Let’s talk about 2017

We’re here again.

We’ve reached the end of yet another year, one I’d really rather forget.

With Neko going missing I don’t think this was ever going to be a good year, but this is one that went from bad, to worse, to unbearable at some points.

I wish I was able to offer up some note of hope or faith or optimism, but I just don’t have any of those things left at the moment. I know we’re supposed to go into New Years with at least a little of those things, but all I have is the looming sense of fear that it’s just going to be more and more of the same.

Entering 2018 I am going to be sad, broke and feeling as though I am the least employable person in England. I need things to change so that I can take care of myself and relieve the pressure I’m putting on Joe because he’s working so hard to support us both and it’s super unfair. I apply for so many jobs but never get anywhere and to be honest I’m a little tired of hearing the well scripted rejection letters consisting of tripe about how the standard was so very high – and basically I’m not good enough. I’m tired of going to interviews where I am tasked with things which have nothing to do with the job I’ve applied for, how is that a fair assessment of how well I can do they job you’ve actually advertised. I’m tired of interviewers not listening to what I’m saying and twisting it to make it into something that suits their agenda. Job hunting should not be that hard or that unfair.

I work hard, I try hard. I just need a chance.

This year has also been kind of lonely, I’ve not seen that much of my friends this year and that is largely down to me. I promise I will try to be a much better friend next year.

Health wise, this has been one of the hardest ones on record, and I don’t just have the uveitis to thank this time. I’ve been struggling with low moods for a very long time. This year, it all came to a head in very traumatic circumstances, which I won’t go into. Diagnosis: Panic Disorder and Depression. I used to be one of those people that didn’t really understand depression, but now I do, and it all came too late.

I’ve always been pretty open about suffering from anxiety. The symptoms are very physical and hard to ignore, depression is something which can easily be confused or mistaken for low mood. Then one day you realise those low moods have been hanging around for quite a while and have long outstayed their welcome. You’re exhausted constantly and everything feels like an effort. It doesn’t take much to upset you and them bam! All of a sudden, there it is. The big black cloud of depression. So cliched, yet so true. The world is suddenly full of dark fog and you can’t find your way out no matter how hard you try.

I’m still very much lost in that fog. I will be until help arrives and I have no idea how long that will take.

Creatively, this year hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been networking like crazy and met some awesome people, been to some amazing shoots and got to do things I never thought I would. Here are a few highlights.













So there you have it. 2017 all wrapped and almost gone. I would really like for the creative stuff to keep going, but the badness to stop.

Please cut me a break 2018. I’m not sure how much more I can take.


Photography vs Day Job

Hello all, it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, the sky is blue and the world is becoming full of gorgeous Autumnal colours, perfect inspiration for getting things done.

Today I’ve been going through some images from some older shoots while I continue to catalogue everything on the new computer. I seem to have an awful lot of folders which has led me to think about how much time I actually dedicate to shooting for fun these days.

During my years working in Photography, I have worked both as a freelancer and for companies as a permanent member of staff. Naturally, freelancing will allow you to keep a good degree of flexibility in your work and life balance, enabling you to make time to shoot the things you really love as well as earn a living. Earlier this year, I made the switch back into full-time employment after being offered an opportunity which was just too good to turn down. While I love my job, and certainly appreciate the security it brings me while enabling me to continue to grow as a photographer, my personal work has definitely suffered.

Since May, I have done a grand total of 3 shoots outside of work, and one of those was for a client. So, just how do you manage to find the time to fit these important things around full time work? It makes me sad to see that so many former colleagues no longer shoot for pleasure at all, their reasons vary, but it’s still kind of sad seeing talented people who were once so passionate become indifferent. For me, shooting for fun is something I just can’t let go of, I feel like it’s something that is important to try and keep up with, whatever your reasons. For me, it’s mostly selfish ones but it’s also the desire to keep improving, moving forward and not just sit on my laurels. This is a fast moving business and nobody knows what’s just around the corner, so it’s important to keep up.

One of the things I have decided to implement are regular ‘Camera Walks.’ This is where I pick a location, pack up my camera and go spend some time photographing the scenery around me. The results of the first of these shall be published on the blog shortly!

Another brilliant way of keeping a foot in the door for Photographers who enjoy model photography is to attend studio days. These events will usually involve studio owners, designers or models hosting days especially for the creation of portfolio images. They are usually very reasonably priced at around £50-£65 for a Photographer for a days shooting with multiple models on multiple sets. Individual models will also hold studio days for you to work with them on a one to one basis, which is great if you’ve wanted to work with someone in particular, but generally, I find it better value to go to group studio days as they do represent better value for money – in my humble opinion.

Sites like PurplePort are great ways of discovering these events in your area. Ones I would personally recommend are Dark Lens Photography in Wolverhampton, they usually host great events with a brilliant variety of models and some excellent make-up artists. Latex Clothing designer Catriona Stewart (http://www.catrionastewartclothing.co.uk/) also holds some fantastic days at some amazing studios around the country. I have been to a total of four of her events so far and they never disappoint, in addition to the studio hire, the models, and the make-up teams, the cost of one of her days will also get you the use of her clothing line – which is incredible, she is seriously one talented lady. Designer Maria LeFaye, also holds regular group shoots, though I have never been to one of her events, they are definitely quite high on my Photography bucket list – if you’re familiar with her work you will understand why, if not you can see for yourself here: https://purpleport.com/portfolio/marialefaye/

I must stress, doing it all can be pretty exhausting sometimes, but if you’re like me, it is very enjoyable, rewarding and you gain a lot from it. I have taken periods off from shooting all together over the years when it has all gotten too much, but this usually just makes me want to do it even more when I am feeling back on form. Sometimes when I feel too overwhelmed to network or attend events, I’ll simply call a friend for a quick shoot –  no pressure, no expectation, but it scratches the itch for a while.

On, that note, to celebrate studio days here are some images from a recent event. All clothing by Catriona Stewart. Location: http://www.bodylinestudio.com/ Models: Anna, Emma, Florence, Catriona.

Anna2web Anna3

Catriona3 Emma4