Women Leading – Yasmin

I met Yasmin earlier this year at the Blognix Retreat. She is an incredibly friendly and focused young woman, who is also a very talented photographer.

Yasmin Qureshi
Yasmin is very hard-working; she has even put plans to build her own photography studio into action. I have no doubt that she will achieve this dream.

Yasmin, tell us how you first got into photography.

I first got into photography because of my blog. I started my first blog Yazzy’s Corner in 2013 as a hobby. At the time I had a full-time job that I wasn’t happy with at all, it was making me depressed and the long hours were making me ill. Blogging for me became the creative outlet that I needed and I’m glad I started it. During this time I started to become more and more interested in photography. I wanted to make my blog look more visually appealing to my readers and of course, to me! When I left my job in 2014, I then decided to go back to university to study photography as a degree and during this time I also started my photography blog, Yasmin Qureshi Photography, which I’m now planning on developing a lot more.

What is your vision for your career?

I’m going to be working as a freelance photographer and blogger. I’ve already started my business with the help of SPEED at university, but as I’ve had such a big set back so early on with the build of my own studio (something I’m still not over!) I’m glad I’ve still got a year left of university because it means I’ve got time to perfect my brand which I’m happy about. When I go back to university in October I’m planning on making my blog my FMP and I’ll be getting in contact with various creatives and small business owners for shoots which will be posted along with their interview on my blog. I’m really excited to see where this leads!

Tell us one positive thing you’ve gained from the blogging community.

I would say making lifelong friends! Thanks to blogging I’ve met some great people and gained the confidence to attend events, sometimes alone – something I would never have normally done. I’ve made one friend in particular, Sophie, who I’ve become very close with over the past few years.

What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?

By creating a routine for yourself that works and reminding yourself what’s important. I know that if I stay in bed til 12pm (which I love to do, by the way!) I’ll barely be able to get any work done which will set me back yet another day. On the other hand, if I wake up early enough to start working on my to-do list at 9am, I’ll know my day will be a lot more productive. As a self-employed person, a wasted day means a wasted income. As much as I love to spend the morning in bed, I know that I have to prioritise my business and put the hard work in now, especially if I want to continue to pursue the dream that’s only just started.

Follow Yasmin’s journey on her blog here or on Twitter here and here.

Upcoming singer Erin Louise by Yasmin Qureshi Photography www.yasminqureshi.co
A sample of Yasmin’s brilliant work

Wagamama, Spinningfields

My housemate has been fascinated by the way the blog world works.

It’s really nice to see someone from outside the blogosphere be so interested in it, so when the manager at Wagamama in Manchester’s Spinningfields invited me to try the new menu I asked if I could bring her along too.

We went during the last week of July which was a bit of a crazy one for both of us. I had (literally) been all over the place for client meetings, and my housemate had been back to back at her work too. I find that when I’m really busy going out for dinner somewhere is a good way of stopping and taking a break (any excuse for food, really).

We arrived after an evening pilates class (which I’m really enjoying, more so than yoga!) and had a look at the menu.

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I like Wagamama, I feel it’s better than most chains because it doesn’t feel like a chain. The food always tastes fresh and very good quality, and it doesn’t carry that slightly tacky, mass-produced atmosphere that some chains do.

After a long and indecisive menu glance (along with some help from the lovely staff), we ordered for our main:
One power juice
One repair juice
Teriyaki salmon
Tamari chicken
Duck pancakes to share

And for dessert:
White chocolate and ginger cheesecake
Coconut reika

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The juices tasted like they were very good for us. I don’t like it when restaurants water down or add sugar to what are meant to be healthy juices – it defeats the object of having one for me! It was a much needed vitamin boost to get us through the remainder of our busy week.

The duck pancakes, tamari chicken and teriyaki salmon all arrived quickly. Now, I could try and describe the taste to you very eloquently, but I don’t think there’s any need. It was all, quite simply, delicious. Every mouthful was a delight.

Just look at that salmon!

The desserts rounded the meal off perfectly. My housemate’s cheesecake came with a chilli sauce that had just the right amount of subtle kick.
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I would like to say thank you to Wagamama for a very nice evening. It was my first visit to the Spinningfields too – can’t wait to go back.

I do feel extremely lucky to have experiences like these as a result of my blog, it was never something I expected when I started back in 2011, and it’s great to be able to share these experiences with my friends sometimes too.

Idler magazine

When I was at HOME last week I had a look round the bookshop just outside the gallery. I can never really resist a good bookshop. I spotted Idler magazine out of the corner of my eye, picked it up and within seconds had decided to buy it.

Funnily enough I was with Dan on that day who now works for Doncopolitan – the same magazine I used to work for. He pointed out that Idler is one of the publications Doncopolitan co-creator Warren has written for in the past – weird eh?

I wanted to show you some pictures of the magazine, I’ve really enjoyed reading it this past week.

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I love the size of it – like a book rather than a newspaper or magazine. There was a lovely piece in there by a woman called Emily Young, who is a sculptor and lives in Tuscany – idyllic!

I also really enjoyed Adam Smart’s piece, ‘System Failure’, which argued that psychological disorders (such as PTSD, anxiety) that don’t ‘fit’ with capitalism usually get given drugs to medicate, whereas psychological disorders that do fit (such as psychoticism or narcissism) get rewarded by capitalism. I can kind of see his point to be honest!


HOME Manchester

Today I finally went to HOME in Manchester. HOME is a cinema, art gallery, workshop venue and restaurant, cafe & bar. I’m going to be visiting this place a lot!
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I’ve really missed art spaces like these being easily accessible to me. There are some genuinely great spaces in Sheffield and Doncaster, but being at HOME today felt a bit like being back in some of the galleries I used to go to in Melbourne.
I don’t want to go back to Melbourne permanently anymore, but there are aspects of the life I had there that I’m picking back up here in Manchester, and I’m very happy about that!
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I’m feeling so lucky at the moment. I feel like things in Manchester couldn’t really be going better, and that now coming back from Melbourne and spending two years working solidly was worth it!

More moments from France

The remaining photos from my recent trip to France. Something I’ve always loved about the French is their indifference. This indifference seems to make them less inclined to give any attention to what other people think of them, or to pick up unnecessary worry and stress.

Based on my experience of them – people we’ve met on holiday, my mum’s French tutor, my ex-boyfriend, a French girl who once worked at my aunt’s restaurant – they’re very good at living in the moment.

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I really enjoyed this holiday. It was so good to have some down time – time to live in the moment a little more.