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A new journey

13th January 2015. That's when it started...

My daughter has just turned one and I'm leaning over the high chair snapping photos of her shovelling fistfuls of yoghurt into her chubby little cheeks. This was the day I took a tax rebate and despite my better judgement spent it all on my first DSLR camera: A Canon 700D. I wanted to document this little life, and I was already a year late.

I spent the next four years with that camera and my daughter. I used it at birthdays, Christmas, her first holiday. In fact, I took the passport photos to get there with it.

I volunteer my photo skills in my work life. It actually gets me jobs I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Over the years I learn how to become a better photographer when time and life allows.

Fast forward to 2020. Covid's just hit and I find myself furloughed from my digital marketing job, in lockdown. Lost.

I pick up my camera and my daughter and we go for our state-mandated hour-long walk. We do a lap of the park every day. I take that camera every day. I'm documenting the new normal.

She only wants to ride her bike but she humours me and poses for a little while. I look forward to our daily park photoshoots. It breaks up the lockdown monotony and brightens my day. This is something just for me – it's an exercise in mindfulness. It's my happy place.

...I slowly, without realising it, fall madly in love with photography.

For the second time, despite my better judgement, I go camera shopping. With nothing else to dispose of the disposable income, I buy a new camera and lenses I really shouldn't. I spend most of my time learning the craft.

I'm told my photos are good. I can't take the compliment but I'm glad of the encouragement. Someone asks me to take photos for their work, and another asks me to do their wedding next year. I'm terrified, but for some reason I find myself saying OK.

Eventually, Covid takes too much of a toll and I'm laid off from my job. But I don't care. I have this now. Someone asks me what I do for a living. I don't say "I'm between things". For once in my whole career, I don't try to explain what a copywriter is.

I just say it.

I'm a photographer.

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