Summer 2008. 10 years ago. The start of it all.
2008 marked the beginning of my interest and love for photography. I got my first camera, a Fuji Finepix S5800, after I completed my GCSEs. It wasn't a brilliant camera but it went pretty much everywhere with me for several years. Even with a broken flash that didn't work for at least 3/4 of the time that I used it frequently. I loved it. I guess I still do, it's still on the shelf anyway.
It's always been weird for me looking back at old pictures. There are so many memories attached to them, just one of the reasons why I fell in love with photography to start with. It does amuse me sometimes though, finding some shots I thought where amazing at the time. Some are just awful, really really awful but somehow I can't delete them. They stay mixed in with thousands upon thousands of images I have collected.
10 years is a long time to do something, to do anything. I think it's definitely fair to say that I have improved. My style has changed, but the way I go about my photography stays the same. My pictures are never right, at least not to me. There is always something wrong with them however saying that, I'm not actually sure I want to change that.
Going through older pictures does mean occasionally you find things that make you smile. I've found one of Meg, our border collie we lost a number of years ago, I took after a few months of having the camera.
If you really wanted to, theres's a whole load of pictures over on my Flickr dated back to
10 years ago I wasn't even sure mental health was a thing. I didn't understand what was probably a really obvious issue for me. Looking back, I was depressed. I was lonely in a crowd and doing my best to hide all my feelings and thoughts.
I've come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. I am not cured. I won't ever be "cured". Depression is part of me and will always be but now, I try my upmost not to let it win like it was doing. I've had a lot of ups and downs and plenty of moments where I feel like I was going backwards.
For a number of years I suffered in silence, still unsure what was going on. Dark thoughts where taking over and making me do silly things. I lost motivation for lots of things, including photography. My school work suffered, my grades went down from GCSE to A Level. Something I will always regret. I know I could have done so much better if I had spoken out.
Having thought about this time of my life so many times, I've realised that the mental health support and understanding within schools is severely lacking. I mean it may have, and I really hope it has, changed in 10 years but in my school in particular it was non existent. I can't help but think that maybe if some of the signs I must have been displaying where picked upon I would be a completely different person than I am today. Saying that I'm glad things happened how they did and I am who I am.
Today I really believe I'm in the best place mentally I've been for a long time. Obviously there are still days I want to be alone, funnily enough, today was one of them. However, I'm more prepared to deal with them now. I'm glad I have this blog to come to. It's a sort of safe place, I can get the thoughts in my head out so easily. Honestly, I should have done this a long time ago.
According to Flickr, the next few images are my most popular shots. I can't help but disagree with some of them though. My favourites are often not the best ones. I like the fact that my top ones are some of my most recent work, proof I have improved.