Winter is a more reflective time of year for me. I have less work, spend more time at home and naturally look inwards to reflect on the year ahead. What I would like to achieve, what I need to learn and how much I would like to meet more self-employed creatives. Working from home has it’s perks but it can be lonely and social media only gets you so far.
On one of my daily Facebook breaks I saw the post about the SNAP photography festival new photographers ballot. I clicked through to the website and thought what a great idea!!! A chance for new photographers to ‘win’ discounted tickets to this awesome event. It was a workshop that I had been looking at longingly since I saw the footage from the 2016 gathering but it dismissed as an extravagance I couldn’t afford. I used my profits from 2016 to upgrade to a Canon 5d mkiii and have just paid my tax bill. So the ballot seemed worth a try. I’m normally terrible at writing and I found this quite challenging but I was determined to be honest – I want other new photographers to know that they aren’t alone in struggling with self doubt and a lack of confidence.
So here it is….!
– Why I’d like to be allocated a SNAP ballot place
As a relatively new photographer (I photographed my first wedding in August 2015) I am constantly comparing myself to more established photographers out there. Wondering if I will ever be as good as them, as creative, as funny or as technically proficient… Most days, this means that my camera stays in its bag; safely tucked away, without raising my fear of failure. But I realise that taking the safe route doesn’t help me to grow or to learn. The photographs that I love the most, are the ones I took when I pushed my own boundaries and took risks – however small they may be.
So how does all this relate to the SNAP photography festival? Well, it’s all about pushing boundaries and taking risks. Getting myself out there and meeting other photographers. I still struggle to introduce myself as a photographer, often feeling like a bit of a fraud, so spending 4 days in Wales with hundreds of other photographers fills me with equal amounts of fear and excitement.I want to learn, to be part of a community, to encourage others and be encouraged by the wealth of knowledge and talent out there. SNAP seems to encapsulate all this and more. A lovely, supportive cozy corner of Wales.
– My journey as a photographer so far
I grew up surrounded by cameras and photos. My Dad documented my every move – from birth, first steps, my awkward teenage years, Christmas dinners and beyond. Every time I go home I flick through the family albums and love the process of reliving countless memories through photos. This is where I learned the importance of photography and where my relationship with cameras began – always being the willing recipient of Dad’s old cameras.
Like lots of young people I left school not really knowing what I wanted to do. I was drawn towards something creative, but like any concerned parents, mine advised me to keep my artistic outlets separate and pursue something more vocational. Skip on 10 years and I have a successful career but a job that I don’t really love. I dreamed about a more creative life and had absolutely no idea how to achieve it.
Then I met my fiancé and he made me realise that life is too short to do things that don’t make you happy. After only knowing each other for only a few months, we quit our jobs, left London and set off on our own journey. To discover new ways of life, get back to nature and give something back. Using WorkAway we travelled and volunteered our way around Europe for 18 months. We built straw houses, looked after children, picked avocados, grew vegetables, rode horses, lived in a shed, a tent and a dome made of mud, collected honey and made jam.
I was on this adventure when I was asked to photograph my first wedding. A bride reached out to me after seeing my photos on social media. I had been documenting our travels with my camera and using Instragram as my visual diary. I said yes immediately. Naively! Luckily for me, the setting was a stunning little village in Mallorca and the wedding was small and intimate. I loved every minute of it. Yes, I look back at the photos now and cringe a little. The technical mistakes, the exposure, bad lighting etc but I also smile at the memories I captured and feel proud that the Bride and Groom were so happy with the results.
After that experience I realised that I wanted photography to be more than a hobby. Initially, I was terrified (actually, I still am!). Luckily my fiancé believes in me and is the most encouragingly optimistic person in the whole world. I wasn’t really sure how to create a business, so with his support, I focused on building my portfolio and practising. I photographed everything from newborns to interiors and couples to yoga classes – whilst working as a waitress and a cleaner. Slowly I found new clients and started to develop my own style and preferences.
And this is where you find me now. Living in Mallorca, with 4 weddings booked for 2017, a new passion for life and a hunger to learn. My corporate, London life far behind me.
– Why I want to succeed as a wedding photographer
I wouldn’t call myself a huge romantic but I am fascinated by the dynamic of love. The way a groom looks at his bride, the way a mother cries during the ceremony, or the way a father carefully prepares and delivers his speech. Weddings are full of love-filled moments – both big and small. People are brought together, new love stories are made and emotion is the order of the day. As a naturally introverted character, I tend to notice the small but profound moments when I’m behind a camera – those moments that are so often lost in the commotion of a wedding.
I want to succeed as a wedding photographer because I want all of the above AND more. To dig a little deeper. I want to tell the story of a wedding day by showing how it looked but also how it felt. I want to become the sort of photographer who can do that.
I’m getting married this year and I know that’s what I want from my wedding photos. To look back on the photos and relive the moments that were made that day.
– Anything else I think you should know
I love music, peanut butter and sunsets. No matter how many I see, they are still magical to me.
Also, if you meet me, I’m a hugger.