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Lydia Rachel Life Update – November 2019

All images from iPhone – edited in Lightroom

Hey team! Sliding back in here like the wannabe long-time-no-see blogger I am and I thought it was about time for another life update post, it’s been a while. If you hark back (who says hark anymore?) to my last one (here) you’ll remember I had just moved across the world to London-town. I know many of you will have kept up with me on Instagram (where I mainly hang out) but we’ll do a quick(ish) rundown for the blog now.

London Lifestyle Photographer

I moved to London June 2018 and spent 6 months settling in before returning to NZ for a blissful summer of weddings and adventures.

The first six months in London were great. I felt like I settled in quite quickly, helped very much by moving straight into a flat with two kiwi friends, it felt like home straight away.

London Brighton Bath Travel

Moving to the other side of the world when you own a business definitely comes with some risks and sacrifices. I hoped to do some photography work in London but also was realistic about needing a consistent income (London life is not cheap friends!) alongside this. I signed up with a nanny agency and picked up a bunch of nanny temp work to tide me over until leaving for my NZ Summer. I worked with some lovely families, some of whom I’m still in touch with today.

I managed to get some food and brand/influencer photography work and a few weddings too. I met some London wedding photographers for coffee and built great connections + friendships thanks to the online-world and Instagram interactions.

At the end of June I shot CJ and Harley’s wedding in Spain, this was definitely a highlight and I would LOVE to do more destination weddings. I had a couple of days free to explore Malaga + Madrid after the wedding which I’ll share more of later (feel like I’m going to say that a lot in this blog).

Spain Travel Lifestyle

The 2018 London Summer was long and hot, the heatwave kept rolling for months and everyone around me was explaining how this is not normal for London. I love the warm weather but being in a city with millions of people, non-air-conditioned trains and 30+ degree heat had me craving the ocean.

London Summer Travel

My sister came and visited in August 2018 which was nice. I ticked off plenty of touristy London things in my first six months, went on a few weekend adventures and then escaped for 10 days in Italy and France (Rome/Cinque Terre/Venice/Milan/Paris) before my flight back to NZ (more on all that another time!).

Italy Travel Lifestyle

I had a busy southern hemisphere Summer of shoots, weddings, adventures and catching up with family and friends. More on all of that later too (ok I’m sounding like a broken record at this point)! I have shared Emily and Justin’s day from the season and have some more beauties coming up on the blog soon.

New Zealand Lifestyle Beach Christmas

The end of March came and I decided to take my time (and break up my long-haul flights) getting back to London by spending a week in America (LA + New York City) on the way. I’m lucky enough to have some friends spread around the world and it was so nice to catch up with my USA gals. Shoutout to Celine for letting me stay in her LA apartment and Anna for having me in NYC.

Los Angeles New York City Travel
New York City Travel

I slowly adjusted back to London life and was sick for nearly a month on my return with some kind of awful flu/bronchitis that lingered much too long for my liking. Maybe all the travel caught up with me! I had only shot my last two NZ weddings a few days before leaving so I finished up my editing in London and sent them off, rounding up my NZ wedding season.

Hampton Court Palace London

We moved flats in May (from Wandsworth to Hackney) which was a slightly traumatising process we won’t get into right now… moving is definitely a brutal rite of passage for London life.

London Autumn Spring Travel
London Travel

Fast-forward to now, life has been an assortment of photoshoots, nannying, friends visiting from New Zealand (my favourite!), second-shooting a wedding in Tuscany (#dreamy), church and enjoying general London life.

I secured a permanent nanny job that will take me through until the end of my visa with two lovely little girls. To add another string to my bow, in September I started helping my friend with her Sleepover Party/Event business and am now driving a van all over London and setting up (+ sometimes photographing) birthday bashes for kids every weekend. It’s been fun and is also super handy to be driving again.

London Lifestyle

I have 6 months to go on my UK visa. It really is going by so fast and sometimes you can’t help but feel the pressure to make the most of every minute here. To tick off everything on my list, do loads of travel, cherish all my English-made friendships as much as possible and keep creating meaningful work. It’s not always easy watching the clock but I’m trying to appreciate the simple moments, be present and grateful for where I am right now. That quote that flies around Pinterest and Instagram is really ringing true…

“Remember when you wanted what you currently have?”

Sometimes it’s tough, it’s an expensive city, it’s a whole new (and much more competitive) market for my business and I have a end-date here. However I’m so glad I moved overseas. It is a formative experience, I’ve become even more independent, set up a completely new life 18,000 km from home, had some unforgettable experiences and forged some life-long friendships.

And it’s not over yet! As you probably know, I made the difficult decision to skip this 2019 NZ wedding season and make the most of my limited time in London. We’re rolling speedily into my first proper Northern hemisphere Winter (eek!) and first Christmas away from home. Needless to say I’ll be at level 12 jealousy watching the NZ summer through Instagram stories (I already am), but I’m trying to embrace all the coziness, mulled-wine, Christmas festivities, ugly jumpers and twinkling lights-goodness of being here.

London Christmas

What’s next? My final 6 months of London life, working and saving hard so by the time June 1 rolls around and I’m kicked out of the country I can travel around Europe to my heart’s content. Then come July/August 2020 I’ll be moving home to NZ… exciting/crazy/time-is-flying-what-the-heck!

If you made it this far you deserve a medal, a trophy and a hug, seriously. I hope you at least had a cup of tea.


I am now currently taking wedding bookings for the NZ 2020-21 wedding season, please get in touch if you need all the love, promises and kisses captured. I’d be honoured x

All images from iPhone – edited in Lightroom

Hey team! Sliding back in here like the wannabe long-time-no-see blogger I am and I thought it was about time for another life update post, it’s been a while. If you hark back (who says hark anymore?) to my last one (here) you’ll remember I had just moved across the world to London-town. I know many of you will have kept up with me on Instagram (where I mainly hang out) but we’ll do a quick(ish) rundown for the blog now.

London Lifestyle Photographer

I moved to London June 2018 and spent 6 months settling in before returning to NZ for a blissful summer of weddings and adventures.

The first six months in London were great. I felt like I settled in quite quickly, helped very much by moving straight into a flat with two kiwi friends, it felt like home straight away.

London Brighton Bath Travel

Moving to the other side of the world when you own a business definitely comes with some risks and sacrifices. I hoped to do some photography work in London but also was realistic about needing a consistent income (London life is not cheap friends!) alongside this. I signed up with a nanny agency and picked up a bunch of nanny temp work to tide me over until leaving for my NZ Summer. I worked with some lovely families, some of whom I’m still in touch with today.

I managed to get some food and brand/influencer photography work and a few weddings too. I met some London wedding photographers for coffee and built great connections + friendships thanks to the online-world and Instagram interactions.

At the end of June I shot CJ and Harley’s wedding in Spain, this was definitely a highlight and I would LOVE to do more destination weddings. I had a couple of days free to explore Malaga + Madrid after the wedding which I’ll share more of later (feel like I’m going to say that a lot in this blog).

Spain Travel Lifestyle

The 2018 London Summer was long and hot, the heatwave kept rolling for months and everyone around me was explaining how this is not normal for London. I love the warm weather but being in a city with millions of people, non-air-conditioned trains and 30+ degree heat had me craving the ocean.

London Summer Travel

My sister came and visited in August 2018 which was nice. I ticked off plenty of touristy London things in my first six months, went on a few weekend adventures and then escaped for 10 days in Italy and France (Rome/Cinque Terre/Venice/Milan/Paris) before my flight back to NZ (more on all that another time!).

Italy Travel Lifestyle

I had a busy southern hemisphere Summer of shoots, weddings, adventures and catching up with family and friends. More on all of that later too (ok I’m sounding like a broken record at this point)! I have shared Emily and Justin’s day from the season and have some more beauties coming up on the blog soon.

New Zealand Lifestyle Beach Christmas

The end of March came and I decided to take my time (and break up my long-haul flights) getting back to London by spending a week in America (LA + New York City) on the way. I’m lucky enough to have some friends spread around the world and it was so nice to catch up with my USA gals. Shoutout to Celine for letting me stay in her LA apartment and Anna for having me in NYC.

Los Angeles New York City Travel
New York City Travel

I slowly adjusted back to London life and was sick for nearly a month on my return with some kind of awful flu/bronchitis that lingered much too long for my liking. Maybe all the travel caught up with me! I had only shot my last two NZ weddings a few days before leaving so I finished up my editing in London and sent them off, rounding up my NZ wedding season.

Hampton Court Palace London

We moved flats in May (from Wandsworth to Hackney) which was a slightly traumatising process we won’t get into right now… moving is definitely a brutal rite of passage for London life.

London Autumn Spring Travel
London Travel

Fast-forward to now, life has been an assortment of photoshoots, nannying, friends visiting from New Zealand (my favourite!), second-shooting a wedding in Tuscany (#dreamy), church and enjoying general London life.

I secured a permanent nanny job that will take me through until the end of my visa with two lovely little girls. To add another string to my bow, in September I started helping my friend with her Sleepover Party/Event business and am now driving a van all over London and setting up (+ sometimes photographing) birthday bashes for kids every weekend. It’s been fun and is also super handy to be driving again.

London Lifestyle

I have 6 months to go on my UK visa. It really is going by so fast and sometimes you can’t help but feel the pressure to make the most of every minute here. To tick off everything on my list, do loads of travel, cherish all my English-made friendships as much as possible and keep creating meaningful work. It’s not always easy watching the clock but I’m trying to appreciate the simple moments, be present and grateful for where I am right now. That quote that flies around Pinterest and Instagram is really ringing true…

“Remember when you wanted what you currently have?”

Sometimes it’s tough, it’s an expensive city, it’s a whole new (and much more competitive) market for my business and I have a end-date here. However I’m so glad I moved overseas. It is a formative experience, I’ve become even more independent, set up a completely new life 18,000 km from home, had some unforgettable experiences and forged some life-long friendships.

And it’s not over yet! As you probably know, I made the difficult decision to skip this 2019 NZ wedding season and make the most of my limited time in London. We’re rolling speedily into my first proper Northern hemisphere Winter (eek!) and first Christmas away from home. Needless to say I’ll be at level 12 jealousy watching the NZ summer through Instagram stories (I already am), but I’m trying to embrace all the coziness, mulled-wine, Christmas festivities, ugly jumpers and twinkling lights-goodness of being here.

London Christmas

What’s next? My final 6 months of London life, working and saving hard so by the time June 1 rolls around and I’m kicked out of the country I can travel around Europe to my heart’s content. Then come July/August 2020 I’ll be moving home to NZ… exciting/crazy/time-is-flying-what-the-heck!

If you made it this far you deserve a medal, a trophy and a hug, seriously. I hope you at least had a cup of tea.


I am now currently taking wedding bookings for the NZ 2020-21 wedding season, please get in touch if you need all the love, promises and kisses captured. I’d be honoured x

Comments

  1. Rebecca Cochran

    December 1st, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Love reading this! You are such a beautiful woman. Your adventures sound amazing. Lots of love x

  2. Lydia Arnold

    December 2nd, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Thanks beautiful! Hope you’re doing well xx

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