Why Did I Become a Family Photographer? | Oh So Peachy Photography | Plymouth, Devon.
This is something that comes up time and time again. Why did I become a family portrait photographer? Well the simple answer starts with just wanting better pictures of my own children, but the deeper reason is a little more somber.
Truth is, I was suffer from a little bit of mummy depression, I felt I lost my identity. Long gone was the university student, the teaching assistant for disabled adults, Long gone was the friend who was up for a night out whenever I could. I was mum. just mum.
Don't get me wrong I love my children and being their mum is a job a really enjoy, but somewhere along the way I lost me. The blues hit, put very simply, motherhood gave me an identity crisis that I wasn't expecting during these heart filled days. I felt outside of being a mum I was no one. Just a stay at home mum, doing her best to raise happy, kind and considerate children. Again, a job I wouldn't trade for anything.
And I didn't understand these feelings, I mean, I had the perfect dream life, I could stay at home, raise my children and be the best house wife to my husband I could be. This time is fleeting, soon they would be grown and not need me anymore.... Then what would I do? Who would I be by then?
On one particular somber feeling evening, exhausted from keeping a toddler entertained since his 5am wakeup call, knowing I was soon in for another night of broken sleep (he was not a sleeper at all) my husband suggested I find a hobby. At first I laughed, what kind of hobby can I do? I'm surrounded by my children all day and had no energy left by evening. But I looked anyway and found a local art class, which I could drop in and out of as I pleased, perfect around husbands job, which could take him away at any given moment.... But tiredness crept in and I didn't feel at all artistic by evening started and kinda also felt like a complete novice within the group of artists in the class.... So I stopped going and went back to the drawing board.
That's when I saw a course for photography, yes another evening session, but this was for complete beginners and I loved photography, I wasn't very good, but thats what courses were for right and it was something that benefited the family, finally having decent photos of my children would be great, I could line my walls with their beautiful faces. It was a hobby that included my children AND gained a little bit of identity back. I spoke to my husband and he told me I should go for it, I checked my bank balance and I literally had just enough to cover the costs of the photography course, my heart raced, maybe this is something I can do.
Of course, there was a hurdle in the way, as quite often happened when I wanted to do something, my husbands job, he may not be around for me to attend... And my guardian angel came in the form of my mother in law, who in conversation told me she would have the kids anytime my husband was away, she is one of my biggest supporters and knew I needed this. So I did it, I bought the course and enrolled to start in just a couple of weeks. With an empty bank balance, I felt excited. Something to ignite my creative fire again.
A week later I got an amazing phone call, my father in law was giving me his professional camera, he was no longer able to get out and photograph anymore and felt that I could do with it and start taking proper pictures of the whole family. I swear, my heart jumped out of my body that day, I jumped around, danced, sang. I felt rejuvenated. Maybe this was a start of a beautiful adventure for me, a beautiful adventure my children could come on too, I am still a mum, my children are the best important part of me, but now I was getting something else, something that had always been wanting to be developed since I went to art school and learned a little about analogue photography and dark rooms, finally that desire that I had long buried, was about to come back to the surface.
I started the course and I loved every second of it, very overwhelming at times at how to control all features within a DSLR camera. I took photos of my children at every opportunity until the point my son would put his hands up and tell me 'no' and my daughter wasn't having any of it. Whats a mum to do? My children got fed up with the camera in their faces and I still needed to practice, I wanted to get better. So I moved to friends but not before long that ran out and I still wanted to get better.
So I asked strangers in return for £50 for all photos I took and I got good responses, my photos were ok, not great but not terrible, but people were willing to shoot with me and they were happy with their pictures, so I kept going, my work got better and better till I got to where I am where I am today.
Three years on, I feel my work is good, beautiful, natural. I am still learning, I don't think I will ever stop. In honesty, I think i'm glad I had the identity crisis, because now, I am not just mummy, wife. I am Cheryl the photographer and I am in love with what I do and what I create for others to enjoy, My soul is lite up and I feel this shines through in my work..
So if you feel the identity crises I felt when my son was young, find something you are passionate about, develop it, get good at it. you never know where it could lead. I didn't start photography to become a photographer, the passion took me over and it just happened.
So yes, the simple answer is to take better pictures of my children, but the real reason was to find my own identity.
More about the Author.
Cheryl Peach is a family photographer based in Plymouth, Devon who specializes in maternity, newborn and family lifestyle photography, creating natural photographs that show the emotions and uniqueness of every family. Oh So Peachy Photography was
created in 2016 when Cheryl found her passion for photography whilst photographing her own children and wanted to create memories for other to cherish for years to come. To book a session, please get in touch.