I know I’m very lucky that my photography has brought me some exciting work and travel opportunities. Honestly though, I’m just a big slipper wearing, tea sipping, under blanket snuggling home body. I’m really trying to go with the flow, as I can as I feel the opportunities won’t wait around forever, however finding the right balance between work and motherhood is not easy. During September I was away from home quite a bit and I also accepted some jobs that took me so far out of my comfort zone that I felt, well, uncomfortable.
This has knocked my confidence a little and left me doubting whether I’m doing the right thing, or pushing myself too hard. Although I truly believe that we have to leave the comfort zone in order to learn and to grow, I guess I’m struggling to find the right balance. Photography was a hobby, which became a passion, which in turn became a career, and where it’ll take me next I never seem to know! I’m constantly surprised by the things I find myself photographing, and as much as I am relishing the opportunities, I’m fearful of losing my confidence and therefore my passion.
I guess it’s a fact of life for most of us. It always a juggling act and getting comfortable in any sphere whether it be work or relationships can inevitably lead to stagnation. I do want to grow, and to learn as a photographer (and without a doubt whenever I take on a job that I find hard I learn so much) but this isn’t just about me. I have two small children, and I don’t want to miss too much of these precious years.
So the balancing act goes on for us all… sometimes we nail it, and other times the scales tip and we are left clinging on by our finger nails. Having said this after a quiet weekend I feel much more invigorated and inspired. I also feel quite a sense of achievement, I survived!
Despite a little too much at once, September was a month of opportunities and I was involved in some very exciting things. First was the Notting Hill Workshop. Organised by Jessica Bride, along with Mendy Waites, Siobhan Fergusan and Joy the Baker (because that’s how she’s always known!) we held a weekend of photowalks, food styling and photography classes in the heart of pretty city London. Attendees flew in from as far afield as New York, Seattle, Ireland, and Italy and it was a really fabulous weekend that I was very honoured to be involved with.
I was also very lucky to visit Amsterdam in September, with my good friend and previous travelling companion Julia Smith. Last time we travelled together (here) we had three little ones between us, so it was a huge treat to have grown up company, and be able to focus on photography and exploring this wonderful city.
The Hoxton hotel located in the heart of the city’s beautiful canal district very kindly hosted our stay. The hotel is a perfect example mid century chic, full of enviable furniture and quirky nick-nacks. The bar and dining area has a lovely relaxed vibe, the menu is great and the hotel staff are super friendly and helpful. It was the perfect base from which to stroll these beautiful streets, where Summer still seemed to be in full swing the weekend we were there!
Unfortunately for me I had camera troubles whilst away. My shutter froze and although it was an easy fix once I got home I didn’t know how to sort it whilst we were away. I snapped away pretty happily on my iPhone but I must say I really missed my camera, especially in the bright sunshine. At least I was safe in the knowledge that my camera hadn’t been damaged due to a knock, and had been well protected in my Grafea camera bag. It was the first time I’d used this bag and I was really pleased with it, it’s a great size and has handy pockets for other bits and bobs.
Here’s just a few more images I took on the first afternoon before my camera stopped working!
Being away from home makes me appreciate the return all the more, and there is nothing better than getting back to my home and to the boys. We have a short trip away as a family planned this month, and other than than I’m looking forward to a slightly slower paced, cosy month (pass the blanket and slippers :))
I just wanted to mention these gorgeous super-soft pyjamas which Snork Copenhagen very kindly sent to the boys. If you’re anything like me and love to feel the kids all soft and cuddly, and freshly washed in their pjs, then these are just perfect. You may have seen my youngest pop up in his minty green pair before here and on Instagram, and all the colours are beautiful. And fabulously photogenic, which is never a bad thing 🙂
Another favourite from September are these ethically produced dolls from Cuddle and Kind. They are hand knitted to heir loom quality by artisans in Peru, and for each purchase 10 meals are donated to hungry children. There are lots of characters to choose from and my kids absolutely love them. They have played with them loads and take them to bed each night as they are really soft and cuddly. I often struggle to know what to give young children for birthdays and Christmas gifts, as we all seem to have so much of everything, so I really like the idea of finding an ethical gift that is probably a bit different to anything else they will have.
I wish you all a wonderful new month!