Alex and I lazily wandered into the Polignano a Mare train station in Italy, after our short train ride from Bari. We spent the day strolling the old town in Polignano a Mare, watching the sleeping kitties, and perching ourselves along the razor-sharp rocks along a deserted part of the sea.

Spending my 25th Birthday at Polignano a Mare, Italy

With a chocolate mousse in hand – of course – we spent the afternoon happily in silence, looking out on the horizon, observing the turquoise water slosh at our bare feet and snapping polaroids. Alex’s parents treated us to the fanciest sunset dinner (Ristorante Donna Gina) looking out at the beach and cliffs, and I’ll always remember this sweet ol’ 25th birthday of mine:

spending it in a red swimsuit, the sparkling aqua blues, his faded university baseball cap, his hand in mine. 

24 Was An Incredible Year

got married to my best friend, I traveled to so many wonderful places in the world and moved to France. I learned plenty of new words and voraciously read plenty of books. I discovered new passions that I want to pursue further. I’ve learned, I’ve implemented, and I wrote. I kept up with this beloved blog that is so near and dear to my heart, and I continued to pursue creative photography projects that inspire and motivate me to get out of my photography rut. 

There were also feelings of guilt, pride, regret, joy, peace, and immense love. Life is not black nor white, but a swirling grey of depth, emotion, and complexity, and I embrace all of it. 

It has been a glorious year, and 25 – I feel – will be just as pleasurable and growth-filled. 

Photo Diary: Turning 25 in Poligano a Mare Italy

August 1, 2019


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.