Updated: Feb 10
Welcome to my new photography website and my first blog post.
For those of you who know me, you may have noticed that my new website is a little simpler than my old one. You may also be surprised to learn that I'm back doing photography again at all.
For those of you who don't know me, my pictures (and this blog post) tell the story.
I've been out of the game for a long time.
When I found out my parents were sick, I didn't think twice about giving up my photography studio in London and abandoning my plans. That was a few years ago. I tried to get back into photography last year after my parents passed away, but I felt like my grief was swallowing me whole. Losing them was shattering, but the months leading up to their passing were no easier. As their primary caretaker, I really experienced all the failures and shortcomings of our health care system.
Mum & me @ South Bank Centre
Above is a picture of me with my mum Connie at an exhibition of my work (http://platform4.org/festival-closure-project.htm) at the South Bank Centre in London, just one year before she passed away. Despite her difficulty walking after her stroke, and her struggles with generalised anxiety disorder, she was determined to travel to London to see my work. That determination stemmed from her love of life and her unbreakable spirit. Through it all, she never lost her wicked sense of humour. I could see just how proud she was of me that day. I hope she knew how proud I was of her too.
I'm grateful I was able to be there to support and love my parents to the very end.
I tried to find direction in my life again after they had passed. I thought taking pictures again would help me cope with my grief, so I tried taking up dog photography. It didn't help. Nothing seemed to. I became trapped in a cycle of over-sleeping, binge-watching Netflix, randomly moving around, and failing to keep up with connections.
People had asked me over the years why I had given up photography, including a former art student of mine. I never knew what to say. How do you tell people that the light inside of you went out? The only things that kept me going were my dog Angel, who looked after me without judgement, a part-time job that gave me a routine, a few good friends, and a new love in my life that I met last year.
I was lucky to have a support system, but I really had become consumed by grief, and every aspect of my life suffered as a result. I realised that I was so desperate to escape these terrible feelings that I never took the time I needed to actually heal. I started to take quality time out to take care of myself and to do the things I used to enjoy. I've learned that the only way to survive this magnitude of grief is to keep moving forward, otherwise, you'll fall into darkness. There'll be days where it'll feel impossible to keep going, but that's what we have to do. We fall, we get back up again.
So keeping with that, I'm not giving up photography. I'm going to try again. I may struggle with my demons along the way, but honestly, I feel really good about this. I may have more of my mum's determination in me than I thought.
I plan on posting new images over time to replace the older ones, as well as writing a few blog posts a year about photography, travelling, and some tips for both. Please feel free to sign up for my blog and follow me on Instagram if you'd like to learn more about my work.