In 2013, I was lecturing full time. Saving to buy my first house and somehow I shot 48 weddings that year too.
‘I don’t know how you do it, you never stop’ people said.
The fact was ADHD was screaming out at me in plain view, but I couldn’t see it. And no one drew the dots around me. I only got diagnosed recently in Dec ‘21, aged 37.
My dopamine seeking brain loved the weird praise for working relentlessly. So ingrained in our culture. Ding went my brain as another comment rolled in about my busy-ness and energy working more than 2 full time jobs.
Looking back, I know now that I was fueled by hyperfocus. I so loved the thrill of building up my photography business which started in 2010 and by 2013. I had reached the tipping point but had to sit tight with the full time salary to get my mortgage. The achievement and competitive driven facets of my brain were thriving on it all.
There isn’t a plot twist at this point.
I bought the house, quit the job and went full time running my business at the start of 2014.
ADHD is really misunderstood, particularly how it shows up in girls and women. Because thanks to the patriarchy, it was only seen in boys based on a set of criteria written by men. But that is a whole other conversation.
My hyperactivity is in my thoughts. I have a busy brain, daydreaming and scheming. I have a sense that anything is possible and hyperfocus brings this intense energy that, well, literally anything is possible and so I have my now career to thank for that energy. The relentlessness that pushed through and juggled so much to be able to make my daydream a reality.
ADHD means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I think the term is a curious one, and deeply inaccurate. A deficit implies a ‘less than or lack’. But I can pay attention to things that I am all consumingly in love with. And so I feel really lucky that my enduring areas of hyperfocus have afforded me this career. Because I am fascinated and obsessed by light, people, place, planet and photography and how there is a connection between all of these things. And how I get to capture all of that in a profound moment - the click of a shutter, when I take a photo.
Another term I find curious is neurodivergent.
Neurodivergent from, erm, what? ‘Normality’? Whatever that even is! But what divergent thinking looks like for me is the fireworks and fizz in my mind that allow me to play with creativity. To feel the potentiality of the ‘what if’ or ‘but why’. So much of this overlaps too with being an entrepreneur. To generating ideas, having the energy to bring them to life and not be afraid to take risks of doing things differently. Because you know you’ve been different your whole life anyway!
It isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
It can be hard to negotiate things with your brain when it is just busting a ‘hard no’ at you all day or you’re struggling with such basic things when you can excel at so many other abstract and random things.
And fine, ok, I confess, I might regularly sh*t the bed about ‘where my keys/phone/shoes/book are', ‘did I pay that parking ticket when I pulled up?!’. The oops moments, a classic one where I accidentally fed and locked in my parent’s neighbour's cat, not their cat when they were away (look they were both tabby cats, ok??!! Ha!!) and I might have used caffeine and sugar all my life for domaine kicks until meds……but I bloody love my brain and all that it has allowed me to do when I am in a place of flow or hyperfocus and the energy is magnetic.
I share my ADHD story, because I want to show up in this space in the most authentic way possible.
I encourage my clients to dance a journey of radical authenticity and so I need to lead from a place of honesty too.
My ADHD has helped me to push boundaries in my creativity, which ultimately helps me support my clients to elevate their visibility when we flirt with desire and potentiality. Nothing excites me more than ‘what if’ ‘I wonder if this would be possible’ ‘I really want to disrupt the patriarchy and stir up sh*t with my shoot’ - whhhhaaaaaa ok loves, let’s go!
When I shoot, something magical happens when the camera is in my hand.
Everything heightens on a sensory level. How I see, hear, feel and smell the space I am in and the intuitive connection with the person I am shooting with. I get into flow and deep connection with everything around me. It feels like energy is flowing through me as the session unfolds.
It is hard to explain, but it is like a sixth sense. It's this that allows me to see in the way that I do and vibe off the energy that co-creating in the moment brings. ‘Close down your eyes with me, take a deep breath, listen to the sound of the sea’. ‘WOW - look at the light painting rays through those trees’. ‘Doesn’t the warmth of the sun feel amazing right now?’. ‘Oh my gossssh, quick, run there is an insane pocket of light’ - many of the things I sense while we’re shooting!
I talk about ‘The Moment Method’, that we trust in the alchemy of the moment and that all we need will come in to being when we shoot. And I wholeheartedly do, because stepping into a shoot space is a step into the unknown.
We step in with knowing. We have a plan, the outfits, the location, a playlist, the energetic intentions for each part of the shoot. We've spent time getting to know each other. I've learn't more about your values, vision, mission, your clients. All of this gives us the grounding to take a leap together into the shoot. Then it is the leap into the unknown, trusting all that we need will come in to being. This leap in is a catalyst. It is empowering and expansive because we get to play with the polarity of what we know and the great unknown by trusting in the alchemy of the moment as our shoot unfolds.
So, a little insight into meeting me in my zone of genius (aka the hyperfocus) and how I sense all the things in such a deep and intuitive what while we shoot.
If you’d like to chat more about dancing with the polarity of the known and unknown and want to leap in to trust in the alchemy of the moment to co-create some branding images together, then drop me an email to find out more: email@example.com
Here are some great places to learn more about ADHD:
Most of my understanding has come through following ADHD accounts on instagram. They are easy to digest and are short bursts of information which suits by ADHD brain perfectly and there are a couple of websites too! Here’s a list of resources I’ve found useful:
ADHD UK: https://adhduk.co.uk/
ADDitude Mag: https://www.additudemag.com/
I am paying attention: https://www.instagram.com/iampayingattention/
The Psych Dorctor MD: https://www.instagram.com/thepsychdoctormd/
The Mini ADHD Coach https://www.instagram.com/the_mini_adhd_coach/
ADHD Meme Therapy: https://www.instagram.com/adhdmemetherapy/
The ADHD Couple: https://www.instagram.com/adhd_couple/
ADHD Nutritionist: https://www.instagram.com/adhd.nutritionist/
ADHD Girls: https://www.instagram.com/adhd_girls/
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