Nicola Bates, (She/Her)

Model: @uziokotcha, Images: @nicolafayephotography

I find change difficult, especially ground shaking, life-impacting change.

I’ve gone through a few of those recently and no matter how badly I wanted to drop everything and run away as far as I possibly could, something kept me here, glued and grounded.

It wasn’t a breeze and I still find myself listening to playlists I created in 2016, trying to cling on to my younger years, but I’m learning to live. Leaning into my spirituality and trusting my instincts, it’s safety and freedom all at the same time.

The process of change is gruelling but necessary, for a long time I was comfortable with being miserable as it was a lot easier for me to continue in that cycle as reconstructing my ways was terrifying. I realised I didn’t have to do it all at once or technically do much at all. I realised I’ve never liked myself so I’ve been working hard to change that and always put myself first, love myself with compassion like I would with anyone else.

I shot these images with the brief of ‘Change’ and wanted to relate them to my creative process, which in recent months has become something very spiritual for me I wanted the location to reflect the mood. The tones within the shoot are almost euphoric, representing the almost dream-like state I fall into when trying to hold on to my younger years.

Big thanks to my model Uzi, @UziOkotcha, you are my muse forever and always.

Words: Nicola Bates, Storehouse Content Team, @nicolafayephotography

Model: Uzi Okotcha, @uziokotcha

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