Life • September 18, 2016

{The Ordinary Moments 16} #35 ‘When You Have a Passion..’

I have written on this blog many a time just what blogging has bought to my life, to my family’s life in fact, that it almost feels like I am repeating myself if I say it again. To cut a long, lengthy story short, blogging has enriched my life in so many ways. It has bought me incredible friendships with inspiring, kind and amazing women, it has given me the chance to stay at home and work around my babies, I get to travel with my family, I get to earn a living doing something I love, and so many other things as well. But one huge part of it is that I get the chance to be creative and do something I am genuinely passionate about.

I have also talked about photography a lot on this blog. I have always loved taking photos, even back in my uni days when I would take a disposable camera out on a night out and then go to Boots the next day and get them developed on an hour service (which would always cost a fortune!) because we couldn’t wait to see them. I still have all the photos in my garage, one day I will sort them out properly, but it makes me smile if I ever go in there and pass by them, I will always take a few minutes to look at a few and smile as all the happy and quite frankly hilarious memories come flooding back. And the not so good ones too.

After uni I went through a brief period where I was just a little bit lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do, I guess it is something that a lot of people go through, where going out into the big wide world and finding a career seems a little scary. I wondered whether to go back to university and study photography, but there was no way I would have been able to afford to do so. Eventually I got a job in the travel industry (my other biggest passion!) and as I worked hard, went out far too much and saved for things like houses and weddings, my interest in photography sort of stalled- although Jon and I would take lots of photos when we travelled.

Then when Mads was born in 2010, I finally found something I really loved to photograph- my little girl. I then started writing my blog in March 2011, and I guess the rest is history. Over the years I have absolutely adored taking photos of our growing family, I taught myself how to put my camera on manual, I practiced non stop when the girls would let me, and I have loved every minute of capturing our memories. Sometimes I won’t pick my DSLR up for ages, it will sit in it’s spot in our office and I will be too busy, or too uninspired to take photos, but then that is the beauty of phones nowadays, I use my iPhone all the time too as well. There’s never a day where I don’t take a photo.

Over the years I have been lucky enough to be shortlisted in some blogging awards, I’ve even won a couple, but I have been shortlisted for photography awards a few times and never ever won. It’s never hugely bothered me, I am just honoured to have been in the finals and there are SO many more talented bloggers out there than me, but honestly deep down if I could have won anything it would be for photography. It’s just my absolute passion and I feel really proud when I look back at how my photos have changed over the five years I have been blogging. On Friday night I went to the 2016 MAD Blog Awards where I quite honestly didn’t think I had a chance in hell of winning the photography award I was up for.

I had such a great time with old friends and new ones. It was so much fun getting ready with Lucy and Jenny (congratulations to Jenny for winning an award too!). As both mine and Lucy’s babies are so little Jon and Lucy’s husband Rich had to come to London with us, but they made themselves scarce while we all got ready in Jenny’s room (although Jon did come back with cupcakes and mini bottles of bubbly which was the sweetest thought- I definitely picked a goodun). It was then time for the awards and it was a fantastic evening. There were some incredibly deserving winners and I was absolutely shocked when they announced my name as the winner of the photography category. I am terrible at speeches, especially when I am not expecting it, but I managed to ramble something about how blogging has bought me many things but having such an amazing record of my children’s early life is one of the top ones.

And that is so true. When I look back on this blog in years to come, when our children are all grown up, I know that I will be able to reminisce on all the fun we used to get up to. And the hard times too. I will be able to look at photos and videos that I quite frankly just wouldn’t have taken, I will be able to smile at their small fuzzy baby heads and their tiny little hands. I will be able to see just how long their eyelashes were and how they used to curl up on our  chests like a frog. I have records of first nursery days, school ones too, countless kisses and cuddles, tantrums, and all the incredible travel opportunities we have had, all captured for us to remember forever. There is nothing that makes me prouder than taking a photo that capture my children’s personalities perfectly. There’s something so satisfying about taking a photo and thinking to yourself ‘I took that’.

Which takes me back to Friday night. I really am so proud. We all know awards are a funny old thing. There are hundreds of bloggers who deserve these awards. There are many bloggers who no doubt deserve it more, who take better photos than me. Who are more talented with a camera. Who might just not have as many people reading their blogs for whatever reason. I know that. I was just really lucky. But I am so so very proud. I don’t get proud very often and there is something strange about admitting you are proud, like it is a little bit self indulgent to say that it means the world to you. But it does. This blog is my fourth baby, it’s such a huge part of my life and it has bought me more than I could ever imagine. And photography is at the heart of it. Photographing our ordinary life, our travels, my beautiful little people.

Blogging is a little self indulgent, of course it is, especially when you write about yourself like I do. I still find it crazy that people read my blog, that anyone is even slightly interested in what I have to say. That people take the time to comment on it, or to like a photo I have taken on social media. You would think after five years the novelty wears off, but it really doesn’t. I am thankful every single day that people take the time to read it, that brands want to work with us, or that people message me to say hello. I am so grateful for that and that truly will never change, however many years pass us by. I’ve worked harder on this blog than anything I have ever worked on anything in my life, there hasn’t been a day in five years I haven’t thought about it, but I am well aware that I am just one of thousands of people doing the same thing.

So thank you so much if you voted for me to win the photography award. Or if you read this blog. Or if you like what I write on social media. Because if people didn’t read it then I probably would have stopped a long time ago and that doesn’t even bear thinking about really. Blogging is a funny old thing and I know a lot of people don’t understand it. But to get a tiny bit of recognition for something you are so incredibly passionate about is truly a wonderful thing, especially when it could have been so many other people up there on that stage in my place. When I am old and grey, and our children are off living their own lives, I will have such an amazing load of memories of their life to look back on. Whether that’s our amazing adventures, our ordinary moments and everything else in-between.

I’m so grateful for that.

(Ironically I didn’t take many photos of Friday night, but here are a few from my phone! Thanks to the team at Tots100 for such a great evening.)

mad_blog_awards_2016

PS for those of you who asked on social media my dress is from here and my shoes are from here. A bargain outfit!



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