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Week 44: The colours of Autumn

November 10, 2013  •  1 Comment

Two things delayed my plans to bring some autumnal colour to my Shoreham-by-Sea blog:  first, the fact that whenever I had an hour free to photograph, it rained;  and the second, that Autumn was late this year.  According to the Woodland Trust (and they should know), the first leaf tinting of common British tree species (horse chestnut, beech and sycamore) was more than two weeks later than average.  

When I finally found an hour to enjoy the changing seasons in Shoreham's Buckingham Park, I observed horse chestnut leaves 'on the turn', a scattering of golden sycamore foliage underfoot, and interesting shadows from the low autumnal sunlight.   So welcome to Week 44 of my blog, and sit back and enjoy the autumnal hues.  And if you're so inclined, you can read about my Eureka moments this week too.

 

Low autumnal sunlight though leaves, Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-SeaImage by Sussex based Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

This week I learnt how to network.  I mean, it's something us women do naturally for the most part, through everyday interaction.  We ask questions, listen to each other, and offer advice if sought.  But when asked to stand up and deliver a 60-second speech it feels altogether different.  I've done it four times now, and get a little more confident each time, but still feel as if I'm winging it and making it up as I go along (hmm, there could be a reason for that).  

So it was quite enlightening to discover that even a one minute delivery has a beginning, a middle and an end.  And even though my two hour training session with the local Athena Network was attended by four fully grown women successfully running their own businesses,  I was reminded of early school days, where the teacher would scrawl "where's your structure?" in red ink across the page.  I came away motivated but feeling I still have a lot to learn.

 

Golden leaves in Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-SeaImage by Sussex-based Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

I also learnt this week that my treasured D800 has developed a focusing issue.  I've suspected it for some time, but ran a few tests which resulted in my shipping it off to Nikon for calibration.  Why do these things always happen within six months of the warranty expiry date? Or maybe that's just me.  

 

Horsechustnut leaves backlit by Autumnal sun, Buckingham Park in Shoreham-by-SeaImage by Sussex-based Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

Actually, that's another thing I learnt.  That it rarely is just me.  During our networking training, it transpired that several members of the group had experienced the same issue with another person;  when the trainer asked why the members hadn't reported it before, it transpired that each individual felt that the issue had more to do with their own perception and their lack of a sufficiently thick skin. Eureka! 

 

Shadows on the WallImage taken at Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-Sea by Sussex-based Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

I do find also that being self employed as a sole trader can make you a little lonely and introspective at times.  I mean, I love setting my own agenda and celebrating my successes as solely down to me, but conversely, when things go slightly awry, I miss the chance to casually swap bad day stories while waiting for the kettle to boil in the office kitchen, or run an idea past someone at the water cooler for instant feedback.  

In fact, when justifying to myself the costs of belonging to these networking groups (not huge sums, but I am in my first year of business in the UK), it was surprisingly the husband who pointed out that I was in fact only purchasing many of those benefits that are automatically provided when employed by an organisation.  And that the costs were certainly no more than the football, tennis, jiu-jitsu, gymnastics and drama enjoyed by the kids.  He's right.  So I'm not going to feel guilty, but instead will see it as the investment in my health, well-being, and ultimately my business, that it really is. 

 

Signs of Autumn's arrival on Horsechestnut leaves Image taken in Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-Sea by Sussex Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

It's also interesting that most of my self-doubt occurs when I've been stuck in front of a computer screen for too long.  We tell our kids to go out and get fresh air, but sometimes I do forget that I need it too.  It's almost unheard of for me to have negative thoughts while out photographing! Except perhaps the thoughts of inconsiderate dog owners that came into my head as I lay flat on my stomach to get up close and personal to the leaves this week (it's OK, I spotted it in time!)

 

My ShadowImage taken in Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-Sea by Sussex Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

And then there's the office Christmas party.  I've been to great ones, and others I'd rather forget.  But I'm a girl who likes to get dressed up and enjoy a good meal and a natter.  It gets me in the mood for Christmas.  So when the invitation for the Athena Christmas lunch popped up on my news feed, I was the first to sign up!  And I get to photograph it too - perfect! 

 

Vibrant red sycamore leafImage taken in Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-Sea, by Sussex Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Jenny Rutterford Photography

 

I hope you enjoyed my foliage photography this week.  And if you actually read the words too (apparently some of you do!), and you're self-employed, or a new or seasoned networker, I'd love to know your thoughts...  Goodbye for now, Jenny x   

 

 


Comments

Kelly(non-registered)
Hi Jenny, I love this blog, I too have been feeling the gap of a 'work Christmas do'. Fantastic photos of our beautiful local park, we are very lucky aren't we.
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