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  1. Do What You Love Interview – Navyblur

    Today’s interview is with the two lovely photographers who photographed the inaugural Do What You Love retreat as well as our very own wedding! Christine and Xander Neal of navyblur (who themselves are Mr & Mrs) have an amazing knack of blending into whatever is going on so they get a lot of great shots without anyone feeling like there is a photographer in their face. They are lovely, bubbly and fun to have around, and we love their attitude and amazing creativity. Here’s their story… – Beth

    Hello! We are Xander & Christine Neal, one English boy, one Irish girl, living in Northern Ireland but slowly and surely working our way around the UK and further afield to make navyblur known wherever possible. We are two photographers who absolutely love meeting new people and taking fun, beautiful photos of their faces and everything else that comes along with them. The best part is we get to become friends in the process.

     Christine and Xander on their own special day

    1.     How are you leading a life ‘doing what you love’? 

    Every day, we get to work together, which we love. We get to meet new and amazing people, which we love. We get to take photos of them in places and spaces they love, which we love. We get to show people how awesome they look, which we love. We get to be a little part of some big days in people’s lives, which we love. We get to be the people to capture a whole lot of love, laughter and fun for people to keep and look back on forever, which we absolutely love. We don’t know anything else in the world we could be doing that we would love any more than being photographers.

  2. The Simple Things

    Have you discovered this beautiful magazine yet? I have been a subscriber since issue 2 and I absolutely love it. The magazine is a celebration of all simple things in life – from gathering round a bonfire to eating with friends, from making gifts by hand to exploring the countryside. There are delicious words, unusual stories, mouthwatering recipes and breathtaking photography. There are wise words, and things your grandparents knew about but have somehow got lost in time. It is a magazine that encourages you to pause for a moment, be grateful, and do something simple just because it is fun, beautiful, special.

    I have a feeling you might like ‘The Simple Things’ too.

  3. *Shared Stories* (73): Eileen Nishi


    Today’s *shared story* comes from Eileen Nishi, a photographer based in the USA, who has made some bold choices to allow her to do what she loves. Eileen was one of the first people to share their story, back in March 2011 soon after we launched the series. You can read her original post here. She is back to tell us how her story has unfolded since then. This story is a testament to what can happen when you truly commit to something you are passionate about.


  4. Kinkakuji

    If you only come to Kyoto once, and you get one day here, please please please go and see this place. Kinkakuji is extraordinary. It is a pavilion covered in gold leaf, floating above an elegant carp-filled lake.

  5. Photostyling 3

    This month’s theme was Summer. Very appropriate – it was baking as I made my way from the little train station to my Sensei’s house.

    I have never noticed the colour and texture of blueberries in a way I did when photographing them for this session.

  6. Photostyling

    My monthly photostyling sessions are like a marker in my calendar for my time in Kyoto. Six months. Six lessons. And it’s time for lesson three already.

    Last month’s theme was Spring (above and below). My teacher inspired me to buy a new lens for my camera and it has made a huge difference.

    The tricky thing with photostyling is that you need props, which would be fine at home with my studio full of interesting things, but more difficult here with a minimum amount of ‘stuff’. I guess that means I just have to be inventive, and look to nature (and supermarket packaging!)

  7. Photostyling


    When we decided to come out to Japan to spend a few months, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do was take some lessons in photography/styling. Out here they call it ‘photostyling’, and they even have a formal association for it.

    I found a teacher here in Kyoto who lives out west, among a green expanse of paddy fields. Once a month I have to take a sweet little train for 20 minutes or so, away from the city, past a stunning gorge and out to the beginning of the countryside. I love the little adventure, and the prospect of learning more about my beloved camera (as well as learning how to take better photos of all that lovely stationery…) 

    This month’s theme was flowers – and in an attempt to understand more about the different settings on my camera, I took a lot of shots of the same thing! It was interesting to see how the light and shadows changed between each image. Can’t wait to find out more…

  8. Inviting entrances

    Kyoto is a wonderful city for cycling in, except for one thing. It takes me ages to get anywhere, not because it is that big, but because at every turn there is an inviting entrance just begging to be photographed! Sometimes you wonder how businesses survive – it seems the more exclusive and expensive they are, the harder they are to find. A row of low lights here, a flight of worn stone steps there… Here are some of the entrances that have called to me recently…



    I’m on a big adventure in Japan right now. If you fancy an adventure of your own why not join me for the Do What You Love e-course? Shake things up, expand your comfort zone, nurture your playful spirit and feed your creative soul. Identify your passion and make it a greater part of your every day life! Find out more and register here. But hurry, class starts on Monday!


  9. Join me for an adventure! Starts Monday – better get packing…

    [Image: Tiffany Kirchner Dixon]

    Monday sees the relaunch of Do What You Love the e-course - and this time it is the Japan edition! Join me for a very special adventure…

    As you travel this path expanding your comfort zone, nurturing your playful spirit and feeding your creative soul, I will be sharing snippets of my big adventure out East. Join me and others all over the globe to identify your passion and make it a greater part of your every day life.

    The Do What You Love e-course has been described as ‘life changing’, ‘transformational’ and ‘awe-inspiring’. It will make you think. It will make you question things – sometimes not in a comfortable way. But it will help you realise that YOU GET TO CHOOSE the life you lead.

    Join me, it is going to be awesome! Class kicks off on Monday but you can still squeeze in if you hurry. Find out more and register here!


    PS I am thrilled to be interviewed on Monica Lee’s fab site Smart Creative Women today! Her site is packed with great interviews – why not spend some time over there getting inspired!

  10. The Do What You Love e-course – Back by popular demand!

    picture of me by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon

    For the past couple of months I have received a lot of emails asking when the Do What You Love e-course is running again, as it has been tucked away quietly since the last run of it back in November.

    It is all about adventure, identifying your passion and making that a bigger part of your every day life. But for the past few months I feel like I have been padlocked to my desk getting lots of other things out into the world.

    It would have felt wrong to run the course when I was holed up in my attic office, but now Spring is on its way, I have a plane ticket it my hand and I am about to head off on my own big adventure to Japan. It feels like the right time to run it again. Won’t you join us?

    The Do What You Love adventure will begin on May 14, and for the first time ever will be brought to you from the Far East! It is going to  be very special indeed… find out more below or register here (there’s a discount if you sign up by the end of March!)

    This online adventure will take you step-by-step on a path to discovering your true passion, and finding a way to make it a greater part of your everyday life.

    In six weeks you will expand your comfort zone, nurture your playful spirit and use this to feed your creative soul.

    You will travel this path with a community of like-minded people from across the world, sharing your stories, forging new connections, and inspiring each other.

    This will be like no other class you have ever taken. Can you afford not to join us? Find out more and register here