Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, October 01, 2018

I'm Leaving Photography and Here's Why...


mandy Charlton photography, newcastle photographer, weddings and family portrait photography in the north east of england




last year I decided that after a career which has spanned over a decade that I was going to leave the world of professional photography, I was all set to do it and then I won 2 awards and found my love all over again.

One year on and a few things have happened including my most recent bout of depression.  After a weekend of photographing 37 sessions to try and raise some money for Mind as well as giving myself my biggest personal challenge I feel the time has now come to announce that next year will definitely be my last year of full time photography.

The world of business and indeed photography has changed so much over the last decade, some great advances have been made but the markets are now more crowded than they ever were, we have less money in general for luxuries like photography and in an ever more demanding marketplace where I've tried to adapt and fit so many times, I feel like it's reached that point where I've done everything I've set out to achieve and it's time to move on.

I have no current plan, I know that I want to be a digital nomad, I have The Inspire Network, my own company which I own 80% of and I know there's a lot of things which need to be done there.  My fear of people continues to worsen and after a couple of scary happenings which have negatively affected my mental health I know it's time to start to plan for an alternative future.

I'll always be a photographer at heart and I'll probably always take occasional jobs by request from my darling regulars who's children I've watched grow and flourish.  My accountant assures me that even if I wind up my business I can still earn a couple of thousand a year from it as a hobby. My last planned wedding is in May 2020 and even though I've had times when I've wavered over that decision, now more than ever I know it's the right decision.

I do plan to up my game with writing and blogging over the next 12 months, it's been the one constant, my blog is older than my photography business and I've had times when it's definitely showed signs it could provide an income I've just not felt I wanted to push it too excessively because I never wanted to stop loving my blog and there's always a danger than when you start to make an income from any hobby that you will lose your love of that hobby.

I'm lucky that I'll always love capturing moments and places and things, there is rarely a day when I don't take at least 1 photograph even if it is with only my iPhone, that's not a bad thing though, it is after all the truth that the best camera is the one you have with you at the time.

As I lay in bed last night, my whole body aching with hands that felt like claws from 18 hours of photography I knew I'd done some good but it didn't outweigh the overall tiredness I felt and after a night filled with nightmares and me trying to block them out and calm my soul, this morning it felt right to write this.

I've been touched by the lives of thousands of clients over the years, many who've become friends but I've always treaded a fine line between balancing my delicate mental health (trust me it's the only delicate thing about me) with running a super charged and ultra demanding career.  I'm going to be 45 years old in February next year and the next generation of photographers have come along, in their twenties and early 30's with a style which is so different to mine, they're full of energy and they're willing to work the longest weeks to make things work.  Maybe my future is to help and guide them, maybe I'll help teach the business of photography somewhere along the line, at this point I just don't know.

As I go into what will be my penultimate crazy season, autumnal mini sessions, autumn and winter weddings, a time of little rest and much productivity I'm going to give it my absolute best and try to ignore the demons that live within my head that tell me every day that I'm a fake, that I'm not good enough and that I'm an imposter in my own life. I have loved this life I've lived for a decade and I always will be thankful that me, the girl who was actually certifiably crazy, got to live her dreams, at least for a while.


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