Cecelina Photography

Nine years ago, I booked a one way ticket to London from Stockholm. “I’ll be back in three months,” I told my mum! I didn’t know anyone in the UK, so I booked myself into a hostel for the first three weeks, determined to make friends, get a job and experience a very different sort of life from the one I’d lived until that point.

There was fear of course. I’d never been a very confident person, and here I was alone in one of the biggest cities in the world. But I felt such a rush each time I got over an obstacle - getting a job (selling shoes in Camden), opening a bank account (it took six bank visits before they let me have one), finding a place to live (for an insane amount of money, despite sharing a room). With each small milestone, my confidence grew. With each setback, I became that little bit more resilient. I made friends, I adored the social life and the British humour. I fell in love. London was so beautiful and felt so full of possibilities. I could leave my old, insecure self behind and reinvent myself anew.

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High on self-esteem and backed up by positivity from all directions, I decided that if I had done all of this, there was nothing stopping me becoming a photographer, just like I had always dreamt of. I spent my evenings after work learning photography. I spent every free moment I had practising and read everything I could get my hands on. I bought my first camera. I wandered the city shooting London life. I sat in coffee shops with my laptop and blogged about what I had learned in the days before. The online community was encouraging and I made even more friends. The environment I was in, surrounded by people, let me feel like I was part of something. A collective. A community who cheered me on, celebrating my successes and picking me up when I failed.

Almost a decade later, going into coffee shops and seeing people with laptops still makes me smile. I remember how I used to sit there and dream of the day I could work full time as a photographer. It feels like yesterday but it’s been five years now since my business really took off, I quit my job and became a full-time photographer. I owe so much of my success to that time - and perhaps my caffeine addiction too.

For a long time, I thought working hard was the answer to being successful. True, it has taken hard work but I have realised that working ‘smart’ is just as important. To organise and plan. To have goals and to work towards them. To take time out and be creative, to get inspired. I love meeting other creatives and I feed off of their energy and excitement. We meet in cafes and talk about our work, comparing notes and planning projects. Drinking coffee after coffee and sharing our experiences. These days, there are also evenings doing the same over a glass (or two) of champagne.

My work is seasonal. In the winter, I am busy with family shoots, editorial work and engagement sessions but there’s no doubt that it's in the summer when things really get going. I’ve learned how important it is to spend the ‘off season’ planning, thinking and learning. That time is just as important to my success as the hectic summer days of the wedding season.

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For a long time, I thought working hard was the answer to being successful. True, it has taken hard work but I have realised that working ‘smart’ is just as important. To organise and plan. To have goals and to work towards them. To take time out and be creative, to get inspired. I love meeting other creatives and I feed off of their energy and excitement. We meet in cafes and talk about our work, comparing notes and planning projects. Drinking coffee after coffee and sharing our experiences. These days, there are also evenings doing the same over a glass (or two) of champagne.

My work is seasonal. In the winter, I am busy with family shoots, editorial work and engagement sessions but there’s no doubt that it's in the summer when things really get going. I’ve learned how important it is to spend the ‘off season’ planning, thinking and learning. That time is just as important to my success as the hectic summer days of the wedding season.

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Lately, I have also made sure to spend time every year defining what success looks like for me. Is it to get paid for my creativity and art? Is it to get WELL paid for it? Is it to live a flexible lifestyle and decide on my own hours? Is it to be a role model? Is it to support a family or maybe to buy a house? For me, it's so important to have goals. And to keep checking that they still apply. Without them, it's easy to drift along and to lose motivation.

I do what I do because it fulfils me on two levels. I love the implicit artistry in taking photographs. I would do it for free, so earning my living doing something creative that I love is a dream. But I get just as much satisfaction from the way my photographs make my clients feel. Photographing a wedding, an engagement or a new addition to a family is to be intimately involved in a life. My photos allow them to revisit those precious moments again, in years to come. Being with them during that special moment in their life - helping to make it unforgettable - is so wonderful. That is why I wake up every day excited for the work I have ahead of me. And that is my own ultimate definition of success.

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Photography:  Photo of Cecelina | Gyan Gurang + Ashley Kelemen | All other photos: Cecelina Photography  

My background is as a wedding & lifestyle photographer, shooting both digital and film to create authentic, soft and natural fine art photographs. Working primarily with natural light to give my work a beautiful, light and airy touch infused with soft tones. 

I have always appreciated and valued the simple things in life and finding the interesting in the ordinary.  Coco Lane was founded as I wanted to create something that is about an experience, the slower pace of life, cosiness and candlelight, cuddling up on the sofa with loved ones, being with the people you love, sharing food with close friends, a feeling of home, nurturing a chosen career, wanderlust travels, savouring the small moments in everyday life and just being you and enjoying a cup of tea.

I'm excited to bring you stories that promote all those moments in life that give us value and meaning; inspiring  us to live beautifully.

"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life.  If you are interested in something, no matter what it is. Go at it full speed.  Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it.  Lukewarm is no good" - Roald Dahl