Tale Of The Great

A lifestyle blog on fashion, psychology & photography



February 2015



Visual Diaries: A Day in Geneva

Written by , Posted in Photography, Travel

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

In retrospect, I believe there was no more wallet-draining moment to choose for a russian resident to visit Geneva than this February of 2015.  Let’s just say that budget trips and Switzerland are two things that don’t mix well. But I fell in love with Geneva anyway.

When I used to be a kid, mom and I used to travel together a lot. So we ended up going to this winter retreat together, through Geneva towards skiing in La Chapelle D’Abondance in France. While in Geneva, I was playing the part of a tourist photographer falling behind to take yet another awesome-to-be picture. I guess, this is why my mom is walking ahead in most of these shots. Actually, I’m happy with how organic and non-staged they look: my own little “follow us around for a day in Geneva” project.

Geneva turned out to be a wonderfully picturesque city by the lake, near the mountans, with beautiful tall buildings meant for banks, high end stores, restaurants and other credible venues. Every building you look at has a brand name on top of it. By evening time, they all lit up beautifully creating this memorable image of a proud and business-like city. Ironically, the only partially non-functional sign board I could see was that of the Zenith watches with russian origin. I think the irony of this fact struck me enough to mention this circumstantial joke to at least three people.

When we landed in Geneva Airport I was disappointed and disapproving of all the ruckus going on, skiis all over the floors, hoards of people at the baggage claim, making it hard to manuever with suitcases. After being used to landing at Schiphol Airport and going through customs within 5 minutes of exiting the plane, it’s hard to face so much confusion in a place you thought should always be proper. We settled at a small very low budget F1 hotel 30 minutes by bus outside of Geneva, on french territory in Ferney Voltaire, which was at a considerabely lower price than any hotel in Geneva itself.

The very next day we departed bright and early into the city where we did some sightseeing. I ended up seeing Geneva as a highly photogenic city and a wonderful place to spend money, when you have loads of it, of course. But even for a money-less student, Geneva was so beautiful: the crystal clear water of the lake, the swans gliding effortlessly, the streets empty and the church bells ringing at 10 in the morning. I saw the fountain for the first time peeking behind the buildings as we stood on the view point in the old city center.

I went on this trip thinking I’d find out some wonderful local hangout spots to recommend, but my recommendation list is pretty scarce this time. All I can tell you, french grocery shops are to die for – I’ve never seen such wide ranges of products anywhere. From cheese, to meat, fish, and so much more. The only swiss grocery shop I’ve been to is the delicatessen on the zero floor of Globus, just walking around which makes you want to say, “Shut up and take my money”.

The one day in Geneva on our way to the skii resort, we ended up having lunch in the city center’s Chez Ma Cousine which was recommended on TripAdvisor along with the chicken plate menu that came with a side salad and fries for the price of 15 swiss francs. It was filling, it was nice, it was food – I couldn’t say much else.

On our way back home we spent another day in Geneva and walked around the mentioned above Globus. When I got hungry and tired of making circles around the building in search for affordable food, I went all out in the cafes within Globus. One of the 5 options aside from burgers or seafood stands, a wine bar, an ice cream and dessert stand turned out to be asian food, including wok, japanese sushi sets with such huge prices (nothing like I’ve ever seen before in my life, at least not for sushi), and simple rice with 12 shrimps and a bottle of Sprite which ridded me of the remaining 22 francs I posessed.

It was hella good though. The sauce and the rice made me recall this amazing taste I must have felt once before in my life, because, boy, it was amazing. How good can a simple plate of rice get? Funny enough, I do not regret any money spent. It was good food.

I loved visiting Geneva very much and I’ll be glad to go back and do all the things I didn’t get to do today. To turn window-shopping into real shopping, indulge in exploring all the ins and outs of the city, enjoying the warm weather and shooting outfits in beautiful and stunning surroundings. I hope you get the same urge to visit when you see all the pictures I’ve taken.

Click to see the pictures…



February 2015



Valentine’s gift ideas for her

Written by , Posted in Lifestyle

1. Wishful Thinking Soft Bra
2. Benefit Candy Coated Countdown Set
3. Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations
4. Wireless Bamboo Keyboard
5. China Book Vase
6. Two Night Hotel Break in UK
7. Moo Business Cards or Gift Card
8. Pixel Heart Heat Changing Mug

Hey all! I’m back today with the second post of the Valentine’s Gift Guide series! And this time I’m talking about Valentines gift ideas for her, your one and only girlfriend. Now, if you’re a girl and you’re reading this guide, all the better for you! You (just as most girls, including me) know what are the things you really wanna have, although sometimes you’re lacking the resources to get that stuff. Here’s where the guys come in. They’re resourceful, kind, and generally awesome gift givers, when you tell them exactly what you want. And guys, while your girlfriend might have told you what she wanted to get, sometimes our hints can be not very direct, yet completely obvious to ourselves. So if you’re in a pinch, imagine what your girlfriend would say about these gifts, and if you think she’d be happy, go for it!

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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?

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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.

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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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