I love to give back
People often say that they love to give back in some way and support charities. Individuals and companies do this in various ways. For some it’s a cash donation, for others it’s volunteering their time. We all have the opportunity if we choose to make this a focus at some point in our lives. I love to give back and have done now for the past 15 years!
When I set out on my path of being a photographer when I first left art college in 2000 this certainly wasn’t something I had as a goal, my main goal was to become a photographer. At that time it was to be a fashion photographer, which over the years has changed. I must say I am so grateful for the career I have had so far as a commercial photographer which has seen me photograph some very famous people like the Queen and Bear Grylls jumping in and out of helicopters! Most of all I have loved travelling the length and breadth of the UK photographing down to earth, hard working folk working across different industries and sectors as well as shooting weddings for clients.
Before my career started I became involved with a charity called More To Life. In fact before I went freelance and left my job in the London Fire Brigade I attended my first More To Life course, The More To Life Weekend. I wanted to bite the bullet and leave my full-time job, so a bit of a scary prospect, especially in London. A friend had suggested this course would support me in my growth going forward as a photographer.
The goal of the More To Life Program is to foster personal and social transformation through the empowerment of each individual. When I attended my first course I really loved the impact it had on me and wanted to give back my time to future participants of the same course. I could see the transformation in other people that first weekend and I can now really see how it has changed my life.
It’s given me confidence in myself and an understanding of how we can choose to be in our lives with the various things that come our way. Life as a freelancer can sometimes require me to step outside of my comfort zone, in order to continue to bring in work. Taking photos is the easy part! More To Life has taught me that I really have a choice about how I react to what happens in my life.
I have over the past fifteen years volunteered my time to be on team for the trainings, as well as leading the teams and creating the weekends. Many of my best pals are from this community and the ongoing support has been paramount in my success as a photographer.
The positive impact all the personal development I’ve had through the various courses and involvement has transformed the life I thought I wanted as a photographer into something which has more depth, love and connection than I thought possible.
All of what I have learned through More To Life I have transferred these skills into my photography. Most folk that I’ve come across in my career really don’t want to be photographed, some have a big phobia about it. The challenge comes when either their employer requires them to have their headshot photographed or they need some marketing imagery for their own business. This is also the case for many couples when they get married, so it can be tricky for those shy couples.
I have photographed thousands of people throughout my career who started the session not wanting to be in the shots to coming out from the shoot happy, relaxed and having enjoyed their experience. I do this through my friendliness and my ability to talk directly to the fear that people have running in their thoughts and am able to dispel the myths about “getting your photo done”.
Last year I became qualified to teach a More To Life course called Power of Purpose. The Power of Purpose is one of the most radical and innovative personal effectiveness courses ever developed. Unlike conventional goal-setting or time-management programs it uses an experiential learning process to reveal agendas that determine our effectiveness from inside.
The interesting thing about “giving” to charity is that I get so much more than I give. I love being able to support the transformation of others. We don’t often know what we are all capable of until we do it and often we stop ourselves from ever reaching for our dreams for fear of failure. More To Life has taught me that if I believe in myself I can achieve whatever I want.
More To Life as a charity is not really well known, word of mouth is how people come by it. It’s not one of those traditional charities you often hear people giving their time to. Raising money by running a marathon is an amazing achievement for the person running and the charity gets some money. More To Life has much more involvement and engagement where I get to facilitate people’s transformation and that for me is priceless.
I intend to continue teaching the Power of Purpose course as well as donating money monthly to enable the affordable delivery of the courses. This supports everyone to be able to afford More To Life courses.
If you’re interested to know more about More To Life and the courses it offers please click on this link: https://www.moretolife.org/about/