Where Am I?

Well at the moment I’m sat at my desk, flicking (stupidly lazily) between Facebook, twitter, Lightroom and Lightblue, my photography business management programme.

Really, I should be running around like a crazy one, charging batteries and clearing memory cards and stuff. Or, I could be packing a bag ready for a(nother) mom blogging conference.

I’m not doing either, because I’m just taking a quick step back to look at where I am.

Not, like, where I am physically at this minute, but perhaps where I am mentally, and where I will be physically.

I’m seeing shit loads of tweets about tomorrow’s conference and I keep thinking, having been snuck under the parent blogging blanket, that I should be really gutted about not going. Instead, I’m stupidly excited to be shooting a wedding, solo, down in London (ironically, for someone whom I met at a parent blogging conference). Perhaps it’s because, after a long time of struggling against my own labels and titles, I’ve broken away into something I can call my own? Something I actually want to be, rather than something I have to be, just because I do?

That makes a lot more sense in my head.

I know I’m not the only photographer out there, of course I’m not. But for so long it’s felt like I’ve wanted to be something more, something bigger for me, something better for me; something I can do and look back on it and say “yeah…I did that. I did that on my own”. Sure blogging is something I do on my own, but I don’t want awards and recognition for being able to let my brain vomit a ton of crap on the internet, since, quite frankly, that’s all my blog is. But the photography – that’s something worthwhile for me and other people. It’s rewarding for me and them. I’ve built up JMP on my own, with support from the best friends and family (who know who they are), and it’s the most satisfying thing ever.

Mentally, weirdly, I’m still dealing with a ton of guilt. I’ve had to plug so much time and energy into this, trying to get it off the ground. The TV has often been used for a baby sitter, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve snuck in some quick processing while The Smalls are taking a bath (20 precious minutes; I can’t tell you how important those minutes are). I hate that I’m missing loads of swimming sessions with them, and I’m not even going to begin to see how many times I’ve passed out on the sofa straight after dinner, and then dragged myself upstairs to go back to work.

I’ve been lonely. I’ve been on my own. With only twitter and Facebook for company, it gets a bit sad and lonely. I’d love to go out and be somewhere else doing stuff, but the threat of falling behind in this busy season scares the shit out of me. I’d like to be seen staying on top of things, managing ok, maybe not FAB, but managing.

I’m in an ok place.

Actually, that’s not fair (on me); I’m in a good place. I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s bloody good to feel like I’m not raging against a system I never wanted to rage against in the first place. My blog doesn’t get much attention these days; I don’t have much to say since I’m often buried in a sea of work. But there’s still stuff I want to document, I just haven’t figured out how to find the right time to do it yet.

Ironically, maybe that’s the curse of living my life? I don’t actually have time to reflect and look back on it? Either way, it’s ok. I’m in a good place, and that’s what matters.


I’ve noticed a blindingly obvious pattern in my confidence, where my work is related, lately. I go do a shoot, I happen to feel fucking awesome about it, I go home, download, back up, back up again, back up again, then have a quick look through. If it’s not 3am, I might even do some quick edits. And if there’s anyone around, I’ll post a few here and there.

And then, I’ll hate everything I just did. I’ll the images, I’ll loathe my processing, and I’ll spend an awful lot of time wondering why the fuck I am trying to survive in this industry. Why I’m pretending to be a photographer. And I know I’m not the only person to go through those processes.

One thing I have noticed lately, is an awful lot of people telling me what I shouldn’t be doing while I’m going through my working process. Don’t pull that face looking at your images. You shouldn’t post your images anywhere for at least a week. Turn the computer off, leave them alone. Don’t look at them yet.

However, I often think it’s important that people remember these are my processes which make up a part if who I am. I remember constantly being told off for pulling different expressions when I was performing on my cello. So one time, I purposely kept the most dead pan face face you had ever seen, for an entire concert. Ironically, members of the audience AND the orchestra came up to me and asked what was wrong with me, did I not enjoy playing, and that my performance was a bit soulless.


Thing is, being passionate, being expressive, being emotional is all a part of who I am. I’m not perfect. Jesus I’m so far from perfect, I may deserve a whole other (not so forgiving) category of my own. But it’s how I deal with stuff. It’s how I deal with life. It’s how I get through. I don’t bottle things up; I can’t. I can’t live my life, literally, trapped in a bottle.

I guess if I were to contain the negatives, then supposedly that would force out more positives, right?


Because there is the need for balance. No person in the world survives solely on being positive. There is always some negative, even just the tiniest bit. It might be minuscule, microcosmic, but it’s there.

And the same is said vice versa.

I like my balance. And as much as I will cry and whinge and fret and stress about shitty stuff, I will, just as much, sing and shout and laugh and squeal about awesome stuff. We are a world who focuses on negatives, I know not why. But I like to think I come in reasonably equal measure. Sure, when I’m happy I’m over the fucking moon, and when I’m down, it’s often rock bottom. Middle ground is hard for some people. For others it’s a natural way of life. I’m not perfect. And I won’t spend my life trying to be perfect for everyone else. Because that stops me from being me.

But  most importantly? I’m willing to bet I don’t function the same way as the majority of others. And that’s a bloody good thing. Because the world would be a desperately shit place if all our emotions were tied to the exact same levels, eh?