Monday, 9 October 2017

Final Year!

Final year, life looking out post

Final year is officially in full swing and has been since day one, whereas, in first and second year your tutors gradually easy you back into things in final year it's a go from the very beginning, on the first day people were meeting with their dissertation supervisors to discuss their topics. After being back two weeks so far with a total of four lessons, I've officially began writing my dissertation, presented my final major project ideas to half of my class and had a talk from the Careers department spurring me to book a Careers appointment and begin looking at grad schemes. There is so much work to be doing and it is crazy to think this time next year I would have graduated. 

My aim is to make this year the best possible, I plan on doing as much networking as possible (I've already bought a ticket for Stylist Live in London in November and plan on going to the Fashion Network in Manchester) and to continue building my photography portfolio. Also as part of my professional practice work I am required to set up a photography blog, so posts from those events will be on that blog. You can find it here.  

The future of this blog, my aim these past few months was to post more often, this is still an aim of mine if I am able to organise and manage my time alright then I should be post at least once a week. Also I really want to take part in blogmas this year but I do have a couple of very important deadlines just before and after Christmas, so I'll have to see how my workload is between now and December before fully committing. 

If there are any bloggers in Manchester/Leeds who would like a photographer, I would love to meet up, brainstorm a few ideas and then go out and take pictures for your blogs. Feel free to drop me an email if your interested. 

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Saal Digital Review

Dana Sonia Photography

As nice as an online portfolio is, I have always been the sort of person who prefers a physical copy,so when it came to creating a portfolio a physical copy.                      
When it came to getting the book printed I discovered Saas Digital, they looked  reasonably priced and easy to use whilst still creating high quality photobooks. I found the best way to create my photobook was to download their software, it's free as well as being really quick and easy to download.

I decided to create a small photobook thus making it easier for me to carry around. Once I opened the software I was given the opportunity to select the size of my photobook and whether or not I had matte or glossy pages (don't worry though  you are not obligated to decide straight away as you can always come back to that bit at the end.) My photobook consisted of 26 pages with my photos each placed in a different style i.e. some take up a double page, whilst others may be place on the left hand with the right hand side left blank for added affect.

My book arrived within two days of ordering which is great and much quicker than a company I've used previously and for the price I paid (£29.95 which is cheap for a photobook) the quality was certainly a lot better. The quality of my images looked as good as they did on screen and the glossy pages do not leave any finger marks which was something I was worries about. Overall, I could not be happier with the overall look of it, and my model loved it as well, Saal digital will definitely be somewhere I go to buy photobooks in the future as well as a place I'll recommend to those on my 
photography course. 

Dana Sonia Photography

Dana Sonia Photography

Dana Sonia Photography

Dana Sonia Photography

Dana Sonia Photography

Dana Sonia Photography

You can get a £15 welcome voucher by clicking here

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

My Next Wishlist

Next Street Style, dana sonia photography
An image from my Next Street Style shoot, to see more click here 
I thought I would share my Next wish list, due to Next's tall range it is a place I shop most often and whilst I am sometimes annoyed due to not every style I like being in the tall range. Next is a shop I am thankful for. If it was not for them sticking with their tall range and having a fairly large collection I do not know what I would do without it. 

Mood-board created using images taken from Next's website 

My clothing mood-baord above features clothes from the Tall range, some are within my price range for example the Charcoal Tunic Shirt whilst others aren't the Gillet, then there are some like the Mint Lace Skater dress that I might save up and treat myself too as it is always nice to have something like that for special occasions. 

Below is my home mood-board, I am obsessed with home items and eagerly anticipate the day I have my own place and have the opportunity to buy some of the beautiful things shown below. Realistically I don't think I could afford to buy everything but a girl can dream. Although, I love the dressing table so much that I might just have to take my time and save up and buy it, in the mean time I hope it doesn't a) sell out and b) get discontinued. 

Mood-board created using images taken from Next's website 

Do you have a wish list full of items from one of your favourite shops? 

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Netflix Shows I'd Recommend

Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life 

All of you who have followed Gilmore Girls from the beginning will know that after 7 seasons, the endings was terrible in  a good way but terrible. Why? Because the writers left so man questions unanswered, I don't want to say what they are in fear of spoiling it for those who haven't seen it but for those who have you know what I mean. So when Gilmore Girls A Year In the Life was announced I was so excited, it certainly did not disappoint, it consists of four 90 minute episodes each one representing a season that will send you on one emotional rollercoaster after another. 

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix Original) 

As someone who grew up reading the books, this was a tv show I was extremely excited about especially considering they only made one film. So far there has only been one series consisting of 8 episodes, with two episodes representing one book. The episodes were good but a bit confusing some times for those of you who have seen it, you may understand why I also think they are aimed at really young children, just because of the characters mannerisms and how everything seemed overly exaggerated or maybe I'm just too old to watch them which is a scary thought. Overall though I still think it's worth the watch if you were a fan of the books as a child. 

Pretty Little Liars 

Where do I start with this tv show? If you started watching it and never got round to finishing, I would recommend you do. While the show is extremely infuritaing as the questions you have never seem to get answered, I would still power through if I were you especially if you only have a couple of seasons to go. As for starting the the show, I'm not too sure you could give it a go. I began watching it when it first  and at the time I was thirteen and when it finished over the summer I thought about going back and watching it from the very beginning but I just couldn't get into it. I think in someways the show ago with me so if you are young like I was when I first started watching it then give it ago and if not give it ago anyway you might enjoy just be prepared for some unanswered questions. 

The Good Witch 

This is a really nice feel good show that does not take itself too seriously, If you are looking to just sit back and watch something that does not have any complicated storylines but will put a smile on your face then this is a tv show I would recommend. There are currently three seasons on Netflix with an average of 12 episodes per season. Each episode is around 40 minutes long. Next time you are looking to relax and watch something lighthearted give it a go. 

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Friday, 11 August 2017

"Happy is What Happens When All Your Dreams Come True..."

Harry Potter Birthday Cake

You may recognise the title of the post as a lyric from the song 'Thank Goodness' from the musical Wicked. That lyric pretty much sums up how I felt on the 18th July, (my 21st birthday) I finally turned 21 and it was the best birthday ever! I kicked off the birthday celebrations the Sunday before, as my friends from work threw me a Harry Potter themed birthday party, with games such as pin the nose on Voldemort. Usually I don't like birthday parties because I  don't like being the centre of attention. However, this one was perfect, it felt like we were all just getting together to socialise out of work, mind we don't usually have a theme when we do. They baked me a Harry Potter chocolate cake it looked incredible and tasted great too! The entire evening was in immense fun and I couldn't have asked for a better way to kick off my 21st birthday celebrations.

Harry Potter

On my birthday (this year it was a Tuesday) my Mum and I took the train to London before taking the underground and then a bus to the Royal Garden Hotel where we would stay overnight due to seeing Wicked later on that evening. The staff were lovely and made my birthday that little bit more special firstly by bringing up a plate of chocolates with the words Happy Birthday written on just after I had arrived and because during our afternoon tea at their restaurant downstairs they brought out a candle on one of the cakes and sitting in front was a slate of white chocolate with Happy Birthday written on using milk chocolate, during this the pianist playing softly in the background began playing Happy Birthday softly and just before she left she stopped by the table to wish me a Happy Birthday, it was such a lovely thing to do and really made me smile.

Royal Garden hotel


 Wicked was phenomenal, watching a musical in London is seeing something on whole other level. I was so happy I could have cried! ( I'm not exaggerating) Overall though I had the best birthday ever and I would like to thank everyone at work for throwing me such an incredible birthday party. The Royal Garden Hotel in London for making my birthday that extra bit special with all the little things they did and most importantly my Dad I wouldn't have been able to go if he hadn't helped me get there. Thank you!

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My Simple Skincare Products

Simple Skincare Products

                                                Kind to Skin - Moisturising Facial Wash 
I have very dry skin and start my morning routine using this product ensures that it is kept moisturised throughout the day. It's great because you do not have to apply tons of the product for it to be effective, after wetting your face you can apply a small amount into your hand before lathering it up and applying it to your face and then rinsing it off leaving your face feeling refreshed and ready to face the day ahead. 
                                                            Kind to Skin - Moisturiser  
I both of simples kind to skin moisturisers by using the replenishing rich moisturiser in the winter so that my skin is never dry and the light hydrating moisturiser in the summer to ensure it doesn't become too greasy, as someone who has highly sensitive skin thus never wanting to try new products from different brands, I love that I can alternate between moisturisers in the winter and summer knowing that I am using a trusted product perfect for my skin. 

                                           Kind to Skin - Illuminating Radiance cream 
I recently bought the Illuminating Radiance Cream to try as I do not really wear foundation and thought it would brighten up my skin leaving it with a nice glow, whilst this is something it definitely does I would recommend using it sparingly as too much makes you look like you have glitter on your face. 
                                 Kind to Eyes- Revitalising Eye Roll-on/Soothing Eye Balm
When it comes to using the revitalising eye roll-on this is all dependant on how well I have slept that night, if I've had a restless sleep and have woken up with my eyes all puffy then I will tend to apply it before apply my moisturiser, otherwise I do not bother. On the other hand I have recently discovered under my eyes tend to dry out quiet quickly thus making my concealer crack on my face, which isn't a good look. But the soothing eye balm is the perfect product to restore some moisture under my eyes as wells relax how tired they may look.

Kind to Skin - Hydrating Cleansing Oil
After a long day and an even longer evening at work this is my favourite product to use in my evening routine. There is nothing better than taking off all of your make-up (not matter how little you may wear) at the end of a day, this is the perfect product as it removes all of your make-up whilst cleansing your skin and does not leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards. The only make-up it doesn't remove so well is eyeliner applied on your waterline, but considering it says on the back of the product that it shouldn't come into contact with your eyes this isn't an issue. 

                                       Kind to Skin - Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser 
Even though I use the hydrating cleansing oil to help remove my make-up and cleanse my skin, I still like to use the Foaming Cleanser as well as I feel this just cleanses myself rather than doing something else as well, there is no harm in double cleansing. 

                                            Kind to Skin - Vital Vitamin Night Cream
In all honestly I hardly use this product, I bought it with every intention to use it every night as part of my evening routine, however, I cannot decide weather I like it thus putting me off. I think it may be the texture of the cream and also after I've applied it my skin then feels all clammy, and I can the cream on my skin, whereas I want to have something lightweight and unnoticeable. 

Which Simple Skincare products do you use? 


Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon Book Review

Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Published: 18th May 2017
Pages: 400
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance 
Source: Bought

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it's the small pieces
that make up the bigger picture...

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition...

Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole's grieving husband, Charlie. But as she gets to know the family Nicole left behind, and the woman behind the words, Bridget’s priorities begin to change...

It's finally out!! I've been desperate for this book to have come out since I pre ordered it back in January I think, and it's finally out ahh! Of course I've already finished and am now sat eagerly anticipating her next book, yes I am fully aware though considering this book only came out on 18th May this year, I do have quite a bit of a wait.

It's funny because although I was extremely excited about the book coming out, from the blurb on the back I was a hundred percent sure what I would think of it, (it's hard to describe but I'll try my best) with others of Paige's books, just from reading blurb I've known it would be a book I wouldn't be able to put down until I've finished it, however, with this one I just had a different feeling as if it may be one I wouldn't be able to fully get into to. It's safe to say I was wrong, and was completely hooked from start to finish. The book arrived at about 11am Tuesday morning and I must have sat and read about a quarter of it, before managing to tear myself away from it in order to run a few errands. I then returned home and convinced myself I could read a few more pages whilst I was having my lunch before I got on with some work. It was such a bad idea, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading another quarter of it before taking it upstairs and leaving it in my room. I did not read anymore until I got home from work at around half 10 before finishing the book at 1am the following morning. After thinking I wouldn't be able to get into it, I ended up reading the entire book in a day!

When Bridget is asked to finishing Nicole Dupre's after she died, she doesn't think she can fill her shoes and relocating to Cornwall at the request of Nicole's widower Charlie is not something she finds comfortable. However Bridget soon begins to find her place as well as a part of herself she didn't know was there. I'm going to be honest and say Bridget was never a character I was overly interested in, but after reading her story I absolutely love her! As a travel writer she has a job that would make anyone envious (who wouldn't want to travel and get paid for it!) however to have that job she does have to make a few sacrifices and I love how Paige captures reality in that way, you can't always have everything in life sometimes sacrifices have to be made. I also love how Paige portrays Bridget to be a character who no matter what the situation always stays true to herself an her beliefs.

A remarkable book about grief, love, loss, discovery and adventure 'The Last Piece of My Heart' will leave you hooked from the very first page.

At the end of the book there is playlist, I couldn't find the whole playlist on Spotify, so I decided to create one for you all. Happy listening!

Rating: 5 stars

Follow Paige here on twitter
Check out her website for other upcoming releases, to check out her books and to become a part of the hidden page where every once in a while a mini story of some of her past characters uploaded allowing you to re visit there lives and see what they are up to.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Monday's Musings - May Goals

With May brings the rain, thankfully it was just a quick shower though because although I had an umbrella with me, I was not suitable dressed for the amount of rain that fell. I can't believe it's May already and next month we will be half way through the year. Last month went so fast that I never had the chance to complete all of the things I'd planned to, but I'm determined to this month.  I have five goals for this month and to ensure I achieve them all I thought I would share them with you. 

 1. To be strict with blog posts and post at least twice a week 
 I have a list of post ideas that I need to draft as well as a few in my drafts and photos on my hard drive so all I need to do now is post them. 

2. Plan my 21st birthday 
I turn 21 in July and I really want to go and see Wicked in London so I need book my tickets and hotel for that. 

3. Do more workouts 
Workout at all, I'll be honest and say I don't really workout, but it's something I want do. On Friday, as I was off work that evening I decided to attend my Mum's yoga class with her, the class she attends is an  intermediate class and I'm a beginner therefore I found parts of it difficult but I felt good afterwards and it's encouraged me to workout more. There are some great workouts by Blogilates on YouTube. 

4. Plan photo shoots 
Continue to build my portfolio. 

5.  Cook more  
For my birthday last year I asked for a couple of cook books, in the beginning I was really good at cooking recipes from them but then something happened where I became so busy that I only just had time to eat let alone cook, thus leaving my Mum to do it all, but now that things have calmed down I want to go back to cooking at least once a week. 


Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday's Musings - A Day in Cambridge

On Friday, I spent the day in Cambridge with a group of friends. We each live in cities nearby and decided on Cambridge as our meeting spot. The weather was cloudy but as the day went on it brightened up which only made the day better. Other than punting we had no real plans for the day so we just took it as it came. We began by watching fudge being made in a shop outside Kings College before heading off to find a cheap place to hire a boat. Due to it being a bank holiday there were a lot of people around trying to convince us to do a guided tour on the river, however, we wanted to give it a try ourselves, not to mention it was also cheaper.

My friend Jo had looked up how to punt on youtube and decided to give it ago, she did a really good job considering she had never been punting before, and we all had a lovely time taking pictures, enjoying the scenery around us and listening to the guided tours going on around us. There was one scary and funny moment though when the pole got stuck on the bridge we had just gone under, before falling onto the water us watching ourselves float away from it, thank goodness we had a paddle!

We ended up in Revolution for lunch, where we admired the nice decor, and while the food was very nice, the service was a bit slow. After lunch we headed back out with plans to look around a view museums, unfortunately, they were closed with us either being too late or them having not opened due to it being Good Friday. Instead my friend Chiara suggested we went punting again as she wanted to give it a try, and whilst we were on the river we went past another friend of mines college, so I sent her text and she came down to say hello, she offered to take us to her college as sadly we weren't allowed in without a key. She is currently at Kings College, it always reminds me of Hogwarts and the grass is immaculate!

Overall the day was lovely, it was lovely to be around people shared similar hobbies and interests for once when I stopped to take pictures I didn't feel like I was holding everyone up as we all pretty much had our cameras and phones out, Chiara suggested taking pictures through her 50mm lens, from that I managed to get a few creative shots. I am so thankful for Friday and for the friends I have, it helped to remind me why I love photography and why I choose to study it a degree level, which is something I really need reminding.

Dana xx 


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Monday's Musings - My Goals for this week

             Beauty and the Beast 

Beauty and the Beast came out in cinemas on Friday, I am going to see it tommorow afternoon with a friend, it's a film I've been waiting impatiently for since they released the teaser trailer around this time last year.  I've already listened to the soundtrack as I do before I see most films I'm excited for, I'm also subscribed to violinist Lindsey Stirling on Youtube who released a cover medley of songs from the soundtrack.


I deleted my old blogging Instagram account and created a new one as I wanted to start a fresh, my plan is promote my blog posts on Twitter and Instagram as they are the two platforms I use the most.  The Instagram account at the bottom of my blog is my personal one and that will be staying there, however I will also have an account for my blog to promote my post and interact with bloggers.

I also intend to take some more photos for blog posts and to write up a few posts as well as to do some scheduling, on twitter, Instagram and on blogger.

What are your goals for this week?

Dana xx

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Monday's Musings - Five things you've missed

I feel like I'm always starting my posts with the words it's been a while for that I do apologise, I've been very busy recently and everything interesting has been happening on a Monday, usually so late that I have not had the time to write a post. I'm back now though to catch you up with five things you've missed while I was away. 

1. 'The Woman in Black' 

The cast of 'The Women in Black' returned to my local theatre this year for another week of performances. I've seen the film, but never really had any interest in seeing it at the theatre. However, it was something my Mum was interested in seeing. The play was composed with two actors acting out an experience one of the characters had been involved in, then there was the 'woman in black.' The play was slow to start, resulting in me falling asleep then abruptly being awoken by a crack of thunder, it picked up when the 'women in black' was introduced, and thankfully there was an audience member who kept the rest of the audience entertained with their reactions to all of the scary bits. The play was one experience but for me there was not enough sitings of the 'women in black.'

2. 'La La Land' 

I went to see 'La La Land' at the cinema after a friend recommend it to me  saying how beautifully human it was something which I couldn't agree more with. Prior to watching the film I had listened to the soundtrack and became obsessed with it. My favourites on there are 'Someone in the crowd' and 'Epilogue.' I really enjoyed the film, it was nice to watch a film that was realistic, where sacrifices had to be made and you had to work hard to get what you wanted. Sometimes I feel films are too unrealistic, life is not always handed to you on a plate and some dreams take years to achieve. 

3. Downton Abbey

At the beginning of January I purchased 'Downton Abbey' the complete boxset, it had been such a popular series when it still aired, but I never had the chance to watch it, or attempt to catch up, I'm definitley making up for it now. I cannot believe I had never watched it before and I can definitely understand why it was and still is so popular!

4. Moda 2017
I attended Moda ( the Uk's largest fashion trade exhibition) 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham with a friend a couple of Sunday's ago, it was nice to get out and see something different, I was intrigued to see how traders found and bought their stock, I really wanted to purchase some jewellery but sadly the stall had a minimum spend of £150

5. Photoshoot 
I picked up my camera again for a photoshoot last week. A friend who had agreed to model for and I went to East Carlton for the day for a location shoot. It was lovely picking up a camera again, I truly think I am beginning to find my style which makes everything much more enjoyable. I feel that my course had made me doubt my self and my work thus making me reluctant to pick up camera. But being on placement has given me a new found confidence. I thought I'd share some of my work below (and the image at the top of the page) for you all to see. 

Dana x 


Friday, 17 February 2017

2017 reading list

My aim this year is to read more, I really enjoy it and usually once I've started a book I can't put it down. Recently though I have found myself being distracted by technology, that's not the way I want to be either, I find so much joy in books and their are a lot of benefits to reading, this year I've set myself the target of reading at least one book a month and have created this reading list, I may not read them in this order though. 

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

After You by Jojo Moyes

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling

 Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

     Beside Myself  by Ann Morgan

           Disclaimer  by Renee Knight

   The Last Piece of My Heart  by Paige Toon (out 18th May 2017)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Finish reading)

Deep Magic, Dragons, and Talking Mice. How reading C.S Lewis can change your life. by Alister McGrath

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Have you read any of these?
What do you plan to read this year?


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Monday's Musings - Visiting Friends

For those of you who don't know, I'm studying Photography at the University of Huddersfield. I've already completed two years and I'm currently on a placement year back home in Leicester. On Wednesday I went up to Huddersfield to view houses for my final year and to visit friends. 

It was really nice catching up with everyone and hearing their plans for after they graduate. It's crazy to think that the friends I met in first year are graduating this year! Time has flown by, graduation seemed so far away when we all first started there felt like plenty of time to figure out the next step and plan the next chapter of our lives, but now as it is looming you can't help but feel slightly daunted  about it, but also excited because there is so much to explore out there and this is our time to do it. To my friends graduating this year, I wish you all the best and do hope we can stay in touch, I honestly don't know how I would have survived these first two years without you. 


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Looking ahead

It's a new year and I have a lot planned for it, I wouldn't call them new years resolutions though as I've been planning some things for a while and implemented a few others last year. 

1. I've decided to change Thursday's musings to Monday's Musings, it has a better ring to it.  
2. I was given quite a few photography books for Christmas and have began taking photos more frequently on my camera again, so be prepared to see a lot of posts involving pictures. 
3. I intend to read more, I was also given a lot of fiction books for Christmas and my aim this year is to put down my phone and pick up a book. I'll be posting a 2017 reading list at some point. 
4 .Work experience, I'm looking to get as much work experience as possible during my year out and to experience new things. 

I wish everyone a happy new year and hope that you get everything you wish for this year. 
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