Since relocating back to Northern Ireland and establishing my business in my not-so-new homeland I’ve read articles, watched videos talking about finding, knowing, sharing your WHY – that reason you do what you do, that thing that drives your purpose every day, why you get out of bed and show up… And I saw some fellow photographers discuss this just this week on Facebook so I thought it was time to put this out there.

I’ve made some big changes to my life in the last year or so – I left corporate life, I moved my photography business to a full-time venture. I relocated from London back home to Northern Ireland, adjusted the balance in my life, addressed a far-too-well-established sleep deficit, took up yoga, cooked more, walked the seashore, spent more time with the people that matter… AND I really became a photographer, really connected with WHY I do it. 

I think the history of “my first prints”, “how I picked up a camera at age blah blah blah” is so overdone on photographers’ websites and blogs –  so while I’m not going to bore you with a detailed history of my camera habits, it does have to be said that a childhood full of prints, of documenting my family and then my own journeys out into the big wide world has definitely shaped the photographer I am today…

I grew up in a house with photographs: the big red and blue leather albums my parents kept to chart our respective journeys through childhood, and the frames on the wall looking down on us. I made family holiday scrapbooks, even when all I could do was scribble on some pages…. but those scribbles were between the postcards and photos my Mum had carefully placed to tell the story of our trip to Wales… or Menorca… or wherever else we went in the 80s and early 90s…

I amassed a collection of scrapbooks, albums and boxes of prints documenting my childhood because you know what?  There was no such thing as a disc, a drive, a cloud, or showing images on a screen…

We are the most photographed generation ever. We pick up smartphones to document our every move, our meals, our outfits, ourselves in selfies, we’re jumping into photo booths at parties, talking and smiling into camera lenses daily, showing our greatest (and sometimes not so great) moments off in real-time and yet we print less than our parents, we frame less, we archive less… we frequently take and share snaps that auto-delete or that only re-emerge as memories on a social media platform 1 year, 2 years, many years later at an algorithm’s whim.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I became a photographer to bring balance to my life, to spend my days loving what I do. I took the thing that for years brought me peace when I lived a crazy life in the corporate world and I started to build my dream business around it. I became a photographer to capture moments for families, to chase light and children all day, to help generations tell their family story in print, on the walls of their home, flipping through heirloom albums – bringing print bang up to date by working with the best suppliers…

wall art products shown in the home

When the phone or screen you’re swiping today is long gone and obsolete I want you, your children, your family to remember through frames on the wall, physical albums to flip through, memory boxes to keep and to be able to pick them up again as teenagers, as adults, as parents or even grandparents themselves – that’s my why, that’s why I photograph families, that’s why I create heirloom albums and contemporary wall-art. That’s why I don’t just shoot and burn a disc or USB stick for you…. I want it to match your life today, your style, your home’s decor, but I also want it to last. I want to create memories, that last, physically…

That’s why I am a family photographer.