Friday, 30 December 2016

Winter In Derbyshire.

It has been so lovely to be back in Sheffield with my family these past few weeks and one weekend we decided to go out into Derbyshire walking. We explored the Hartington Dales and went to the raised coral atoll you see as you drive towards Hartington from Buxton. Being able to get to places like this so easily by car from Sheffield makes me feel very lucky to live in this area. 

On Monday I am going back down to Falmouth and my sister is coming with me for a week! I am sad to be leaving my family again so soon but I am looking forward to showing my sister where I live in term time because it really is beautiful down there. I am also looking forward to a New Year as I really feel like starting fresh with a lot of things. I want to become a lot more organised and for my confidence to grow. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

As it has been a while since my last post I have to decided to share a couple of pictures and wish you all a happy holidays. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are making the most of seeing your loved ones and having some well deserved time off. 

I am only back in Sheffield for three weeks so I am making the most of being with the people who matter most. I feel very lucky for many things that have happened this year but I feel very spoiled this christmas in particular. I got an amazing camera and lens and have eaten so many beautiful foods. It has been a very busy and stressful semester but I wouldn't change any of the ups or downs. I really feel I have grown as a person this year and couldn't be more grateful to those around me, who have supported me through everything. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Talking About Mental Health at Uni.

"Where there is cake, there is hope...and there is always cake."

The other day I helped some members of the FXU Raise and Donate Team by taking photographs of their Depressed Cake Shop bake sale. If you don't know about The Depressed Cake shop it is an organisation aiming to end the stigmatisation of mental illnesses through engaging people in discussions about the topic, through bake sales including recognisable grey cakes. It was really lovely talking to and photographing the events management students running the store based at AMATA, on our Penryn campus, and also the people buying the cakes. 

There was also someone from Mind who had come along to hand out leaflets and give any advice to students who needed any, and there were people from student support there to let students know what kind of support is on offer for those with mental health issues. 

Being there and hearing conversations from people who were receiving things like counselling and doing what they can to help their mental health, really made me step back and think about my own struggles with mental health. 

I have mentioned before in previous posts that I suffer from anxiety and depression and honestly moving 7 hours away from home to university was really going to be sink or swim for me, in terms of whether I would be able to deal with being out of my comfort zone so much. I think it surprised a lot of people that I was so committed to doing this particular course here at Falmouth, especially those who are closest to me as I am very reserved and have a small group of friends, so just suddenly moving away from all that clearly wasn't going to be easy.

Fresher's week was hard for me but I pushed myself to go out on society tasters, and even though I didn't make any close friends that week I was making sure not to spend all of my time in my bedroom, where I would inevitably sit and miss my family. I remember looking on social media sites like Yik Yak and our freshers page on Facebook, and many people were writing about how much they hated it here and that they didn't like their flatmates and they wanted to go home, and it made me really sympathise and also made me question whether I really want to be here or not. 

The problem with getting mental health support at University is that even if you state that you have a mental illness and apply for extra funding etc before you get there, you still have to seek help yourself if you need it whether that be in person or over email. Which takes a lot for some people and is something I still haven't done yet. Mental health is incredibly stigmatised and even if there is counselling available and other help it can still be very daunting to make use of that, especially if you are feeling isolated already at University being away from your family and friends. 

So what can you do? Well you can go on external forums or call up a helpline so you can discuss what's on your mind with someone anonymously. You could try talking to your flatmates/uni friends or contact friends and family from back home. You could also book an appointment with your GP to see what kind of therapies and treatments are available to you outside your university.

Personally my biggest issues are stress, social anxiety and not feeling good enough. My problem is that I let these things bottle up and then I need time for self care, and to get myself back to a good mental state. Which is time I don't really have while doing my studies. I have been talking to my friends back home about it which has been really helpful and I do plan on mentioning my lack of confidence in my studies to my personal tutor. In terms of getting support from the University I am looking into these stress less sessions that they offer. Admittedly I am avoiding counselling at the moment as I really don't like talking about myself to strangers, but I really see how talking through unhealthy behaviours and learning how to think differently in response to triggering stimuli could be really beneficial. 

My real point here is that people are more understanding than you think about mental health. Mental Health disorders are incredibly stigmatised in our society and it makes it very off putting to label yourself as having any kind of mental health disorder, but if you need help don't ever feel like you are not allowed to seek it. And in terms of being at University plenty of people suffer from mental health problems here whether they seem like they are fine or not. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health disorder so you are not alone. I was shocked at the people at the bake sale who opened up and said they were receiving counselling for something, as they are people I never would have suspected as suffering with a mental health problem. 

If you are at University and feel as though you have no one to talk to about any of this know that there are support systems in place that you can reach out to if you need it. There is also external help like I mentioned and feel free to contact me personally if you want to talk to anyone who is in a similar setting to you who doesn't know you personally. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

3 Days at the Eden Project.

Today I wanted to share some photographs I took on our classes' three day residential trip to The Eden Project and share what I thought of the experience. We went on the first week of October and the purpose of the trip was to take photographs of the workers there and to learn more about the project itself. I had never been there before but it is somewhere I have been wanting to visit so was really excited when my lecturers told us we had a trip planned there.

We stayed at the Youth Hostel there in Snooze Boxes which are rooms made from re purposed shipping containers, which were very cosy to say the least and had a bunk bed and double bed in it. Each day we used the land train to get into the project and back from the hostel, and we were lucky enough to have our breakfast and evening meal in the dining area between the biomes, when the project was closed to the rest of the public.

Our first day involved us exploring the biomes on our own which really are beautiful. There is the rain forest biome which Eden is most famous for as it is the biggest rain forest in captivity in the world. The other biome is the Mediterranean biome which was my personal favourite as it is beautifully curated and made me very nostalgic of when my family used to go backpacking around Southern Spain.

But it isn't just about the biomes. The Eden Project has beautiful surroundings such as wild cornwall and the gardens next to the biomes which are equally as interesting as the biomes, however a lot of tourists seem to go straight past them and head straight to the biomes.

On the second day we got to meet lots of workers and we also were lucky enough to receive a talk from Tim Smit who created the Eden Project. The story of how Eden came to be is really worth a read into, and Smit is an incredibly inspirational individual who I recommend you find out about and listen to one of his talks.

Overall Eden was pretty special and is definitely worth revisiting. They have loads of events throughout the year and as I am at University down here in Cornwall I will definitely keep checking what is happening there. The photographs I shared with you are not my project work and instead I shared some of the photographs I took for myself to remember the experience. I hope you like them and if there is anywhere else in Cornwall you think I should visit do let me know!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Trying New Things.

Trip to Godrevy Seal Colony with the Ecological Society

Walk at College Reservoir with the Expedition Society

Moth Trapping with the Ecological Society

Beach Cleanup

Freshers week started for me on the 12th of September and it really was a hectic week. If you've read any of my past posts you may know that I get anxiety about certain kinds of social situations and a big thing that I struggle with which doesn't really bother me anyway to be honest is going out drinking. So freshers week for me wasn't as predictable as you maybe would assume and it really scared me for my first few days because I was convinced that everyone around me would be drinking and going out constantly in the evenings. My first two days were mostly spent in my bedroom and I would pop out to run the occasional errand. However on the second night I found a freshers events list for my university and was shocked to see that the events weren't just parties, and there was in fact lots of other things for me to do during the day, in particular with societies.

I had barely spoken to anyone in my first day or so and it was really scary going to the first event which was a walk with the Expedition Society to a small village called Flushing. But straight away I was completely put at ease. It became apparent to me that everyone is in the same boat and everyone came out for a lovely walk of course but also to meet people. It was such a lovely afternoon and it just gave me so much reassurance that I wouldn't have to do this uni thing all by myself or in my bedroom for that matter. 

So I continued trying new things. Ok I have definitely been on a walk before but being in a society is alien to me and it's been a very long time since I have been in a club of any kind, so I continued my week doing different tasters and events to maybe discover a new interest of mine and to help me find my place more at uni. It meant I would be kept busy instead of getting worked up about finances or missing my family and I also would come back to my flat in the evenings feeling like I have made good use of my day. 

Two weeks later and I have signed up to four societies and cannot wait to do lots of different things in my spare time with them. I know not all of you reading this will be at uni or even thinking about university life, however if there's one thing I learnt in my first week that I want to share it's that there is so much more to do and see wherever you live, and it really is special to be a part of something that is something extra alongside your main focus. 

Is there anything you do in your spare time that I should try? Have you been to University and been in societies yourself?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Boat Trip To St. Mawes + Starting University!

It has been over a two weeks now since I moved into my accommodation and started attending university. So in today's post I thought I'd talk about how I'm finding university so far and I also wanted to share some photographs from a boat trip my class took last week to a village called St. Mawes. Which is a pretty little fishing village on the Roseland Peninsula here in Cornwall and is just across the estuary from Falmouth and Penryn which happen to be my home for the semester.

University so far is a crazy mixed bag and honestly it hasn't really sunk in yet that this is where I'm going to be for the next few months. It's still really exciting knowing that I'm finally starting my degree and living independently but both are equally scary and fresher's flu and homesickness definitely caught up with me in my second week. But I am now into my third week here and finally the mess of emotions and stresses in my head are starting to have some clarity to them, and I feel as though I am starting to adapt to my new environment.

In case you were wondering I am studying Press and Editorial Photography (BA) here at Falmouth University which was my first choice and my dream course and university that I had in mind, when doing my vast amount of research and uni visits in the year prior to my application. I chose the course because it is full of opportunities and resources to help me progress in working in the areas of photography I am most interested in. It's full on approach shall we saying to real life working practices which admittedly is already stressing me out a bit, is something I felt would really be beneficial in building my confidence which is something I don't have a lot of with my work even now. However I have to say I am still glad I chose this course and my hard work last year paid off. I have never felt like I have so many opportunities and resources and right now I'm not even sure where to start with it all but I'll get there.

For my first year I am living in halls and it is definitely shaping up to be an experience already. I'm learning not to get attached to anything I have put into our shared kitchen and to coexist with the amount of dirty dishes some of my flatmates leave around the place. I have also found that I am far more domesticated than most people and just how different people can be to be honest. I am finding that university is really good for meeting lots of different, interesting people and I guess it helps you be more tolerant of them as well especially if you don't get on with some of your flat mates, which so far mine are all fine.. phew. 

So that's all for this little update. I promise you I have other things to blog about I am just getting sorted with everything right now but I definitely don't want to neglect this space for much longer. Lets try aiming for at least one post a week and see what happens.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Saying Goodbye.

The title of this post is possibly one of the most ironic I will ever write, as I make my return from a very long blogging hiatus which I can only apologise for. The past year has been crazy busy for me with applying for and getting into University, working 24 hours a week up until the middle of August and of course finally finishing college! Blogging unfortunately was pushed aside and admittedly I did draft a lot of posts but I really felt distanced from the content I used to create and it just didn't feel right posting any of them, as I really started to question the kind of content I want to create here. 

So what am I saying goodbye to? Well for a start you may have noticed that I have changed the name of my blog. I created Emmihearts back in 2013 and initially it was 100% a beauty blog and talking about beauty products like some of my favourite Bloggers and Youtubers at the time, really got me through some of my worst years at college. However now in September 2016 I find myself starting a Press and Editorial Photography degree at Falmouth University, 7 hours away from home back in Sheffield, and my interests are very different. Blogging was amazing for me because it allowed me to really discover my passion for photography and also writing which admittedly I could get a lot better at. 

So welcome to Emily and Her Camera! I still don't know how I feel about the name so watch this space, but the focus of my content now is really simple. I will be posting my photography and writing to share what I'm loving, what I'm up to and any advice I have for you which will most likely be university and lifestyle focused. 

I will go into what I'm studying and how I'm settling in at uni in another post but for now I just wanted to update you all and share some photos that I took with my family on the day I moved into my uni accommodation and said goodbye to them. Being in Cornwall meant we could have a beach day before heading up to my accommodation and getting everything sorted. It was definitely one of those bitter sweet situations as a hard goodbye was looming over us. I am so close with my immediate family as I have one slightly older sister and we do not live very close to our other relatives. We have moved quite a lot since my childhood but I have never moved away from them. A lot of people have been puzzled by why I have moved so far away to do my degree but for me it was about giving myself the best opportunity possible, which I feel I have done by picking this course at this university. Saying goodbye for three months sucks like nothing else and I cried so much on my first night. But you've got to look at the positives and there are definitely plenty of those around .

I hope you are all well and have had an amazing summer!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Being a Late Bloomer.

Today's post is inspired by a video I watched a few months ago where a girl just slightly older than me was discussing the idea of being what she called a 'late bloomer'. She was talking about how it took her an extra few years than other people to get to university and do the kinds of things her friends were doing with their lives. What she was saying really struck a chord in me because she was basically describing a lot of feelings I've been having for the past year or so.  

This year is my fourth year at college. I don't have bad grades, just an indecisive mind and in a lot of ways I've never felt confident enough at things I should of been pursuing. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that photography is my thing, but it took me a long time to realise that I could do something with it. It sounds cheesy but having a blog and reading really lovely comments about my images was the first time I'd really been complimented on my photographs. When I was around 14 my first experience with photography was borrowing my dad's cheap Lumix digital camera and I took loads of photographs of plants in my garden. I showed them to one of my friends who was really into photography and he told me they were rubbish. So being the impressionable teen that I was I decided to not bother with photography and it really wasn't until I started blogging that I really took it seriously again. 

I'm in my second year of doing a photography A Level and I've only in the past week felt good enough for what I really want to do with my life. The past few years have been rough for me in many ways but I do believe life has its own timings and sometimes we have to wait longer for things we feel should of come along sooner. I went to my first university interview yesterday and was a complete ball of nerves. Even though people have been giving me pep talks for the past week I still felt like I wasn't good enough to go to university. I sat down with my interviewer and before I even opened my portfolio he told me how impressed he was with everything I had done outside of college, I was stunned but still nervous as he'd not seen my work yet. I opened my portfolio and he actually complimented a lot of my images. Long story short something I was very stressed about turned out to be a lovely experience and this morning I checked my emails to find an offer from that very university! 

I can't quite believe it to be honest with you but I'm so happy and it's suddenly become very real that I can go to university this year. 

So being a late bloomer if you want to call it that. I'm still only 20, I have plenty of time to do the things I want to do. My friends may be already doing things I'd like to be doing, but here's the thing having more time isn't a bad thing. Yes in that moment you may be down and dwelling on missing out on things, but in reality you're not. Sometimes we have to play the waiting game in life, I've been miserable for the past 4 years but since setting myself goals in the past year it's really motivated me to work hard now for what's to come later. 

I know this wasn't the most typical of posts but blogging for me isn't just about sharing products I like and nice things that I'm up to. Sometimes I simply think about what I would of needed to hear a year or so ago and I have to make a post that reminds me and any of you that things do get better x

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Hello 2016.

So it seems 2016 is finally here. I for one can't fathom where exactly 2015 went but I am excited for a new year like never before. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that my college experience has lasted way longer than I anticipated (purely due to my indecisiveness). But this year I am definitely finishing and I may be finished by spring time! I'm also starting the new year carrying on the job I got in December and I may actually be going to University after this summer! 

I generally suffer from seasonal affect disorder at this time of year and it can be hard to be optimistic and excited about anything. But I genuinely feel like I have things to look forward to especially where friendships are concerned, and I can't wait for the summer time again. However January is going to be a busy and stressful month for me. Not only do I have work five days a week and coursework deadlines for the end of the month, I also have a tonne of pre interview work for the Universitys I'm applying for and will be popping down for my first interview next week. 

So inevitably this corner of the internet won't be getting too much of my attention but I do have a few things planned. After January my goal is to get my s**t together and finally get organised with everything. I'll only have a couple of interviews to prepare for alongside work and I should be able to handle my exam work a lot better than my major project. 

Thanks for all your support in 2015. I know I've been a bit vacant in the last year but 2016 is going to see more posts and videos and I'm even thinking about changing the blog up a little. 

Happy new year!