I am fast discovering that life is all about opportunities and being brave enough to say yes to those opportunities when they arise.
It's funny how, for several years now, I have been feeling stagnant and have been just plodding through life and yet, in the few weeks since I decided it's time to get up, roll up my shirt sleeves and start doing things, several opportunities have immediately been thrown into my path.
First, there was the wedding experience. If I'd been asked, this time last year, to photograph a friend's wedding, I would immediately have said no and not given it another thought. But by saying yes, I've discovered that I'm not nearly as bad as I think at taking photographs, that I really enjoyed the experience and that I would quite like to do it again! In fact, I've already been asked to photograph another wedding next year!
Now I have an opportunity to start writing for a publication, which is something I would very much like to be involved in. I've always wanted to have my work published but was never brave enough to bite the bullet and submit my work anywhere. But, in the spirit of Yes, I can only try and see where this opportunity takes me. Which is partly why I started writing this blog, in an effort to stretch my brain and encourage that writing flow to eke it's way back out of me again.
And there are some things that are incredibly easy to say yes to. This weekend, my partner proposed to me and I have, quite happily, said YES!
This feels like an incredibly exciting time for me right now and I can't wait to see what presents itself next.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
My first camera was a tiny little thing that I won in a competition when I was about 7 years old. It arrived in the post and I excitedly loaded the 126mm film with 24 exposures into it. It had a little plastic viewfinder, which was basically a square with a hole in the middle, and a manual winding dial. I took it with me camping and when I returned my Mum got the film developed. What wonders had I photographed? I hear you asking. Well, on the way to the campsite we had stopped at a graveyard. I used the entire 24 exposures in that one graveyard, taking pictures of the various graves!
After that, my forays into photography ceased and it was only when I moved back to England and got my first digital camera that it became clear to me that I quite enjoyed taking photographs. When I started showing some of my photographs to friends and getting positive feedback from them, I decided to take it a little bit further. I bought myself a slightly better digital camera and started trying to teach myself a little bit.
That was probably about 7 years ago now. I bought my first D-SLR with a basic kit lens and haven’t ever really looked back. Up until last year, everything I’d learned had been from magazines, books and the Internet. I decided to start a course, which has been a real eye-opener for me.
Until recently, though, my photography was just a nice little hobby for me. Something I enjoyed doing when going out and about, or off on holiday. I largely took photographs of nature, landscapes and architecture.
And then a friend asked me for a little favour. He wanted me to go and photograph his wedding. What had started out as a little registry office wedding had somehow escalated and now there was a reception and lots of family attending and, given their very meager budget, they couldn’t afford a professional photographer. I was flattered they had even thought of me and, initially, I was reluctant. I had virtually no experience of portrait photography, much less wedding photography, but they were a persistent couple, insisting that they liked the photographs they had seen on my Facebook page. After some pushing from my boyfriend, and the realization that I needed to say yes to opportunities like this a bit more, I agreed to do it.
And so, just five days ago, I photographed my first ever wedding! It was nerve-wracking, exhausting work. I made mistakes. I learnt from them. I also learnt a lot more, too, about what sort of kit I would need if I wanted to do it again. And I’ve now started the challenge of going through all my photographs, processing them and hopefully producing an album the couple will be happy to receive.
So, there you have it, my first “something to regret”.
And I don’t regret it!
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
I have always considered myself to be a ‘creative’ person. By that, I don’t mean to say I’m a sensitive, tortured soul who nobody understands, producing the occasional ambiguous poem or conceptual piece of art. What I mean to say is that I’ve always been more about language, image and sound than I ever was about equations, scientific formulas or chemical elements on the periodic table.
I discovered, fairly early on, that I had a knack for the English Language and that I liked to play with words whether in fictional or poetical form. Music meant more to me than mathematics, even though I never really managed to learn to play. And, while my drawing skills were akin to that of a 4 year old with a handful of crayons and a colouring book, I had a reasonable talent when it came to taking a photograph.
When I was growing up my Mother tried to guide me towards choosing a future career for myself. She asked me one day, “Wouldn’t you like to be a Nurse?” To which I replied, with a disgusted shake of my head, “Ugh, and wipe people’s bottoms for a living?!” I envisioned a different path, one that included being a successful novelist and screenwriter, so talented that she had an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay under her belt.
So it is with extreme surprise that I find myself where I am today – a Student Paramedic. It looks like my Mother knew something all those years ago that I didn’t even know myself. And it seems to me that, while I haven’t exactly lost my creativity, it’s certainly been on hiatus for some years now.
Turning 30, amongst other things, has made me realize that I want to change that. I’m not saying I want to give up training to become a Paramedic, because I actually really enjoy what I do. But I would like to think that this isn’t the be-all and end-all for me and that it’s okay to keep my options open for the future. I also like to think that I could still be that successful writer or even a working photographer, whilst maintaining my vocation in Health Care.
And so it’s time to bite the bullet. It’s time to stop being afraid of having a “lack of talent”. It’s time to get back into writing, such as with this blog. And it’s time to start accepting the opportunities that are offered to me. After all, how can I hope to be that creative person if I don’t start actually being creative?