La Mod Collaborative
As a last wave to summer, I'm delighted to share a collaboration with La Mod, a Nottingham based hub that brings together and celebrates young creative women in business. One of my favourite shoots to date, it's filled with summery hues and feminine movement that aims to speak to and observe womanhood. I'll leave the words to Ellie, who has perfectly encapsulated the message and journey of the collaborative and finish by saying an enormous thank you to all of the women involved in this. It was a genuine joy and honour to work with each of you, thank you for trusting me and for embracing the shoot from start to finish.
words + styling : Eleanor Pereira
photography + art direction : Natasha Boyes
modelled by the La Mod hub
Jim Rohn famously stated that you are the average of the closest people you spend the most time with. He goes on to suggest that those people should not just reflect success and positivity but there also should be people amongst that, that challenge you and also at times criticise you.
Criticism is so often helmed as being a word steeped in negativity and this is where our attitude to it needs to change. If we go through life only doing things right, then how much are we actually going to learn?
Accepting in life that sometimes we fail is the first step to success, as through failure comes great lessons learnt. And so therefore collating people around you that can aid you further to succeed is vital.
Surround yourself with people who’s opinions you value and trust. Surround yourself with an array of different people with different skills to offer, so that when in need, there is a variety to turn to.
In life we often get caught in this rat race - the race to succeed, and to succeed purely for ourselves, that we forget to champion and support those around us on similar paths - I think that this is especially the case when it comes to women.
As women, we particularly excel in championing and supporting other women through our friendships. Ones that have taken years to build and nurture, the foundations of our own beings and life lines whenever we are in need. But why does this not transcend into importance for our career relationships also?
There is a great lack of relationships being built on supporting one another within the work field and so often when in need of advice about our careers, it can be tricky to know who to turn to and whose advice to trust.
There are networking groups a plenty for women yes, but what I found was that the age of women they typically attract meant that the women involved had far more developed careers, and were at very different stages in their lives external to their career, which in turn meant that a 25 year old woman at the start of her career might not necessarily gain the advise that she truly needs.
This is how I came to create the Nottingham based networking group La Mod - derived from “La Mod’ern Woman”. The emphasis is on bringing together young creative women from various different fields, that all have the drive to not only excel in their own careers but also help and support the like minded women around them.
With the La Mod Hub officially launched at the start of this year (a collated group of women in Nottingham meeting once a month) there have already been various meet ups and talks. Each month a different topic brings a plethora of discussions and ideas that we sound-board off one another. It has created a space where we can share our thoughts and also fears about the workplace and help gain a wide range of advice whilst also giving advice to others.
It is and has already been such a pivotal group for those involved, with many working freelance, the weekly struggles with loneliness and lack of peer support can be tough when starting out. The hub has provided great discussion on help to combat that, along with many having started their own businesses, help on managing people and pay roll have been some of topics discussed.
One particular theme that has cropped up a lot throughout the year has been self confidence - one that is lacked often in both our personal and professional lives. Natasha Boyes, a well respected Photographer based in the midlands, and a lovely member of La Mod Hub came to me with a fashion shoot concept where she wanted models who typically hadn’t modelled before - a free spirited, energetic shoot to capture womenhood in its truest form.
We approached the Hub girls, many of whom had never dreamed of being in front of the camera, and descended out to The Peak District - It’s clear from the images what was produced. Again the emphasis was on being embracing and free and being among women that equally supported and championed you in doing so. Natasha has captured the pure essence of how important it should feel to have like minded women around you, as Rupi Kaur says “We all move forward when we recognise how resilient and striking the women around us are”.
The overriding theme in La Mod is one of great support - knowing at any time that one can lean on another is a great feeling. I am so inspired and in awe of the women that I have been able to meet across this year, each with their own story of how they have come to be where they are today, and each equally as triumphant - for us all, this is merely the beginning of our careers and what we are yet to achieve.
So often we get trapped in our own thoughts and can internally decipher a situation we may be in, to be of far greater damage than it actually is. Taking the time to sit around and hear others speak of similar fears, almost immediately can rationalise your own thoughts and help you make several steps forward before you have even left the room.
We are far more capable of succeeding than we allow ourselves to believe and sometimes all it takes is hearing it from the mouths of those you admire around you.
This world is an incredibly tough one, and one that for women has been highlighted a lot over the last few years. But if we sit back and accept these hardships then nothing will change. We have to speak up, and support the women around us, as in turn we will only create a more powerful force.