Just after I had Charles I suffered badly with anxiety, paranoia, and depression. After trying to avoid anti-depressants and medication other than beta blockers if I really needed them, I found photography became a really good distraction for me. I found it quite therapeutic and felt as though I was able to view the world completely differently.
Clouds had more volume, flowers had more colour, tree's had more texture, peoples faces had more angles, eyes had more depth.
Over the years it was still something I enjoyed doing. Especially when we got our boat. I hated going to the river without my camera, I hated the thought of a missed opportunity.
Taking part in Living Arrows when it was run by Hayley gave me this boost to take photos of my children. To push the limits and to try and have fun with it. That stopped but I still had other things to keep me wanting to pick up my camera. I had other projects, I had a family I wanted to document life for.
And then I separated from my husband, and went through the process of a divorce. My camera felt like it needed to be hidden away. I would go to pick it up but my eyes couldn't see what they saw before. Everything felt and looked messy. I didn't feel like I fit in anymore. I didn't have that perfect family. It was just me and my boys with an uncertain future.
I saw other mums who were doing it alone and they looked so put together, so independant, cool, calm, collected. And I didn't feel like I would ever fit in with that image. And that's what I would be taking photos of...a family who didn't fit in. A family that wasn't perfect, that didn't fit the ideals.
I didn't want to make an effort to pick up my camera and document my life anymore because who would care? Who would look and be interested?
A year after the divorce, and feeling a bit more like I have control over life now, and with my holiday refresh at the Isle of Man, I felt a lot more inspired to pick up my camera.
And oddly enough, the inspiration came from a pair of Converse. My brothers girlfriends pair of Converse.
I found myself taking a photo of them whenever we were watching a race, looking at them and feeling inspired and feeling like I could turn them into a really nice photo. A random photo of someones shoes, but a nice one at least.
And it immediately ignited my passion again. And I found myself taking more photos during the week. Making a video as I did last year on my other camera, but getting my DSLR out a lot more too. Looking for beautiful things, taking in what was around me more.
Not just a pair of Converse, but the small purple flowers, the stones and pebbles on a beach, my brothers legs as he paddled in the sea.
And I realised that it doesn't matter if my life doesn't fit someone elses ideals.
And if life looks a little messy, because it is, then that is fine too. Because it is better to document real life than a life we want people to see and to believe that is going on.
I always wanted to be a little bit inspirational, even if it's to encourage someone to take the same brave steps I did. Because although my family is broken, we are all happy and that's ok. And that is good.
And just because we aren't together anymore, it doesn't make us any less perfect.
Who expected that much inspiration from a simple pair of Converse?