5th December 2015
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Location LOCATION: Europe

1. Lavender Fields in Provence, France
2. One afternoon in Chateau de Villandry in Central France
3. Look out over Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, French Riviera
4. On location in Provence, France
5. A pure moment in Cinque Terre, Italy
6. Glowing dusk moments in Nice, French Riviera
7. A colourful town in Annecy, France
8. The cleanest lake in Europe in Annecy, France
9. Luke (back in the day with a top bun) in Provence, France
10. Sunset from Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy
11. Sunflower fields in Provence, France
12. A small town called Annecy, France

Nearly two years ago, I wrote this post:

“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 slipping in my eyes.

People often ask “Who funds these trips?” or “How much did you get paid?”. The honest answer is 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.”

2015 has been the fastest year I’ve ever experienced since starting Gary Pepper, even more so than the first year I spent building the e-commerce site from the ground up. I honestly feel like I’ve been chasing my own tail for the past year trying to keep up with the balance of life, digital and social media, and my business. Unfortunately, I feel like I haven’t been able to grow in the ways I had hoped to this year. My mind is fast but it seems not at fast as my schedule.

This year, the only time I was able to stop and travel for myself was when Luke and I took 10 days off in April and went to the Maldives and Tokyo for the cherry blossom season. With those experiences, I felt fulfilled, especially as we got engaged during our Tokyo trip which was such a sentimental milestone. I’m definitely not complaining.

It’s strange to look back over these images and this post I wrote two years ago. It seems so far from what we’ve had time to do this year. I know some of you come to my site to see imagery like this, and as much as I would have loved to have created it for you this year, we just didn’t get the chance. For that, I’m sorry. I miss it too.

If there’s a particular reason you check my social media channels, this site, or follow in general, then please let me know. I’d love to hear your direct feedback on what you love and what you want to see more of. Whatever it is, I’m here, and I’m listening!

Photographer: Luke Shadbolt