A Festival of Lights.

In preparation for Diwali.

Styling by Lauren Becker for John Lewis.

Styling by Lauren Becker for John Lewis.

The Backstory

Diwali, known as the festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus across the globe, observes the significance of the triumph of light over darkness and the spiritual connotations of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. 

The main festival, Diwali night, falls each year on the darkest night of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The new moon of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the western world (governed by the Georgian calendar) this night falls somewhere between mid-October and mid-November every year. 

This year Diwali will fall on Thursday, 19 October and run through to Monday, 23 October.

A Celebration

Its celebration sees millions of lights shining inside homes and business and outside across streets and rooftops. Hindus use this time to renovate and redecorate their homes and offices. To bring out the finery. It's a time to dress up in their finest clothes and celebrate!

We're going to celebrate with these gorgeous images from our prop stylist, Lauren Becker, for John Lewis.

Want to book Lauren for your next shoot? Get in touch!

 

Is it time clean eating got a little dirty?

Our food and well being influencer, Josie Taylor, shares her opinion on the the dirty side of clean eating.

Food Styling, Photography and Words by Josie Taylor

Food Styling, Photography and Words by Josie Taylor

I’m not keen on the term ‘clean eating’. As Nigella Lawson says, it implies that there’s an antithetical form of eating that is somehow ‘dirty’. It’s a phrase so absolute in its intentions that it renders almost all of us helplessly (and shamefully) nutritionally inadequate.

However you may feel about Team Clean’s choice of words, it’s hard to ignore the impact the movement has had on our food landscape. No longer confined to patchouli-scented hippie buffets, healthy eating is now as ubiquitous as a Starbucks coconut milk flat white or a cold-pressed juice from Pret. And hey, I’m not complaining. My life as a consumer has benefited greatly from the mainstreaming of ‘clean’.

But health is more than the simple nutritional arithmetic of what we put in our mouths. It’s how we eat, why we eat, and the way we feel about ourselves when we do it.

My wariness gets piqued whenever I hear words like ‘bad’ and ‘naughty’ creeping into diet vernacular. Indeed, many a poor online editor has borne the brunt of my emails requesting the removal of the words like ‘guilt-free’ from my recipes. No amount of expensive sugar alternatives will make those pancakes ‘guilt-free,’ my friend. That is, until you actively choose not to feel guilty about eating them.

We live in an age where, as the food writer Michael Pollan puts it, food can’t just be good to eat, it must good to think, too. But what happens when that thinking gives us cause to continually beat ourselves up for making the ‘wrong’ choices? And they are just that: choices. Choices made by informed adults – not ‘naughty’ children who’ve ‘been ‘bad.’

Once ‘naughty’ gets removed from the equation, moments when a not-so-clean choice is made become conscious, almost romantic experiences. Like those orgasmic women in chocolate adverts, totally present on a suede couch just… loving a bit of chocolate.

My fantasy for the future of nutrition sees the pendulum slow to a sweeter spot where that age-old vitamin ‘pleasure’ can sit comfortably alongside nutritional density on our plates. A #health that understands life is not always ‘clean’, and that vitality can arrive in many forms. As Oscar Wilde once said, “everything in moderation. Including moderation.” That, to me, is what real nutrition is all about.

The Fresh Ginger

Josie Taylor is a London based food stylist, vital food chef, presenter and writer. A certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, Josie’s believes in nutrition without the neurosis.

As a stylist and cook, Josie is passionate about working with organic and sustainable produce. She has a colourful, fluid style, grounded in a life-long curiosity for all things food. In particular, the beauty of natural foods and the social and environmental impact of the choices we make. Qualified as a Junior Chef, Josie loves to create food that makes people feel amazing.

 

If you're interested in booking Josie for your next shoot or event, do get in touch.

 

 

How to improve your mood in one word. Smile.

It's World Smile Day, so here are some reasons to smile.

Makeup by Khandiz Joni for FutureFrock. Photo: Thea Badilley

Makeup by Khandiz Joni for FutureFrock. Photo: Thea Badilley

A Brief History World Smile Day

Harvey Ball put pen to paper and created one of the most iconic symbols known to man. The "smiley face." A circle, two dots and an upturned curve. His symbol has gone on to inspire everyone from graffiti artists, letter writers' to emoji designers.

Ball later expressed his discontent with the commercialisation of his symbol as it took away from its original meaning and intent. So in the interest of restoring his belief in the simple act of smiling, he created World Smile Day in 1999. A day devoted to the spreading of simple joy and love to all, regardless of race, gender, or geographic location.

The Science of Smiling

We've all heard the concept that smiling reduces stress. We also know that in our stressful industry, mustering up a smile isn't always the easiest thing in the world to do. But did you know that smiling not only reduces mental stress but physical stress too? It has the same physical reaction as getting some really good sleep or even eating a slab of chocolate because it stimulates our brain's "reward" mechanism. In a recent scientific study, scientists concluded: “that smiling can be as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 Pounds Sterling in cash.”

Now there's a reason to smile!

Source article.


Fake It 'til You Make It!

Believe us when we say that we know what it is like to want to curl into a ball and sob our eyes out over the general state of the world, our declining economy, the effects of climate change and difficult clients, to name but a few. What if we pushed back against all these dreadful things and every time we want to burst into tears or a fit of rage, instead we force out a smile? After all, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, so think of it like you're giving your face a rest.

Here's the thing, the more you smile, the less stressed you are. The less stressed you are the more productive you are. The more productive you are, the more [insert your preferred "more" here] money you bring in/bookings you make/happy clients you have/the more goals you achieve (we could go on).

The average person smiles about 20 times a day. A "happy" person (the ones you either love or loathe) smile between 40 - 50 times a day. Children smile around 400 times a day. So if you're struggling for some smile "know-how" hang out with your kids, or your nieces and nephews. After all, smiling is infectious.

Need more reasons to smile?  Here are a couple more that we've borrowed some from verywell.com

1.                Smiling Makes Us Attractive

2.                Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

3.                Smiling Makes Us Look Younger

4.                Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

 

We'll Give You A Reason to Smile

By hiring our creatives, you are guaranteed a top notch artist with a joyous personality and the assurance that the products and practices they use to produce their won't harm people, planet or animals. (Yes, all three are part of our selection criteria.) 

We also don't cost the earth! Get in touch today to discuss your shoot and available budget.