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It’s not you, it’s me. And I really mean that, this time.

You know – I could learn to live with you, bad habits and all. I could smile sweetly and shrug off the sly comments, the dirty laundry hung out for the world to see, the perhaps-more-polite-than-genuine friendship. But I’ve decided not to.

It’s the 23rd of January 2015. When the clock turns to 00:01 on Monday the 25th of January 2015, I am taking a 12 month hiatus from you. Three hundred and sixty five days. You will be deactivated. Shut down. I’m breaking up with Facebook. 

I’ll be honest, I will miss you. I did have considerations, sure. Mainly from a business point of view; however I don’t remember the last time I booked a wedding directly from you, or had a photographer find me that then went on to consistently recommend me. It’s a shame that I’ve just started the Jesse&Me page but even with that, there are other ways to find readership. That’s the challenge.

Predominately it’s social experiment. I was inspired so much by Sash’s Nothing New project; the idea that she went against the grain of what other people were doing. At the end of 2013, just over 1.23 BILLION of us had an account with you. Yes, that’s right, BILLION. 170 million new members during 2013, so I imagine we can add that on again for 2014. What would it feel like to not be part of that? There are only around 7.1 billion people in the world. By that reckoning, 1 in every 7 of us are on Facebook. If you take away the countries that don’t have access to computers, or indeed the human rights to be able to use such tools, I would guesstimate that up to 2 out of every 7. That’s still an awful lot. I quite fancy being one of those 5 people… it almost feels ooooh exclusive.

I want to make life less convenient for myself as well. I want to have to just write great content to build my blog. I want to get an accurate view of my ‘fans’ rather than whether it’s just my family liking my page. I want to turn those fans into friends. To create a community. I want to see people more often, I want to pick up the phone. Write handwritten letters. I want to stop moving through my life so damn FAST.

Okay… I’ll be totally honest with you. I respect you enough left to say: I’m having an affair. With Twitter. Oh, and with Instagram. And you can probably count Pinterest too. I’m sorry, but they just inspire me more than you do. They provide easier access to things I actually want to see, rather than what your algorithms have deduced I’m interested in. It’s quite obvious to me that you don’t even know me anymore.

So, here goes. Jumping in with both feet. I wish you the best of luck. You won’t miss me. xo

(you can find me on twitter here, instagram here, pinterest here or email me on claudiarosecarter@gmail.com)

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Can I just start by saying, just look at that light. What I like to call ‘winter sunlight’.

It’s the combination of the brisk cold season, the sun pushing through and the reflections of the water on the sea. It suits Aliki & El perfectly. See for yourself:

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  • emma

    This is perfection only hope when we have ours it will look ad owesomeReplyCancel

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Before Christmas, in the DARE Graduate Facebook group, we were tasked with a rather exciting project; ‘You must create a shoot with someone you have not met before (face-to-face) in either their home or place of work. (A slice of their life) It may be someone you have spoken to on Facebook or social media and I invite you to be brave. It cannot be anybody else in this group.

Luckily this project fell at a time that I was re-reading one of my favourite ever books, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I knew instantly that I would like to complete the photography challenge in the hustle and bustle of a working kitchen.

Through a wonderful friend (and brilliant designer) of mine, Melissa Love, I attained access to the Supper Club at restaurant Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. If you’re not privy to the history of this incredible restaurant, read on…

In 2002 Jamie Oliver, while his wife Jools was pregnant with their first child, undertook a concept most others would think was mad. He aspired to hire 15 young people, not currently in employment or education and without any necessary food or cooking experience and turn them into chefs in the brand new restaurant. All whilst being filmed for the program ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’. Through all of the bumps and curves of the process it was a huge success and Jamie was awarded an MBE in 2003 for his efforts. All profit from the Fifteen restaurant goes into the charity that supports the program and it continues to work with apprentices each year.

On to the Supper Club. The charity, Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation, hosts each month a special guest chef who cooks alongside regular contributors Kim Somauroo and Laura Field. In a beautiful room above the restaurant the Supper Club sells out around 30 tickets per meal and aims to get people together. Sat around one long table you can book a block of tickets with friends, or go alone and find some new ones! Either way the food is incredible.

The special guest on the night I was able to have the pleasure of photographing this event was Sabrina Ghayour, whose cookbook Persiana has quickly risen to well deserved success, being named the Best New Cookbook of 2014. If you enjoy middle eastern food, you need to get the book. I promise.

Here are 15 images from the Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen supper club shoot. I hope they make you feel hungry!

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This isn’t going to be one of those blogs about how amazing the year was and how I savoured every moment, because I didn’t.

In April, Jesse was born. Everybody tells you before you have a child that the experience can’t be articulated and with ego in mind you half scoff and half roll your eyes and yet die a little inside with the fear of uncertainty. At least I did.

And it’s true. It really can’t be articulated. It has been the most joyous thing to experience him giggling for the first time, the most freeing to realise that he will figure things out on his own, the most exhilarating thing to know I always have a brand new best friend if I create it that way and yet… it breaks my heart every single day when I realise that sometime I won’t be here to hug him, it’s sent shivers down my back as I realise he can get hurt, the fear of what makes a great parent has almost paralysed me.

It’s made me doubt my career, my relationship, my life. He’s also held all of those things together. The pressure I already put him under is immense and constantly plays on my mind.

You may remember that I once blogged about how I never saw myself as someone’s mum. How I wasn’t sure what that term would mean to me. Having come nearly nine months out of the other side of it, I can safely say it makes me prouder than any other one thing.

I am incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to work this year and retain some of what makes me (almost) as proud as the above. I’ve been to Scotland, Norway and New York. I’ve bought and renovated a house. I’ve lost and gained (I don’t like December) weight. I’ve found my new perfect skin regime. I’ve dealt with things that were on my mind. I’ve had a weeks holiday in Wales. I’ve driven around 15,000 miles. I’ve created a year I am proud of.

Here is a summary of this year through my photography. Thank you 2014 and here is to 2015.

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  • These are just beautiful.. every single one of them for different reasons. I so enjoy seeing the world and people through your eyes.. Happy almost New Year.ReplyCancel

  • Beautifully refreshing and as ever I love it. Love to you and yours xxReplyCancel

  • absolutely knockout my beautiful lady!ReplyCancel

  • great ! Beautifull light !ReplyCancel

  • what an amazing year! stunning photos!ReplyCancel

  • Amazing work Claudia – I love the way you photograph people. Stunning :)ReplyCancel

  • Full of win!
    Love how your style has developed over the years. Here’s to an amazing 2015…ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Steve & it means a lot that you’ve been following! Can’t wait to see more of your journey over the sea this year :) Happy New Year to you & yours xxReplyCancel

  • I’ve always been a huge admirer of your work Claudia and looking at these, it’s plain to see why, absolute masterful my friend and I wish you nothing but the best in 2015!!ReplyCancel

  • Matt Parry

    Your photography always slows me down. Stops me doing whatever I am doing. Loads of photographers “smash it” or “knock it out of the park” but so few have a true voice. Its the more subtle, less obvious, shots that always get me…and just keep doing what you do! and have a great 2015 C xReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful collection of images. I’ve enjoyed the few, quiet minutes I have spent looking through them. Oh, that glorious light! xReplyCancel

  • what a deep + beautiful set of images. beautifully done.ReplyCancel

  • Always beautiful, inspirational and honest. Your work as well as your words. Happy New Year, Claudia.ReplyCancel

  • A perfect reflection of your unique talent (and super chuffed we made the highlights ;) Hope to catch up with you in 2015 xxReplyCancel

    • Thanks Pen & of course you guys made the cut; I’m so proud of that shoot and grateful that you two were in it! See you soon xxxReplyCancel

  • amazing photos Claudia! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Stunning work C. it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing being a parent. big love xxReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Han. It really is, it’s totally bonkers and yet so sane at the same time. Hoping to see you soon xxReplyCancel

  • So totally beautiful Claudia and what an amazing year you’ve had! Can’t wait to see more of your work in 2015. xReplyCancel

  • Claudia,

    Your work is simply beautiful and inspiring! I’m so happy to have met and worked with you for Madeleine and Tim’s wedding! I hope to see you again in NYC, or, who knows, somewhere else in world! Congratulations and a Beautiful and Happy 2015!
    xo,
    -Margie :)ReplyCancel

  • Abi & Alex

    What a beautiful round-up C! We’re so honoured to have been able to spend a small part of 2014 with you, Gary and gorgeous Jesse. Too excited for May!!! xoxoxReplyCancel

  • truly inspiring images- beautiful baby too.ReplyCancel