photography by Rhiannon Taylor
Rhiannon Taylor of In Bed With is an Australian lifestyle and architectural photographer with a penchant for photographing carefully considered design, innovative food and diverse locations.
1/ How do you carry through your practices of ‘slowness’ from your work and transfer them to life at large?
I’ve recently learned, but not mastered, the process of mindful thinking. It’s particularly useful at work, but maybe even more beneficial in every day life. To remember to sit back, listen, not interrupt and try to see an opinion from someone else’s perspective has been an eye opener. So often we interject, give our two cents and lose the point of what someone is really trying to say. It does wonders to create better connections.
2/ What kind of preparations do you participate within for the holiday season?
I usually take care of the Turkey for Christmas day. Shamefully, this results in ordering one advance and picking it up ready to eat on the day. But, I do rigorously research to find a supplier who not only uses birds that are well looked after but also cooks it to perfection (with an artisanal stuffing). I have always wanted to brine and cook one myself, who knows, maybe 2015 is the year for it.
3/ What does the holiday season remind you to do more of?
It’s times like these that I realise I need to spend more time with my family, particularly my grandparents. Everyone is getting older and we’re all spread out across the world. My grandparents get a real buzz out of a phone call, which is such a small thing, so I need to do more of that.
4/ Do you have any rituals or traditions for this time of year? If so, what are they?
It probably sounds corny, but for as long as I can remember, my entire family has done Christmas Eve altogether sitting by the TV watching the Australian Carols by Candlelight. It’s awfully cheesy, but we all chime in and gawk at some of the outrageous costumes on show.
5/ What makes them important to you?
Besides having all the extended family together, it’s probably the time of the year where I laugh the hardest. It’s a moment you can’t pay for.
6/ Has your perspective on the holidays changed over your life? How?
I’m really lucky to have a job that is rewarding and a family who are so loving. It’s important to me to be aware of others who aren’t as fortunate. The smallest gesture (it doesn’t have to be financial) can have a positive impact on someone.
7/ Do you have any particular standout or fond memories of the holiday season?
My granddad used to dress up as Father Christmas and come down the stairs with a present sack and hand gifts out to the children in the family. I would be beside myself with excitement. I knew it was my grandfather but I somehow still believed so intensely that he was Father Christmas. Everything seems so much more vivid and magical as a child.
8/ Throughout the year we find ourselves losing track of important practices we emplace at the beginning of every year, what are you keen to get back on track with the rest period/holiday season coming up?
I recently went on a 5 day retreat to Aro Ha in New Zealand; a mix of mindful thinking, yoga and healthy eating. The practices I learned there were incredibly valuable and I’ve tried to continue the lifestyle back home. It’s easy to slip in to bad habits, but I’d like to focus over the holiday season on mindful thinking and healthy eating. The new year brings a heavy workload and I’d like to be prepared both physically and mentally.
My approach to gifting is...start early and listen throughout the year. Some of the best ideas come from hints dropped in July.
I would like to close this year... switched off from my phone.
My ideal morning over the holidays looks like... clean sheets, a bowl of cherries and waves breaking.
Materials and fabrics perfect for the holiday season are... Turkish woven cotton towels because they’re quick drying for the beach, they’re a perfect picnic blanket, rustic table cloth and can be used as a sarong.
The holidays mean... eating and loving.
My Christmas menu must haves are... sausages wrapped in bacon, brandy cream and pavlova; not all at once!