The COVID-19 pandemic - what a strange time of life trying to comprehend what changes needed to happen (and so very quickly!) all in the name of our safety and wellbeing. I was like many other working parents and suddenly, overnight, I was catapulted into a new career (and into one, I’d personally never choose!) and became my daughter’s school teacher.
Whilst sitting here and thinking about what’s happened over the last 12-14 weeks, I realise that I am (one of) her main teachers in life, but have never been her greatest influence academically - thankfully, that was always left to the professionals! Having stepped into their shoes for the last few months I can safely say I take my hat off to teachers and believe whole-heartedly they deserve every second of six weeks off.
Don’t get me wrong, we have had a lovely time learning together and (at times) have really indulged in having some fun, but Nieve (my daughter) is the ultimate social butterfly - she meets a new ‘best friend’ wherever we go. She needs other people in her life and so, not having her friends and family around when she wants it has been really tough on her manage, and for me to witness too. My escape and freedom is my camera and when you have a moody 6 year old who has been brought up with a camera in her face like Nieve has, as well as her life changing overnight like mine did, I understand her outbursts of “stop taking photos of me!” and so my snapping about the house became somewhat tainted.
So as soon as lockdown started to ease, and I was able to get out with my camera and see some more new faces in friends, family and clients (abiding by the social distance rule of course), moving to take Doorstep Portraits was a natural next step for me - it was a little piece of normality for me and by god, it felt good! As they say, ‘you don’t realise what you have until its gone’ but I knew I had the best job in the world, I just didn’t think anyone could take it away from me. And with Nieve now back to school (home-schooling wasn’t for either of us!), here I am with fire in my belly (and one that’s slightly bigger after lockdown too!) ready and raring to get back to a new kind of normal.
What I loved most about my doorstep portraits was hearing the different reasons everyone had for wanting to capture their little part of history, whether it was a pregnancy bump, a new born, memories to show their children (and grandchildren!) in years to come.
And for every doorstep portrait I took, I promised to make a £5 contribution to 4Louis, a charity that’s very close to my own heart and this weekend I make a donation on behalf of all my clients of £100 . 4Louis supply many hospitals throughout the UK with memory boxes for parents who have lost a child at any stage through pregnancy and cuddle cots for the babies who were born sleeping. During the Covid pandemic, they also provided memory boxes to families who had lost a love one to the horrible disease.
Now that lockdown has eased again, I expect I’ll be doing less doorstep portraits and hopefully more location shoots over the coming weeks and months. And I for one - can’t wait! Thank you all for your continued love and support.