freyadowson on Instagram

Freya Dowson • Photographer

Editorial documentary photographer ✧ restless traveler ✧ based in London ✧ new mama 🌱 | this is my life at home and on the road.

http://www.freyadowson.com/

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It seems crazy to me that this time last year I was pregnant and I didn’t even know! I went out for dinner with friends and I arrived early so I went to the bar to get a gin and tonic - when I sat down my friend thought I was drinking water and asked if I was pregnant 😂 I said no - (whoops!) turns out I was. • A few weeks later I flew to Kenya and took a test with me just in case, a had a weird feeling about it all and at a camp on the Galana river one morning I found out that I was actually pregnant 😳 • I didn’t know what to do with myself so I sat next to the river and had tea with my camera and photographed (sort of in a state of shock and denial) a lone elephant drinking on the opposite bank. And that’s how Rumi got her middle name... Lana for the Galana river.💛 • Shot on assignment for @dswt#Dswt #athomeintheworld #travelwithintention #whyilovekenya #antipoaching #neverstopexploring #eyeson #lovetheworld #magicalkenya #welivetoexplore #roamtheplanet #wildernessculture #nakedplanet #natgeowild #protectthewild #saynotoivory #stoppoaching #ivoryfree #stopthetrade #savetheelephants #lensculture #nakedplanet #livemoremagic #roamnation #mynaturestory #forgeyourownpath #gritandvirtue #naturallyimperfect #beautifulmatters

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One of the things I hoped to do while Rumi was little is go and stay somewhere familiar but exciting, like India, and shoot for a few hours a day, just to keep going with my camera a little. I miss it. A lot. I’m starting to realise that was a little ambitious. Actually I think a lot of my expectations about being a mum in these early days were a bit ambitious. Now I’m just excited if I have someone to talk to in a day! • Honestly, some days at the moment are tough - for all the reasons that learning to be a mum is tough. But one thing that I’m so grateful for is that I haven’t lost my excitement for what’s to come, and how soon it’ll arrive. These days of quiet and waiting can be tough, but there’s good things to come 🌙🌱✨ Photo taken at @artinnjaipur#awakethelight #mytinyatlas #lovelysquares #lonelyplanet #livetravelchannel #lostatlast #modernvoyage #lovetheworld #neverstopexploring #mybestintravel #thediscoverer #traveladdict #stayandwander #wanderwisely #purplepassport #roamnation #thattravelblog #worldnomads #adventurethatislife #goexplore #awesome_earthpix #travelnolimits #travellercolelctive #exploreeverything #vicivisuals #placestogo #letsgoeverywhere #rambleonward #touroftheworld #alifeofintention

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I’m very guilty of wishing time away in the winter. Once the holidays are finished I’m already over the grey skies and so ready for summer - for bare skin and to sleep with the windows open. I appreciate how cosy winter can be but there’s a limit to how much I enjoy that and that limit extends to about the end of January. • Our conversations gravitate to leaving England almost daily now. I’ve always known it wouldn’t be a place I would stay forever, at least not at this age and stage in my life. And now with Rumi, and living in our beautiful but tiny flat that used to be part of a house for one family but now houses eleven people in four flats... it’s a lot. We’re growing out of this space rapidly and even Molly seems a little cramped lately. • I’m putting together lists and Pinterest boards of exactly what I want out of our next place so that I can work on bringing it into my life. I’m still not sure where we’ll end up though! Where in the world would you want to live if you could go anywhere? • #awakethelight #botanicalpickmeup #ofsimplethings #gritandvirtue #plantlife #naturallyimperfect #mynaturestory #plantsmakepeoplehappy #the_gentle_manifesto #mountainstones #mountainescape #rei #keepitwild #westy #alpinebabes #outbackcollective #peoplescreative #discoverglobe #ourplanetdaily #travelstoke #coffeehouse #themountainiscalling #letsgosomewhere #roadtrippin #northontario #tumblraesthetic #summerlove #mountaingirls #adventuregirl

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The best thing about 2018 and probably the best thing about all the years to come 💛 My resolutions this year aren’t about achieving things, they’re about giving myself a break and setting myself up for the life I want to be living. They’re things like... • SLOWING DOWN... especially when I feel like I want to be speeding up. When I feel like I’m not doing enough or achieving enough, and I should have it all figured out by now - I’m trying to give myself space to think and breathe. 🌊 • ACCEPTING... I can’t control every little thing and every step along the way. And I definitely can’t control how my every day is going to go anymore. I trust that life will take me where I need to be. 🌙 • GRATITUDE... Every minute, every second, every day. And especially when things feel really hard. Appreciating what I have and everything that’s coming my way ✨ • SELF CARE... because I have to be responsible to myself before I can be responsible to anyone else. 🌱 • #awakethelight #makemoments #holdthemoments #seekmoments #alifeofintention #lightinspired #posttheordinary #ofsimplethings #lifelivedbeautifully #documentlife #livebeautifully #liveunscripted #quietthechaos #choosejoy #simplejoys #livesimple #finditliveit #momentslikethese #hurrayforplay #slowlived #theartofslowliving #thesweetlifeunscripted #notonlymama #thehonestlens #the_sugar_jar #childhoodunplugged #littlepiecesofchildhood #themindfulapproach #gritandvirtue #thatvelvetfeeling

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About work this year: Coming up to a new year I always feel so hopeful. I look back on my favourite parts of the past year and use those to set the bar for the year ahead, and each year just keeps getting better and better. • Professionally I’ve grown so much in 2018, I took on projects that were beyond where I felt comfortable and I’ve gained so much from pushing myself. I’ve had some great shoots with old clients and taken on some new ones - I can’t wait to see what crazy situations I’ll find myself in next year! • I’ve also learned (ok I’m still working on this) how to put my career to the side a bit while I grow in different directions. Having put all my focus on myself and my ambition for the past few years, slowing down to have a baby has been a crazy adjustment. She sets my schedule at the moment and she doesn’t care for my work ethic or my perfectionism. Becoming a mother means your ego takes a back seat and it’s an uncomfortable transition but I know it’s been good for me 💛 • I know balancing Rumi and work in 2019 will be a new thing for me, but I cling so hard to the belief that everything always falls into place, and I know this will be no different. In fact things are already lining up in the best of ways. It will never be like it was before, but it will only be better. • I hesitate to use the words challenge, difficult, or hard because they have such negative connotations. I need a word that means all those things but you’re happy about it - does the English language have a word like that? Either way, my point is, it’s going to be a lot, but 2019 is going to be the best ✨ • #holdthemoments #simplejoys #visualscollective #hurrayforplay #adventurethatislife #thephotosociety #roamnation #liveforthestory #livemoremagic #chasinglight #lensculture #natgeoyourshot #passionpassport #livesimple #choosejoy #seekmoments #ofsimplethings #lightinspired #worldcaptures #documentlife #forahappymoment #alifealive #gettyimages #followmefaraway #travelwithintention #india #athomeintheworld #whyweadventure #lucknow #awakethelight

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Loving being back in Canada for the holidays (although i could do without the minus temperatures) but I always miss this one when we leave. I think Molly should be the poster pup for rescue dogs, or at least re-homed dogs. She’s the perfect example of why you should never give animals as Christmas presents. But she’s found her forever home with us and has a long list of people who love her and love to babysit her when we travel - lucky pup! #adoptdontshop#awakethelight #makemoments #holdthemoments #seekmoments #forahappymoment #alifeofintention #lightinspired #posttheordinary #inspiremyinstagram #ofsimplethings #travellifestyle #lifelivedbeautifully #documentlife #livebeautifully #liveunscripted #quietthechaos #choosejoy #simplejoys #livesimple #finditliveit #momentslikethese #hurrayforplay #slowlived #theartofslowliving #socality #WHPmagical

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This girl of mine is full of smiles these days, now that she’s getting the hang of it ✨ Swipe for all the cute faces #WHPjoyful Also this wrap is a beautiful @alidovertextiles design. The lovely Ali gave it to me when Rumi was born and she’s barely been out of it since. She has so many designs, all locally made, all so soft and they are the perfect baby wearing wraps and blankets. They would make the perfect Christmas gift so definitely take a look if you know someone who would love it as much as I do 🥰 • #awakethelight #alifeofintention #lightinspired #posttheordinary #ofsimplethings #travellifestyle #lifelivedbeautifully #documentlife #quietthechaos #livesimple #momentslikethese #thesweetlifeunscripted #notonlymama #thehonestlens #childhoodunplugged #littlepiecesofchildhood #themindfulapproach #gritandvirtue #lifelivedbeautifully #calledtocreate #bloomyellow #bedeeplyrooted #wearethecreativeeconomy #youbelong #encouragementgallery #wearethewild #liveyouradventure #radgirlslife #wildernessbabes

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For all the things were never said and for all the places you’d rather be instead, there is a reason you are here and why you made it another year, and through all your weary wonders and things you do not know, Light is on this path and there is still more road to go. - @morganharpernichols Shot on assignment for the @dswt#dswt #awakethelight #alifeofintention #thisisafrica #awesomeearth #liveforthestory #passionpassport #beautifuldestinations #amazingplaces #whyweadventure #holdthemoments #africalove #worldcaptures #seekmoments #travelwithintention #gritandvirtue #welivetoexplore #whywecreate #athomeintheworld #in2nature #forahappymoment #wildlifeconservation #lightinspired #protectthewild #travelafrica #beautifulviews #earthoutdoors #untoldvisuals #conservation #mountainstones

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Have you been watching Dynasties? The new David Attenborough program? Normally I love that sort of thing but I’ve been avoiding this one because I hear it’s really rough and emotionally I don’t think I’m up for it yet - having a new baby will do that to you... But I did catch part of one today about painted hunting dogs and it was so beautiful. Sad yes, but so beautifully shot! It made me want to buy all the mega zoom lenses for my camera 🙈 #WHPnaturallight • Shot on assignment for @dswt#dswt #awakethelight #thisisafrica #awesomeearth #liveforthestory #passionpassport #makemoments #beautifuldestinations #amazingplaces #whyweadventure #holdthemoments #africalove #worldcaptures #seekmoments #travelwithintention #gritandvirtue #welivetoexplore #whywecreate #athomeintheworld #forahappymoment #wildlifeconservation #lightinspired #protectthewild #travelafrica #beautifulviews #earthoutdoors #untoldvisuals #mountainstones #mynaturestory

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Something I find so frustrating in life is that I feel like I don’t always have a clear vision of what I want. I have bits and pieces, things I feel ambitious about, and I sure as hell have a long list of things to feel like I’m doing badly at - but I don’t have a strong and positive vision of what I want my life to look like. And it’s frustrating. • How do you make plans? Do you plan one, two, three years in advance? Weeks? Months? Or just days? Does it make you feel better to have a plan or worse? How do you break down and work towards your goals? • I’ve been thinking lately I need a three year plan. I have a rough vision of where I want to be, and when I say a vision I mean just that - a single mental snapshot that’s not all that detailed but it’s a start! I just need to fill in the blanks and work out how I’d like it to work out in the end. • It’s not so much about how to make it happen so much as what IT is. It’s too easy to float around without a direction and watch the years drift past 😴 • From that time we roadtripped across Cuba 🇨🇺 #awakethelight #alifeofintention #gritandvirtue #wearetravelgirls #ladiesgoneglobal #forgeyourownpath #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #darlingescapes #visitcuba #globelletravels #sheexplores #cuba #beautifulmatters #girlsthatwander #girlsaroundtheworld #hurrayforplay #justgoshoot #seekthesimplicity #cubatravel #simplejoys #liveforthestory #makemoments #letsgetlost #thelifestylecollective #prettycreativestyle #slowlived #theartofslowliving #girlsmeetglobe

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Oof, what a week. In my last post I was talking about having my seat stolen, as if that was even the end of it... The next day I had my phone stolen, from right out of my hand as I was reading a message.😒 • One of the questions I get asked so often is if I’m ever nervous travelling to any of the countries I visit for work, but now I can safely say the only time I’ve ever been robbed was a 10 minute walk from home. • Luckily I was almost due a new phone anyway so the whole thing didn’t cost as much as it could have, but the kid on the motorbike was about an inch away from smacking Rumi in the head on my front while going 20mph. He looked back at me as he drove away and looked a bit shocked because there’s no way he could have seen her strapped to my front as he drove up behind me. • Thankfully @taniajoyfjane came to my rescue, erased my phone and sorted everything out for me and spoke to the police 💛, but It’s been a week of mini disasters and I’ve decided it’s probably best for me to stay at home until Monday to avoid any more trouble - I’m a magnet for it lately! • Also Rumi had her first set of jabs yesterday and has been so sad ever since 😓 It’s so awful to hold your child as someone repeatedly stabs them in the leg 😭 • #WHPlayers #awakethelight #alifeofintention #passionpassport #lostfam #visualsoflife #whywecreate #visualscollective #travellifestyle #holdthemoments #searchwandercollect #agameoftones #chasinglight #hurrayforplay #simplejoys #peoplescreatives #lovelysquares #liveforthestory #makemoments #inspiremyinstagram #thehappynow #adventurethatislife #theartofslowliving #livemoremagic #roamnation #mynaturestory #forgeyourownpath #gritandvirtue #naturallyimperfect

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This time of year can be so hard for some people... Today I was in a crowded coffee shop waiting for a friend, Rumi was fussing and I just needed somewhere to sit and feed her out of the rain. I was hovering near a table where a couple were just doing up their coats, waiting for them to leave, when a man swooped in and took the table. The couple looked at him and told him the table was mine, I had been waiting for it, and I said the same thing but he wasn’t having any of it. He didn’t care that I had a crying baby, he didn’t care that I was nearly in tears with stress and lack of sleep, he just wanted to eat his food, sitting at a table alone. • I told the couple who were arguing on my behalf not to bother and just walked away to wait for a different table. • That kind of thing never sparks anger or annoyance in me. It never has. I know there is a time and a place to stand up for yourself but in a situation like that I feel like my energy is best directed towards the things I care about, and not what will upset me. • The thought of karma or him getting something equally heartless in return crosses my mind but truthfully, he didn’t look happy at all and I wonder if he was already living in a more uncomfortable situation than the one he had put me in. I wonder at what you have to go through in life to put that kind of energy out into the world and I think maybe his lack of kindness shows that he is simply lacking kindness in his life. He was keen for a fight but by the look on his face I think he was keen for any kind of human interaction. • I know the holidays can bring up a lot of tricky stuff, and I know we’re taught to fight for our place in life and stand up for ourselves, but it doesn’t hurt to consider that hurting people hurt people. And it’s easy to spot when someone is in pain, it’s in their actions and written all over their face. It’s not always about winning, in fact it’s rarely about winning - it’s always about compassion. And there are always other tables.💛

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