When you look at a photo, what are the things that you notice?
Is it colours, shapes, light, faces, composition, stories? Everybody sees different things in an image – depending on your own attachment to a moment, the subject or the person who took it.

And there’s really no wrong way to look at a photo – that’s the beauty of any form of art. It’s very subjective.

For me, it’s important to judge my own work and re-evaluate what and how I shoot and whether that aligns with what and how I want to shoot. For this, I did an exercise where I’d pick out my 5 favourite photos of 2022. And here they are…

My 5 favourite photos of 2022

A couple of years ago, I did this exercise with two of my photographer friends where we curated and assessed our own work, picking out the 5 photos we liked the most out of everything we’ve shot in the recent past.

This time I specifically looked only at my work from 2022.

Just like last time, I had to go through thousands of photos. I am in my 4th year of shooting daily with my project 365 (previous yearly reviews are here and here if you want to get an idea of what this looks like) but I also did a number of wonderful client sessions where I took images that mean a lot to me. So I included both, personal and client work, in this process and decided on the 5 images as the work that mean the most to me:

favourite 5 photos

My 5 favourite images

Without giving the photos a rating or order, let me go through them individually.

New Life

favourite 5 new life

I took this photo in January 2022, when my friend Lara gave birth to her daughter Bella.

My favourite way to photograph life is to just document and I really wanted to witness and capture the beauty of birth. I had never been at a birth, and not being a mother myself meant all I knew about birth was what we learn through tv shows, movies and biology class in school.
Let me tell you, birth is nothing like it’s portrayed by any of these “resources”.

Seeing my friend deliver her baby was so powerful and inspiring that it lead me to do a doula course so I could understand the physiology of birth better and photograph future births with more confidence.

It was a night of a full moon. And it was a night that changed me. Maybe that’s why this photo means so much to me. But also, I love this image because I can feel the moment every time I look at it.

Holding on

favoruite 5 Holding on

How lucky am I to have friends who appreciate my work so much that they let me into their lives, documenting their reality?

I’ve met my friend Maz almost 9 years ago. She’s now mum to these 2 beautiful children, living with his partner who the kids absolutely adore. And I can see the love and the connection, the feeling of safety he gives the kids while mum tidies the house or prepares food.

These children are so adored by their parents and it meant everything to me to capture this for them.

Bathroom concert

favourite 5 Bathroom concert

This is the only image that didn’t come from a client session. I took this on a hen do weekend in Kent with a bunch of wonderful women, celebrating our friend getting ready to marry to her favourite person. I didn’t know anyone apart from the bride and was a bit nervous spending a whole weekend with them. I really didn’t need to be though.

Since it was very windy and cold, we spent a lot more time in the house than planned and at one point, a couple of our group hung out in the bathtub, having deep conversations and singing songs. I don’t remember what songs I got to listen to but I remember the feeling of the day. And this is where this photo takes me – to a feeling of calm and connection.

Getting ready

favourite 5 Getting ready

I met Alan through crossfit. Just by chance did he actually see my work and realised I did what he wanted for his family without knowing what it is he was looking for. It’s capturing real life.

Alan and his husband were due to move to Australia less than 2 months before he found my work. What lucky timing that I was able to photograph their lives before they moved across the globe. This house made the 4 of them a family, the neighbourhood that they were so used to and that was full of memories of their life in Brighton. The kids adore their dads and I can see this in every single image I delivered to them.

Apart from the fact that I’m proud of the different stories this one image tells me, I absolutely loved spending a few hours with these 4 beautiful souls. I literally left with a big sigh and a wave of gratitude for calling this my job.

Family Life

fave 5 Family Life

The best thing about my clients is that they trust me. Especially the parents that let me document their imperfect, messy lives. They know I’m not going to take a pretty posed photo – my images tell the real story.

I photographed a Friday morning in my friend house where Lara, the mum, tried to get work done while packing for a weekend trip, dad acted as a high chair because the real chair had already been stored in the car for said trip. Baby was being fed while the oldest had to entertain himself by watching his favourite TV show.

We all like to pretend we got it all together. No one really does though. And that’s where the beauty of this image lies for me. I was there and saw the reality of a hectic day that turned into one of my favourite sessions all year.

How do these images reflect my work?

Last summer I did a course to improve my documentary photography work. The homework we were given even before the teaching started, was to come up with 5 adjectives to describe what we want our work to be seen as.

My words were emotive (deep), authentic (honest, real), meaningful (significant, important), beautiful and with substance (telling meaningful stories, context, bigger picture).

I try not to focus on the technical aspect but instead on substance and story. Coming back to this exercise definitely helps ground my work and refocus on what I really want to achieve with my work.

When I looked through the 5 images above, I tried to find a word that connect them all. And for me, that word is “home”.

To me, home isn’t necessarily a physical place, it can be a person or group of people. Home stands for safety, connection and support. Home isn’t perfect – it can be messy in so many ways – but the beauty to me is in the honesty of accepting and appreciating those imperfections. A home tells many stories, too many to count. It’s beautiful even when it’s not – we can find details, pockets of light, nostalgia everywhere.

When you look at these photos, what do you see?
The beauty in art is that we can all see something different and none of it would be wrong!

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