This Year’s Plan (Part 1)

Happy New Year! Here’s some fireworks just for you. May it be a blessed year for you all and may you be walking closely with God.


Well, I was thinking about what to blog this year. I had a few ideas because I’m alright at that sort of thing but there were two in particular which seemed doable (even if a little daunting). I’ll only cover one in this post so stay tuned.

The first is a weekly photography thingy. I love writing but I also love photography and I’m not just saying that in an Instagram Chick sort of way. I mean that I actually really like making beautiful pictures. So much so that my original choice for uni was to study photography (I think one of them was photographic art but never mind). I bet you didn’t expect that of a Theology student. I had a conditional for Newport and an unconditional for Carlisle at sixteen but something changed and my priorities changed with it. Besides, I might be good at taking photos (still not sure about that myself) but I am completely incompetent at making up the philosophical guff that goes with them to make them degree worthy.

I remember at my interview in Newport (it was a wet day in April and I had forgotten my shoes) the guy picked out this photo:

branch and sun 3

‘This one is really nice. It’s so poetic. I can feel the mystery and sorrow  and the feeling of being lost and yet the light shines through symbolising the hope in the loneliness.’

I looked at it over the table.

‘I was eleven and I had my little Nikon Coolpix at the beach that day. It happened to be foggy and there was a branch sticking out of the water and I thought it looked nice so I took a photo.’

With hindsight I probably should have kept my mouth shut or made up some spiel about teenage angst and how I felt that I was loosing my way and could identify with the branch feeling cold and alone and drifting out to sea, unable to see very far and fearing that I might never see the sun again. But I didn’t.

I’ve taken some beautiful photos in my time. I’ve taken some utter garbage too to be fair. More of the latter than the previous but the more you take the better you get in theory. You just don’t get to see all the sketches and misprints that famous people throw out.

The point is that this was not a child’s fluke of a photo. My heart and soul was in it and I took good pictures (for an eleven year old) even at eleven. What I could not do was make it ‘art’. I haven’t the ability to make my work into some mysterious-multiple-meaning-containing masterpiece that only the chosen few understand.

We’ve completed a year of writing challenges. Now I’d like to ask you to continue to tell stories with me. Join me as I take photos this year. Some will be rubbish and some will be good but it will be fun. The aim is this: these pictures should be able to stand as beautiful and quirky and moving and funny all on their own. They should not need a plaque on the wall alongside them to explain their depths because each one will speak for itself.

This is what I love most about photography. When the words run out I do not find myself floundering because I have found a way to speak, to tell stories, to express the inexpressible. And I do not need words.

So will you join me?


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