This is my Secret Dairy

I have started to write what I really feel in my blog as I kind of think nobody reads it. The social media trainers advise us to have three clear consistent messages about our business and to work those to market to potential customers. 


I am an artist.

I photograph authenticity from a kind heart.

I love capturing the relationships we have with ourselves, lovers, family and animals.

 

All true. 

Best to refrain from controversy - yes? So on Facebook I am uber cautious. I was looking at my pages and all there is “me” and truthful. My business persona for clients and the American controller of good conservative taste.

So I am just going to have a bit of freedom on my blog. My authenticity.


Why am I so visual? I see the whole world, my memories, people, as photographs or short film clips. I read images and taught that skill for years. I taught how to construct images with messages too. I always challenged patriarchy, social injustice, racism etc. I am proud to still do that. This compulsion to see beyond the surface is me. The urge to change the world - I never gave up. If I use photography to make tiny changes each day I will live a meaningful life.

It is also about beauty and hedonism. The utter pleasure that comes from loosing myself in another human or another photographers work. Everyday I take time to just stare and feel for a while. Maybe that is my subversion? I’m not a technical photographer, I want that feeling in my brain of stepping into your world for a moment and glimpsing your soul because I find bits of my own story when you show me yours. 





Why Are 62% of British People Overweight or Obese?

What is the difference between the Italian woman here and me? She grew up with the war and in a world where fast food did not exist. She ate fresh seasonal food and quite small portions and sweet food was a weekly treat not a twice daily right. A lot of older Italians still live like this. Have you ever sat down to order in a restaurant with Italian friends and listed to the bizarrely long food discussion? Personally I enjoy listening to Italian anyway and I’m pretty fluent in food! Food is still a pleasure for many Italians and they take it seriously.

So last week in Italy I was talking about the British attitude to food. In my experience, when I listen to  friends food is a problem for many Brits.


“I’m in training.” No you are not, you take healthy exercise most days like you should. You do not need to just eat protein.

“I’m allergic/intolerant too……. +…………+++.” Really? I’m vegetarian (though I now eat fish) by choice, but don’t justify removing several food groups from your diet using pseudo science. 

“Low fat and low sugar foods are good for you.” They are stabilised, thickened and sweetened with chemicals. 

“I’m paleo.” I mean what!


Italians eat pasta so I know carbs don’t kill you - though they eat portion sizes that are about a third of ours.  They eat about half a meal in vegetables, salad and fruit. They think fruit is pudding and a glass of wine is medicinal (fabulous). If an Italian asks you out for a drink - they actually mean A drink. Sure they are changing and childhood obesity is rising, they do have alcoholics and drug use. It is not Utopia, but I travel to Italy once or twice a year and speak Italian so I am not just basing my views on a recent holiday.


So I look at my body at 50 years old and I wonder if it is good enough? I’m not fat; I’m not thin. I have to really watch my sugar intake and remind myself about portion sizes. I do exercise (yoga and dog walk/bike rides). I have never been on a diet because the multi billion pound diet industry does not deserve my money. 95% of people who diet put it back on - and then buy a “new” diet. The solution is to find out how to eat well- thus outwitting the diet industry. I cook because I want to eat well but not because I love cooking. Is it any wonder that I prefer the wisdom of this older Italian woman? 

I want to be slim, I am learning that middle age spread requires me to get a grip! Please help me to give up sugar 6 days a week by never offering me cake!



Photographing a Birth

One shoot for Unseen Community will be of Zea and her baby. She is a single mum by choice, she was advised to do so by her doctors and I feel she is very brave to take this step. I checked in with her this morning as her due date was 21st June so she is overdue - but babies come when they are ready don’t they? Unseen Communities is a year long photography project and I am to explore the narratives around same sex parents and more diverse families. Matt had originally asked me to photograph, the moment the baby is handed to the mother and we want that vulnerable, raw celebration of birth. There are several issues around this though, Zea is a high risk pregnancy and she may not feel comfortable having me with her whilst she is in labour. It’s tricky because if I wait days to photograph her the work may be more cliched and pleasant with set safe poses. Obviously Zea and her baby are more important than a photo shoot. I have to be patient and shoot when she is ready. 

Matt sent me a link this morning from an article of a  birth of a baby with both Dads present and helping. Now I understand why the birth is an important story for some gay men. They may long to witness and to help and to hold the baby and cut the cord. To be there for their child from the first moment. This is a large part of my job - to listen to the stories of others and find my way to document them. As a photographer I need to practise empathy and see a story from the perspective of another. 


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