I’m all for putting my money where my mouth is!!! And to my great honour, Nikon Middle East recently made me do that!!! One day last year I was talking with the people at Nikon Photo School about the lack of females in their speaker lineup, and the lack of education in their lineup aimed at documenting the most important people in our lives – our kids!!!
Photographing our kids and the lives we lead truthfully, and savouring the beautiful moments of every day life while acknowledging the hard ones through photos is surely, for most of us, our most important work. Our children are our hearts running around outside us and our choices in life playing out at our feet every single day. Capturing the lives we lead, and the people growing in front of us is crucial and it’s valid!!! The photography industry can be extremely condescending towards women, and in particular Mums – the terms “Momtog” and “MWAC” (Mum with a camera) are used as derogatory terms. But honestly, we can’t all be NatGeo photographers and adventurers while doing the important work of parenting. And when I AM adventuring why is me taking a photo of my own kid in a yurt or exploring a silk road treasure somehow less valid than if it was a local child from that community? It’s not!!! Not to me!!!! Not to my heart or to the memories my kids will have of their childhood. And so when Nikon agreed with me and said “Yes, come talk on the subject of capturing your own kids – talk about emotion and light and truth” I said “HELL YES” and “THANK YOU!!”
So one Saturday afternoon my daughter and I set off to Dubai and I talked to an auditorium full of parents, and photography enthusiasts and people who just wanted more – more of the truth of what we can all do to document our every day – beyond the picture perfect – beyond the glowing sunsets – beyond the pretty party dresses. People who wanted the spaghetti stained faces, the tears trickling down a cheek, the giddy giggles, the muddy feet, the attitude of their tween, the hand holding sweetness and the tugs it all pulls on our hearts. (Could you tell I was excited from my IG stories posts?? 😉 )(Up on stage, and with some of the lovely attendees afterwards) (big thank you to my lovely friend Chloe Lodge for coming along and being a smiling face from the audience – and to my daughter for sitting and cheering me on – honestly, showing my girls that this is important and that they can achieve dreams means everything to me <3)
It’s 2018, women and parents have a voice, and to be believed in and to have a corporation the size of Nikon say, yes, this work is valid, it is credible, it IS IMPORTANT – well, that in itself is important!!!
Thank you Nikon Middle East, I’m truly honoured to be a speaker for you, and thank you to all the parents who believed too, and who want the real too – the ones who’ve hired me over the years to capture their families truthfully, and the ones who came along to take steps along their own photography paths of truth, thank you, Kirsty xx