I had a lovely surprise this afternoon when I logged into Twitter and saw that the Britmum’s Brilliance in Blogging shortlist was out. Arlo was so excited that he forgot to put on trousers for his victory lap around the garden.

I asked for your nominations, and you delivered. So thank you. It really means so much to me, I feel completely honoured. I can’t stress these phrases enough, even though the words are clichés and they don’t seem to quite convey it.

Now the voting begins. I am up against some seriously great bloggers (some of whom are already in my google reader and whose images I already admire) and I am expecting nothing more. I am not very competitive by nature, I’m seriously just so happy to have made the shortlist.

In return for your kind nominations for this blog, and to give you a gist of what being shortlisted means to me, I will attempt to explain what photography has come to mean to me over the past year.

I’ve lived, breathed and worked in the industry for a long time, but before Arlo was born, I could happily not pick up my camera for ages. Arlo gave me a reason to take photos, and once I picked it up I found I couldn’t put it down again. My drive was well and truly reignited. Not just because I am obsessed with documenting every little thing he does and every little aspect of our family life, but because it keeps me sane.

At times it can be quite terrifying to feel you have nothing to say for yourself other than ‘being a mum’, so I fully embrace my love of photography as a hobby, a way of viewing the world around me, and a skill that gives me, literally, something to show for it. As someone who was not meant to have a child at this point in her life, and as someone who was meant to be back at work at this point in her life, it’s very easy to get hung up on thinking ‘What am I doing with my life?!’. My photos give me a bit of validation in the mostly unstructured, mostly ungratifying day-to-day life of a Stay At Home Mum.

I’ve been quiet about this so far on the blog, but after some very encouraging words from a few friends, I have been contemplating whether I could turn my lovely little obsession into a business. As any long-term followers of my blog will know, I have been looking for work for half a year now. A photography business would mean working for myself, chosing my own hours, and earning money doing the thing that I love most. It would be complete bliss to be able to spend my days taking photos, editing, taking more photos, and hanging with Arlo. As Sam will readily tell you, I already spend all day with my camera by my side and all evening glued to my photobook layouts and editing images in Lightroom. (Oh, how I love Lightroom). So, yeah, this is the plan (hopefully!)

I guess in putting myself out there for these blogging awards, I was looking for recognition as a photographer. I wanted to know if anyone thought my photos were good enough. Every lovely comment on my photo posts, and every vote I received for these awards goes a long way in helping me convince myself that photography could be a viable path toward a better life for me and my family.

So, that’s what it all means to me. And thank you, again.

I’m off to enjoy a glass or two of wine and an evening with Kenny Fucking Powers.

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