Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Once there was a girl and she wasn't sure quite what she was in this life - was she a photographer? Was she an Art School Drop Out? Was she a girl completely lost with no hope of finding her way? In the midst of this confusion she started a blog. She left a comment somewhere and one day people saw her blog, 82 people. It was March 5th 2008.

Gradually more and more people came to the little space she had created and how grateful she was for them. They left kind words, their presence assured her that someone, somewhere was interested in what she had to say, in what she had to share. When she was finally brave enough to share her photos they encouraged her, gently (and some not-so-gently) suggesting that perhaps, just maybe she should think of selling them.

Her boy, who one fateful day became her husband, told her he was proud of what she had created which made her melt a little inside. She didn't realise that making her husband proud was so very important to her.

And then, finally, when her confidence had grown bit by tiny bit she decided it was time to stop dreaming, to stop wondering how and why and when and if and to actually try to be a photographer. And she opened a shop. Because such neatness pleased her, the shop would open one year to the day from her first post.

As a sign of her gratitude to those (that would be you) that encouraged her, she decided to give away a print. She worried and she fretted that no one would want her print. Her dearest online friends told her she was an idiot (in the nicest possible way of course) but still she was scared. She felt fifteen years old again, that age when the fear of rejection is felt most strongly and for days she twitched and panicked and fussed and dithered and worked herself into a terrible nervous frenzy and she ended many days lying in bed chewing her lip while her dear and long suffering husband muttered quietly 'you're an idiot Pix, it will be fine. Now go to sleep'.

She told herself that she would consider the endeavour a success if twenty people left comments. Twenty was a modest number yet plenty to make her feel successful. Yes, she would hope for twenty and celebrate on a grand scale (perhaps with a cupcake) should twenty comments materialise.

And so, she scheduled a post. It had to be scheduled you so for on the first anniversary of her blogging endeavour she would be in London. Actually she would be in Chichester, a land of horses and boats and sunshine and all of life's joys and then on a long country road and then she would be in London. Either way, she wouldn't be at home and she wouldn't be able to write her Great Anniversary Post.

The post announced the opening of her shop and offered a free print to one lucky commentator. And so she held her breath. She waited from Monday when she hit publish to Saturday morning when she knew the post would appear in the wide world and once again she fretted and stewed and well you know the rest.

And then a miraculous thing happened. Twenty people commented, and then twenty more. And then a few more after that. And they wrote such sweet things, such kind things, such encouraging things, things that made her doubts fade away just ever so slightly. And her heart swelled while her breath slowed and her twitching abated. And she was happy and grateful and just a little overwhelmed.

And she thanked them from the bottom of her heart, those people who inspired her and encouraged her and offered her their well wishes. Those people who made her realise that she was a photographer, that she is a photographer. She thanked them. She thanked them more than she could say without sounding terribly terribly acceptance speechy. She thanked them in the third person because to do otherwise made her blush. But she did thank them, oh she really did.

*** The Great Print Give Away will be open until Saturday 7th, when the girl and her boy and possibly their bunnies will devise a method of choosing a winner. So far their ideas have included hats, bingo callers and peanut butter.) ***


  1. Bless you peonies. Not sure why but I also feel so proud of you for taking this new step and also for having created this beautiful place of tales and pictures.
    I know what it's like to struggle with creativity and to be able to believe in your talents.
    Often think of this quote-
    Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world.We are all meant to shine.
    Thank YOU for it all!

  2. Hello Peonies,

    That was such a great post I had to de-lurk just to comment on it.

    I discovered you... I'm not sure when or how, but I discovered you, around the time of my own wedding.

    The day before I married, my brideslaves (believe me, I worked them, they were more slaves than maids) my MIL2B and I sat around my table putting together rose petal bags inspired (by which I mean shamelessly copied) by yours. It is one of my favourite memories of the whole build up.

    I have continued to read your updates as I venture into my own new married life and I am awestruck by your photography on a regular basis.

    I think the Etsy shop is the most natural, organic progression of moving your talent onto a wider platform.

    And don't worry about the little nagging doubt which sits in the pit of our stomach, no matter what we do - its there to make us try harder and be braver. Use it that way.

    Oh, and ^Flora^ that is the most amazing, heart striking quote, I am going to print it up and frame it by my desk. Thank you!

  3. Oh you warm my little heart, Peony. Thank you, for this post, and for being so beautifully humble.

  4. I just wanted to say that you have some amazing pictures up for sale at your store.

    Sometimes I like to just sit and flip through them all. They all create a calming effect, there's an amazing simplicity that soothes the brain. I really love your pictures of water.

  5. I dont think i have ever commented before :) but i just wanted to say i have read your blog for quite some time and i adore your work! u are so talented :) and really such an inspiration! xo

  6. peony, you're the sweetest...what a lovely post...thank you!

  7. What a wonderful post! I can definitely understand where you are coming from and am constantly wondering about very similar things. I hope this will just be a new beginning of something great!

    All the best,

  8. You do wonderful work!

  9. Sorry I missed the giveaway! But, here are my kind words- you are beautiful and so is your photography! Never doubt yourself! We all love you!

  10. Congrats on your shop. You deserve it,... and you and your husband should be proud.

    Best of luck!


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