About My Why On International Happiness Day

So today is international happiness day, a day which was made to inspire, mobilise, and advance the global happiness movement. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, for allowing me to have my happiness, even in the darkest of times.

It's funny, I talk a lot about who I am, I talk a lot about how I do what I do, but it's rare that I talk about why I do what I do. I guess I just wanted to open myself up more to you all to understand the 'Why'.

So let's take this right back:

I have always been into the arty side of life more than the academic which is a natural thing to do as I am a dyslexic as I have previously written about. In fact later on in life at high school, I used to get crippling migraines on days where I did not have an art class or music class. I guess my brain just can't live without a creative outlet. While at high school I played bass in bands with friends and I took my camera out to photograph landscapes and to do street photography. It was in these times that any migraines or issues just dissolved away.

It was in high school I started to get down about life, and some of it was just teenage blues, but some of it was much more than that, this was the start of a huge part of my life that is the basis of my 'Why'.

Moving on to college where I just studied art my migraines stopped, and I got as creative as I could, and I started to see that the photographs I took for painting inspiration were, in fact, an art of their own right. It was also the class that I got my best grades in and so the natural progression to become more photography heavy in my art began.

I got a buzz from street photography and an inner stillness from landscape photography that kept my mind away from itself.

At university, stresses and strains sadly caused my mental health to go downwards and so again I pretty much always had a camera on me or near me. I would jump on my motorbike and ride away every day somewhere in the lakes or into Scotland ready to photograph a landscape. I never had a plan for a shot I just rode and rode until I felt the time was right to get off and take a photograph of the landscape I was in.

My final major project at university was called "Placebo" where I opened up about my mental health, possibly for the first time and I admitted that photography is my placebo away from my depression.

It's not a secret that I never intended to be a wedding photographer, I, in fact, wanted to be an international landscape photographer with my work in galleries across the world. A life where I could spend my days exploring the world and documenting its beauty.

It was only when a university friend asked me to photograph his wedding that I saw it for what it was, I got the same feeling of photographing a fine art landscape and the same rush and buzz of street photography all in one! Plus the bonus of getting to know cool couples and documenting their days in a brutally honest yet beautiful way. It was perfect!

I'm now two years into a position where my entire world and life is wedding photography. It still baffles me to this day that I get to do this for a job, and I genuinely love my job!

So, thank you, to my followers and to my clients for keeping my placebo going. You are all awesome and in honesty life-changing to me.

So again, thank you.

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If you struggle with your mental health or you feel like you do then please do talk to someone about it. Honestly, my life turned upside down when I decided enough was enough and I started talking to people about it.

You're not alone, so please do not go through this alone! When I opened up, I realised that I wasn't *that* crazy and what I was feeling like was actually, quite common.

I just want to break down the stigma that mental health has, and while on my personal pages I talk a lot about mental health I realised that on my business pages, the pages with more followers, I didn't... And I didn't because I'm terrified of stigma or opening myself up to hurt. But again these are walls that need to be broken down, so here I am saying that I, have mental health issues, and that is totally fine.

You can see these people for help if you want to!
Every life matters: https://www.facebook.com/EveryLifeCumbria/
Mind:
Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org

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