14th January 2014
Location LOCATION: Europe

1. Vernazza lookout in Cinque Terre, Italy with Luke / 2. Fresh water diving in Annecy, France / 3. Endless lavender Fields in Provence, France / 4. Monterosso in Cinque Terre, Italy / 5. Sunflower fields in France / 6. Sunset swims in Cinque Terre, Italy / 7. Mediterranean Blues along the French Riviera, France / 8. Green tree lined paths in Ambiose, France / 9. Mont Saint-Michel, France / 10. Colourful Menton, France /  11. Vernazza in Cinque Terre, Italy by night

With 2013 drawing all too quickly to an end, I was overwhelmed with appreciation when receiving my Christmas present from Luke (which I’ll share with you all shortly). It was a collection of his favourite photos we took during our time in Europe this year, beautifully concealed in a simple white picture frame now hanging above our bed and each holding a place in my heart.

One factor Luke and I have always tried to focus on is quality over quantity. As much as I would love to update my blog once, if not twice a day, it is just not possible without the quality of my work slightly slipping in my eyes. People often ask “Who funds these trips?” or “How much did you get paid?”. The honest answer is that although I have worked with tourist boards in the past or collaborated with brands that allow me to fly to a city and travel, the majority of photos you see (especially the ones in this post) were funded by Luke and myself, driven by nothing but the urge to explore and capture the beauty we see during our time together and wanting to share our perspective with the world. It sounds crazy, and trust me it is expensive, but in my eyes a blog is a business so I’ve always seen content creation (no matter the lengths Luke and I go to create it) as a small investment back into my business. This is the main reason why I am so happy to share with you all this particular post. I felt crazy for wanting to share these photos with you all at once as I usually dedicate a whole post to one destination rather than sharing our favourite photos from seven destinations scattered across Italy and France, but after seeing them sitting alongside each other in such perfect harmony within my Christmas present I knew it would be impossible to share them any other way. As always, I want you to see exactly what we see and how we see it, even if it’s a little rose-coloured or just coloured in general.

Even though we never do anything for praise it’s so humbling to read all of your comments and hear from people who appreciate our work and the time and money we invest into it. This year we won the ‘Best Photography Award’ at the Socialyte Gala in New York and “Most Striking Photos Award” by WhoWhatWear. On a personal note, Luke also won “Photographer of the Year” by Riptide and Leboogie, the two largest and most established bodyboarding magazines in the world. To say I’m proud of him is an understatement. Our newest member who’ve you seen a lot of lately is my Parisian photographer Carin Olsson, whom I want to acknowledge as an important part of my content creation and also now a dear friend.

We still have hundreds of photos from Europe to share with you all. This is just a little thank you post to say we appreciate all the love and support you’ve invested in us and my brand for the past few years. Here’s to a magical 2014!

Photos by Luke Shadbolt