Let me tell you a story…
In 1984, an eleven year old girl in the Philippines started reading a book called “Watership Down”. Books in the Philippines were very hard to get hold of, and very few families would own their own copies. But this door-stopper of a book was kindly given and gratefully received. That same year, the same girl would travel to England, with it’s green fields and rolling countryside full of cute cuddly wild animals (yes, she conveniently forgot the parts about farming and myxomatosis)! Her heart was full in equal parts of trepidation and excitement for that new “green and pleasant land” where she would be making her home. With her on that 18 hour plane journey, is that book, and hundreds of prints in a box to remind her of her childhood in the Philippines.
Yes that girl was me. I still have that book (along with other door-stoppers, shorter stories, and paperbacks) and that big box of well thumbed, yellowing film prints. It has now been joined by countless albums, and even more boxes of prints now containing photos of my own growing family. I can still look back to all those years ago and feel that sense of excitement and slight concern. I felt it again when I went off to University (twice! to Northampton then to Southampton), and then again when I was getting ready to marry my other half, and then again when we started a family.
I do believe that we are shaped by our past experiences. I am a curious mix of loving being surrounded by people (having 40+ cousins helped as a child) but used to my own space and working on my own (growing up as an only child). I remember wanting to belong to a huge family (all my cousins had big families) but not being afraid to branch out and be an individual. I equally love being in the city and being in the countryside. I love the UK’s changing seasons and varying terrains; the shade and cool of tall mountains and pine trees reminds me of home for those first 10 years of my life, the bracken and the woods of the New Forest, the warmth of summer sun, deep blue seas, sand in my toes and the wind in my hair, from the South Coast of England where my home is now.
I’m not telling you this because I feel that the photographs from each of those stages remain precious to me, (they are, and I think you should have some too if you wanted), but the main point is to tell you that I know the feeling and the rush of that particular kind of excitement mixed with trepidation when embarking on the next exciting adventure or next stage of your life. I’d love to be able to preserve even just a snippet of it for you so that in years to come you’ll look back at your photos and remember how you felt.
We are all shaped by different life experiences but we may also have some shared commonalities. It’s about being mindful of the past but also about enjoying and appreciating the here and now. I am here to listen, give advice if needed, and help document your days and help tell your story, with feeling, compassion and understanding.
For photographs with a sense of adventure and place, but grounded in family and belonging. Get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.