MOSCOW - HONG KONG - HUDDERSFIELD
A WORLD WIDE HUNT FOR MEANING!
I have always been interested in the visual image. Unfortunatley I was rubbish at art and I was also led to believe that photography was for people with pots of cash. So both were off the table for me at careers evening. Instead, when I finished in education I did a TESOL qualification (Teaching English as a Second Language) and headed off on adventures overseas.
It was when I was living in Moscow that I finally got a bit of extra cash together. I bought myself a SLR then a DLSR and embarked on a diploma at the Moscow institute of Photography. I'd like to say that I fell in love there and then, but for many years my photography was a source of frustration. As we were studying, our heroes were the founders of Magnum. In particular, I revered Robert Capa. He was a war photographer and photojournalist who lost his life taking pictures in the Indochina war, trying to get closer to the action. Living in Russia, I was perhaps well placed to embark upon a journalistic photography career, but it soon became apparent that I was not made of the sort of stuff that would allow me to get close to any sort of action, or confrontation. In fact, the opposite. At the first sign of any dispute I am prone to scarper. So if I wasn't going to be bombing round shooting wars and conflict, what was I going to be taking pictures of? It all seemed a bit pointless if I wasn't going to be documenting the big moments.
Just after I finished my diploma I was offered a job in Hong Kong and so I took myself away from Russia to the South China sea for 8 years of fun and sun. It was a pretty wonderful place, I met many gorgeous people, and had lots of adventures. I continued my exploration of the visual image by getting into video production, alongside the photography and teaching TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language). There were many exciting opportunities to be had. I worked with some very talented individuals and for many well known companies. I filmed trifle making in a field, augmented reality entrepreneurs and even a zombie movie. With a partner we founded a company providing children with film making opportunities. I continued to photograph, I shot parties, weddings, family portraits, head shots, products and my adventures. Hong Kong was a visual spectacle and I was in the middle of it all but I still didn't love my photography: I still wasn't photographing those big moments.
Finally, I felt that something was missing from my life. So I moved back to Yorkshire to be near my family. Soon afterwards, on a blind date at The Black Horse at Clifton I met my, now, husband. A couple more life changing events occurred in quick succession: my Mum passed away after a short battle with cancer and then a year later my beautiful daughter was born. It was then that my pictures started to make more sense to me. Most people don't live their lives in 'big moments'. For most people life is a collection of small moments that go together to form our memories and relationships. These smaller moments are just as important to us individually as the big ones. We can photograph those smaller moments to capture them and help us remember our lives. I'll look at pictures of my daughter when she was younger over and over again. I love getting out the photos of my Mum (few that we have). Once the moment is passed our memories and photographs are all that we have.
Since then I can now say, whole heartedly, that I have fallen in love with photography. I try to capture moments of geunine emotion and true connections that will spark happy memories of relationships and the people, places and experiences we loved. Because I now feel like the smaller moments are more important than the bigger ones: because that is what life is all about really.