Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Under Pressure

So, everything is good, life is tootling along except for one small thing, on Thursday night I had a huge anxiety attack, I was at an event with Looby feeling out of place and all of a sudden I felt it in my chest, that huge lump which sticks in your throat and stops you from breathing, I was a million degrees hot and felt like I would choke and I had to get out of there.  The same thing happened again yesterday when we went into town for the Fenwick Christmas Window unveiling, we were due to go to Dobbies for the fireworks afterwards and I didn't get to do either thing because of another huge anxiety attack.

I think it's down to a few factors so far as I can tell, I was first ill with an abscess on my stomach which I didn't know about until I went to the doctors in pain and then ended up on a course of the strongest antibiotics with the threat of hospitalisation if it didn't improve, the antibiotics gave me side effects and this was going on amidst me shooting 38 photo shoots over 9 days, with one day of seven straight hours of photography.  When I got to the end I had eye strain, a migraine and nearly burst into tears when my Uber took an hour to get me home, a journey that usually takes 10 minutes maximum.

I have heavy schedules of deadlines over the next few weeks, my horn of plenty isn't exactly fruitful and I'm worried about winter, Christmas, my sanity, it's all too much pressure.  I know it reaches a point like this every year but I'm never really fully prepared for it.  I have so many good things in my life, my kids, my dog, good friends (a very small but fabulous group), and on the flip side of worrying about Christmas, Christmas is my favourite season, it's the time of year my home comes into its own, it's the time I get to spread good cheer and it's usually a week off work without any guilt before the new year hits and I'm once again worrying about how I'll get through the dark days of winter, emotionally and financially.

Running a business, juggling finances and being a single parent, I'm sure I'm not the only one amongst us who feels that kind of pressure, I just wonder if it ever gets any easier.  Children's photography is not the most fruitful business but it's what I love doing, I love it as much as writing which is just as poorly paid and just as rewarding, maybe I should have had that career in finance but I doubt I would have been even 10% as fulfilled as I am creatively and spiritually.

Tomorrow I'm doing 4 hours on the beach, I have to get back out there, I have the thermals and I also know that it's 7 weeks until Christmas Eve tomorrow, I'm planning to take time off from the 22nd through until the New Year although I'll still be available should a last minute booking for a Christmas wedding materialise, I love Christmas weddings but it's been a couple of years since I last shot one.  Weddings now are a total joy, I love sweeping in and sweeping out again after capturing the important parts and the fabulous portraits, my last planned wedding of this year so far is next weekend at Le Petit Chateau and I'm so looking forward to it, it's a no stress kind of day and a beautiful drive up there and back with lovely Stacey my wonderful friend and longtime assistant, weddings never really feel like work anymore and I wouldn't go back to shooting all day affairs for all of the tea in China, where weddings are concerned I'm happy to have found my niche in the small and intimate.

Next week I'm going to just hammer through deadlines as quickly as I possibly can, I have boxes in my hallway full of the most amazing products to go in gift guides and they all need to be photographed, we do have a Christmas product photography area all ready to go and Looby is going to help, I'm doing a little photography class with her using a tripod and I'll be in charge of the settings.  We're also planning some vlogs together and I really hope I make it to Vlogmas!

Okay, so, I've just read that last paragraph and I already know life isn't slowing down, I'm not really sure what the answer is but I think I might just have to find time to lie and meditate and time to have baths and moments for myself filled with mugs of earl grey tea and romantic Christmas movies which give me hope that one day, someone will find me, I know I'm a complicated being and far from a catch but there's someone for everyone right?  If you're reading this and you are single with swooshy hair and a sparkly smile, you know where to find me.


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