This weekend I took some photographs for my in laws and for The National Garden Scheme, not something that was in the business plan three months ago! Of course I was happy to take photographs for the in laws however I truly thought that it would be in the ‘dutiful daughter in law’ capacity rather than the ‘aspiring portrait photographer’ one. Wow, I got that wrong!
I am still very much in setting up mode for Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography and have yet to form a definitive list of what it is that I photograph and specialise in. This weekend has made it’s way into the business plan, it showed me that it isn’t what I photograph, it is who it is for.
People are my passion and not because I want to photograph them, it is because I like them! Getting to know someone, finding out what makes them tick, occasionally getting it wrong … these are all wonderful life experiences that when combined they provide you with a sensory overload. I have always been a creative person, I trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School after completing my degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my degree, I just didn’t get the creative kick I needed from it and at the time that I was filling in my UCAS form the creative service industries weren’t ‘promoted’ in perhaps the same way as some other industries. I was a cook, I worked in both commercial kitchens (at which point I called myself a chef!) and then I worked in my own kitchen running a catering company. I met people, I listened to what they wanted and I created it.
Photography was always there and I have no idea why I never considered it as a career. Perhaps it is as simple as I viewed it as my hobby and wanted to continue enjoying it rather than feeling pressured by it. When I announced to those closest to me my plans to start a photography business (not before completing my six month course with Training byLumiere BIG difference between thinking you can take photographs and being taught by the pros!) I immediately felt pressured. I found myself leaving my camera behind at times when I would have taken it with me. The confidence and conviction I had in making the decision to do this was gone. Why? I felt, and still feel, like I have yet to earn my stripes in the photography world.
Every job that I now do, be it for family or clients is another stripe. It is another interaction with a human, also known as a person. It is listening and hearing to what the memory is, before it has happened. And what of the comfort zone? Well, I am out of that every single time that I take a photograph because I am putting myself into someone else’s. This weekend – the flowers, the gardens and the people; those are the comfort zone of my in laws and they wanted a memory of the day that they welcomed over six hundred people into their gardens, for charity.
On top of that, this is my first foray back into work after having my children. Initially I felt like I had so much to prove. I hadn’t had a salary for over four years AND I was only just getting to know myself again after working my socks off at being a mummy. What better time to have a second career then when you haven’t had one for four years, chipper idea.
I will always be a mummy and I will always work my socks off. I’m enjoying escaping that comfort zone too from time to time however not as much as I am enjoying it when I hear the children ask me if I am going to work or telling someone that I am a photographer.
All of these moments, these experiences, they are me. So, let me know what you want me to photograph! Me and my newfound comfort blanket (my Nikon D500) are great listeners and just at the beginning of what feels like a pretty good journey!