It’s late tonight as I write this post on the eve of my birthday. My son is asleep not too far from me with a fresh note under his pillow for losing his tooth. The Tooth Fairy had forgotten to drop by the first night his tooth had come loose. Elliot was certain that the reason the Tooth Fairy didn’t grace his pillow with a little treat was because he had lost his tooth down the bathroom sink- not that she was very busy. The next night The Tooth Fairy only had one pound in her pocket and this simply wasn’t going to be enough for a big tooth like a Canine tooth. So, to bide her time she wrote a little letter to Elliot saying that she tried really hard to deliver some money to his pillow but his room was so messy – that she couldn’t get in! With some diligent tidying up before bedtime this evening it seems that the third times a charm and The Tooth Fairy remembered to stop by. Frankly, I’m surprised that The Tooth Fairy is still alive and well after nearly ten years but it seems that Elliot’s imagination game is strong and I can only but make the most of it – and remember to carry some form of cash at all times.
Billy – my Husband is also asleep whilst I sit here typing, wondering where this post will lead. I think that most of what I will write will have been greatly influenced by him. We met when we were twenty-five here in Hastings. I often think of meeting Billy as him sort of nestling in and getting comfortable, and then not going anywhere. Thats Billy: when he makes his mind up he doesn’t waiver. This took me a long, long time to get used to. Five years on now and Billy has gifted both Elliot and I with a kind of love and security that you couldn’t measure. We married four weeks ago and so now I enter this new age as his wife and I hope to be lucky enough to treasure him for always.

As this is real life, of course not all has been rosy; I’ve had to make changes to certain aspects of my career in order to feel that I could be protective of my work again. There was a time where I began to doubt my skill set as a photographer for reasons out of my control. Unbelievable reasons. But then I took a deep breathe, looked at my portfolio and the incredible shoots lined up and I began to feel as though I was back on track. In finding that positivity through looking forward and simply looking at the proof in the pudding I’ve learned new tricks, I’ve made decisive plans to shape everything up and to keep moving onwards and upwards.

I’ve had such a lovely, steady start to the year that has allowed me to work through the above. I’ve met with some incredibly driven and talented vendors who I have the utmost respect for. I have friends and colleagues in the industry who continue to inspire me and the people who grace my camera with their wonderful faces are pure dreams. I began working with the gorgeous folk over at The Pilgrims Rest in Battle this year as I commenced the beautiful Boudoir Sessions. Women have entered the dressing rooms to mark an occasion and to celebrate themselves. How inspirational they all have been. I am so proud of them and I look forward to shooting more Boudoir sessions in the Autumn.

Shall we talk about the photographs in this post? For some reason I have always taken a self portrait at big moments in my life. I feel as though if I take a photograph I will be able to remember exactly how I felt in that moment. This has always brought comfort to me. Sometimes it’s not such a comfortable experience. We all have the sort of photographs that make us wince a little bit or bring an unhappy tear to our eyes, and that is the power of Photography. I took the above this evening in my bedroom with one light. Photographs to feed this nostalgic mind of mine and always bring me back here: to the start of the next ten years in my lifetime.

I remember turning twenty-one and being six months pregnant with Elliot. It seems like such a long time ago now. Events unfolded later on that year that seem only like a nightmare now but they changed my life forever. As I think about those events now I am pleased to say that can firmly place them in the past.
I do wonder tentatively, however, if ten years on, that events could repeat themselves. Is there a pattern? I would like to think not. We could bring these patterns unto ourselves if we wanted to  – some people only feel comfort in pain – if that is what they are used to.
When I met Billy, he was totally new. He hadn’t been with me for those events that unfolded. Sometimes I wished that he had been there because I wanted him to have seen what happened so that he could understand my pain.  I can honestly say now that I am so pleased that he wasn’t a part of any of that trauma. His fresh eyes bring a brightness so bold that I have sometimes struggled to follow it. His lightness has been so strong and so forgiving, that his hand that has held mine has slowly but surely brought me all the way to here. The love for my child has too, of course, but I have tried my upmost to not lean on him. He is young and wide eyed and I have hoped to have shown him only goodness and positivity over these past ten years that he has been with me. Its an emotional thought that ten years ago he was here but not quite out in the wide world yet, only in my stomach, hiccupping and keeping me warm. He still keeps me warm now when he holds my hands – his always so warm to my cold fingertips. I place my hand onto my stomach and I smile at the thought of him there once, so small and beautiful. Looking to the right of me now and he is just behind the door, so big and anticipating The Tooth Fairy.  He is nine-nearly-ten and his toothless smile in the morning will be the most previous gift I could ever receive.

So, these photographs are a little representation of who I am on the eve of my thirty-first. I’ve opened a door and I’ve closed another. Lifted up and led here by the strength and love and support of others. To another decade of sharing.

G X

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