Let the Forest Grow

I always wanted to be a singer or an actress. I did Performing Arts in College, and Commercial Music at University. I started songwriting at 14. I played in bands. I acted in plays. And I had boyfriends. I always wanted to be a wife. And then later, a mother. Oh, the desire to be a mother. It hit me hard when I met my husband. And it took over everything else.

All my existent desires were put out, like a forest on fire. Every tree alight was extinguished. But an aftermath of burnt earth lingered. And one day, what life remained would find a way to grow and prosper, and once more stand tall and bright with life and dreams. 

And that is where I find myself. Sitting in a cosy corner of a city cafe, with desire bubbling away in my blood. Stubborn and firm in my bones. Wanting to find a way out into the world. To do something special. To make a mark. But there's one thing that imprisons it in my body. 


I am afraid. Afraid to do what my heart yearns for. To hike in the hills alone, to swim in the deep sea, to run in the dark, to make a record, to write a book, to cut my hair, to be a photographer. I am afraid that I cannot do it. I am afraid that I won't be good enough. I am afraid that I'll have to sacrifice my life as a wife and a mother.  Because I cannot do that. I need to be the best mother. And I want to be. I am. I know that motherhood is actually something that I am not afraid of. 

But it's time I took a leap of faith. It's time I start to extinguish the fear. Every time I say no to fear, I let myself grow. I let life grow. I let the forest grow. 

Below image from Women Wild and Free, (c) Fur and Gold Photography. 








Social Media and Me.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with social media. On one hand, I'm pretty sure I need it for my business, but on the other hand, I want to run to the hills and forget its very existence. 

I gave up on my personal Facebook page a while ago, but I seemed to have replaced it with Instagram, and can waste hours just scrolling through images. Sometimes I feel inspired by the images I see, but sometimes I just feel annoyed and a bit lost in a vast sea of photographers, who are all trying to be authentic and stand out from the crowd. 

My mind is so heavy with all of the information I soak up on a daily basis, just from going online. Whether its social media feeds, emails, news, blogs... it's just non stop. And I fantasise about going cold turkey and having a long sabbatical from it all. 

I just feel like my creativity is not even mine anymore, because I don't have the space in my head for my own thoughts to distinguish themselves. How am I supposed to think and do with so much swimming around up there, not to mention being a full time mum, and also trying to make time for my music and fitness, the latter of which I sadly do very little.  

And so, with the knowledge that I need social media for my business, I just need to find a way to make peace with it, and find a healthy balance that I can maintain. But I don't know what that is yet. 

First stop though, is to do more offline, real world things. I recently discovered a magazine called Breath, which is all about wellbeing and creativity and natural living. And in it, it suggests creating an inspirational mood board - a collage of images and/or writing, that can be on a set subject, such as photography or wellbeing, or just random things that make you feel uplifted and inspired.

I will explore this further in my next blog! 

The image below is from my Women Wild and Free session with Manon, a mother and yoga teacher. I love this photo - it really is wild and free. 




Being a stay at home mum + photographer

Sometimes I wish I had just wanted to be a nurse or a teacher or something stable and permanent and useful. 

Being a photographer is hard work. And that's not to say I am opposed to hard work, quite the contrary. But I am a now person. I want things to happen now. I want a hundred people to make a booking with me now. I want a thriving photography business now. I want a kitten now. 

Of course I have to put in a lot of time and energy to achieve that. And with two small people to look after, it leaves me feeling a little exhausted and downhearted. And sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it. If I am worth it. 

But I just have this innate creative passion inside me. I am a dreamer. A romantic. An idealist. I have a vision in my head of the photographer I want to be. And because I'm a perfectionist, I start doubting it all because it's taking me so bloody long to get there! 

So I must remember that I have made leaps and bounds of progress in the last couple of years. Aside from being a full time mum, I've created a new Women Wild and Free project (a few of which I have shared below), which will soon be featured in a family mag. I've had some lovely family photo shoots, and I've improved massively with my technique and with my artistic vision. 

I have really enjoyed this journey, and found a huge sense of achievement along the way. And really, it's all about that. I mean, yes, it would be lovely to be earning a decent wage too! But... perhaps good things really do come to those who wait. 

Women Wild and Free Sessions: Mother + Superwoman

I take my hat off to this lovely woman. She is a mother, wife, part time employee, and she is starting up her own business as a Makeup Artist. She also happens to be my sister in law. 

Her husband works pretty long hours, so she keeps her house (and daughter) in order, as well as working her job and putting in the hours to learn her trade. 

I jumped at the chance to photograph Lauren. She is such a fabulous example of Women Wild and Free. She has made the time to follow her heart and her passion for beauty, to learn something new, something that gives her a sense of identity and achievement. Something that gives her space away from all the other demands. And that's not an easy feat. 

And that is why I feel so strongly that mothers flipping RULE. Seriously. I feel it in my heart and in my bones. What marvellous humans we are. We are strong. We keep everything together. We are the backbones of the family. Of life. We love fiercely, we nurture gently, we organise chaos. And we sacrifice our bodies and our minds. 

So, Lauren - mother, sister, friend and fellow business woman. I love you. And I think you are absolutely wonderful and brilliant. Keep going. Keep rocking. Keep ruling. And keep loving. xxx




Women Wild and Free Sessions: Mother + Silversmith

Meet Ellie. Mother and Silversmith. And my first session for my project, Women Wild and Free. I went to hang out with her at the Bristol studio where she spends time away from her family, bashing and beautifying silver to turn it into a unique and heartfelt piece of jewellery. 

This summer's Women Wild and Free sessions are all about mothers. But we're leaving the children at home this time, and focusing on the interest, hobby or work that drives these women forward. That gives them something to own. That creates purpose away from the demands of being a parent. That offers identity, a little bit of you. The you that was there before the nappies and the endless heaps of washing.

Below are some words from Ellie, and of course, the photos to accompany her inspiring story of strength, independence, desire and determination. A round of applause, please. 

"I love jewellery. I love diamond sparkles but was equally excited by the £1 silver studs my ma used to buy at Paddington station on her way home from meetings in London."

"Making jewellery is honest and creative but it requires huge levels of concentration. If you are wondering about the kids tea you will bugger your soldering. If your mind wanders to the weekend you will make a hammer mark in the wrong place and have to spend 15 minutes cleaning it up."

"It feels good to have something that I am praised for that isn't my children. Or how well I have nursed someone."

You can check out Ellie's sparkly creations at: www.gildedmagpie.com

Women Wild and Free is a project owned by Jemima Rose Brash of Fur and Gold Photography. Images and any relating material cannot be published or replicated anywhere else online, or in print, without the authors consent. 

Women Wild and Free

Women Wild and Free will be a session I run each Spring. For my first one this year, it is for mothers exclusively. 

Since becoming a mother myself, I have an infinite respect for the strength we have and the love we give to our children. It’s been so hard at times, and no matter how much I felt prepared for motherhood, nothing could truly prepare me for how much my life was going to change. 

I want my sessions to help give identity to mothers. Because it’s so easy to let our identity recede into the nappies, sleepless nights, washing, cleaning, the school run… and perhaps it takes a long time to return. Or for some, maybe it never does.

Are you a mum? Do you have hobby that makes you feel happy and confident? Your hobby could be anything from swimming, running, yoga or riding to painting, jewellery making or playing a musical instrument.

For me, I feel wild and free when I am behind the lens, and when I am singing and writing music. I also feel alive and myself when I am walking in the hills, the woods, or lying under a marbled sky listening to the rambling stream and beautiful bird song. There, I feel at peace. I feel free to be me. Away from the demands of motherhood. 

For my sister, (featured below), her place is the open water. It’s where she reunited with her mojo after 10 years of being a stay at home mother. It’s where she feels confident and strong. It’s like swimming in the wild water made her remember that her purpose was more than just raising children. 

I will be looking for mothers who would be interested in being featured in Women Wild and Free. Wild and free doesn't have to mean being surrounded by nature - your place could be the city, your home, your yoga studio, your grandmothers house... the stables... we are all different.

If this is you, please get in touch. Free session, option to buy photographs afterwards.

As with my photographic style and nature, these sessions will be relaxed, candid, beautiful and fun. And if I can help it, they'll be therapeutic, too. 

Jemima. X

Women Wild and Free is a project owned by Jemima Rose Brash of Fur and Gold Photography. Images and any relating material cannot be published or replicated anywhere else online, or in print, without the authors consent.