As many of my friends will confirm I am probably one of the worst people at keeping a secret. So finding out SIX WEEKS ago that I have been named an international ‘Rising Star of Wedding Photography’ by New York’s RANGEFINDER magazine (cue jaw on floor followed by Dick Van Dyke style heal click….how on Earth has this major industry magazine published since the 1950’s come across little me in soggy Manchester?…) but then reading on a little further to strict instructions ‘DO NOT TELL ANYONE.’ I set into a slight panic – how will I keep my motor mouth under wraps when this is quite possibly one of the most exciting things to have happened to me?
Three days later it was my birthday and I was at Festival No.6 in Port Merion, Pet Shop Boys were playing and the sun was shining. After more than my fair share of Captain Morgan’s I might have let the news slip a bit. Best friends don’t count though…But today I am officially allowed to tell. Such a relief!
There are a number of reasons why this news was especially special and especially hard to keep quiet about. The first being that past honorees of this prestigious title are folk who I have always considered ‘the big guns’ of the wedding world, people who I look up to with a similar adulation and awe that I used to have for Kurt Cobain when he was plastered to my bedroom wall. Mythical people who if I met them face to face I would most likely turn into a wobbly mute, or equally say something completely pointless and stupid. So to even have my name alongside such photographic giants as Sean Flannigan, Emma Case and Assassynation makes me feel both proud and honored... yet silently concerned there may have been a mistake!
The second reason this news has given me a little inward glow is that since leaving my full time job in telly last year, a job which I loved and people thought I was certifiably mad to be giving up, where I was constantly working in huge family like teams - I suddenly had only my camera as a colleague on the road. And it doesn't talk much. No one to bounce ideas off or laugh at random acts of strangeness. Just me. There has been periods of self doubt (am I actually any good at this?), the big realisation that working from home alone definitely didn’t suit me (probably due to my motor mouth being in need of exercise – problem solved by moving into a lovely shared office where I can now chew peoples ears off daily) and damp dark moments sat by the motorway at midnight waiting for AA recovery, hundreds of miles from home on the way back from a wedding… so receiving this accolade out of the blue is like a long arm from over the Atlantic patting me on the back and saying, ‘You’re doing alright actually Love.’