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Photography: connecting and inspiring

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Photography has always been an important part of my life and for several years I worked as a professional wedding and portrait photographer. However, last year I made the decision to stop shooting professionally for a while and concentrate on using my photography in different ways. 

Through taking images for clients, often in time-pressured situations, in tricky lighting and sometimes with people who didn't really want their photographs taken, I started to feel disconnected from all the reasons I have loved photography for so long. I didn't really feel in control of my creativity and I started to realise that between shoots or weddings I was hardly picking up my camer at all. Weeks would go by without any images of my children and certainly no work on my portfolio of botanical images. 

 

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This isn't what I wanted. Yes, it's a wonderful thing to turn your passion into your job but it's not good if in turn that job takes away your passion. I wanted and needed to reconnect, to take photographs for myself and my family. To relight my creativity and to find my love of photography again.  

This year I have felt more inspired than ever by my photography. Every day I'm taking images with my dSLR for my 365 project. I love the discipline this takes but at the same time the creative freedom that it gives me. Whatever else my day involves every day this year (including the one I gave birth to Rudi on) I have put aside a small amount of time to think about my photography and to create new images. 

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But it's not just my dSLR that's inspiring me. It's the camera that's always in my pocket, my iPhone and particularly Instagram. I take my Instagram stream very seriously! I absolutely love it and the people around the World I connect with through images every day. And it makes me so happy when people are inspired by my little images. Every morning I start the day with posting one of my flower images on Instagram and sharing it on Twitter and Facebook. I have received so many emails, tweets and comments of thanks from people saying how much they enjoy it. It starts my day off in a positive, creative and happy way. I love that I can use photography in that way. 

And from my morning images came my idea for the Floral Friday competition I run each week. The joy I get from watching everyone's images add to the collection throughout the day of Fridays is just brilliant. I love how people come back each with new ideas, new seasons, different colours and just a real creative buzz.  

I use my iPhone camera like a sketchbook for images I might later create with my dSLR or as little sketches of my everyday. I love that my camera is always in my pocket and even in my very busy 'mother of four' days I can still find a few moments to create my little sketches. 

I enjoy the challenge of thinking more about composition with my iPhone, as that is what sets images apart. Yes, obviously composition is important when I use my dSLR but shooting images with my iPhone has really concentrated my mind on just composition and natural light. And I've found this such a great way to also improve my composition when I'm shooting with my main camera too.

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I am so happy writing this post and thinking about how I have brought photography right back into my every day. I find beautiful, happy moments to record each day and in the sharing of this on my blog and Instagram I am connecting with and inspiring others. I couldn't love it more! x

{ps - if you enjoy my photography you might like to come to one of my workshops. This is not why I wrote this post but this post does sum up why I really enjoy teaching and sharing my love of photography}  

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