Tale Of The Great

A lifestyle blog on fashion, psychology & photography



January 2015



Cozy Love Story Photoshoot

Written by , Posted in Photography

Cozy love story photoshoot: reading together on the couch
Happy Friday, you guys! Today I’m sharing with you a cozy Love Story photoshoot I did about two weeks ago. When I was discussing the idea with Ksenia, I came up with this moodboard. The idea was to do a cozy close and personal love story, that was sweet, gentle, and with natural light. For clothes we came up with knit cardigans we grabbed in H&M, a simple country-style casual dress and thick patterned woolen socks. St. Petersburg has lots of photostudios with different props and styles, so we looked for that beige-cozy feel and were lucky to get to shoot with the New Year’s ornaments in place to make a beautiful blurry background.

I love the idea of a couple’s photoshoot because many couples (and me and Martijn included) don’t have many, if at all, professional photos with each other. So, when the folks ask for pictures, you just keep on browsing through selfies, and those usually don’t have the right touch. And since recently I finished creating the english version of my portfolio website meant solely for my photoshoots (check it here: photo.taleofthegreat.com), filling it with cool photographs such as this shoot is bringing me so much joy! I am still working on the russian version of the website, but in the meanwhile, I’m sure you’ll find it interesting to browse and look through.

So, here’s where you guys, my readers, come in. I’d love to hear what you think about the photoshoot and was it at all similar to the moodboard we discussed prior to the shoot. So don’t hesitate to leave comments down below and let me know what you think! Scroll down for the rest of the pictures.


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January 2015



What to get your boyfriend for Valentine’s day?

Written by , Posted in Lifestyle

What to get your boyfriend for Valentine's day

My attachment to Valentine’s Day as a couple’s celebration is quite new. Being in a long-distance relationship ever since I got into university doesn’t help with celebrating it together. When I think about it, Valentine’s Day is that day of the year when plane tickets are overpriced, and the restaurants are booked, and this day is one grand consumer celebration of all the things we can buy. Even so, I don’t have a problem with that because I like buying gifts and getting them myself. For me, any reason for getting a gift or giving a gift is awesome, and I won’t overlook it. Of course, that entitles people like me to have some kind of a gift budget in the corner of our bank vaults.

Read more…



January 2015



So, what’s new: Outlander TV Series, Invisible Boyfriend Service & more

Written by , Posted in Personal


Hello, my dear readers! I’m sure this post is quite a surprise after a month of silence on Tale Of The Great.

Can a person (e.g. me) really call herself a blogger if she hasn’t posted anything since last year? The reason for my silence is that I’ve been planning to go into more depth and detail on the blog, and I really wasn’t sure about the right direction. So, I took a timeout. And it lasted longer than I planned, with New Years’ and me being in the company of my boyfriend. And then the exams started, and I still wasn’t quite sure of what I wanted to make of this blog, so I decided not to bore you with bad half-hearted posts, and take a creative break again.

It’s funny how quick time flows. While I was getting my act together there’s less than a week of January left, and I’ve got to catch you guys up on my time away from my personal corner of the web.

Do you sometimes feel that you’re not getting enough out of your hobby or work? Well, that’s what I’ve felt in the end of 2014. This un-objective disappointment has kept me from writing another blog post. However, it did help me figure out the why was I feeling writer’s block. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere because I wasn’t writing on topics I really care and want to read myself. I have to raise my filter higher, and make a bigger effort, before I complain to myself that I’m a failure. Which is why, I’m going to shower you with new exciting content, and to get back on track I’ve prepared some useful and fun links that I really loved. And now I’m going to share them with you.

  1. This article, called “I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love” has caught my eye immediately. And the intriguing title really did not disappoint. This article reflecting on a relationship between a woman and a person that doesn’t exist for real felt extra-relevant in our modern world. The movie “Her” is also mentioned in the article, and I was particularly touched by the love story of a guy and a computer operational system, so if you get the chance, watch the movie.
  2. Now, this one is a real confession. During my teens I had this unhealthy obsession with Tom Riddle (widely known as You-Know-Who from the Harry Potter books). I socialized with other Harry Potter geeks on forum RPGs where we acted out roles and wrote posts from the perspective of the book characters. The part I enjoyed most probably was that of Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort’s faithful sidekick who was secretly in love with him. I still think I rocked her character. So, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this piece of art Tom Riddle’s Diary bot made by some highly inventive programmer on the internet. I’ll admit, what I did for most of our chatting time is I tried to get him to kiss me. If you’re rolling your eyes right now or silently judging me, I have to remind you I was in my teens, and we all do weird things in our teens.
  3. I’m a huge fan of fashion photographers per se, but even though Elliott Erwitt and Karl Lagerfeld’s work cannot go overlooked, my favorite modern photographer just has to be Zhang Jingna. Her brilliant commercial and personal work aside, she is the first professional fashion photograher who is selflessly sharing amazing insights into the profession, talking about gear, her working flow, and providing such insider information you won’t get anywhere else through her blog. If you don’t know where to get started, try this guest article for ProPhoto that’s called “15 tips on how to break into fashion photography“. Have fun reading!
  4. This month my boyfriend Martijn sent me a link to a new 2014 TV series Outlander. This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time: the actors are perfect, the setting is gorgeous, and the story is very good. “Outlander” is a story of Claire, a bright young nurse that reconnects with her husband after the end of World War II in Scotland. Accidentally, while exploring the outskirts of town where they are staying, she touches an ancient stone and is transported into 1740’s where the British were at war with the Scots. Before she realises what’s happened she is caught in the action and is unable to make a swift return to her unsuspecting husband. Some compare the series with Game Of Thrones, and though there are some similarities, the idea of the Outlander is completely different. There is some gore and blood and sex in the episodes so the show really aims for a realistic recreation of the atmosphere. And it certainly feels worth watching. The show will continue on 4th of April and I absolutely can’t wait!

And what’s new with you? How did you start your 2015? Tell me in the comments!

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December 2014



5 steps to smart goal setting & GIVEAWAY

Written by , Posted in Personal, Psychology


Hello all and sorry for the long break (again). After arriving in Amsterdam life got kinda hectic (once again), so I’m signing in with updates now, to bring you up to speed and to share a conclusion for 2014. I did so badly with my 2014 goals I’m a bit embarrased to even talk about those. Otherwise, I had some strong points and points for improvement, so I didn’t do too bad altogether. I studied dutch (not nearly as much as I should have); I bought a yoga mat and exercized on a weekly basis for sure (not every day, but close enough to reach for it), but the improvements started after September.

If you’re curious to find out what was that exact stuff I promised to myself last year read about it on my Concluding 2013 post. But the most interesting things to track are the reasons why my goals failed. Or was I just setting them wrong? Maybe smart goal setting is a necessary thing after all. Let’s see…

How do you set smart goals?

  • Make specific goals: many goal-setting articles say that the first thing you have to avoid when setting goals for yourself is using words like “try”, “aspire”, and etc. Because if you fail, you can just say “Ah well, I tried. Goal checked!”. So, yeah, classic beginner mistake huh? That’s the main mistake I made when I used such words as “I’d love to start with…”
  • Make measurable goals: be as concrete and straightforward as possible when setting your goals. Make exact requirements, just the way you’d order a meal at the McDonalds (you’d specify you want no ice or extra ketchup) or setting guidelines at your job. I failed at this miserably when I told myself “no more sleeping till sweet noon” (is it okay if I get up at 11:45?); “doing some decent efforts” (what’s a decent effort then?); and “do something fitness-related” (does going up and down the stairs count?).
  • Make attainable goals: Don’t set an area too wide for you to fully cover. Go for small but consistent effort. Break your goals month by month. I got nowhere with my personal project photography goal because it wasn’t broken down into any kind of system. I made the promise and was so certain there was still time enough that I ended up with lots of ideas and no pictures.
  • Make relevant goals: Does your goal go with your lifestyle? If it doesn’t, are you prepared to change it just to fulfill it? Decide how far you want to go. I think I made a huge mistake with setting playing the piano as one of my goals because otherwise than me liking the idea of playing again it isn’t relevant at all. There’s not enough space in the apartment for a piano (or a decent keyboard for that matter), I prefer spending my time blogging, reading, movie-watching and photographing and I’d be spreading myself too thin.
  • Make time-bound goals: putting a time restriction on a goal is like breaking it up in parts. When you’re done, you can celebrate. Am I the only one who starts working quicker under the threat of a dooming deadline? Somehow I entirely missed this point last year by not setting any time limit whatsoever.

But it’s nearly 2015 now and we’re that much wiser, aren’t we? This “SMART” goal-setting system is used by time-management instructors (I heard about it this year at a short time-management training to which the instructor showed up late) and I didn’t even realise it struck a nerve till I sat down to this post. So let’s put these goals up here in writing, yeah?

And to do that I’ve decided to host a little giveaway. Do you remember my post on 2015 organizers? I’ve stumbled upon the cutest little planner and thought I’d love to spread some joy and help you ease into 2015 with your plans and affairs in order. So, here goes…

1st ever Tale Of The Great Giveaway for 2015

Rules: this giveaway is open worldwide from the 28.12.2014 to 04.01.2014. Winners will be announced on the 05.01.2014. Giveaway deadlines may be extended if necessary. I’ll send out the ogranizer to you by post.

Prize: This Giraffe organizer has both russian and english text in it with the exception of the first map pages and holiday information. It’s a one day at a time kind of organizer.
Tale Of The Great Organizer Giveaway

organizer-2 organizer-4 organizer-3 organizer-5



December 2014



Preparing for New Year: 7 Fun 2015 Calendars

Written by , Posted in Lifestyle

fun 2015 calendars tale of the great

Hey, guys! Lesia here.  I’ve had a rather entertaining and fulfilling week which also left me a bit behind on my blog. I’m pretty sure you’ve been busy yourselves, with the holidays breathing in our backs. I’m going to Amsterdam on Tuesday to stay with my boyfriend for Christmas, New Years and a valuable piece of January, and I’m feeling absolutely great about it.

This year I’m managing to prepare for the end of the year much better than last time. First off, I’m done with all the most important gifts for the most important people. I guess, having a strict deadline such as a plane flight can be very motivating. Anyway, right now all my wrapping paper is  about gone, and I hope to stock up after the holidays (hope there’s going to be lots of discounts, the paper on Etsy really got me excited).

December seems to be the most expensive month in the year. All these sudden purchases don’t make life very easy, but certainly very pleasant. So, I went to the city center in search of books, gifts, and all things sparkly. I guess I’ll share what I gave to whom after the holidays, but the process was certainly lots of fun. And I had to get myself something. And I did. But there’s more stuff on my list, like a wall calendar. I’ve never had one and just like with the organizers, I have my eye on one rather pretty option. But why stop at one, when there’s so many? So I decided to share with you this hopefully helpful post for last-moment shopping. So here are 7 cute and fun 2015 calendars:

1. Barbie 16-Month Wall Calendar - priced  at 14.99 $

2. Anthropologie Wildlife 2015 Calendar – priced at 24 $

3. 2015 Les Femmes Calendar by Garance Dore (sold-out everywhere but on her website) – priced at  26 $

4. Downton Abbey 2015 Calendar - priced at 14.99 $

5. Loulou’s Pug Calendar (from MEETTHEPUGS on Etsy) – priced at 14.99 €

6. Red Camper 2015 Calendar - priced at 28.00 $

7. Cities by rooftop 2015 Calendar (from IdlewildCo on Etsy) – discounted at 15.11 €

The funny thing is, with our current exchange rate I guess we’ll have to opt for some cheaper options, or maybe skip the calendars altogether to focus on cooler stuff, such as winter boots, fridges and cars. A glimpse into Russia – can you believe they’re all selling out at terrible rates? But a girl sure can dream. I think the best kind of calendar is an illustrated one, you get to see a piece of somebody else’s world and some of them are so pretty I’m sure I couldn’t wait to fold to the next page.

Do you use calendars? I just love circling dates and making my little marks but such pretty calendars are much better off unspoiled. Can you guess which one is my favorite? Go on, I dare you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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