You’re not alone

Even though we live with so much uncertainty and a lot of worry at the moment, I’ve been so grateful for the little pleasures. It has been a real treat getting out of the house for a short amount of daily exercise with my family, after all the work and schooling is done for the day! I think we’re appreciating it more than ever, but maybe not as much as the lovely cat who now has the whole of the park to itself!

Everyone we pass is so respectful, friendly and observing the advice to keep to a sensible distance. It’s good to have some human connection, however brief, even if it is a smile and a wave in the distance. For those unable to leave the house right now, it must be really difficult but I hope you keep safe – I am so impressed by how the community is rallying round and supporting each other.

I hope that once this moment passes, we can all get out and enjoy wherever we live just that little bit more. I think we will all have a little more patience, appreciation, kindness and compassion. Because as life has slowed down and our minds have focused on the important things, I think we have all been reminded not to take them for granted.

Just take a moment

I enjoy the little things in life. The moments, the conversations, the experiences. I can look at an interesting cloud or an inquisitive squirrel on the way to work, and immediately feel better about the world. At the same time, I get bored and restless very quickly. I want to explore, to create and to find new things to enjoy. I feel like I’m missing out when I’m not busy doing something. Anything. At times, that means I don’t stop and enjoy what is happening right now. Sometimes I even know I’m doing it, but I still don’t just stop thinking about what I’m missing and enjoy the moment I have.

This has a negative impact on my photography, as well as my own enjoyment. The best photos are the ones we are inspired to take in the moment. They’re the ones that mean something to us. Not the staged, the posed or the planned. Sure those images look great, but their story is one of preparation and perhaps, inevitably, a little disappointment. If you can be present and reactive to what’s happening around you, then you’re going to get some photos that really tell a story. If you combine that with the technical skill and creativity to make the most of it, then you’re going to get some incredible photos. Ones that convey emotion and give a sense of capturing a moment in time.

In life, as in photography, I think that’s the point really. To live moments and find passions, to discover new places, people and experiences. Not the ones which you think you should. The expected ones, the popular ones. Validation isn’t truly measured in likes, shares and social media glory. It’s about doing what makes you happy, scared, excited or upset. It’s not about doing things well, or not well. It’s about just doing them. Finding moments and embracing them.

It has been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, which might be true. But it is also what limits a lot of us from discovering our own path and creating our own memories. Instagram, for instance, is awash with a thousand iterations of the same popular image. But the people taking those photos haven’t discovered a place, or discovered themselves. They’ve followed a formula to try and get the same result, maybe they’ve achieved it. Along with so many others.

It’s wonderful that we can share so much of ourselves with people all around the world. It has the possibility of bringing us all closer together, or helping us make new discoveries. But the most rewarding thing about creating and sharing memories, is making them your own way. Finding your own path and discovering your own view. Making memories that are unique, special and personal. This will help you be the most important and interesting thing of all. You.

My challenge to myself this year, is exactly that. Worry less about what next, and enjoy what life is right now. Only then will I really start to embrace, capture and remember the moments.

London nights

Growing up, I was never really that interested in London. It was fairly close by, but I didn’t visit often. As the years passed by, I started to fall for its charm. Each time I visited, it showed me something new and exciting. Although I still don’t understand the appeal of living there, it seems hurried and unforgiving. But there’s definitely something about the place, which has made it one of my favourite cities to visit.

One of my favourite things about London is walking from place to place, avoiding the tube if I can. It seems there’s so much more to see and do, and the place seems to come alive at night.