Hello 2018!

January 11, 2018

Well can you believe it. Another year has flown by and we're already one week into 2018. Whilst I do want to start this post quite positively and express how excited I am for 2018 I want to briefly reflect on what a crazy year that 2017 was. I wrote a huge soppy post on my Instagram Account (@laurenparkinphoto) where I shared some of the photographs I shot and the amazing people I got to work with. 

Looking back at 2018, I can't actually believe half that stuff that happened. I started off the year in New Zealand on a cruise with some of the best people I know, I finished my Bachelors degree at University and qualified to graduate in April, I travelled to Spain by myself to visit a friend in need, shot some of my favourite bands AND booked a trip to the city of my dreams. 

So in honour of this new year, like every Blogger, YouTuber type person I thought I would share with you the little things that I want to try and implement into my life. Now I know that there is a lot of pressure and emphasis that goes into resolutions and there is this ridiculous idea that if you don't achieve your resolutions/goals you're some kind of failure. I don't believe this kind of thinking is healthy because failure and loosing is normal, humans are meant to make mistakes and imperfections are just part of life (something I kind of need to take on board, lol). So, after a lot of thinking and trying to decide what would be physically achievable I have a short list of things I want to do more of in 2018. 

1. Make my bed every morning 

Don't ask me why someone who is 20 years old struggles to make their bed, but some people just do okay. I don't know whether it's the laziness that sometimes takes over or just the fact that I can't push past the idea that you are going to get in the same bed in the night and mess it up all over again. 

Regardless I was watching a video where someone was explaining that you may achieve nothing in a day but if you come home and your bed is made you can at least say that you did something productive and I guess that's kind of my mantra for 2018. Some days are going to be shit and unproductive but if you can say you achieved one thing, you can't be doing too badly. 

(Side note, this is not my bed - it's Jeneane's bed in Madrid)

2. Listen to the radio

Now this may seem kind of weird as most people listen to the radio in their cars or just constantly, but since getting my license and actually having control of the music that's played in the car I haven't listened to the radio once. I don't know whether it was the ads, the annoying voices or the lack of control that I didn't like, but I've vowed to try harder to listen to the radio. Not only because it's kind of an awesome way to discover new music, but because I really enjoy the idea of supporting Australian creatives and also supporting diversity in the industry. 

3. Shoot more photos 

At the start of 2017 I kind of vowed to shoot more photos and whilst I did get to work with a lot of awesome people and create some amazing photographs I feel that I kind of fell out with photography towards the end of the year. It felt like I was drowning in Uni work and that Uni was my number one priority. I wasn't shooting or working on any passion projects or even just taking my camera out for adventuring, I was just shooting paid jobs. As a photographer paid jobs are nothing to complain about, but without working on your own ideas and shooting your own projects you kind of drive yourself insane and loose your passion for what you're creating. This is something I think that so many photographers forget easily and if you are in a creative rut, working on something solely for you can sometimes really help. Especially if you are struggling with the pressures of the job. 

4. Write more 

As I said before 2017 challenged me creatively, when I started my new job I thought I would have buttloads of time to write and shoot and do my uni work. Unfortunately however, this idea was quite unrealistic considering the course load for 3rd year students. With piles of readings and looming deadlines it can be really stressful to make time to write. 

I used to always say that writing on this blog was kind of like therapy for me. I would take time out of my day to express my thoughts and share my feelings and I would feel so much better after putting my thoughts on paper. For fulltime Uni students there is very little downtime and after a long day the last thing you want to do is come home and stare at a screen, whilst I feel I am kind of making excuses for my lack of inspiration I think there is kind of some truth behind it. I also think that not being able to write has contributed to quite high tension in my life. Without writing I am missing not only one of my favourite creative outlets, but I'm missing the ability to release any tension and thoughts that are circling around my head. So 2018, I've decided I want to write more. I want to fall in love with this platform again and I want to be brave enough to submit my work to other publications. 

5. Look after myself 

I think most people will relate when I say that's it's easy to get into a rut. You wake up each day and do the same thing, but because you're stuck in this insane routine it often means you aren't taking care of yourself. Not only your physical health but your mental health too. In 2018 I want to take more time to focus on looking after my mental health, trying to avoid overthinking and putting an unhealthy amount of pressure on myself. 

I also think it's important to take care of my physical health too. Like, taking more walks with my dog, drinking more water and putting more time into my skincare routine. Not huge changes in my life, but just little things that can I input that will have a positive effect on my general wellbeing. 

6. Read more 

It's crazy how studying or even just a change in routine can shake some of your most primal habits. When I was younger I would read every night without fail. I would spend hours pouring over books and spend more time reading more books than doing anything else. I would say since late High School I have had to devote more time to other things, and the books I vowed to read are sitting on my bedside table gathering dust. 

In a world where we are constantly staring at screens or creating content, to take some time out of the day to spend some time reading a paper book is definitely not going to do any harm. To kick of the year I am reading the ultimate classic, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' by JK Rowling. I don't know why but I just craved the comfort of reading something familiar and I think for me, Harry Potter is linked with that cosy, warm feeling. 

I think reading is not only important for "No Screen Time" but I think it's important for writers to be reading other people's work. It inspires the creative in you and the more research and time spend training and honing your skill the better you will get. I'm kind of starting to think that my lack of reading and lack of writing may be linked, funny that. 

7. Put more effort into Instagram 

To any non-social media person this may seem like a really stupid resolution, but for a creative, Instagram is such an important tool. It is not only a marketing tool to sell yourself and what you create, but it is a way to connect with other creatives and share your own work. In this industry having an online presence is so important and creating a portfolio which you can carry around with is such a great asset. I also find Instagram really inspiring as you can view some amazing photographs for FREE. For me this is so important as you can not only see gorgeous images, but I love getting inspiration for my editing. 

As a professional tool I do love Instagram, but I also love the personal nature of it too. Where people are putting a little slice of their personality online and sharing a little piece of themselves. I love watching people's Instagram stories, to see what they're getting up to. I think this kind of lowkey stems from being a nosey person. So in 2018 I vow to share more of my photographs and also just engage more with people on Instagram! 


So I'm back, it may not be perfect, but it's me. We're kicking of this year with my short list of resolutions for 2018. Nothing too big and scary, only small achievable hurdles which I really want to focus on. We're 11 days into 2018 and it's been pretty great so far, I really love the idea of a fresh start to be honest, a kind of clean slate to kick of what is hopefully going to be a very productive year. I can't wait for what's to come and the adventures and challenges that 2018 will bring. 

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