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Women, part I : Xiaomin in London

On a daily basis I'm inspired by talented and creative women when they share their photography on social media. Each day I get to have a little peak into their lives through images on Instagram without ever communicating with them and without really knowing anything about them.

The women you will meet in this series are women who inspire me, women who I want to know more about. I want to share their talent with you and my hope is that this woman will in some way inspire you too

Today we'll meet Xiaomin. I know her as @damin_lilly on Instagram where she inspires me with her simplicity, her eye for the detail, her calm colours and her beautiful daughter. Xiaomin can make any everyday item or scene pretty.

She lives in Sutton, London with her husband and their young daughter. They just moved into a new apartment

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your family? Who are you?

My name is Xiaomin Xuan. I live in South London with my Polish husband and our daughter Lilly. I grew up in a seaside town in Tianjin, China.

Will you tell us a little about how you became a photographer?

I was trained as a web designer prior to being Lilly’s mum. Just like fellow creative mums, I discovered Instagram. I started posting photos of our wanderings around London often with Lilly in them. Brands started approaching me from earlier this year for collaboration. That’s when I realised I wanted to be a photographer.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Morning coffee followed by 45 mins exercise. I will then gather things around the house to shoot. I enjoy taking photos of our journey when we are out and about. I do my editings at night after Lilly goes to bed.

How would you describe your home?

We are camping in our living room at the moment. A bit chaotic I'd say. I’m aiming for a decluttered and relaxed home.

What do you love about living in London?

People. People from diverse cultural backgrounds.

What to see and do in London for a family visiting the city?

The museum district. There’s always something for everyone in V&A, science museum and natural history museum. And Hyde Park is just a stone throw away. The summer pavilion is an annual highlight in the park.

Do you have some secret sweets spots in your city you would share with us?

Not much of a secret spot. But I love spending Sunday afternoon at Barbican conservatory.

Where is your favorite holiday spot with children?

Woody bay at North Devon. The water fall, the red rocks and the rock pools. It’s magical.

What does the perfect day look like for your family?

Driving down to the beach. Lilly does her usual exploring. My husband keeps her safe and entertained. While I snap away…

What is most important to you when it comes to raising your child?

Freedom to express her feelings. We all have up and downs throughout our days. It’s those raw moments that really test and stretch our bonds.

How did motherhood change you?

I think I am a more tolerant person.

What’s the best advice you would share with other parents?

Switch off the devices and get out more often. I’m passionate about getting children out from behind the screen and into the world. When I saw myself in my own child, zoned out in front of the TV, face lit up by the screen, I knew it was time for a change.

Who inspires you?

There are a LOT. My current girl crush is Yasmine Ganley, the founder and editor of AnyoneGirl. She makes nature relevant and contemporary. She’s just had her first baby recently. So I can’t wait to see how motherhood influences her work.

Thank you so much Xiaomin, for sharing your thoughts and photos here


I'm Maria Franck. I work as freelance copywriter and as a self-taught photographer. I have a deep love for still life, pretty things and my little family. A love for design, pretty little things, kids clothings and aesthetics.

On this page I collect my work, my memories and pretty things I stumble upon 

I'm a mother of two little, stubborn girls. For me, writing and photography go hand in hand with parenthood. It's all about documenting the little things in life. Keeping memories of their childhood close

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