top of page
Search
  • hannahlbryans

Ella



Ella and I shoot photoshoot ideas in each other's direction often. “We should do this” “and this” “ooh la la look at this”

Two creative minds that never stop.

One evening we were sending inspo back and forward.

“I’m so tempted to come to yours tomorrow instead of going to stupid college”

I had a free house the next day which is the rarest thing in my huge family's home in Ireland. “You’re so welcome, do it.”

The next morning we caught up on months of life over coffee.

And on this random November Wednesday, a lot of these photos were birthed.







Before writing this, I asked Ella questions to spark my thought and get her perspectives. I asked what friendship is to her and this response made me shed a tear;









“I love this question because I could talk about this for hours."










"I love this question because I could talk about it for hours. I have been so fortunate to have such kind friends surrounding me in my life.

Hannah and I, we were girls together. This has been my favourite new saying. We were girls together. Girlhood friendship is such a beautiful thing. When you find your girls you keep them forever.

We have such a lovely friendship. We find ourselves talking about the deepest of darkest of things but the next minute we are dancing around her kitchen singing you’re so vain - Carly Simon. We both have very creative minds and sensitive souls so from a very young age Hannah and I took a liking to each other."








"A best friend to me is someone who is so precious in your life you can't imagine a world without them. They are a gift to you in this life. You motivate each other to do your best. And you are there to listen to each other, always.



Friendship is a safe space to be your authentic true self.



Friends are the family that you have chosen.”


















"We were girls together."

We witnessed each other's evolution.

From running around in fields playing imaginary games by our villages beach to facing some harsh but also beautiful realities of growing up.

We faced them together, often on long walks along that same beach.

It was that seaside where we ranted into the openness after going through our first heartbreaks.

Back when we were more idealistic and thought that no boy would or could ever break our hearts.

We were a listening ear for each other, for words otherwise swept away by the waves.

It was that same seaside where she and others sat by my side one early morning, days after my brother passed away.

I had just flown home from Paris for the funeral, an event that I never could have anticipated.

As I flew home, Ella also returned home, cutting short her holiday, back to our tiny Irish village.

It meant the world to me that Ella was by my side.




Ella is a rare soul, she’s a dancing queen, the life of parties & a friend to many.

She’s an authentic woman who fights to stay un-jaded by the world and really sees the people around her.

Ella is a dreamer. She’s a creative.

And when we were young the world was our canvas.

It happened so naturally.

Now a little less so, but it's ok.

Because I think, for each other, we are encouraging voices, reminding each other that despite what the world and circumstances say, anything is possible.





“I’ve danced myself up, and drunk myself down, found people to love, left people to drown, I’m not scared to jump, I’m not scared to fall, if there was nowhere to land I wouldn't be scared at all”


Ella’s favourite song lyrics.

And she lives them out, freely jumping into things, unafraid to give her heart.

She’s a dancer, a dreamer, a breath of fresh air in every room that she enters.

She’s a walking reminder to live authentically.


When I asked her about why these were her favourite lyrics, this was her response;


“This is a tricky question because I love a lot of songs. My sister Alison said to me once that music is your calm Ella, that if I'm upset or overthinking I listen to music and it brings an instant relief. It's such a great form of feeling valid or bringing happiness to that specific moment. My answer for this question is falling by Florence and the machine. To me this song is about a girl who has experienced highs and lows in her life. Falling doesn’t phase her anymore”


“I can say that I’m not scared to fall. I am surrounded by the most beautiful souls and I have lasting connections with these people. Life is so precious and I wouldn't change mine for anything. When you experience these lows, you appreciate what you have and who stuck by you. You evolve as a person, you see a change in yourself. It can take a long time but you grow for the better. It is a bittersweet feeling because you never go back to the girl you were before - but that’s the adventure of life I guess”





I think that she's right. Apart from the statement that “you grow for the better”

Although she has, I really believe it’s a choice to decide to grow for the better.

One that she made but one that many people don't make. Life will inevitably beat everyone down in some way or another.

It's not inevitable that people grow for the better.

These things simply leave us with a choice, to become bitter and jaded, or to glean the lessons and grow.


Growth is inevitable but it is we who decide the direction of that growth. And honestly as I type this I’m just so grateful to have grown up with Ella. I type this from my Paris apartment while she's currently backpacking Asia with her boyfriend. Life has taken us different directions but I’m so grateful for a friendship that is made up of pure love and encouragement, where we support each other from a distance and catch up every now and again by the seaside,

Where we grew up.




2 comments

2 Comments


poppylharley
Jul 27, 2023

so beautifully captured, and such heartwarming piece❤️❤️

Like

suta chan
suta chan
Jul 24, 2023

What a vibe !✨️

Such a beautiful friendship.

Like
bottom of page