiful and sunkissed sunrise lit up the rest of the day, while the fragments of Summer began to shine through, and what topped it all off was the valley of the lilies.

5.6.2018 – Calmer Camellia! They come and go and they give off a calm and relaxing feeling, putting your mind at ease, but holy hollyhock! It was warm.

6.6.2018 – Mother Nature celebrated 5 remarkable years as I started this website on the 6th June 2013, and I remember publishing my first ever amount of photography work during the Summer season, with the photography work being produced on the then Samsung ST200F Camera I used to use.

What marked the occasion on a special note was when I spotted a cheeky Cherokee plant that had blossomed so early just days prior to the 5-Year Anniversary of Mother Nature. Ending the celebration on a high note, Mother Nature put her buttercup in the air to show the world some love, whilst showing the same love back.

7.6.2018 – There was a precious primrose in sight, but because it’s a plant that I’ve not seen much of, I was fascinated as to whether it was a rare plant. The weather, however, was wonderful, but it was good to make the most of the warm weather, especially considering the sun was out.

8.6.2018 – I saw red as the rose was a sight for sore eyes!

10.6.2018 – It was a happy halcyon and serene summer for the daisies I found, but the dainty dandelion stood out in its full glory for the warm and sunny weather. I saw an adorable azalea plant which, to me, was quite rare to see it blossom so early in the morning when there was no one out with everywhere being so quiet and peaceful. There were leaves of green as I was on my way home from work following the last early morning shift I completed ahead of going on annual leave.

12.6.2018 – Mother Nature certainly had a spindled heart, and her spindled heart was worth witnessing!

13.6.2018 – Mother Nature blossomed her Magic Mallow!

15.6.2018 – A luxurious lily blossomed so beautifully!

16.6.2018 – I marked a milestone as I celebrated turning 20 years old, which was surreal and was also perfect timing considering I was officially on annual leave for two weeks.

Whilst on the way home from a friend’s house after a perfect day out, oh boy! Sweet Carolina sure did blossom on such a perfect day!

18.6.2018 – Mother Nature had a case of the Hebe Jebes!

19.6.2018 – Following a visit to Mayfield Lavender Farm, the next model I photographed for my mental health-inspired photography series was my close friend, Hamid Haq.

21.6.2018 – The Summer Solstice officially arrived! The weather was beautiful and breezy!

22.6.2018 – Following my visit to Mayfield Lavender Farm on Sunday 17th June 2018, the next model I picked to photograph for my photography series was my close friend, Akash DeSilva.

27.6.2018 – The ligustrum plant sure was lively!

28.6.2018 – There was a wild, wild rose in sight, meanwhile, there was a bush of lovely lavender!

29.6.2018 – There was a mild milkweed in sight which allowed Mother Nature to blossom her true colours!

Also, coming up to exactly one year to the day the best-selling trilogy was released, the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, which featured two additional levels, Stormy Ascent (previously unfinished and unreleased on the original PlayStation) and Future Tense (drawing inspiration from the cut ‘Waterfall Level’ that never made it into the final release of the original Crash Bandicoot from the original Crash PS1 Trilogy), was re-released on all platforms (XBOX One, Nintendo Switch and Steam).

July 2018

1.7.2018 – Things were set to get a lot busier considering I would be back at work following two weeks of annual leave, with the weather expecting to be hotter with mild rain and potential thunderstorms.

I also marked the occasion by changing Mother Nature’s theme from Karuna to Lovecraft, whilst also publishing a reworked and improved version of the cube so that the logo and website would stay true to nature’s roots that maintain her beautiful and vibrant personality.

2.7.2018 – Almost one year after we lost the late TV legend, Bruce Forsyth, who passed away on the 18th August 2017, I paid tribute by saying Nice to See You, To See You, Spruce!

3.7.2018 – The UK beamed in a hot, humid and surprising shade of scarlet as a result of the extreme heatwave, meanwhile, it was good to Hydrate Your Hydrangeas whilst basking in the hot and humid sunny Summer weather.

6.7.2018 – The Hypericum plant was most definitely hyperactive, though even nature was mystified by the presence of the Mysterious Mossrose!

7.7.2018 – Imagine a World of Lavender putting your mind at ease.

8.7.2018 – Oklahoma turned orange as the Oklahoma plant proved to be the case whilst the UK baked in the extreme heatwave, meanwhile, there was a Happy Hazelnut that blossomed thanks to the hot weather.

9.7.2018 – The weather was absolutely hot and humid. Talk about a Sultry Summer but the hot weather certainly took the biscuit! However, there was a beautiful silhouette of sunshine which filled the air with peace, but Venus was serious about when she said she would blossom.

13.7.2018 – Nature was feeling rosy!

15.7.2018 – Mother Nature was at her Finest! I even witnessed her True Grit!

16.7.2018 – The breeze of Summer finally beckoned!

18.7.2018 – Mother Nature was at the Longan Short of It!

22.7.2018 – I witnessed a Spirea spiralling in Mother Nature’s roots, though it felt so good to have witnessed Mother Nature’s Summer Roots! She did surprise us with her Magical Marigold, so that was a bonus!

23.7.2018 – The UK witnessed the hottest day of 2018, and it was like it was Mediterranean Monday as I defied the weather warnings to photograph Mother Nature at her most spiritual whilst I was on the way home from work.

24.7.2018 – The extreme heatwave of Summer 2018 was suntastic, despite a lot of greenery being scorched due to the intensely sultry weather.

25.7.2018 – It felt so good to soak in the Rays of Summer Sunshine, despite the weather being intensely humid and sultry.

28.7.2018 – The weather for Friday 24th July was absolutely frantic, not to mention being boiling hot! She finally unleashed her voluptuous violet and made it rain for the UK with an almighty bang!

August 2018

1.8.2018 – The time sure flew much faster this year, making it impossible to keep up with the element of time nowadays. As the extreme heatwave was expected to last until the end of August, it was safe to say the UK would expect to have some potential thunderstorms in sight, though the sunscreen would still be in use until the Autumnal weather would arrive.

2.8.2018 – Nature released her droplets of goodness in a bid to keep you going and hydrated even during the best and worst of heatwaves.

3.8.2018 – Mother Nature was bleeding crimson because of the extreme heatwave.

10.8.2018 – Forking Hell! It sure was a forking thunderbolt! What a forking liberty!

15.8.2018 – After a successful which saw the infamous blue hedgehog return to Green Hill Zone on the 15th August 2017, Sonic Mania got the physical release treatment with the definitive retail release, Sonic Mania Plus.

16.8.2018 – The Queen of Pop, Madonna, celebrated an iconic landmark as she turned 60, but following the birthday celebrations, the world mourned the passing of the undisputed and legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin was and always will be a Natural Woman who defined what it means to be the Queen of Soul.

19.8.2018 – I captured nature in the Midst of Summer in style by using the app, A Color Story, to bring out the colour in the photo and to also make the photo pop.

30.8.2018 – Monday 27th August was rippling pink and it was quite the vibrant day indeed.

September 2018

1.9.2018 – The time flew much faster this year than I initially anticipated, but as we head into Autumn, the autumn/winter jackets would be coming out as soon as the temperatures start to dip below 10°.

5.9.2018 – Ahead of the Autumnal cold weather, I was lucky to witness Nature’s Glow!

10.9.2018 – I was lucky to witness Nature’s Early Autumnal Blossom, meanwhile, the sky was the limit for London bearing in mind I was on a long journey as it was a wonderful sight to see that London looked so peaceful first thing in the morning, though I couldn’t resist capturing a photograph of The Shard By Dusk whilst I waited for my last train to arrive to get me home.

11.9.2018 –  Mother Nature showed off her Autumnal Grittiness, whilst the whole of the United Kingdom stood in solidarity on the day that changed the entire world forever.

14.9.2018 – London is always beautiful, and the weather was enough proof that London was in high spirits.

16.9.2018 – The next model I picked to photograph for my photography series was my close friend, Thomas Rodrigues. The photo-set was very brief as I aimed to capture some hidden emotions that I felt were and were not obvious at first but would be on the second glance.

17.9.2018 – Following Apple’s “Gather Round” event on Wednesday 12th September, iOS 12, along with watchOS 5, were finally released after a few months of extensive beta testing.

23.9.2018 – Marking the end of the Summer weather, Mother Nature embraced The Last Glow of Summer with her Autumnal Bloomers!

October 2018

1.10.2018 – I found it hard to believe that we were almost at the end of this year, though time flies when you’re working hard and having fun.

2.10.2018 – The Autumnal Glow of Nature is precious and beautiful!

3.10.2018 – As the flurry of falling leaves continued to fall until the start of Winter, it was no surprise Autumn would come and go quicker than we would imagine.

4.10.2018 – After attending a workshop for my apprenticeship, I was stranded at London’s Charing Cross!

5.10.2018 – There was a blushing rose which proved nature is expressive and would always show her true colours!

6.10.2018 – I witnessed Aztec Marigold at its Finest!

7.10.2018 – As we were set to expect more gloomy days ahead with the weather constantly changing as we head towards the Winter Season, the sense of a gloomy day starts the gloomy days of cloudy weather with chances of heavy rain with colder weather on the way.

8.10.2018 – Nature embraced her purple heart, which is good considering it was nice and sunny.

9.10.2018 – It was a surprise to see nature was blooming late! Still, it was better late than never.

10.10.2018 – It was so good to witness the autumnal sun whilst mother nature made the most of keeping the United Kingdom warm.

As it was World Mental Health Day, I advised you all that you should always be in your friends and family’s corners and support everyone who is suffering from mental health.

The heights of Shoreditch were absolutely beautiful, especially with what would be the last of the warm weather as the Autumn Season goes at full speed into Winter!

11.10.2018 – It was such a beautiful and sunny day in Shoreditch and it felt so good to make the most of the warm weather whilst it lasted!

15.10.2018 – It was a misty start to the week following the weekend’s thunderstorms but it was hard to think it’s nearly Winter and Autumn had only just begun!

20.10.2018 – After almost a year of working full-time, I officially secured another full-time job and the new job was up in Shoreditch, Central London!

26.10.2018 – It felt so good to start my new job as a Self-Employed Sales & Customer Service Brand Ambassador and I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to photograph the bright and busy landscape of Shoreditch.

To celebrate a perfect first day in the new job, Mother Nature embraced the world with her Autumnal Raindrops!

27.10.2018 – The Dusty Millers were in full swing with Autumn as Mother Nature blossomed her true colours ahead of the Winter Season as we head towards the end of 2018.

28.10.2018 – Whilst in Shoreditch on my first day in my new job, I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to photograph one of the many artistic murals as I walked out of the station.

November 2018

1.11.2018 – November kicked off with an almighty bang with firework night being just around the corner, and with the thick coats, scarves and gloves coming out for Autumn, Autumn was in full swing as we headed towards Winter and towards the end of the year.

2.11.2018 – The Shard is a beautiful building at night, especially from London Bridge Train Station.

3.11.2018 – It was chilly in Chiswick but it was a beautiful sight to behold, especially as the sun set over the landscape!

6.11.2018 – Whilst on the way to Bermondsey, I couldn’t resist capturing Shoreditch High Street at its finest!

13.11.2018 – The landscape around Essex was absolutely exquisite!

26.11.2018 – If you ever go to Shoreditch and it’s busy and full of traffic, get your “A” game on!

27.11.2018 – Imagine the chances of seeing love in a lot of murals! Both murals inspired around PopEye captured that heartwarming feeling!

28.11.2018 – As Christmas is a time to celebrate, Centrale Croydon wished you all a Happy Christmas just in time for the festive season!

December 2018

1.12.2018 – To celebrate the start of December, Mother Nature got a small makeover just in time for the festive season!

10.12.2018 – The next subject I photographed for my photography series, The Concept of Expression, was my close friend, Oriane Rose Beech.

13.12.2018 – Almost two weeks after leaving my full-time self-employed job, I secured myself two part-time jobs midway through the previous week.

15.12.2018 – After 20 years, a lot of hype and anticipation, our favourite purple blaze runner, Spyro the Dragon, finally returned in the remastered Spyro Reignited Trilogy that consisted of full remakes of the first three games, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage (EU Version: Gateway to Glimmer) and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.

18.12.2018 – In time for the 20th Anniversary, following Activision Blizzard’s successful remasters of the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Crash Bandicoot officially returns to the racing track in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on the 21st June 2019.

20.12.2018 – After a long time of writing about something personal to me, I finally opened up about my mental health as I suffer from anxiety and mild depression.

It took a lot of courage, but opening up about how I really feel lifted a weight off my shoulders that I carried for so long and I’m so much more open with everyone about mental health as it’s something close to my heart.

24.12.2018 – The design of Ravensbourne University gave off a psychedelic approach!

25.12.2018 – Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

29.12.2018 – The world lost a comedy giant and legend, as Dame June Whitfield sadly passed away on the 28th December 2018. Remembering an Absolutely Fabulous actress full of humour in Last of the Summer Wine and an absolute joy to watch on TV growing up.

30.12.2018 – HMV holds a special place in my heart as their stores always were a part of my childhood, and even when advancing into adulthood, I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the music every time I walked into their stores.

What a year! It’s been one heck of a year, despite the ups and downs but it’s been much better than the last. I’ve got a lot of new content coming in the new year and I’ll be photographing more models in the new year for the photography series so keep your eyes peeled! I’ve got a lot of things planned for 2019 so watch this space!

Until then, 2018 officially closes in style and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope 2019 brings you joy, happiness and everything positive you could possibly ask for.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: December 2018

What a year it has been! There have been ups and downs over the course of 2018 but it’s been one heck of a good year!

For one last time, I will be taking a quick look back at the articles published over the course of December.

1.12.2018 – To celebrate the start of December, Mother Nature got a small makeover just in time for the festive season!

10.12.2018 – The next subject I photographed for my photography series, The Concept of Expression, was my close friend, Oriane Rose Beech.

13.12.2018 – Almost two weeks after leaving my full-time self-employed job, I secured myself two part-time jobs midway through the previous week.

15.12.2018 – After 20 years, a lot of hype and anticipation, our favourite purple blaze runner, Spyro the Dragon, finally returned in the remastered Spyro Reignited Trilogy that consisted of full remakes of the first three games, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage (EU Version: Gateway to Glimmer) and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.

18.12.2018 – In time for the 20th Anniversary, following Activision Blizzard’s successful remasters of the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Crash Bandicoot officially returns to the racing track in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on the 21st June 2019.

20.12.2018 – After a long time of writing about something personal to me, I finally opened up about my mental health as I suffer from anxiety and mild depression.

It took a lot of courage, but opening up about how I really feel lifted a weight off my shoulders that I carried for so long and I’m so much more open with everyone about mental health as it’s something close to my heart.

24.12.2018 – The design of Ravensbourne University gave off a psychedelic approach!

25.12.2018 – Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

30.12.2018 – HMV holds a special place in my heart as their stores always were a part of my childhood, and even when advancing into adulthood, I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the music every time I walked into their stores.

This monthly roundup brings 2018 to a remarkable close. Please check back soon for 2018: A Year in Review.

Thank you for such a wonderful year!

Alex Smithson

ANXIETY

It is a mental health condition which, like every mental health condition, is often brushed under the carpet and ignored.

If you’re reading this, imagine feeling like you’re carrying the whole world on your shoulders one day as opposed to the next.

Some days, you may feel happy and in a good mood. Other days, you’ll feel anxious, unhappy and depressed.

I raise awareness for mental health as it is close to my heart, and I aim to help everyone going through a similar experience.

I was officially diagnosed with anxiety on the 9th June 2017 after going through a horrific experience at college in 2016 and then losing a friend of mine a few months later, among other personal reasons closer to home.

By suppressing the real emotions I had at the time, I felt more anxious and almost disconnected myself from reality.

Although I have my family and friends who are the best support networks whom I can turn to for support, I felt lost and alone in myself.

I held back my real emotions for so long that it took for me to finally break down and come to terms with loss and grief.

Mentally, I was at ease once I opened up and showed real emotion as it was a release of emotions I once suppressed.

Even now, my mental health sometimes makes me feel happy on some days, but other days, I might feel down even when I don’t want to.

In my first job which I quit after securing myself the self-employed job I left right at the end of November, the stress of the first job I was in got to a stage where I eventually realised that my mental health was suffering and I needed to do something about it.

I started looking around for jobs around the middle of May because the strain of working in a job in retail took its toll on my mental wellbeing and I was affected by the job on an emotional level.

Even the pressure of working in a full-time self-employed job got too much, because, at times, I felt down as I knew I made as best of an effort as I gave being self-employed a try and it didn’t work out.

The support network in my second job was wonderful as everyone supported me as I was honest and open about my mental health.

I would never want to suppress my mental health and then have my mental health affect me eventually.

Although I’m now in a good place where I’m in two part-time jobs that provide me all the support I need, both emotionally and financially, I still, at times, feel down from the way my first job made me feel both emotionally and mentally.

I’m not going to sugarcoat how I really feel. Anxiety with mild bouts of depression is horrible. It’s like carrying the whole world on your shoulders and you feel like the whole world is weighing you down and leaving you unable to speak up.

There have actually been occasions where I have had panic attacks and it’s horrible. Once you’ve had a panic attack, you’ll never forget it.

It takes courage to open up and say how you really feel, and to be honest, my experience of living with anxiety and mild depression hasn’t been all that great given I have the odd down day now and then, but it gives me comfort to accept that even though I’m not okay at times, I know I’m not alone and I can speak openly more about how I really feel.

It’s taken a lot of courage for me to open up and be entirely honest with you all about my anxiety and mild depression and it feels like a weight has lifted now I’ve opened up.

If you are someone or you know someone who is suffering from mental health, please tell me your experiences with mental health as I want to hear your experiences and how opening up about how you really feel changed your perspective on life and how you feel now you’ve opened up about your mental health.

Again, it feels like a weight has now been lifted off my shoulders now I’ve opened up and been honest about my mental health and to be honest, I want this to encourage positive change and I want this to give you the courage to open up about your mental health like it did for me.

Alex Smithson