For those of you who have been reading 91 Magazine for many years, you may remember Laura Pashby being my first deputy editor when the magazine went from online only into print. I remember our first meeting clearly, over sticky cinnamon buns in a Nordic Bakery in central London. Laura’s enthusiasm and support for what we could do with the magazine really helped to drive me forward with it. I am still eternally grateful to her for believing in it and being part of it for three years, while we established it in the print magazine market.
It was Laura’s way with words that first encouraged me to me to invite her to work with me and I learnt a lot from her as we worked alongside each other. So, I am not surprised at all to see her first book publish – Little Stories of Your Life – a guide to storytelling – through words and photography.
If you have ever toyed with the idea of writing a journal, then simply reading the first pages of this book will have you reaching for your prettiest notebook with no further apprehension. Laura elegantly explains how there is a story in even the most insignificant of moments… her introduction reads:
“ The little stories of our lives tell of simple moments when the everyday is transformed into something remarkable. The magic of sunlight dancing across a bedroom wall after days of relentless grey; swirling frost patterns etched onto a kitchen window on a cold morning; or an envelope dropping unexpectedly onto the doormat, the address written in a familiar, beloved hand.”
For me, on reading the initial chapters, the idea of recording these tiny moments in our day offers something that I think many of us are craving right now. A momentary escape from a world that has felt overwhelming; the uncertainty about the future which hangs like an oppressive dark cloud at times. Laura’s encouragement to pay attention to the little things around us, brings us back to what can truly bring us joy if we let it.
Whether you chose to document these moments through imagery or through words (or combining the two), Laura provides guidance on both. She gives prompts and exercises to try out, that allow you to dig into your creativity through observation.
Laura’s own writing and photography is clearly influenced by the natural world and as we head into autumn here in the UK, this is a great starting point for your own work. Use the gradual change of the seasons to engage your observational skills. I highly recommend having Laura’s book by your side to guide you through a new way of discovering the little stories that are within you.
Little Stories of Your Life by Laura Pashby (Quadrille, £16.99) is out on 14th October. Photography © Laura Pashby – Pre order now.