On Sunday I was chatting to my oldest friend I know. We were so close when we were babies (see cute photo) but had different friendship groups at school. She is one of those lovely people who is there for everyone and it was so nice to have a chat and catch up and to see how happy she is. She said how happy she was for me re-launching my business and when she said “It is something you have always wanted” it made me smile…
I was 13 when I was given my first SLR camera as a gift. I had always been fascinated by the family compact camera and would spend hours looking at the strips of negatives, wondering how it all worked. My own camera was a dream come true I wore it round my neck like a medal photographing everything and anything. The first rolls of film I had processed were a bit hit and miss as I didn’t really know what I was doing with a manual camera that needed the operator to do everything. So then came the books, and the learning and more practice and then I was introduced to the darkroom at school. I was in awe. Not many people liked our Art teacher including my brother who was always in trouble with her! To me she opened up a world where I was able to escape and take my mind off everything else that was going on in my life. I was so sad when she left.
So that was it then I had the bug. I wanted to learn more and more about photography so I studied A Level Photography at college and then went on to University where I studied a BA in Design Photography. I often look back and wonder if I did the right thing studying a degree in Photography as jobs are hard to find but I enjoyed my 3 years studying and learning as much as I could with the time and resources we had. Everything was changing as our course progressed and digital cameras were popular by the time I graduated. Back then I was a documentary photographer. My degree show documented the hobby of rabbit showing which my Dad was enthusiastic about. It is something I look back on now and feel grateful for that time we spent together travelling to shows and chatting about anything and everything as we cleaned out 60 hutches on a Sunday. He was my biggest supporter and was always trying to tell me not to be shy and to get out there. I wish I had listened to him more.
After graduating I did some work for a book publisher and a few magazines. I didn’t know what direction my camera would take me and then I learnt how to use studio lights and that is how I came to offer mobile portrait photography. Then my Dad became ill. Nothing can prepare you for hearing that diagnosis you just want to tell them they must be mistaken. It had been such a rocky few years for us for various reasons and when we were finally feeling that life was good my Dad had cancer I couldn’t help but feel life was so cruel. Caring for my Dad through his illness was my priority and photography took a backseat. I always wanted to one day be a full time photographer but I had to work alongside it to pay the bills. One thing that kept my Dad focused through the early years of his illness was one day walking me down the aisle, he didn’t get his wish. After we lost my Dad I felt determined to succeed but I was never brave enough to give up the day job and take that risk. Then something happened that put an end to my dream.
I have always wanted to be a Mother for as long as I can remember. So finding out I was pregnant after our beautiful honeymoon was the best feeling in the world. We had a lovely little wedding hiring a village hall for our reception because we knew we wanted to try for a baby straight away and wanted to save our money for baby items. It all happened so fast, from seeing the positive pregnancy test to a few days later being told I had miscarried to then a day later being rushed into surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy. It felt like my world had literally ended. I just kept on thinking why? Why me. I then made the decision to stop being a photographer. I couldn’t even think about taking photos of families and children when it felt like what I wanted most in the world would never happen.
It did happen though and 4 months later I felt like the luckiest lady in the world.
To be continued…