I'm perfect (and so are you)

“I’m perfect just the way I am.”

I don’t remember the question any more, but I do remember the look of horror on my friend Sophie’s face, and the shriek of “you can’t say that!” that seemed to silence the university café for hours. It was a moment of … well, I can’t decide if it was arrogance or brilliance that made me say it.

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You're wrong about beauty

Almost everything you know about beauty is nonsense.

There are standards for beauty that involve symmetry and ratios and all of that stuff, as if beauty is something that can be measured. As if it’s a comparison against some perfect standard.

It’s not.

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I photographed an older couple who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month. Both really lovely people. She was a beauty in her youth and has been photographed many times - so (as I often see) when we came to select their portraits, she was critical of her wrinkles and how her face has changed.

Her husband came to collect their portraits this week. And when he was looking at them, there was so much joy and love in his face.

“She’s so beautiful” he said, “Doesn’t she photograph well?”

I had to agree.

Static & boring? Really?

I had one of those "wait! what?" moments when I opened my email this morning.

It was an email about an upcoming networking event. Yet another photographer is scheduled to speak about how they solve the problem of 'posed photography' and how they overcome the 'static and boring' images created by posing to show the real you. 

I have a few problems with that...

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It's costume time!

A little different this week, in honor of HALLOWEEEEEEN! (Why, yes, it is my favorite holiday of the year)

On beauty

I vlogged my blog this week, because I’m technical like that.

Anyway, I need to warn you that this video contains the word ‘boobs’ and includes some mild ranting.

Seriously, though, this was triggered by a photo I saw in my Facebook feed this morning, and it brought home again how much we’re doing ourselves a disservice purely by focusing (no pun intended) on making women look beautiful. We’re so much more than that - beauty, and appearance in general, should be an afterthought. Click on the video to listen.

A tale of two images - or how much can change in 6 months

I took this portrait one year to the day after registering my business - on October 31, 2017 - and I wanted to capture the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything that was going on around me: a response not just to the social and political changes in the UK and the US - two countries I care about deeply - but also the stage of the personal journey I was on at the time…

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We've come a long way baby

One year ago, I took the biggest risk of my life. After less than a year in business, I rented a studio space.

When I first walked in to my studio it wasn't even a rough diamond. The walls were interesting shades of green (thankfully it was just paint!), the ceiling tiles were damaged or missing because of the leaking roof, and the industrial carpet was stained with pigment from the printing company that had abandoned it the year before. It took a lot of imagination to see the space I have today.

Husband, Paul, and I spent all of July and most of August cleaning, scraping, repairing, painting, swearing, sweating, and weeping (maybe that last one was just me) until we had an empty white-and-neutral-grey shell that made the most of the incredible natural light. Over the last year, we've added furniture, upgraded fittings and flooring, addressed the water issues so that the ceiling tiles don't collapse after every rainfall, and generally tweaked the things that needed tweaking to provide a better client experience and session workflow. 

I wanted the space so I would be able to work through Ohio's brutal winters, but it's also had a side-effect I didn't expect; it's made me a better photographer. Now I have control of the environment, now all the technical stuff is taken care of and second nature, now I know how to put my hands on the piece of equipment I need in 10 seconds or less, now I can focus on creating art, not just on taking pictures. 

They say "do what scares you". I now know that to be true.