My kid is someone who is very keen to stick to the ‘rules’. He’s also a people pleaser - these two things tend to go hand in hand and he gets nervous even thinking about stepping outside of boundaries. He came to me a few months ago and asked what I thought about breaking rules for something you believe in - and we spoke at the climate protests and suffragettes and Rosa Parks, others in history who have suffered real consequences for what they believe in. He was nervous going to the Youth Strike march, but was exhilarated and proud of being a part of something he believes in.
We need to acknowledge here - my family were super privileged to be able to march with ease. Firstly, our council (Brighton and Hove) publicly supported adults and childrens right to strike. That meant that we were, with head teachers permission, allowed to easily leave and re-join school in the middle of the day. We also live under a Green MP (yay for Caroline Lucas) who came and spoke at the march, and obviously supports the sentiment behind these gatherings wholeheartedly.
So really? It was easy for us. Our community is helping make it easier for our childrens voices to be heard, and at times encouraging it. In many parts of the world where children marched yesterday, the conditions are not like this. Even in parts of the UK. We still have Tory ministers on national television condemning kids leaving school for this.
When we look at these photos, let's remember that these kids, are being brave and fighting for something they believe in. This is the future, and that's why they strike and we strike along with them 💚
“As ephemeral as our footprints were in the sand along the river,
so also were those moments of childhood caught in the photographs.
And so will be our family itself, our marriage, the children who enriched it, and the love that has carried us through so much. All this will be gone.
What we hope will remain are these pictures telling our brief story“
When these two love birds got married 10 years ago, I was there, fresh off the high of my own newly minted marriage. I met Shamima when were babies, at our first proper grown ups job in the crazy world of kids TV. We were babies doing all these grown up things, living the life, man.
And now 10 Years on, we have our own babies and decade old marriages. How did this happen etc etc TIME IS CRAY CRAY AND WE ARE ADULTS NOW PROPER.
These guys celebrated this 10 year milestone in style with+
the people they love. It was truly an honour to capture such pure joy, I mean look at their faces!
There are some people who you just have chemistry with.
Confession: sometimes, as a photographer, picking up my camera for myself feels like a gargantuan task.
If I've been shooting a lot for work, or my head has been crowded with day to day stuff like packed lunches and school runs and the 30,000 loads of washing (seriously, howwwwww???) then moving myself to think creatively about my everyday can feel like A Lot.
Other peoples dirty pants don't necessarily breed creativity, ya feel me? (Although Tracey Emin would probably win the Turner Prize with that.)
But a few weeks ago I realised it was time to just push through and make the damn work. We're in the middle of winter over here in the UK (despite the freak heatwave we just had - RIP earth) so the light is er, interesting, which in a way gave me an excuse not to seek it all the time.
Let's not look for the big moments or the amazing light or the picture perfect stuff, I said to myself, just pick up the damn camera when you can.
I came up with the hashtag #weekofmoments and that's what I shot, every day.
I liked doing it so much, it turned in to two weeks without me even noticing.
Sometimes the light was there, and sometimes it wasn't.
Sometimes my kids were the focus, and sometimes they weren't.
Sometimes I was feeling it, other times I shot 8 frames and put the thing down again.
But for two weeks I concentrated on those every day moments, even making the space to put myself in the frame so my kids remember who I am, and like all stuff that takes a bit of effort, it felt good.
In case you're feeling slumpy, or you just want some ideas of what to look for when the washing bin is overflowing and the winter light is at it's dullest, here's what I shot:
Home from school
Getting out the bath
Sitting on the sofa
Husband working in pj's (admittedly mostly for the light, not because I'm a total perv)
Walking around the city (London and Brighton)
Bits of home life - eg drawing in the kitchen, chatting over the table
Slow Saturday morning
This list is pretty usual for a few weeks in our house.
Shooting my kid as she walked in though the door from school is one of my favourites - it's her "I'm home" face! And the one of my son getting out the bath, face obscured and tiredness still there for all to see feels like him. Like home.
And same goes for my husband and daughter sat on the sofa at 7pm, him on his phone and her on his head. No great light, nothing particularly special happening except that everyday love and family rhythm which HELLO is totally special.
Welcome to my life.
It's pretty damn special, dirty pants and all.
In the last 6 months I've had the pleasure of shooting a handful of families who are visiting the UK for their vacations.
Jenna and her family were the first to ask me to capture this for them, and I can't tell you how excited I was to type scream
when she asked me.
I've known Jenna via the wonder that is the internet for a while now - she's a fellow photographer, creative, artsy soul, who is generous and kind and just a massive list of all the good things.
Whenever we hang out or chat it's quick to get to the stuff that matters - the heart of everything.
Those kinds of people are my truly my favourite.
Shooting photographers is the both the best and scariest of sessions-
BEST, because they encourage you to push and grow and make something new. Basically, you really wanna wow them.
But also SCARY, because these are people with their own camera skills and visual talent
and so, you really wanna wow them.
But I'll tell you a secret about female photographers - they are the hardest done by.
They are running around creating art of their own children and partners, and other peoples loves on the regular...
but not often does someone do it for them.
And so it was a gift to be able to hand these over to Jenna after our time together. her, at the centre of it all.
I hope that when her children look back on these they'll remember that summer in London, running amok through a city ablaze with the most beautiful September light.
The feeling of their mothers gaze and hands holding on to the only thing that matters, whilst the red of the telephone boxes
lit everything up behind them.
Guys, you made London look even more beautiful than it already is. Thank you for sharing that time with me x
If you're about to head to London or Brighton for a vacation and would like me to come and capture your family exploring the city, let's chat!
Oh 2018, What to say about you, hey?
On the personal side, it was a year of extremes. There were big changes and life shifts and unexpected surprises around too many corners for my liking.
On the work side, the personal side made me shift gears. You know when you're running at capacity and the only thing for it is to buckle down and focus on the real, important, non-negotioable bits? That's what work gave me this year, the clarity to focus on the only thing that matters - my clients.
Looking back over the images I made this year with the people who invited me in is a JOY.
2018 gave me new life and birthdays and weddings and a baptism and anniversaries, along with the extraordinary ordinary of so many wonderful families.
I shot wake ups and meal times and cake making and museum trips and cafe hangs and story time and bath times and bedtimes.
The whole gamut of human emotion, everyone pulling and holding on to the things they love the most.
It gave and kept my hope alive.
Knowing I can walk down an street, knock on a door and find behind it a family who are just living their lives, carrying out everyday acts of love and tenderness over and over (in a myriad of unsexy ways, as David Foster Wallace would say) - that is hopeful.
Hope for humans and society and hope for the wider world.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family"
And to all the wonderful people who invited me in to capture them doing just that this year, THANK YOU.
Here's a little bit of what that looked like....
If 2019 is the year you want these moments captured for yourself, then drop me a line and let's make it happen!