This new life in the USA

This new life in the USA

I never wanted to be a photographer   It wasn’t a life ambition, not the career I dreamed of at school.  Back in those days I dreamed of being happy, not getting such a hard time, perhaps living a life which had smiles in it.  In fact the only career aspiration I had was to be the next ‘Kate Adie,‘ if you are too young to know who she is feel free to log off now!  Or perhaps a Hollywood actress, there’s still time I might give it a try. Spin back the clock for almost a decade & I started on this path to be a photographer.  I’d already been in Sales & Marketing, having left school and home by 16 I needed a job not a career but had been pretty good at it.  Trained as a florist, started an events company and produced three children..plus a few other sidelines in between..a true ‘female’ Del Boy.  A ‘Jack of All Trades’, & Master of none?  But actually, maybe, I disagree, I mastered the art of moving in the direction that life took me, seeing an opportunity, recognising the skills needed and putting myself out there. Taking pictures came from nowhere..I love advertising and the imagery, posed myself on the odd occasion but held photographers in high regard and didn’t believe that I could be one..with three young children I needed to sell my demanding events & floristry business and found myself needing something more to do. I took myself off to college to study photography, I was 33 years old. A decade ago. Did I become a Master of this one thing?  My photography...
Day 44 50/50/50 Alana

Day 44 50/50/50 Alana

Sometimes you meet another human being and there is a connection.  There are no words for it, it just happens.  In this case not a romantic connection but most definitely a love.  The first time I met this incredible woman was in her studio, she thrust a glass of red in my hand, gave me a huge smile, a bigger welcome and made me feel right at home. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary, hours in the day or glasses in a bottle for all the conversations we have had & hope to have.  We have cried, laughed & exclaimed in mutual appreciation about so many things.  We just get each other..I say what I feel with words on pages and Alana says what she feels with brush to canvas.  It was most fitting that I made her a part of my project, it wouldn’t be complete without her in it, she has definitely made my transition here easier, funnier, emotional and very rewarding, so I want to share her beauty with you. There is a lot that is beautiful about her. Her face, her art, her lovely girls and her love for Nick her husband. Name: Alana Occupation: Artist ‘Artist, because I am actually loving figuring out that is what I am. I feel like I am the most settled I have ever been and its because I am painting and I have figured out that this is what I am meant to be.’ 1.Where were you born and raised? South Perth, Western Australia.  And raised all over Western Australia. ‘Dad was a school Principal and we travelled every two...
Day 42 50/50/50 Maggie

Day 42 50/50/50 Maggie

I met Maggie properly for the first time today.  This sassy, petite Chilean is every bit as feisty as her three Jack Russell dogs. Attractive, charming with a real zest for life, always ready to throw a party and the last one standing when everyone else has left to go home. Today she was little quiet, only because she had been out late the night before and had enjoyed the wine, me too, I know how she feels. Name: Maggie Occupation: House Wife, Tennis Player, Dancer & Runs a Skincare Business 1.Where were you born and raised? Santiago, Chilly.  Moved to Venezuela then to the USA at 19 years old. ‘I grew up with my Grandparents, I was like the only child in that family because my Mother had me when she was very young, she was only fifteen years old.  She couldn’t take care of me so I grew up with my Grandparents.  When I was fifteen I lived with my Mother, only for three years.  Then I came to America to study English and I decided to stay.’ 2.Tell me a childhood memory. ‘Playing with my Grandfather after school, we used to play Hopscotch.  He would feel the shoe polish tin with mud to make it heavy and we would use that to play. Every day after school.’ 3.What is your favourite season and why? ‘I like the Spring because of the flowers, the food is so fresh and it is my favourite season because I don’t like heavy clothes.’ 4.Tell me about someone you love. ‘My husband and my kids. My husband is my best friend, great father to my...
Day 13 50/50/50 Mitchell

Day 13 50/50/50 Mitchell

  I have only recently met Mitchell since moving to the US.  He is a genuinely lovely guy, quiet, unassuming but confident.  A natural teacher, he pays attention to everything you say and delivers his response carefully after much thought. He has an adorable little girl and stunning wife..living the life he always wanted teaching Golf in the Florida sunshine. Name: Mitchell Spearman Occupation: Professional Golf Instructor (In the Top 100 Golf Coaches in the USA) Featured host of the International TV show Golfing World. 1. Where were you born & raised? London, St Mary’s Hospital. Raised in Finchley went to school in Hampstead.  A nice upbringing with one sibling, an older sister and supportive parents who encourage Mitchell in his sporting endeavours. 2. Tell me a childhood memory. ‘I remember being in the car with my Uncle when I was very young & driving out to a golf course to play and he was holding in his hand two golf balls.  One was the American size ball and one was a British size ball and that they were different.  At my age at the time about 7, they looked identical, he could tell just by holding them that one was bigger, which of course I can tell myself now but at the time it was quite fascinating.  The word American was huge for me, anytime I heard the word American it just meant better, thats what American meant to my mind.  So I had this image even before the age of 10 that I had to come and spend my life in America.’ I find it incredible that this childhood memory or...
Day 12 50/50/50 Terry

Day 12 50/50/50 Terry

I took the children for a day at Universal studio today..so my subject could quite literally be anyone, this place is a melting pot of cultures, personalities, diversities, countries..and dress codes! What happened was a guy all in yellow, dressed in a ‘Minion’ style, he completely dominated my attention at every turn, he kept appearing in my eyeline…so not deep, or profound just crying out for attention! He also happened to be English!  What I have discovered is quite interesting, the English responses to my questions are much less emotive, not deep or detailed or containing words describing feelings, more matter of fact..we are much more reserved.  Well ok, some of us Brits.  Not me obviously! Name: Terry Lane Occupation: Estate Agent (Realtor to my US friends.) 1.Where were you born and raised. Chingford, London. (I thought this was in Essex but apparently not for the past 40 years, shows how old I am!) ‘I was well brought up, my Mum & Dad separated but we had a good upbringing, I have a brother and a sister and a half brother from my Dad’. 2. Tell me childhood memory. ‘It has to be going to Disneyland Paris and being here has brought it all back. I went there a couple of times as a kid.  It was a surprise and it was a first time on an aeroplane and there was a 4D ride ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’ it was new at the time and amazing.’ 3. What is your favourite season and why? ‘Summer, I like the heat.  I was born in August, so summer.  Everything is...
Day 10 505050 Dianne

Day 10 505050 Dianne

Human beings are wonderful creatures. We face loss every day & survive it, we stare our own mortality in the eye but live each day with hope and happiness for the future. What other choice do we have? I don’t mean to make anyone feel sad or emotional.  This project wasn’t & isn’t about reaching out for stories of pain & loss.  I find it hard to listen when somebody tells me a story that hurts them & if they cry or well up, I will too. Let me tell you just a little of the story about my next subject, as much as you can when you have only spent 15 minutes with them.  When they have lived long enough to have mature children and adult Grandchildren they have lived a life that is a novel all of its own. This project is a snapshot..just a glimpse.  I hope it helps people to look beyond the presentation, seek out the reality behind the facade or discover the sadness behind the smile. Dianne is special.  She’s the Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter & Friend that you wished you had.  When she greets you with her soft beautiful smile, eyes filled with genuine affection, arms splayed ready for the warmest embrace, it feels like home.  Her voice has the delicious lilt of her home town that should be recorded to send babies off to sleep at night, she really is a sweetheart.  I didn’t know until today that this wonderful woman has had to endure such incredible loss. Name: Dianne Occupation: Realtor Where were you born and raised. Greenville, South Carolina. ‘I was...