My Big Fat Christmas…

My Big Fat Christmas…

There wasn’t any snow. We didn’t have a roaring fire or stay in mountain ski lodge. Neither did we drink egg nog,  get to sing carols, dress up fancy or have a huge party. But, we had the best Christmas, probably in a long time. We talked, opened gifts, sat together.  I cooked, we ate, we drank.  We played games, we laughed.  No entertaining, no pressure, no clock. If you happen to wonder next year, what I would like for Christmas… well, simple, all of this please, all over again....
Nick Monteleone

Nick Monteleone

Dear Nick It’s been a year since the day we met. I will never forget that day.  I felt like I had known you my whole life and that day you gave me your whole life, your words, your story and your legacy.  You trusted me, I know I was just a vessel and I had no doubt of where I needed to be. That day, our time, will be with me forever.  Your life impacted so many and I am thankful that for just a moment, I got to see why you were so special, why they all love you so much. I hugged your wife tonight.  Pam looked so pretty, forever a little sad now, we share this much.  I recognize her pain and that of your children & their children.   I want to hold her face and say, ‘I know, but I can’t because I don’t know, how could I.  Looking at her and seeing your family about the place, I feel you, I feel your presence.  The glue, the reason, even without your living body, they are together, for you and because of you. When I look at your family I feel so thankful, privileged that I get to know them, experience their crazy!  Let’s be honest, they are all a little crazy! You have to love their noise, their frantic togetherness.  They are family, unapologetic but as an army they stand.  It’s a beautiful thing. All of your children are a little bit special to me. I see you in all they do.  It seems a silly thing to say, even a little...
Love letters

Love letters

Just before I travel, especially when alone, I get a bit anxious. Scratch that, very anxious, I curl up like a little ball inside myself and I worry like crazy. People are always surprised to hear that from me, I give off this air of confidence whilst inside I’m churning away, painfully! This trip is a long one.  Probably the longest I have ever left my youngest two kids.  My oldest and I now being accustomed to separation, he lives and works the other side of the world to me.  I say accustomed, but I will never be used to his being so far away and I still get that gut punch feeling every time I think about the distance or how much I miss him. So, why am I rambling this time? Nerves are one thing, we all hate leaving our children.  Flying makes me a little uncomfortable.  I shove the fear far down and try to pretend I am cool with it. My fears are bigger now, the world is a scarier place.  Walking the streets in major cities, going to a concert and just doing ordinary, everyday things can mean real danger.  We can’t protect ourselves from it, we can’t see it coming and its right on most of our doorsteps. I want to leave some words for my children. Y’know in case I don’t get to say it in person.  I constantly tell them I love them, am proud of them but if they ever needed to just read those words, however old they are in years to come, here they are. This isn’t supposed...
Love and Let Live

Love and Let Live

My very recent trip to the UK, albeit fleeting, was a bit of an awakener for me. Quite quickly into the trip I realized who my real friends are, who is genuine & who I should probably leave quite happily to their own life whilst I walk forward into mine. Traveling back on the plane, a nine hour trip, I started to reflect.  We all felt as a family that we had made the right move coming to the USA.  We miss people for sure, that’ll never change but we love our life here. It seems though that our life here is resented by a few. I paint a rosy picture, I am sure, but hey, its real.  No smoke and mirrors for us.  We do have sunshine, great friends, a good life and we worked hard to get it. This post however isn’t about that.  It’s about people and caring what they think of you. I care, far too much and as a result I often get hurt by things people say and do and just how they behave around me.  Women are particularly great in sending out the ‘dislike’ vibe. I just love the ‘look up and down’ when you walk in a room. With all this on my mind and being the caring type I of course start to analyze myself and what’s a day without beating yourself up a few times hey? With my thoughts on the subject of peoples opinions it was interesting to be watching the HBO TV Drama ‘Big Little Lies’ on the plane..I binge watched the entire series.  Loved it. Do make the time to see it. Without...
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 3 505050 UK 2011

Day 3 505050 UK 2011

Day Three: 50 Portraits 50 Days 50mm lens No pre planning, no fixed poses, just people doing their thing..so on the most part they will be strangers, so courage required too! A bit late tonight guys although I took the image first thing this am, manic day and Bride & Groom have been with me for hours, didn’t realise how challenging this sort of project could be. But anyhow, my image is of Emma, she was dropping her children off at Summer Club and clearly pregnant she was also in labour! She has three boys already under 8 years of old and as I started editing her picture I had news that she has just given birth at home to another gorgeous boy Otto!! Well done Emma apologies I made you pose whilst in labour and with no make-up on, but I think you look incredible. xx...