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Dear Shalane

You're 20 and you have experienced so many things in the last 10 years. It has made you stronger, no doubt. Living through all the abuse and drinking, having to wonder if you would see the next day? But you know what you made it through. The next few years are going to be even harder though. But I want to give you so advice to carry you through the next 11 years. Advice I wish I had, so here goes.

* This first love that you think is the one, he isn't honey. He is just a guy looking for the next cash cow. He will say he is different and maybe in the beginning he will be but a few years down the line he is going to become the person you feared.

* Don't worry though because even though he isn't the person you thought he was, he is going to give you the most prized possession ever. Your little angel Robbie. This little angel will love you unconditionally. He will be your sun and moon and your world will gravitate around him.

* Life is going to be hard. There are going to be times when you feel like you can't go on but you need to, ok! For yourself and for Robbie. Always look for the good in everything. Don't stress about the little things you can't change. Be humble. Love hard like you always do, the right ones will stay. 

* You will cut family out of your life. It may see wrong but you need to do it. Don't give in. It is better for your sanity.

* When it comes to guys, don't get attached. It isn't good for your soul. You have so much to offer that someone special. Wait until someone shows the same interest in you before you get attached. There is nothing worse that loving someone that doesn't love you with the same intensity. Just wait it out, the right one will come.

* You will meet new friends along way, some will stay but some will go. Cherish the ones who care about you. Who ask you how you are and want to give you the world. The others are just there for the ride. Know when to cut people out of your life.

* Most of all, love yourself! Look after yourself. Eat well and move it. And never, ever stop loving as fiercely as you always do. 

I will always be there for you. 

Love your 31 year old self

xx

Letter to my 20 year old self

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Dear Shalane

You're 20 and you have experienced so many things in the last 10 years. It has made you stronger, no doubt. Living through all the abuse and drinking, having to wonder if you would see the next day? But you know what you made it through. The next few years are going to be even harder though. But I want to give you so advice to carry you through the next 11 years. Advice I wish I had, so here goes.

* This first love that you think is the one, he isn't honey. He is just a guy looking for the next cash cow. He will say he is different and maybe in the beginning he will be but a few years down the line he is going to become the person you feared.

* Don't worry though because even though he isn't the person you thought he was, he is going to give you the most prized possession ever. Your little angel Robbie. This little angel will love you unconditionally. He will be your sun and moon and your world will gravitate around him.

* Life is going to be hard. There are going to be times when you feel like you can't go on but you need to, ok! For yourself and for Robbie. Always look for the good in everything. Don't stress about the little things you can't change. Be humble. Love hard like you always do, the right ones will stay. 

* You will cut family out of your life. It may see wrong but you need to do it. Don't give in. It is better for your sanity.

* When it comes to guys, don't get attached. It isn't good for your soul. You have so much to offer that someone special. Wait until someone shows the same interest in you before you get attached. There is nothing worse that loving someone that doesn't love you with the same intensity. Just wait it out, the right one will come.

* You will meet new friends along way, some will stay but some will go. Cherish the ones who care about you. Who ask you how you are and want to give you the world. The others are just there for the ride. Know when to cut people out of your life.

* Most of all, love yourself! Look after yourself. Eat well and move it. And never, ever stop loving as fiercely as you always do. 

I will always be there for you. 

Love your 31 year old self

xx
blog,photography,iphone

If there is one thing I see often is that people battle with blog photography. Especially if you are a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Getting the right images and styling the photo right is hard work. Although some make it look very easy. I know Elysian Life has only been around for a few months (how could I know about blog photography, right?) but before Elysian Life I had a beauty blog. I take all my photos with my iPhone. I'm a single mom, I don't have money for a DSLR. I will show you my tips and tricks. I will also share the links of bloggers who take amazing photography.

Camera - DSLR or iPhone


Although having a large DSLR with over 20 mp is amazing, not all of us can afford it. The iPhone 7 plus I use has a 12 mp camera that takes pretty amazing photos. Of course as technology advances, so will the cameras in our phones. Already the Hauwei P20 Pro has a 40 mp camera. The specs of the camera is usually the first thing I look for in a phone. 


Tripod


This is invaluable. Everyone who wants to take flatlay's with a iPhone needs a tripod. It will help you with stabilization for clearer photos. You can buy one at most camera shops but I love creating things, so I found this awesome DIY on Pinterest. Using PVC pipe to created a stand and having a few lengths to control the height. I am busy designing one to take pictures from the sides. I will do a DIY post soon.

Lighting


Ah the dreaded lighting. Natural light is the best. I shoot all my photos in the morning or in the afternoon. I never shoot between 11 am and 1 pm, as the light is too bright. If you have a day where there is no sun, you will need to invest in lights. You don't have to get studio equipment but get a bulb that mimics natural light. They sell them at builders warehouse. Also invest in a silver reflector. This helps bounce the light onto the photo. You can make one from a piece of board and a piece of tin foil.


Backgrounds


There are so many different items you can use as a background. From table tops, tiles, pieces of material, wood... the list goes on and on. You can make a fake marble background using an artist canvas board and marble contact paper. I also like to use tiles. You can ask your nearest tile shop if they would sell you a single tile. Try to get the largest ones you can. You can also use your fluffy carpets. I want to get a shaggy carpet just to take photos on.


Blog Props


This is where you can have fun. You can add almost anything you want to your photos. You can go with a theme and add props in line with the theme. I love fresh flowers. Not always roses, but one's I have picked from the garden or my neighbors. If you are a beauty blogger, buy yourself a few makeup books. The photos in there make awesome props. You can use crystals, cups, stationery, bowls and fruit. If you think it will work, try it. One piece of advise, don't make it too crowded. I like the open photos with a bit of blank spaces.

Rule of thirds


When using your phone I suggest using the grid to apply the rule of thirds. By placing the products at the cross junctions on the thirds, you will naturally draw your readers eyes to the product. This is a basic photography rule and one that works well.

Try different angles


Don't just do flatlay's. Try different angles. From the side, from below and every which way you can. I like to do the initial flatlay then I angle the camera closer and at a 45 degree, without moving anything. Thus zooming in on one item. There are no hard or fast rules. Just have fun and be unique.

Blur the background


I do this when I want to show off a products features. Like the tip of a brow pencil.  If you are using an iPhone, a quick way to do it is to press on the screen till you see AE/AF Lock. This will blur the background.


Editing


To edit my photos I use VSCO and Snapseed. I use VSCO more as I feel I have more control. Plus I love their preset filters. Here is a great online tutorial to use VSCO to your advantage. Once I have finished editing I transfer them to my PC and resize them on Pixlr.com. This is a free photo editor and great for people who don't have access to Photoshop.

Bloggers who take stunning photography


* Gemma Louise (the best flatlay's in the business)
* In the Frow (Queen hands down)
* A Girl Obsessed (I have only recently discovered her blog but her photos caught my eye)
* That's Totally Fetch (best local blogger with regards to photography)

I'm no expert but I hope these tips will help you with you blog photography. 

Blog Photography Tips

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

blog,photography,iphone

If there is one thing I see often is that people battle with blog photography. Especially if you are a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Getting the right images and styling the photo right is hard work. Although some make it look very easy. I know Elysian Life has only been around for a few months (how could I know about blog photography, right?) but before Elysian Life I had a beauty blog. I take all my photos with my iPhone. I'm a single mom, I don't have money for a DSLR. I will show you my tips and tricks. I will also share the links of bloggers who take amazing photography.

Camera - DSLR or iPhone


Although having a large DSLR with over 20 mp is amazing, not all of us can afford it. The iPhone 7 plus I use has a 12 mp camera that takes pretty amazing photos. Of course as technology advances, so will the cameras in our phones. Already the Hauwei P20 Pro has a 40 mp camera. The specs of the camera is usually the first thing I look for in a phone. 


Tripod


This is invaluable. Everyone who wants to take flatlay's with a iPhone needs a tripod. It will help you with stabilization for clearer photos. You can buy one at most camera shops but I love creating things, so I found this awesome DIY on Pinterest. Using PVC pipe to created a stand and having a few lengths to control the height. I am busy designing one to take pictures from the sides. I will do a DIY post soon.

Lighting


Ah the dreaded lighting. Natural light is the best. I shoot all my photos in the morning or in the afternoon. I never shoot between 11 am and 1 pm, as the light is too bright. If you have a day where there is no sun, you will need to invest in lights. You don't have to get studio equipment but get a bulb that mimics natural light. They sell them at builders warehouse. Also invest in a silver reflector. This helps bounce the light onto the photo. You can make one from a piece of board and a piece of tin foil.


Backgrounds


There are so many different items you can use as a background. From table tops, tiles, pieces of material, wood... the list goes on and on. You can make a fake marble background using an artist canvas board and marble contact paper. I also like to use tiles. You can ask your nearest tile shop if they would sell you a single tile. Try to get the largest ones you can. You can also use your fluffy carpets. I want to get a shaggy carpet just to take photos on.


Blog Props


This is where you can have fun. You can add almost anything you want to your photos. You can go with a theme and add props in line with the theme. I love fresh flowers. Not always roses, but one's I have picked from the garden or my neighbors. If you are a beauty blogger, buy yourself a few makeup books. The photos in there make awesome props. You can use crystals, cups, stationery, bowls and fruit. If you think it will work, try it. One piece of advise, don't make it too crowded. I like the open photos with a bit of blank spaces.

Rule of thirds


When using your phone I suggest using the grid to apply the rule of thirds. By placing the products at the cross junctions on the thirds, you will naturally draw your readers eyes to the product. This is a basic photography rule and one that works well.

Try different angles


Don't just do flatlay's. Try different angles. From the side, from below and every which way you can. I like to do the initial flatlay then I angle the camera closer and at a 45 degree, without moving anything. Thus zooming in on one item. There are no hard or fast rules. Just have fun and be unique.

Blur the background


I do this when I want to show off a products features. Like the tip of a brow pencil.  If you are using an iPhone, a quick way to do it is to press on the screen till you see AE/AF Lock. This will blur the background.


Editing


To edit my photos I use VSCO and Snapseed. I use VSCO more as I feel I have more control. Plus I love their preset filters. Here is a great online tutorial to use VSCO to your advantage. Once I have finished editing I transfer them to my PC and resize them on Pixlr.com. This is a free photo editor and great for people who don't have access to Photoshop.

Bloggers who take stunning photography


* Gemma Louise (the best flatlay's in the business)
* In the Frow (Queen hands down)
* A Girl Obsessed (I have only recently discovered her blog but her photos caught my eye)
* That's Totally Fetch (best local blogger with regards to photography)

I'm no expert but I hope these tips will help you with you blog photography. 
maybelline,total,temptations

While browsing in Dischem recently, I came across this pretty pink mascara and brow definer. Now I know I shouldn't choose a product based on the pretty packaging but I was sucked in. I was looking for a brow pencil in anyway. 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara


maybelline,total,temptation,mascara

One thing I love about the Maybelline Total Temptation mascara is the wand. For me a mascara wand needs to be a spoolie brush. I fee you get way more product on your lashes and it gives your lashes a boost. They didn't have a tester so I was going it blind but I was very happy when I got home. 

They product is black as black can be. There was no clumping and no spider lashes. I used two coats and my lashes look amazing. This is the first Maybelline mascara I have bought since the iconic green and pink Great Lash mascara. I will be purchasing this mascara again and for only R 149.95 it is a steal.

Total Temptation Brow Definer


Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The first thing that drew me to this mascara was the cute little spoolie brush on the end. A round little bubble. I honestly wondered exactly how it would work but it works brilliantly. I love it. Small and delicate to feather your brows.

Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The tip of the brow definer is a diamond shape. It is good for creating individual hairs and also filling in large spaces. The brow definer color is 130 dark brown, but it is great because it can be light or dark, depending on the pressure you use. It retails for R 99.95.

maybelline,total,temptation,selfie

I am will be putting one of these in my pro kit. It is great for everyone. 

Have you tried these two products from Maybelline? What do you think of them? 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara & Brow Definer

Monday, 11 June 2018

maybelline,total,temptations

While browsing in Dischem recently, I came across this pretty pink mascara and brow definer. Now I know I shouldn't choose a product based on the pretty packaging but I was sucked in. I was looking for a brow pencil in anyway. 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara


maybelline,total,temptation,mascara

One thing I love about the Maybelline Total Temptation mascara is the wand. For me a mascara wand needs to be a spoolie brush. I fee you get way more product on your lashes and it gives your lashes a boost. They didn't have a tester so I was going it blind but I was very happy when I got home. 

They product is black as black can be. There was no clumping and no spider lashes. I used two coats and my lashes look amazing. This is the first Maybelline mascara I have bought since the iconic green and pink Great Lash mascara. I will be purchasing this mascara again and for only R 149.95 it is a steal.

Total Temptation Brow Definer


Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The first thing that drew me to this mascara was the cute little spoolie brush on the end. A round little bubble. I honestly wondered exactly how it would work but it works brilliantly. I love it. Small and delicate to feather your brows.

Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The tip of the brow definer is a diamond shape. It is good for creating individual hairs and also filling in large spaces. The brow definer color is 130 dark brown, but it is great because it can be light or dark, depending on the pressure you use. It retails for R 99.95.

maybelline,total,temptation,selfie

I am will be putting one of these in my pro kit. It is great for everyone. 

Have you tried these two products from Maybelline? What do you think of them? 
sunday,relfections,gratitude

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. You know when a month is going to kick you ass and there feels like there is nothing you can do about it. But on Wednesday I gained some perspective and saw someone else's way of living that gave me the shock of my life. I got home and was speechless for the rest of the day. 

A thought: We need to stop being so ungrateful! There are people out there with nothing but who manage to smile and laugh each day. We have the tendency to get so worked up and depressed when the power is out or the internet is down. We take everything for granted. There are people who have nothing, who sleep in tents and yet they are the happiest and most grateful people around. We have so much to be thankful for. A roof of your head, clothes on your back and food on the table. Leave the luxuries. Stop crying because you can't afford tickets for a stupid concert or that new car. Just be thankful. 

Piece of Advice: Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down all the things you are grateful for. Even the littlest things. You will see that you have so much to be thankful for. 

A quote for the week: Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly. 

Song of the week: A Million Dreams - Greatest Showman soundtrack. This song is so beautiful. It makes me think of a bright and colorful future no matter what situation you are in.  How do these lyrics not inspire you?

'Cause every night I lie in bed, The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake, I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see, A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make


Lesson for the week: We don't need a house full of meaningless belongings, as long as we have the people around us who care about us. People we value and appreciate. Material possessions mean nothing. You can't take them with you when you die.

Grateful for: New friends, Rhysia and Enver. My job. Laughter and happiness when days are dark. Moments shared with friends and family.

Sunday Reflections ~ Gratitude

Sunday, 10 June 2018

sunday,relfections,gratitude

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. You know when a month is going to kick you ass and there feels like there is nothing you can do about it. But on Wednesday I gained some perspective and saw someone else's way of living that gave me the shock of my life. I got home and was speechless for the rest of the day. 

A thought: We need to stop being so ungrateful! There are people out there with nothing but who manage to smile and laugh each day. We have the tendency to get so worked up and depressed when the power is out or the internet is down. We take everything for granted. There are people who have nothing, who sleep in tents and yet they are the happiest and most grateful people around. We have so much to be thankful for. A roof of your head, clothes on your back and food on the table. Leave the luxuries. Stop crying because you can't afford tickets for a stupid concert or that new car. Just be thankful. 

Piece of Advice: Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down all the things you are grateful for. Even the littlest things. You will see that you have so much to be thankful for. 

A quote for the week: Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly. 

Song of the week: A Million Dreams - Greatest Showman soundtrack. This song is so beautiful. It makes me think of a bright and colorful future no matter what situation you are in.  How do these lyrics not inspire you?

'Cause every night I lie in bed, The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake, I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see, A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make


Lesson for the week: We don't need a house full of meaningless belongings, as long as we have the people around us who care about us. People we value and appreciate. Material possessions mean nothing. You can't take them with you when you die.

Grateful for: New friends, Rhysia and Enver. My job. Laughter and happiness when days are dark. Moments shared with friends and family.
artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography
Featuring artists on my blog, has long been something I wanted to do. I feel that upcoming and new artists need the exposure. I will be featuring photographers, makeup artists, fine artists and basically all new artists.

First up is Bronwyn from Bronwyn Dauth Photography. This talented young lady is extremely talented. I may be a bit biased as she is my cousin, but her photos have captured me from the beginning. She has this way of taking photos that makes me think and analyse everything.


Tell us about yourself 

My name is Bronwyn Dauth. I am a young photographer and an aspiring author, who currently lives in South Africa. I studied at Vega school of Photography and completed my two years there. I have hopes that I will start a new venture in my studies – one that will hone my writing skills.

I have a true love for capturing the world around me, in one form of another. My love of photography came when I was younger, and I took photographs on old disposable cameras. My love for writing came from the stories I read as a child and the games I would play, where I would make up entire worlds of my own.

Where did you study photography

I studied at the Bourdeax campus in Randburg at a school called Vega.

Why did you choose to study photography

I chose photography mostly on a whim, finding a way to put one part of what I loved into the world. I loved writing about what I saw in the world, and how I saw it (still kind of do), but I had never had the courage to actually show it to people. I figured that photography was a good start to showing people how I saw the world.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

What is the most challenging part of being a photographer

Photography in itself is a challenge, but to be a little more specific, it mostly comes when its time to find new clients or keeping them. Other times, it is finding a new way to show something that hasn’t actually been seen before. Overall, it is a massive grey hair in the face of the world.

Describe your photography style

I wouldn’t say that I have a set photography style. I may prefer black and white from most styles, but when it comes to colour, I truly love a richer style to the airy white style. I also prefer the more natural state of the photographs, and will often forgo heavy editing – mostly only tweaking a few aspects of the overall photograph.

Which photographer influenced you the most

I do not have only one inspiration when it comes to photographers. For my landscape photography and my black and white photography – I find my inspiration from Ansel Adams.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

The same can be said for my black and white photography.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

My inspiration for my ‘fantasy’ photography is adapted from Margarita Kavera’s work.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

My inspiration for my portraiture comes from more than one photographer. I find inspiration from photographers such as Dan Beal (Instagram: danbeal_), Annie Leibovitz, and Jenna Echakowitz (Instagrams: interstellarecho & jennaleahphoto)

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

What inspires you

My inspiration comes from many things, places and people. Mostly, the things that I cannot explain inspire me. I find inspiration in that which is all around me.

Where do you see yourself in five years

In five years time, I hope to be truly happy in a life that homes both my love for my photography and my writing. I wished to have a career in both writing and photography. I hope that I am well received in my writing career and quite comfortable in my photography career.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

Are you working on any exciting photography projects

I have as few as several projects in the works. One that I hope to get done soon is a nighttime shoot with my sister-in-law on a bridge – she will be doing ballet. Another one is a portrait shoot – or another dancing shoot – with coloured smoke bombs.

What is your favorite photograph you have taken

One of my favourite photographs was taken when I started the series for #metoo. The Me Too initiative is one that shows young girls and women that it is safe to speak out against those who have hurt you in any sexual way. The initiative makes it easier for those who have had to go through this to tell their stories on a platform that does not judge them. I have a true love for this initiative, being one who has gone through this myself.


artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

You can view Bronwyn's photography on Instagram. You can also visit her website and see her work there. 

If you have any other artists you would like me to feature, or if you would like to be featured, please send me an email and I will contact them.

Artist Feature - Bronwyn Dauth Photography

Friday, 8 June 2018

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography
Featuring artists on my blog, has long been something I wanted to do. I feel that upcoming and new artists need the exposure. I will be featuring photographers, makeup artists, fine artists and basically all new artists.

First up is Bronwyn from Bronwyn Dauth Photography. This talented young lady is extremely talented. I may be a bit biased as she is my cousin, but her photos have captured me from the beginning. She has this way of taking photos that makes me think and analyse everything.


Tell us about yourself 

My name is Bronwyn Dauth. I am a young photographer and an aspiring author, who currently lives in South Africa. I studied at Vega school of Photography and completed my two years there. I have hopes that I will start a new venture in my studies – one that will hone my writing skills.

I have a true love for capturing the world around me, in one form of another. My love of photography came when I was younger, and I took photographs on old disposable cameras. My love for writing came from the stories I read as a child and the games I would play, where I would make up entire worlds of my own.

Where did you study photography

I studied at the Bourdeax campus in Randburg at a school called Vega.

Why did you choose to study photography

I chose photography mostly on a whim, finding a way to put one part of what I loved into the world. I loved writing about what I saw in the world, and how I saw it (still kind of do), but I had never had the courage to actually show it to people. I figured that photography was a good start to showing people how I saw the world.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

What is the most challenging part of being a photographer

Photography in itself is a challenge, but to be a little more specific, it mostly comes when its time to find new clients or keeping them. Other times, it is finding a new way to show something that hasn’t actually been seen before. Overall, it is a massive grey hair in the face of the world.

Describe your photography style

I wouldn’t say that I have a set photography style. I may prefer black and white from most styles, but when it comes to colour, I truly love a richer style to the airy white style. I also prefer the more natural state of the photographs, and will often forgo heavy editing – mostly only tweaking a few aspects of the overall photograph.

Which photographer influenced you the most

I do not have only one inspiration when it comes to photographers. For my landscape photography and my black and white photography – I find my inspiration from Ansel Adams.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

The same can be said for my black and white photography.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

My inspiration for my ‘fantasy’ photography is adapted from Margarita Kavera’s work.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

My inspiration for my portraiture comes from more than one photographer. I find inspiration from photographers such as Dan Beal (Instagram: danbeal_), Annie Leibovitz, and Jenna Echakowitz (Instagrams: interstellarecho & jennaleahphoto)

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

What inspires you

My inspiration comes from many things, places and people. Mostly, the things that I cannot explain inspire me. I find inspiration in that which is all around me.

Where do you see yourself in five years

In five years time, I hope to be truly happy in a life that homes both my love for my photography and my writing. I wished to have a career in both writing and photography. I hope that I am well received in my writing career and quite comfortable in my photography career.

artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

Are you working on any exciting photography projects

I have as few as several projects in the works. One that I hope to get done soon is a nighttime shoot with my sister-in-law on a bridge – she will be doing ballet. Another one is a portrait shoot – or another dancing shoot – with coloured smoke bombs.

What is your favorite photograph you have taken

One of my favourite photographs was taken when I started the series for #metoo. The Me Too initiative is one that shows young girls and women that it is safe to speak out against those who have hurt you in any sexual way. The initiative makes it easier for those who have had to go through this to tell their stories on a platform that does not judge them. I have a true love for this initiative, being one who has gone through this myself.


artist,feature,bronwyn,dauth,photography

You can view Bronwyn's photography on Instagram. You can also visit her website and see her work there. 

If you have any other artists you would like me to feature, or if you would like to be featured, please send me an email and I will contact them.
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