It’s that time of the year again, when we assess and reflect on the past year, while looking forward to the next. A year ago I was getting ready to do my 366, and I had various ideas about new things to try in my photography. At the same time my daughter was about to embark on an important year of exams, so I was aware of the importance of keeping her calm and happy, so she would perform to the best of her ability.
Well, everything got totally side-swiped in the first week of January when my husband had a health scare. He had to have lots of scans and investigations, and it’s all been sorted out now, but it was a very scary few weeks (particularly because, as a doctor, I knew how serious it could have been). Luckily we have fantastic friends (both medical and not) who helped professionally and in other ways to get us through that period. While it was all going on we concluded that we should not say no to ourselves, and live this year as though it was our last, just in case it was.
So that’s what we did. We travelled a lot, we spent time with family and dear friends, we tried lots of new things. (Oysters, for example. We’re obsessed.) At the same time it put everything else into perspective: I worried less about the small things and become much more drama-averse. Life is too short to waste time on nonsense, or to agonise about social-media posts, or how to caption something on Instagram.
All this ended up shaping my approach to my 366, which I’ve now nearly finished. I’ve shot the whole year on my Leica M6, trying a variety of black and white films along the way. It made me focus on what really matters, and what I really enjoy, not trying to prove anything to anyone. It’s not about gear or theory or fancy techniques. Just collecting an image each day to celebrate the passing of the days, and take pleasure in small things.
My 366 was also an excuse to carry my Leica around and really get to know it. When I look back at these pictures I will see the moments of quiet stillness I captured throughout the year. But I’ll also be reminded of the dramas that were going on in the background, and I’ll appreciate my chronicle of life going on as normal, in a year when it might very easily not have done.
PS Thank you to all of our friends and family who supported us this year. You know who you are and you are very much loved and appreciated. And also thank you to Heather for teaching me about oysters!
PPS And our girl did really well in her exams too!