The approach of the Thirties.
When I was in my late teens and early 20s I thought 30 was really old and that would be when I would feel like a grown up. I was fiercely independent, leaving home at 17 to go and live in Cornwall with my friend Hannah. We had a dirt cheap cute and most definitely quirky cottage in Camborne. We drank far too much cider (and vermouth and coke, we couldn't afford martini) spent hours at Porthtowan beach and made frequent visits to the Twilight Zone in Redruth (yes that was the name of the nightclub) I had a tireless craving for adventure and romance, probably the priorities of most 17yr old girls. I spent two amazing years in cornwall, I also lived in Perranporth and Newquay and I made a fabulous point of having as many adventures and mishaps as possible. There was a recurring pattern though, the need to move, change my surroundings. Never settled.
One day while living in Newquay someone asked me if I wanted to interview with Crystal Holidays for a ski season. Why not? Got through the interview and they asked me if I could go to Switzerland in 5 days. I took all of 5mins to decide my heart sang for this! Move too Switzerland, oh god yes! I then turned my whole life upside down had my mum worrying about whether I had enough socks and off I went. I still remember clear as day my first train journey around lake Geneva and into the mountains. It was one of the most beautiful 3hrs of my life, the mountains reflecting on the water, endless forests it was the ultimate sense of wonder. Zermatt to this day has a huge piece of my heart. I was an explorer and would spend hours roaming the mountains (often in flip flops it was summer) it was such an incredible and breathtaking place.
From that point onwards I was hooked. The next 6yrs was spent in Switzerland, France, Austria and then France again with the occasional few months at home to earn some money. I had no attachments and never stayed somewhere more than 10months. I made friends, I lost friends, fell in love (or what my naive mind believed was love) more times than I can count and got hurt equally as much. I loved the mountains both summer and winter, I covered great distances on foot and saw some incredible sights. I have snowboarded down a mountain with just a head torch, climbed a mountain in the dark to witness a sunrise and win a bet, cooked for 22 people every night for 6 months, ruptured ligaments, broken bones, fallen off a small cliff, walked home from the pub in over 3ft of snow, I have been to parties in a barn half way up the swiss mountains, in an igloo, in a forest! Hitch hiked 100s of miles to go and see my friends in another ski resort. I lived a wonderful adventure and its been so long since I recalled it.
My last ski season I picked up a camera....
It was an infatuation instantly, I came home that year and worked in a bar in Sidmouth, Devon. I still very much had my seasonnaire attitude and a massive sense of not fitting in. However I continued to take photos and it wasn't long before I did my first paid shoot and I was also asked to do some landscapes for the bar I worked in. Thats I declared to myself, I am moving to London to become a photographer. Oh the naivety. I was 25 and ready to go again. So in a very short space of time I secured a job as an Au pair and moved to London. Tbh my early time in London was not so different to my ski seasons, however this time I had a clear and constant calling. It wasn't long before I did my first wedding and loved it. Its the type of pressure I thrive under. You only have one chance, one opportunity to get those shots and I loved it. 5yrs on and I have developed my craft, I am sure of my style and despite my nature for adventure and change this is a never changing love and desire to create and capture. I have learnt how to build websites, do accounts, manage my time, run a successful business. I have met incredible people, been to beautiful places and witnessed so many wonderful moments. Photography has brought horses back into my life, it found me Luke and Cleo, its made me some wonderful friends and extended my family.
And you see now I am settled, I love my home, I love my family and I love my job which brings me constant and amazing adventure.
So my Thirties loom. I feel no regrets, I have loved the life I have lived so far, my personal growth has been huge, at 30 I have my own business and work for myself thats a massive achievement especially for a ski bum with no education ;) and so the next decade approaches. I want to grow my business further, hone my craft, complete personal projects, travel some more, spend more time in Devon, marry Luke, have a baby and buy a house. Then maybe I will feel like a grown up in my 40s.