I remember the feeling so well. I was sitting at the Photo School presenting my project to the class. I had been a Photographer for about 5 months, and so stripping off and dancing for everyone would have been less scary than showing my photographs to a room full of accomplished Photographers!
Before I discovered Photography, music had been my creative outlet so I used to sing and write depressing songs as a way of getting things out. (So fun I know :P) For this particular project, I decided to Photograph my experience of losing my brother Fergus, and to see how it would look rather than sound.
Well, as I watched the reactions in the room that day, I realised how much emotion is packed into photographs. Everyone in that room felt what I felt, without knowing me or the story. I realised that what would make me a great Photographer, would be to learn how to translate what I saw in front of me, and infuse my images with that feeling. That way, I could photograph people, and they would not just see what I saw, but felt what I felt in their images.
As I watched the reactions that day, it clicked for me. I understood why I was there, and the power I had to help people with a camera. I worked in Mental Health for almost 5 years before that, and incredibly so many of those skills have crossed over so well. I love people more than I love Photography, and people know that. It gave me an ability to help people relax and feel safe and heard, which is exactly what is needed for people in front of a camera.
From that moment in the classroom, I knew I would start a business, and it would be me on my own. I wanted to be able to dictate every aspect of the business, so that I was in control of the full experience of my clients. I also wanted people to feel looked after, and so it's me answering emails, turning up for the shoot, ordering prints, delivering them. It's me every step of the way.
Lastly, the name of my business. After Fergus died, I was so grief stricken I needed to do something, so I changed my last name. I wanted his name to be a part of my name, so when I say Monica Ferguson Photography, it's my little nod to him, every time. He is my inspiration to live, because we just don't know what's around the corner and so it is our job to make the most of what we have right now!