My Barcelona Guide

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My visit to Barcelona in June was my first and I absolutely fell in love with the city. The bustling streets filled with market stalls, boutiques and cute little cafes under the glorious sun captured my heart. Being so close to the beach gives Barcelona extra points – it’s the best of a city break and a sun-bathing holiday.

On our first day, Emily (my constant street style model!) and I wandered the side streets and shops that lead off Las Ramblas. The city is really easy to navigate around and there are plenty of places to stop for a bite as you explore, like Luzia, where we had a wonderful pizza and one of the best gin cocktails I’ve ever had (think rose petals and more)!

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The second and third days involved more exploring. There’s so much to see in this amazing city, including Gaudi’s architecture. We visited Caso Balto, the Sagrada Família and Park Guell, only a few of his amazing works in Barcelona. The Sagrada Família is still being built, with construction having started in 1882, and they predict it will be completed around 2026-2028. Even with the works going on, it is one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. The atmosphere is indescribable with the special stain glass windows projecting coloured light into the church. Park Guell is also a relaxing place to wander and relax, with a great view of the city.

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Our hotel, Hotel Lleo, was a minute’s walk from Las Ramblas and had a lush rooftop pool for us to relax in the boiling sun! Before we left we had a quick look at the food market (check out those hot dog-shaped sweets!) and one last wander to say goodbye to Barcelona!

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All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.

Graduate Fashion Week 2015: Backstage at Nottingham Trent University

At Graduate Fashion Week this year, I also shot backstage at my own university’s show. Models getting their hair and make up done, getting dressed with designers doing last minute fixes, and (obviously) lots of pictures. I absolutely fell in love with photographing backstage – the buzz just before the models walk out is indescribable. Here is a small selection of my favourite backstage photographs – there will be more on my website, coming soon.

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Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show

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Yeni Park

Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show in Yeni Park's designs

Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show in Yeni Park's designs

Samantha Goldsmith

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Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show in Samantha Goldsmith's designs

Lauren Anderson

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GFW035         Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show in Lauren Anderson's designs

Naomi Kleeli

Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Behind The Scenes at Nottingham Trent University's show in Naomi Kleeli's designs

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Ella Nesbitt

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Graduate Fashion Week 2015: The University of Northampton Show

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to photograph Graduate Fashion Week 2015 for Press Association Images, held in Truman Brewery in London. It was a busy day, with a four hour coach on the way there from Nottingham to start the day! It was so interesting to walk around and visit the different stalls set up for each University, and checking out all the unique, amazing fashion photography. I was assigned to photograph The University of Northampton’s show. The talent was extraordinary, with styles varying from dark and gothic to bright and electric. Here are some of my favourite shots – enjoy! There will be more on my website, coming soon.

Designer: Rebekka Johnson

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Martha Adams

The University of Northampton Catwalk - Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Martha Adams

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Harriet King

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Herjot Garcha

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Ashleigh Wise

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The University of Northampton Catwalk - Graduate Fashion Week 2015 - Ashleigh Wise

Settle

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For my second year at university, our final project was to create a photo book. My project was focused on my mother and her daily life, so I handmade my book to fit the personal idea of my project, titled ‘Settle’. I used such an easy, simple binding method – I didn’t need any sewing skills!

All of the photographs were taken on Kodak Portra 400 film on my 35mm Canon camera, and I hand printed them in the dark room.

Here is the link to where I found the binding method: Homemade Gifts Made Easy

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I Left My Heart In Amsterdam

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A few weekends ago, my friends and I visited Amsterdam for Amelia’s 21st. It was my first visit to the incredible city and I am already planning my second! The weather was glorious for most of the weekend, so we rented bikes and cycled around the city. It was the best way to explore all of the streets.

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There are so many amazing places to visit in Amsterdam. We cycled to Anne Frank’s house on the Sunday and ate the best burger I have ever had at the restaurant Cau. The food was delicious and the service was great – a perfect treat for the birthday girl. There were plenty of markets to wander through – we found the flower market near the centre, and the Albert Cuyp Market, which was a treasure trove full of clothes, gifts and home furnishings. We then chilled at Vondelpark, which was just round the corner from our adorable hotel, The Alexander Hotel. The perfect end to an incredible weekend. I’ll be seeing you soon, Amsterdam!

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Anne Frank’s House

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The best pancakes!
The best pancakes!

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Marbles Vintage Store
Marbles Vintage Store

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All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.

Coats and Cocoa

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Another London adventure with Emily, and another beautiful outfit (head over to Emily’s blog here to see outfit details). We finally discovered the famous Portobello Road market, as well as the delicious Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes and hot chocolates! We wandered over to Spitalfields to revisit our favourite diner, The Diner in the market, for one of the best hot dogs in London!

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My Second Year Exhibition

Part of my second year at Nottingham Trent University involves us curating our own Photography exhibition in Nottingham city centre. I’ve continued my project of exploring space and place in a kind of ‘spontaneous observation’, inspired by colour film photographers like William Eggleston and Simon Roberts. Our group had a wide variety of photography including fashion and portrait, documentary and architecture. Here are some of my photographs of our private viewing, in Broadmarsh Gallery.

The entrance to 'Lux' exhibition
The entrance to ‘Lux’ exhibition

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Showing off my work!
Showing off my work!

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Emma Morgan's work
Emma Morgan’s work

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Judy LJ's work
Judy LJ’s work

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Photography is Easy, Photography is Difficult.

Access Paul Graham’s essay here (the second one on the page).

After reading Robert Adams’ book, ‘Why People Photograph’, my tutor recommended I read Graham’s short essay on photography. Adams’ book touched upon many reasons about why people take pictures. His sentimental approach appealed to me, as I also see photography as a personal outlet for my creativity.

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I highly recommend Paul Graham’s short essay as well as Robert Adams’ book to anybody that photographs because they absolutely love it. To take pictures, amateur or professional, is to love and want to record what you see. Why else would we deliberate over framing and focus and composition and all of the elements that come together to make a great photograph, whether we show the world or keep it to ourselves, a secret?

One of my favourite moments of Graham’s essay is when he touches upon the idea of making sense. Whatever you photograph, to some people, it will be questioned and critiqued to no end. “I could do that with my smart phone, what’s the big deal?” they ask. It isn’t going to be a big deal to everybody, but if it’s a big deal to you, it counts. Photographing the little moments in your life that are really the big things; the way your father’s hand rests on your mother’s shoulders as they watch their son’s first dance with his new wife,

Quayside, Cambridge
Quayside, Cambridge

the sunlight on the shoulders of the house you walked past every day to school, the blue peeling paint on the grocer’s; those are the extraordinary moments we are gifted in this life, and to record them, whether for ourselves or for the world to see, is a keepsake, a souvenir of that memory. The smiles never fade and the flowers do not wilt and the soft orange light from your grandmother’s lamp keeps the room alive. The sublime in the everyday, indeed.

…Maybe I need to roll freeform around this world, unfettered, able to photograph whatever and whenever: the sky, my feet, the coffee in my cup, the flowers I just noticed, my friends and lovers, and, because it’s all my life, surely it will make sense?  Perhaps.

As Graham continues, he declares that we are free to “not make sense”.

It was worth it, because it is something real, that didn’t exist before you made it exist: a sentient work of art and power and sensitivity, that speaks of this world and your fellow human beings place within it.  Isn’t that beautiful?

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Soho Wedding

It certainly is, Paul, it certainly is.

 

 

 

 

 

All quotes from Paul Graham’s essay, link at the beginning of this post. All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.

December Date with Emily

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On a frosty Sunday, Emily and I set off into Cambridge for an afternoon of photographs and cake. Winter is my favourite time of year – wrapping up in woolly jumpers, hot chocolates in front of fires, sparkling cobwebs. We wandered around King’s Parade and through the little side streets towards Afternoon Tease, an adorable cafe on King Street.

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Tucked away down King Street, a lovely street filled with vintage shops and amazing places to eat (including this one!), Afternoon Tease definitely stood out, with a full house. We enjoyed the most delicious brownies and hot chocolates before carrying on our winter walk.

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All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.