So I launched my family photography and videography business ‘officially’ in March 2019.
Why do I say ‘officially’?
Because it took me a good year before that to actually feel confident enough to put my work out there and ask actual, real families to pay me to photograph their family.
After a month of stress (being a newbie means I had a LOT to learn in the photography award world) and working out how to show off my family portraits and photography in print I sent them off.
Then tried to avoid telling anyone in case nothing came from it.
We even booked a holiday to Disneyland as I didn’t think I had much chance to collecting an award!
But I did! And it wasn’t just a merit or one award…
I won FOUR Photography Awards!!!
I won not only Gold but also Silver and Bronze in the Newborn Photography category but also Gold in the Self-Commisioned Portrait (a gorgeous one of Paisley that I’ll share below). All as part of the BIPP North West Regional Awards.
These got me in to the running for Portrait Photographer of the Year in the North West but sadly I just missed out on that one.
But it now means all the winning photographs go through to the National Photography Awards later in the year (Oh. My. God…)!
So to go from launching a family photography and videography business to an ‘Award Winning Photographer’ in 3 months…how does that even happen?
Let’s rewind a little, if you’ll let me…
After 6 or so years as a wedding videographer we decided to start a family and it turns out it’s pretty life changing.
I mean, who knew?
I thought I could carry on being the super organised, list loving planner I always was and plan my work around the new bundle of joy as a working Mum.
And the trying (and failing) alone seriously affected my mental health (to the point of seeking help) and so with the strong encouragement of my wonderful husband I cut my wedding work right back so I could work on finding the balance.
A couple of years in to feeling quite sad that I wasn’t able to film as many weddings I took a bit of a shine to filming family life instead.
And I mean real family life, all the tears and nonsense along with all the incredible ‘firsts’ along the way.
Photography at the time was something I’d not taken seriously since my college days so I actually enrolled on to a ‘Beginners Photography Course’ in Manchester to work out how to take even better photos of my daughter, Paisley.
I was then encouraged by lots of peers to consider offering my services to others.
Really…?? I thought.
So with a little help from some local families I soon found a love for documenting ‘real’ family life.
Helping parents see how amazing they are and what a great job they’re doing despite it not feeling like it at times!
I know exactly how it can feel because I’ve been blown away by those photographs and video clips that show me being ‘Mum’. Seeing the way Paisley looks at me and how I look at her.
There can feel like a HUGE struggle at times with young children, some days seem to go on forever and then suddenly they’re off to school and we’ve not been able to really see the enjoyment and only the challenges and upset we’ve faced!
It can feel exhausting at times…
In our world of social media pressures I feel it’s important to share our every day and not just the filtered bits!
It made me feel even more passionate about capturing those honest moments for families around Lancashire and the North of England.
I’ve had Mum’s even say I’ve helped them with their breastfeeding journey’s because I’ve been someone who would listen to their worries without judgement.
I never realised how rewarding capturing family life for others could be.
So, from a Mum with huge struggles of her own wondering how I could still do what I love and be present as a Mum too to an award winning documentary family photographer…I have to give myself a bit of a pat on the back for that one.
I definitely couldn’t of predicted this and now I guess if I work hard enough anything is possible…
Award Winning Family and Newborn Photographer in the North West
If you’d like to see what sort of family photographs an award winning (that still sounds SO crazy) photographer can capture then head over to my portfolio by clicking below…
Would you like to see more?
Or if after reading that you felt I could relate to your life right now and you fancy having me photograph your family I’d LOVE to hear from you!