Maybe you will be afraid and maybe you will fail, but the courage to take risks in any part of your life is, I feel, a very worthwhile way to live. – Emile Hirsch

A Facebook friend posted this quote on her wall the other day and I feel that it certainly rings true.  I know I’m worrying my parents to death at the moment with some of the decisions I’ve been making but I also know that they’re very proud of me anyway and it really means a lot.  I’m frightened to death of ending up at the end of my life, looking back and wishing I’d have given my dreams a go.  There’s a lot still that I have to do, a lot still to learn and an awful lot to experience but I’d rather regret something that I have done than something I haven’t.  And isn’t life one big lesson anyway?!

As much as I love to have a laugh most of the time, the wonderful Catherine, one of my very best friends, often describes me as ‘obstreperous’ in so far as me being an awkward so and so sometimes!  We’ve regularly joked about it being a negative aspect of my personality but very recently I’ve come to realise that it’s also a very positive trait to have too, when applied correctly!  So many times I’ve been told that it will be too difficult for me to do this or that I wouldn’t be able to that and that’s when hell, I’ll do my level best to prove people wrong!  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but the fact that I’m learning all of the time, both from my mistakes, experiences I’ve gone through and from chances I’ve taken makes it extremely worthwhile in the end.  I’ll either try yet again or I’ll give it a wide berth but the fact that I’ve tried at the end of the day is really what matters most.  Tenaciousness, persistence, and determination are more the traits I’m looking for rather than awkwardness and so I will have to try and let go of the obstreperous aspect of my personality until I’m about 90 and giving the young’uns a run for their money!

So, going back to the quote at the beginning of this blog, I AM feeling afraid.  Afraid that I might fail.  Afraid that I’ll disappoint my family, friends and myself.  In the midst of my panic I am still trying to keep others calm and make them feel confident in themselves and in me.  But here’s the thing: I’m also feeling very, very excited at the possibilities that come with the chances that I’m taking.  I contemplate what I’m about to do next and my heart leaps and my fingers and toes tingle in that unique way excitement travels through my body.  A little like waiting to go on a big scary ride at a theme park.  I’m ready for the rush and am determined that I’m going to come out the other side a whole lot wiser and very, very happy that I tried…..so much so that I’ll want to do it again and again!!

I’ve got to admit, the adrenaline rush is quite addictive!!  :)

Triggering Emotions

“A picture speaks a thousand words.” – Frederick R. Barnard

At the very beginning of this year, I decided to set myself a project where I’d post one picture a day onto my Facebook business page for the whole of 2014.  The aim was to not only improve my photography skills but to also make me look at things in a different way, find a picture (and hopefully an interesting picture at that) to take and post with a story behind it.  Not only is it a daily exercise in self-improvement for me but it’s also so that I keep getting noticed and can build my audience base.

And it’s going pretty well so far!

Every day, not only am learning more about my surroundings but I’m learning more about my camera.  I’m seeing things in a different way, from a different angle and composing pictures in my head.  I’ve not just stuck to posting one picture on some occasions either.  On the whole I’ve stuck to my resolution of doing this once a day unless circumstances have dictated otherwise and if that happens, I make up for it on the following day.

The power a photograph has in triggering emotion is amazing.  Not just for the people I’m taking the pictures for or even for the viewing public, but also for me too which is something I wasn’t prepared for at the start.  It’s not just the actual photograph for me though but also the emotion I’ve been feeling during the whole process whilst I’ve been taking it.  I’ve found myself looking back on pictures taken a while back and remembering what was happening behind the scenes with me and my camera.  There have been some pretty bittersweet emotions that have been stirred up but then I’ve turned to other images and found myself grinning like a Cheshire cat because of them!

Welcome to my Blog!

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so, after much “Erm-ing” and “Ah-ing” I’ve finally sorted out my Blog (I think)!

I have started my first Blog entry with a quote that I daily try to live by, ever since I first read it some years ago. It has in turns inspired and consoled me, through good times and bad.

The most recent few years have been a real eye opener for me and no mistake and, by the looks of things, the next few years are going to be extremely interesting, productive and exciting to say the least. Well…..I’m certainly going to do my best to make that happen anyway! I can’t say more than that for now but I’m sure that in time I will divulge!

Originally I started my working life as an Office Junior, moving up the career ladder to become a PA/Secretary. I have spent the last 13 years within the IT outsourcing world, 4 years within SAP and 7 of which have been specialising in SAP Security and Authorisations. I’m not going to explain what SAP is; Google is a very useful tool if you should have any desperate requirement for a description. I have been very fortunate to work with some really wonderful people during that time. My first (and only) contract as a SAP Consultant after redundancy resulted in a laborious drive to and from Bristol every day – I could’ve stayed over I guess but I’ve always been a homebody and I really couldn’t put up with living out of a suitcase all week. Horrendous though the drive was I was incredibly lucky to work with such wonderful people at Lloyds TSB who, from the very start, made me feel extremely welcome, were most supportive, put up with my dizzy and dippy character and made, if not the journey, then the destination more bearable. Plus I got to sit in Millennium Square with one of my all-time favourite actors at lunchtime. Cary Grant’s life-sized bronze statue is permanently en route to filming ‘To Catch a Thief’ – I presume it’s that film because that’s the script he holds in his hand.

Before I managed to get the Bristol contract I had been thinking a lot about changing direction career-wise. I’d bought myself my first SLR Digital camera, a Nikon D5100, with some of my redundancy money, enrolled on a Diploma course and then a tog friend had asked me if I’d like to attend his classes. I’ve learnt a lot thanks to the course and to my friend plus my classmates at the Photo Club. I enjoyed learning new techniques, creating and composing images, showing people things that maybe they hadn’t seen, didn’t notice or hadn’t had the time to see and just exploring the endless possibilities. It’s great to be able to show people the world from my viewpoint, from a different angle. I love weddings. I’d helped out with a few and could picture (no pun intended) myself photographing them as the main tog. Portraiture is also an interest. I dislike having my own photograph taken. I completely empathise with others who feel shy, awkward, or damn right daft posing for a picture. I’ve always been a good listener and will always try and put people at their ease, whether they’re strangers or good friends so I knew that I’d be able to help my subjects relax, be themselves and have fun in front of my camera. By the time my contract at Bristol finally came to an end I was determined that a SAP career was not for me. I had no love for it. It was a means to an end but now I know that I have something I really want to work towards.

Since then, I’ve taken photos for a friend’s website for her new business venture (www.mypartykids.co.uk), I’ve photographed various events, taken portraits and family shoots and the future is definitely looking promising with my first wedding shoot happening this year.

Exciting times are ahead! I’ll keep you posted! :)