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How to be a photographer mum...

So, for over 16 years now I've been a part time free lance photographer while also being a busy mum, secretary, taxi driver, nurse, cleaner, chef and general dogsbody to a family of three daughters of varying ages and a husband who is often away for work. Yes, it's been hard at times. Yes, I've thought about giving it all up and getting a steady paid job - but what would I do that gives me holidays off (saves child care costs), allows me the time to look after my girls if they're ill, attend events at school like celebration assemblies, reading, celebrating curriculum events etc? In a word, not many jobs. So, I'm still here, muddling my way through, with sporadic payments from photo libraries, family photo shoots, commissions, running courses etc, none of which are regular work and I've just decided to reinvigorate my blog after over a years absence. Why? Well, I'm a bit miffed. I've just missed out on a big photography commission and I think I missed out because I had to admit I have to work a shorter week than full time photographers because I'm a mum, and as such I'd need a bit more time to finish the commission. Apparently I came a very close second! At every step over the last 16 years I've had to put my family first, a decision I made when we decided to start a family. But being a full time mum means I've also had to rethink my work - I can't get out in the golden hours for landscape or garden photography - that's usually kids asleep in bed time or bath time or dinner time or running around to after school clubs time. So, I've adapted my photography. I offer family photo shoots because these can be squeezed in for the odd hour at weekends (my youngest can be left with my two older girls now for shorter periods of time) and I've continued with my love of nature and macro photography by having a fascination with dying flowers that I can indulge in my home studio during the day while the girls are at school. I get double value for money with cut flowers; I enjoy them in their prime and then as they wither and die I use them for my photography to study the textures and flowing forms that they develop. I can't actually imagine letting this creative process go either. I see the world in compositions; even when I don't have a camera I think, 'that'd make a good photo'. So could I stop it all and sell my gear? I think not. I love photography and I'd like it to always be a part of my life...So, this is a shout out to all the mums out there; those who work, those who don't, those who are part time, those who hold down a full time job and still read bed time stories to their kids at the end of a long day. Keep doing what you love all rock!

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