Anita asked her parents for her first camera around 10 years old. A drive to capture a lovely scene and be able to show that to someone else afterwards was the motivation. Those early photographs were no masterpieces but they were the start of her passion in photography. Wind on a few decades and Anita is now living in Northern Ireland since 2014, having spent almost the last 8 years in New Zealand, and prior to that 3.5 years in Canada, a year of back packing (South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada), 3 years in England and 6 years in Wales! She is mother to four young sons with husband David Kelly, helps out on the farm with her brother Alexander, attempts to run a photographic business, owns and manages a 5 star self catering holiday let, Shamrock Cottage on the shore of Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh, is chair of her local Parent Teacher Association for her sons school, teaches photography voluntarily at Maguiresbridge Camera Club and sleeps now and again! There is never a dull moment!
Early on New Years Day 2016, I stood at the bottom of my garden near Brookeborough, Northern Ireland with quiet warm tears rolling down my cheeks. I was experiencing what I can best describe as loneliness and connectedness. As I stood alone, that’s the loneliness part… photographing one of the best aurora borealis shows we had observed for many years I was totally moved by what I could see with the naked eye, what my camera was recording and by a connectedness to all the other photographers over the northern hemisphere that were also likely standing alone witnessing this phenomenal display. It was a beautiful moment, absolutely beautiful. What a way to bring in the new year as I reflected on many prior to that from parties to trying to stay awake from sleep deprivation due to babies galore!
Whilst in Canada and New Zealand my photography flourished through active participation in photographic societies. Winning awards is great and is the icing on the cake for a stunning photograph. I have a handful of photographs that are unquestionably enduring. I have hard drives of photographs that aren’t. I haven’t been as creative since moving back to Northern Ireland, but every now and again it bubbles up and off I go. When I get ‘in the zone’ I love it! My head overflows! Instead my photography moved into a more photojournalistic style and has resulted in a set of children’s educational books where all the photographs have been made on my home farm. I have a series of these planned but it will take a few seasons to complete some. I also have inspirational books and I am using my more creative photography there. I adore teaching photography and that’s the area I’m currently expanding into. When my children are older I am hoping to grow my business into photographic tours. I have so many projects in my head, some of which I haven’t currently got the skills to execute, but ‘where there’s challenge, there’s growth’.
I am honoured to be invited to join aGathering. Thank you. I relish the opportunity presented. Here’s to the amalgamation of loneliness with connectedness.