From the heart
Just recently it struck me that I’ve been blogging a long time now.
When I started this blog, back in 2007, I was working as a designer on a Wedding magazine. I’d been a designer for 12 years. There was no way I could have imagined that I’d end up being a full time photographer. It wasn’t a thought out plan. I’d just taken some leave from work to have my baby Niamh. I wanted to fill the creative vacuum in my life, so I started taking family pictures and blogging them, talking about my experiences as a new mum and enjoying what the camera revealed to me about my children. Just having fun with it.
When I went back to work, my boss, the publisher asked me to take pictures for the magazine. Thanks to her, and her faith in me, things kind of snowballed from there. She even got me a Wedding and told me I was doing it. Haaa!! I decided to accept every challenge that came my way even though I was really scared. Before I would not have taken those risks, the fear of failure being too great. But maybe having kids changed me. You learn to consider others more, and think less about yourself. Being a mum gave me a new courage that I never knew I had. Although I will never get on a rollercoaster again. Ever.
I realise now how much the blog has become a part of my life. Late at night, when my husband is snoring and the kids are asleep, when the emails stop bleeping and I’ve finished my editing, I blog. I’m lucky that I can survive on about 5 hours sleep at night. Although I’m sure some of the parents who see me at the school in the morning would disagree.
Lately, I haven’t had much time for personal posts. Over the last few months I’ve edited thousands upon thousands of Wedding photos. As much as I love my work, and the honour it is to capture those beautiful moments, sometimes, it can be overwhelming. And I need to return back to the early days, when it was just me, the camera, the kids and the love in my heart.
Drawn to take pictures purely for love of it, and for the love of the ones you want to remember.
Blogging is a long process. It takes alot of time to create a blogpost for a Wedding or a newborn session. I blog every single session because they have such meaning to me. Peoples lives their joy and their love, it’s such a precious thing and I have marvelled at every one. It’s enjoyable to share and this is my the studio. Everything you could possibly want to know about your photographer and the work is on here. For the most part, it suits me to work from home. It’s part of the reason I decided to do this kind of work. But sometimes I think having a studio would be lovely because you know who is coming in and out. I often wonder who reads this blog. When I started blogging, nobody was reading, so I just talked about everything and anything, with little self-awareness. But now I feel like I’m holding back. Because you are listening and the fear of rejection is creeping back in. I’m a serial people-pleaser. It comes from being a middle child in a family of five! And in my thirties, I’m still dealing with the issues I had in primary school. I guess I’m afraid of being myself, my true self, and people not liking me. I was never the popular kid at school. Not noticeably a loner either, but always in the middle somewhere. Buzzing about. It’s the same ME at Weddings now. I’m in my comfort zone buzzing around, in the middle of things, trying not to draw too much attention to myself, casually shooting events as they develop. Still in the middle after all these years. I’m much more comfortable observing than participating. With the camera, I’ve found that in the middle was right where I needed to be. I’ve found my happy place, somewhere that fits me. Maybe lots of photographer’s are like this. The only difference between primary school and now is, I recognise my fears and I can choose to confront them. So here I am, being my big scary self.
Blogging is like talking into a dark room full of people. You know there’s an audience but you can’t see their faces. You can’t see if they are smiling or frowning.
I’m not a natural writer. I struggle with descriptions for emotions. But pictures move me and give me a voice. It’s like people who love music so much, and lyrics. That’s how they express themselves. And when you put the right music and the right images together, it’s even more powerful. You can only hope that others are moved too.
This is the most I’ve talked in ages about myself! I’m much more comfortable talking about others. So I’m hoping after this heartfelt post, that if you stop often, you’ll say hello. Let me know why you visit, what you enjoy on this blog. Is it Weddings, newborns or family sessions? Are you a new photographer and would you like to see more helpful tips or encouragement? Are you a new mum or a bride to be? Maybe a friend or relative. I want to know more about YOU.
Tonight I went for a walk with the children. I brought along the camera and took some pictures, just like back in the days when it was just me and them. I wasn’t much caring if it was very good photography. I just wanted pictures of them being themselves. The kind of thing mum’s like to remember.
If there are flowers, Niamh will pick them. It’s her absolute favourite thing. I have lots of wilting flowers on my desk.
Seanan loves this dog.
Pictures of Molly running…
… and running.
I came back with tyres and flowers in the backseat. Seanan’s words: “This one’s for a swing in the garden.”
And, of course, one exhausted dog.