Whilst this review is primarily focussed on 2023, I can’t write it without providing context going back to 2021, when I gave birth to my son. Every parent knows that parenting is hard, but after giving birth I also was slammed with post-natal depression. It’s not something I’ve spoken publicly about a lot despite being very public and personal in many other aspects of my life (like talking about my miscarriages). I felt like talking about post-natal depression while continuing to photograph clients pregnancies and newborns would be bad for business, but it probably only served to isolate me more.
In 2021, I was battling post-natal depression, being failed by the mental health support system, and my life changing in very unexpected ways when my partner came out as trans. This was all happening while I did my best to keep my business afloat and continue photographing families as normal.
In 2022, I was still trying to recover from post-natal depression and figure out what life looked like with a baby and a wife. I spent a lot of 2021 and 2022 in therapy. Both from a personal and business perspective, these years were the worst.
Enter 2023. I photographed 31 families, a huge achievement for me following the past couple of years and still only working part time. My top referrals for new clients have been via word of mouth (thank you to every person that has recommended me onto others) and organic searches via various search engines. I had the privilege to photograph a mix of repeat families and new families. My favourite shoots have always been the ones with repeat families as I get to see how the little ones have grown and the atmosphere is generally much more relaxed as we’re all familiar with one another.
I actually didn’t photograph many pregnancies or newborns in 2023. Families with older children were much more popular, along with my repeat families.
I was booked to photograph a birth in 2023, but was unable to make the birth (my first miss ever!) as her labour and birth was so quick. We arranged a newborn shoot shortly after, instead. I do hope I can photograph a birth in 2024.
Life threw me some quite unexpected curveballs in 2021 and 2022 was spent recovering and figuring out how to navigate it all. I feel like I’ve been in a much better groove during 2023. As my son gets older and a bit more independent, I’m able to focus energy back into my photography business and continue serving my clients better. My son will always come first, but the benefit of working with families is that everyone gets it. I’ve been so proud to work with such lovely and understanding families over the years and I hope that trend continues into 2024.
Many of the families that I work with choose not to have their images shared online. I respect this decision so much, but it does make sharing my work difficult. Below is a small selection of families who have given me permission to share their images. I am so proud of the images I’ve taken on every single one of my shoots and even though I can’t share a lot of them, I love them.