Mental Health – Life experiences and discovering the Why – By Sarah Clarke

So yesterday whilst sat editing, I thought I would check out Fearne Cotton’s “Happy Place’ podcast whilst listening I realised that most recently I had been messaged by someone via instagram who said “your life looks so perfect, how do you do it?” and to be honest I wasn’t sure how to reply to them.

So today whilst I photographed in the studio my thoughts drifted to how did I get to where I am today? Now here I am writing a blog piece on my life and for those of you who do not know me this may become quite an insight into who I am as a person and that the whole social media life isn’t always what it seems to be!

I came into the world rather in a rush being born at 30 weeks weighing just 1lb 12oz on the 18th February 1992, in Wexham Park hospital to my amazing parents Chris & Tina. Luckily for myself and my parents I came out fighting, and within my first evening of being in this world I began breathing on my own and to be quite honest I have been a bit of a tough one and a fighter ever since.

Ive had a few huge life events which have picked me right up to the top of my mental and physical strength but also struggled with a fair few smashing me into the lowest. Do you ever step back and think “shit, I have been through a lot?”

Beginning with some big tough times in my life with my nan and grandad both committing suicide at different stages. Spending my 12th birthday in intensive care whilst my mum was fighting with a 1% chance of survival and she is still here today somehow and is the best mum ever. My 13th birthday whilst at my party to help banish last years upset, my great nan passed away. Im actually going to put moving to Cornwall in bad experiences and good experiences as I wouldn’t be here doing the job and being with the family I am without it but it also taught me how to grow, find friends and also lose friends. Sadly losing a friend to suicide a few years ago. 

There have been many times that I have had to think about the question of Why am I here? Have you? 

I have had many up’s in my life, I have been able to go and compete for team England at the WKA kickboxing World Championships multiple times. I have been blessed that my mum is still here after her big near death experience and having my dad supporting her and loving her all the way. I moved to this absolutely glorious place in the world chasing a dream that fell away after 9 years but then creating a new dream alone and then finding someone else to share that dream with along with stepping into a family that are now one of my reasons for being here. Being a personal trainer to help people achieve their goals. Making the decision to become a photographer full time and not just bumbling along in life doing it on the side of other tough mentally and physically draining  jobs. Finding life long friends, who support me and I support them no matter who near or far we are in our life adventures. Having 3 of my images displayed in an exhibition.  

I also had another turning point this year that one evening whilst in hospital with Matthews dad, I heard a crying from the cubicle next to us. After unfortunately hearing the conversations between the doctors I knew that they were not about to receive good news. When the doctors left the room, out came a woman not to far from my own age, absolutely heart broken and alone. Her mum was about to be taken back home to pass away, now without any thought I went next door and offered this stranger, someone I had never met or spoken to before and told her that everything would be ok and that she needed to stay strong for her mother. Now her mothers memory lives on in her and she is doing so well. I knew at the pivotal moment she needed a rock to hold her up, go out there and be someones rock. 

Now I know a lot of you will relate with me, some wont but that is ok.

Sometimes you need to be completely honest about things, I have had days where I have woken up and felt nothing, numb completely worthless but still I have got up and got on with what I feel is my why. You need to find your why.

My big reason for photographing people is because I love to capture the memories, ones that will last forever. Memories of them in love, happy and sharing the once in a lifetime feeling with their loved ones.

Life is too short, be the person you want to be, have the job you want to have and build the relationships that you strive to build. You can do this! The life experience and relationships that you create along the way define you. Be strong and believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you any different. 

The Slope- Great Western Beach, Newquay

If you are looking for somewhere to sink a few beers, eat some beautifully made burgers  as you watch the waves crash and the sun sets on a warm summers evening then The Slope is the place for you.

Along with Great Western Beach holding  blue flag beach status what more could you wish for? oh just that they also have polycarbonate glassware which allows you to dine on the beach, with their full menu available to take-away with compostable Vegware plates, cups, and cutlery! 

Based on the sand at Great Western beach, The Slope takes it’s name from the hangout of Newquay’s inaugural surfers in the 1960s. Surrounding the outside seating area are images from those old school days featuring local surfing legend Roger Mansfield. Great Western was brought back to life by 4 times UK surf champ, Adam Griffiths. 

Keeping with other local business their beef, pork + chicken comes from the award-winning local butcher James Kittow, their brioche burger buns + bread is baked by Pavilion in Newquay. You will also find a beer selection from Sharps Brewery . They also serve breakfast all weekend from 10am – 12pm.

We spent an afternoon watching the waves and relaxing at this perfect little gem of a location.


Find them at:
Great Western Beach
Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 2NE

Contact them on:

01637 878772

Cornish Wine Tours

Back in March I met and photographed the owner of Cornish Wine Tours Kate McBurnie and we have just updated her profile imagery with some bright and summery images. If you are wondering what Cornish Wine Tours is all about basically as Kate puts it: 


Its a day of wine tasting while being driven around, eating the best local produce, and admiring the views  – whats not to like?

I asked Kate to tell us a little bit about herself for the people who do not know of her and her business. This blog features some of our imagery taken at Camel Valley Vineyard, Trevibban Mill and Appletons bar & restaurant



My name is Kate and I own and run Cornish Wine Tours from my hometown of Padstow.  I started the business this year and started the tours at Easter.  On a Cornish Wine Tour we visit up to three locations in a day, to include Camel Valley, Knightor Winery, Trevibban Mill and Bosue.  We also run separate events with Polgoon Vineyard near Penzance.  Each tour finishes with a beautiful lunch served at Trevibban Mill, and depending on what type of tour it is this will be served either at Appletons (onsite restaurant) or in the winery bar itself. The tours run up until November, but can be requested throughout the winter months.

The tour aims to provide guests with a day of wine tasting in a friendly and enjoyable environment where you don’t have the hassle or worry about driving.  Everything is fully catered for throughout the day and guests can sit back and relax. Each vineyard is different and offers a different experience and on this tour you can get a feel for the Cornish Wines in one day, and what Cornwall has to offer.  The day is fully guided by myself, but in a very relaxed way, and guests can ask as many or as little questions as they want.  This isn’t like going back to school, it’s an informal environment which is a lot of fun, and its the best way to learn about the different styles of wine produced in this country. 



If you wish to contact Kate regarding her tours then you can find her here: Kate McBurnie  |  Cornish Wine Tours
+44 (0) 7537194088