Before you see my name creeping up on this wonderful publication I thought it best to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I'm better known in the photography industry as Love Luella Photography, although you still may not know me.
Well, now you do - it's a pleasure to meet you.
This Detailed Life
Let's start with how I came to be part of the TDL team.
Bex approached me via Instagram in early July. Bex had been doing the work behind the scenes to make This Detailed Life more inclusive and diverse.
After watching my recorded conversation about Anti - Racism for Phlock Live, Bex got in touch to ask me to write a guest post about my detail photography during weddings.
A two or perhaps even three (!) hour long phone conversation later and I was on the team, it wasn't planned but it seemed like a natural step and i'm very happy about it.
So far, i've assisted editing a few of the posts and given my insight to any articles and themes upcoming, I intend to help over on Instagram and take a more active role very soon (i'll start with that wedding detail post!)
Life for me pre Covid was generally busy, I am based in North East Wales but cover weddings across the UK and EU.
I've been lucky enough to establish my wedding and lifestyle photography business around raising my two sons Kai (13) and Milo (7). I established it whilst on maternity leave from my bedroom in 2013 - but I didn't take Love Luella full time until January 2018, once Milo was settled in his first year of full time education.
The boys are my team, behind everything I do - they are the driving force.
I have loved preserving memories since I won my first Canon camera at aged 10 and yes, if you're curious I am still Canon to this day.
Shortly after winning it, I began losing close relatives in quick succession.
I became almost obsessed with documenting and capturing those I love. I was 11 years and 1 week old the first time I experienced great loss and I just didn't know how to process the anxiety and grief I felt.
Taking photographs of "my people" was my way of preserving them, I realised the hard way that photography and video is priceless and can sometimes be all we have left.
Love Luella is my soul project. I am completely empathetic, so naturally I am drawn to the emotion in the day, the moments, the intimacy, the happiness, the laughter, the tears.
Freelensing is a prominent part of my work and for me it conveys these emotions well, there isn't a shoot I have worked on in the last three years that doesn't contain freelensing!
I also I take all these feelings I have and occasionally (not often enough) create for myself, this is a sneak peek of a current project i'm working on -
2020 for me has been a journey, I shot a few times this year in January and February and then it all came to an abrupt halt, like it did for all of us.
Initially I had the panic that we all experienced, mostly about money, safety, the boys, asthma, the risk associated with being Black... all of this weighed heavy on my shoulders.
I took a part-time job roll for 8 or 9 weeks (clearly I love the part-time life!) working for the Covid-19 Response Service when you dial 111 - that was a learning curve!
Since the tragic death of George Floyd I have gained not so much "confidence" to use my voice but the fire and determination to use my voice.
I use my words in my way to promote growth and I hope positive change within the industry.
After the event, I took to my social media channels and I spoke like I always do, from the heart.
Using my spaces online for myself then gave me opportunities to speak to and for others, as previously mentioned for Phlock Live where Bex first encountered me.
I've gone on to speak solo for Studio Ninja, Photography Farmers Thrive Live and talked amongst a panel of great creatives at Conference & Chill (inclusivity panel).
I also wrote a two page article for Professional Photo Magazine and a collaborative piece for the LOOKSLIKEFILM blog.
I've continued my posts on my personal platforms since I began speaking 'up' - but, I won't lie, I was mentally and physically drained on the day of Conference & Chill and I almost backed out.
I had been feeling this way for a couple of weeks - talking about trauma, repressed memories, pain and experiences, getting people to care that you matter - it is exhausting.
Taking time out and setting boundaries is key for me now, I still have so much to learn on my journey.
I make progress as I go through the process.
Not backing out the day of Conference & Chill was the best decision of that week or even fortnight.
I met some amazing people who I know will be friends for life and it gave me the push I needed.
Several key conversations and moments have brought me here today with my own project -
Let's Talk With Tash is an informal and conversational space holding fortnightly online conversations that are pay what you can.
I'll be holding many talks about many topics within the photography industry and beyond, it's not going to be perfect, but nothing ever is!
This first episode of Let's Talk With Tash is at 8:30 GMT/BST 24th August.
The panel topic is Let's Talk With LOOKSLIKEFILM.
I hope you'll join me there and for further updates and information, or just to say hello - please follow the Instagram accounts listed at the end of this post.
I'm looking forward to this adventure with This Detailed Life, I believe every opportunity serves a purpose in your story and I can't wait to see how my TDL journey turns out!