Archive for the ‘bench monday’ Category


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Recently, when leaving this event near the Excel centre, I saw this bench against this amazing red wall… and was reminded about one of the greatest photo projects I’ve ever taken part in.

Back in 2009 I began joining in with Bench Monday. It wasn’t ground breaking in any kinda of way, but it’s a project that taught me so much and many of the things I learnt are still used in my work today.

Bench Monday rules were simple…

Stand on a bench. Make sure it’s Monday. Wear something pretty.

And I did… Every Monday for two years! Never missing a week.

It was a very supportive community over on Flickr, everyone cheering each other on… wishing each other a “Happy Bench Monday” and what people deemed a “bench” was so creative.

Those were the golden days of Flickr… so much inspiration and experimentation… I learnt so much… (Please let’s not talk about my post-processing… I think I’ve learnt a lot in that area too!)

Cute outfits can make a photo – Wear something that makes you feel good and that’s colourful… and appropriate for the season.

Make your self timer your friend – understanding when it’s going to fire and how long you need, to get into position comes with practice. But once you nail it, you can achieve magic.

Gain confidence shooting in public – Most benches are in public places, so you have to get over the “What will people think of me” worries. If you want the shot, you have to stand out in public… And it’s ok.

Put yourself in the frame – If there’s no one else to photograph.. hop in front of the camera, it’s fun… and you get used to the initial awkwardness.

Personal projects for the win – The power of a personal project is so strong. Shooting for yourself gives you complete creative licence to create however you want. To shoot what you love and not worry what other people think. You then can take these lessons into your other work.

Weekly projects bring commitment – Having a weekly or any regular project keeps the creative juices flowing, keeps you playing and experimenting. These are valuable lessons too.

Illustrating the seasons or documenting special moments – I tried to make each scene tell a story of what was happening in my life that week. Occasionally I would dip into the archives, but mostly they represented the time of year and my everyday life.

The value of being in a community – Community is everything. Support and inspire. And be inspired. I’m still in touch with lots of the people I connected with every Monday - online and in real life. It’s a blessing.

Collaboration is way more fun. Many benches were shared with other benchers, these were always a laugh.

Simple ideas are the best – Those three rules and the simplicity of the project are what made it so achievable for me. It could be interpreted in so many ways… but basically gave me outline to tell my story.

Thank you Bench Monday! For all the things I learnt and for this collection of photos that I wouldn’t have taken without it. Look at those little boys!… and the kittens.

SO grateful.



During November, I’m taking part in a month long blogging challenge - leaving a few words or photos or films here everyday – #NaPhoPoMo

Some of my friends are taking part - Kim :: Karen :: Andrea :: Jeanine :: Barb :: Kelly :: Bella :: Pen – If you’re joining in, please leave your URL so I can add you to my list – Thanks! :: Cassandra :: Mascaraandmud :: Sara :: Dorry


Written by xanthe

November 30th, 2015 at 2:57 pm


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November 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Posted in autumn,bench monday


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The fallen leaves and abundance of orange in our park, is rocking my world lately.

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November 7th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Posted in autumn,bench monday


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Just taking a small break from camp photos….

I have so much goodness still to come from my time in SF with Leslie, there were fences and benches in the sunshine….. Hooray!

More next week….

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October 24th, 2011 at 10:01 pm


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The weather has been crazy good recently, the weekend of pure summer temperatures carried on today.

It could all end tomorrow, but I’m so happy for this gift today.

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October 3rd, 2011 at 9:08 pm

bench monday – purple haze

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Still indulging in my photos from camp. The light was so delicious that evening and the farmhouse so pretty, with lavender filling the front garden. Happy Bench Monday…

I haven’t played around in 8 tracks for ages – new mix here.

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June 6th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Posted in bench monday,me

back from camp

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Back from camp…. Three days of great people, glorious weather and fun & games.

Many more photos to come.

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May 31st, 2011 at 10:08 pm

magnolia goodness

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Spring has finally sprung with the most glorious weather. We’re making the most of it.

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April 11th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

birthday news.

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Today I turned 37.

Beautiful breakfast made by all my boys. Perfect presents. Had a shoot this morning. Met mr Lovely for lunch. Hopped on a bench with him. Had a quick jump while on a photowalk for LondonvsParis. Parktime with the boys. Play in the daffodils. Off to dinner now with the family.

And the sun was out, that is always a good sign for the year ahead.

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March 28th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

bench monday – in the woods

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When the sun comes out everything is so much better. It’s been a while since we did a family Bench Monday.

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March 21st, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Posted in bench monday