. August 14, 2019 .
I'll forever remember this summer '19 as the summer I fell back in love with film. A bit dramatic you might think – I mean, we're talking about a few grainy holiday snaps here – but rediscovering this semi-lost art with a roll of 35mm on my trip to Croatia has re-ignited my love for photography and how we capture moments in time. A love that perhaps, has got a little lost in the depths of 1000's of same-y outfit photos, insta-worthy hotspots and all the crap in-between that makes up the 47,000+  photos (it's a sickening number I know) that is my iPhone library.

With film, you have one shot. One chance to capture a specific moment, a bit of a crazy notion in our digital age in which we are used to taking 50+ images of different angles, poses, and switching to fix our hair or get our good side just to get 'the shot'. There's no previews to look through, in fact you'll even have to wait until the end of your trip and then longer to get them developed before you can take a peek. But to me, that's all part of the fun. It definitely shifts the focus to the moment as apposed to getting the perfect shot itself. 

Aesthetically, I love how it looks too, and I'm not the only one. In the age of digital, an enormous chunk of what's posted to Instagram (from myself included) is edited to look like it was shot on film. It's trendy to have grain, light flares, dust specks and film frames. In fact, I'm confident a lot of us pay monthly subscriptions to apps that allow us to edit in these ways. Instagram itself was originally an app to edit and post your images with a vintage feel. Because really, there is something nostalgic and special about it.

Film's been having comeback for a little while now, but it's only after being back shooting a proper roll of it I've understood why it's still so loved. And no matter how hard I try, there's no re-creating this effect on my shots in Afterlight. For my first hand back in the 35mm game, I packed the cheapest old plastic polaroid from my dad's extensive collection. Simple, easy to use and light as a feather – perfect for a week on a boat in Croatia.

And Croatia really was the perfect place for capturing some special moments on film. As you'll probably have seen form my Instagram, I spent a week on board Yacht Life with my faves, Life Before Work Travel. It's been my third Yacht Life tour with them and second time doing Croatia, LBW is practically family and truly it's a highlight of every summer. From watching the sunset over the Croatian hillside from our yacht, dancing the day away onboard our white party, taking dips in the most turquoise water and enjoying some of the most epics views in Europe – perfect moments to practice my new found love for film. I'll be writing more about LBW in an upcoming post, but if you love these images and love the sound of Yacht Life even more, you can sign up for their 2020 pre sale and even win (!) your own spot here.

Thanks for reading angels. I hope you enjoy these images and I hope I've maybe inspired you to have a play with your own roll of 35mm. I'm currently half way through my second roll and cant wait to share more with you soon, I've got a feeling this is going to be a regular feature. Until next time x

Lembongan Island

. May 29, 2019 .

Ah Lembongan. Just off the south east coast of mainland Bali, you'll find the small trio of tropical gems that make up the Nusa Islands; Penida, Cenigan and Lembongan. Wanting a little getaway for Connor's first weekend here (it'd been 6 weeks since we'd seen eachother!), I planned a surprise few days in beautiful Lembongan for us. I'd been once before a couple of years ago and never forgot the sheer beauty of the quaint island or how special it was and was so excited to return.

We spent our time on Lembongan and Cengian islands during this trip, choosing to come back to explore Penida more fully on another trip as we still have plenty of weekends left for exploring. And for the 3 days we were on Lembongan and Cenigan, there was totally enough to see despite how small the islands are. 

I heard someone say Lembongan is like Bali but 15 years ago, an unspoilt tropical paradise. Now I never had the chance to see Bali that long ago, but can totally see a more peaceful difference between the two. Cleaner, quieter and still shrouded in natural beauty in the form of tropical winding roads, crystal clear beaches and coves filled with turquoise waters and some seriously impressive view points. Of course, it's not totally tourism-devout, in fact that's probably the main source of work for the island's locals. But differently to some parts of Bali, it's not overloaded with it, a lot of the time cruising around on the scooter we were the only ones on the road. 

And that's truly the best way to explore these islands; climbing the winding roads to epic view points, dancing through the shadows of the palm trees and finding hidden beaches off the beaten track (literally, some of the side roads here are pretty bumpy!), riding over the famous yellow bridge to Cenigan and then hopping along it's smattering of quaint shore side beach bars – its tropical island life down to a tee. 

Getting here from mainland Bali is super easy. We had the pleasure of being hosted by Blue Water Express for our journey, which made the whole process totally smooth and hassel free, from our private pickup in Canggu to being dropped to the door of our hotel in Lembongan. Not to mention the early morning sail as the sun rose up into the Bali sky was pretty spectacular, complete with views of the volcanos and luxe seating to catch up rays up on top deck. Being handed anti-seasickness tablets was a lovely first too!

For our time on the Islands, we stayed at the wonderful Ohana's resort. I'd followed them since their opening last year had been dying to try out this gorgeous hotspot ever since. Situated right on the beach, Ohana's is the coolest little beach club on the island. A beautiful pool, surrounded by a trendy lounge, lawn and bar it's the perfect spot to spend the day sipping sangria, sprawled across one of the day beds! We had the pleasure of staying in one of their stunning suites located at the back of the property, waking up and sauntering a few feet into beach-club paradise every morning was a wonderful treat for sure. Come sunset they light a beautiful bonfire and you'll have the best seat on the island to watch the red sun disappear beneath the ocean. Whether you come for the day or for a few nights – it's a total must during your time on Lembongan.

Another must on these islands is a snorkelling trip. The Nusa's are surrounded by tropical reefs with a wealth of wildlife, from crazy colourful coral and enormous schools of tropical fish to reef sharks and mantas – it's an amazing underwater world here. If you saw my IGTV you'll know I narrowly missed being super close to a manta, but we managed to capture a bit of it on the go pro. And still, it was amazing to see so much natural sea life. This was the only part of the trip, however, that did get a little bit too busy with tourists as a lot of the boats head to the same spots every morning, so I'd suggest doing an afternoon or private trip if you can! But we still had amazing time with Ketut's Warung Snorkelling (next to Ohana's) nevertheless.

The rest of the trip, as I mentioned, we spent scootering around Lembongan and Cenigan. Some more hotspots include the Devils Tear on Lembongan, and amazing spot to watch some powerful waves make some magic in an open cave off the north coast. If you look closely at my image you can even see the mist creates beautiful rainbows here! Over in Cenigan is another spot called the Blue Lagoon, its name speaks for itself, but I've never seen water so pastel and turquoise as in this vast natural formation – and if you're a total dare devil (I wimped out, personally) there's a spot to cliff jump during high tide!

In Cenigan, we also fell in love with a beach bar called The Sand. You'll probably recognise this one from Instagram, with it's gorgeous views across the bay between the islands and cute white decor complete with hammocks and pink swings! The menu is also pretty reasonable here for a beach bar and if you go during the day you'll be there for high tide too (when it looks it's prettiest). Saying that, strolling right out a few dozen meters whilst the water was only knee hight was pretty cool as well. We came back here a couple of times we loved it so much... and not just because of the resident puppy, ahem. 

All in all, it was a super special few days, I was so sad to leave and can't wait to come back and explore Penida too. I can't recommend a trip here during your time in Bali enough, it's a slice of raw, unique paradise you won't find on mainland. Until next time Lembongan x


. May 02, 2019 .

Hello my darlings. It's been a whirlwind month since I left the UK and I've not had a lot of time to myself, let alone write. But I'm itching to share some of my recent travels here with you. Starting out in Bali, I spent a week traveling around the Island with my babe Kavita and then plonked my self in Canggu to relentlessly work on my new business venture, Ophelia the agency, followed by 10 days in Australia for the first time visiting my best friends. Back in Bali land now, I felt such an urge to post so I'm in my favourite Canggu café and writing this Melbourne diary.

My two best friends are currently living and working in the Aussie city of Melbourne, I'd last seen them on Boxing day the day before they left the UK – so I'm sure you can imagine how much I was dying to see my girls! I flew over the night before Easter bank holiday when they had a few days off, and we spend the long weekend having an amazing time road-tripping the Great Ocean Road. More on that in a later post, but for now I wanted to share with you some of my favourite images I captured in Melbourne.

I totally loved this city. It's strange being so far from home yet being in a place so westernised. Melbourne to me was like a fusion of a few places, the city reminded me a bit of New York, but with 80% less people, the cute trams reminded me of European cities like Milan and the cleanliness reminded me of Singapore. Then you have the suuuuper cool neighbourhoods like South Melbourne and St. Kilda, full of cute insta spots, cafés and even a sweet little beach. Melbs is an eclecticly diverse place and I could totally imagine living there for a little while at some point!

I captured a lot of imagery and video on the GOR, but as I had some time to myself in Melbourne, it was so nice to focus on shooting bits of the city – without me in it. Ive fallen into this trap of getting the perfect 'gram shot of myself, I don't record everything else around me. So it was so nice to fall back in love with photography a bit here, capturing the city through my eyes and enjoying not staring at my own face for once. And, of course, it was a pretty beautiful city to capture at that.

Though this is more of a photo diary than travel guide, there's a few must-see's I wanted to share if you're visiting Melbourne.

South Melbourne Market
Head there on a Saturday for an abundance of incredible fresh produce, flowers and delicatessen stalls, and pick up a bunch of $10 blooms and a sample of truffled parmesan on your way through.

Botanical Gardens
Free to walk around and full of gorgeous tropical and wonderful smelling flora and fauna. You can take a charming gondola ride around the reservoir here too. Nestled in the middle of the city, central park vibes with an aussie twist.

Op shops
Random, but the charity shops here are insane. I swung buy the Sacred Heart on Clarendon St, South Melb and it was a treasure trove of goodies equal to a trendy vintage shop you'd find in Shoreditch, if not better. Yet it's SO cheap, I picked up a gorgeous silk cami top for ony $8 (£4).

St. Kilda
I adored this trendy part of town. About half an hour on the tram from the central city, St. Kilda is home to a charming little beach and pier and lots of restaurants and bars.

EAT + DRINK: (clearly I did a lot of this)
St. Ali
Famous for its in-house roasted coffee, this super cool little spot is tucked away in a ware-house vibe type building in south Melb. Maybe the best coffee I had in Australia and a brunch menu to blow your socks off.

Archie's All Day
Here I had the most amazing brekky. 'Crispy eggs' consisting of kim-chi, edemame and enoki mushrooms on sourdough, absolutely divine. The coconut flat whites were so good too I ordered 3! Find it in Fitzory and enjoy a stroll around the artsy neighbourhood after.

Mr Miyagi
Located on Melbournes famous Chapel St not far from St. Kilda, Mr Miyagi is a super trendy Japanese restaurant and bar. And hands down, I had the best sushi of my life here in the form of their tuna roll special. Orgasm for the mouth type food, our faves were the rice paper rolls, tempura broccolli and nori salmon tacos accompanied by G&T slushies and frosé. Book ahead and thank me later.

Find this Italain eatery in Carlton, downtown Melbourne. There's a lot of pasta and pizza places in the vicinity, but my friends said we just had to go to this place and it didn't disappoint. BYOB and they leave the pot parmesan on the table.. need I say more? The seafood pasta was

Lui Bar
Sky high with epic panoramic views all over Melbourne, this one is a great place to get dressed up for. A little pricey, but the views are oh so worth it even if you just head up for and the cocktails are delish – get there early and head up for sunset.

Have you been to Melbourne? Would love to hear your thoughts and any more must-see's below!

lucia grace