Hello, I'm Annie, a mother living in the New Forest in the South of England. I am part of the Unsplash team, working full time, seven days a week, building community and curating the thousands of photographs that are submitted weekly to the photography platform.
I’m most at home exploring the forest that I live in, connecting with nature and paying attention to the seasons as they pass. Spending time offline is hugely important to me, I check my personal email and Twitter accounts twice a week, notifications are not something I enjoy and so I turn them off wherever possible.
I start every day with a walk in the forest, sometimes this might be a stolen hour, other times a whole morning. This clears my mind ready for the day ahead and trains my eye for photography, to notice the smaller details of the natural world, the changes in light and mood.
When I first dipped my feet into the world of photography I sought advice from my peers. The response I received wasn't encouraging, both as a new photographer and a woman.
'Advice' varied from "if you don't learn film photography first you'll never be a proper photographer" and "you can't call yourself a photographer unless you first shoot in black and white" to "just because you take photos it doesn't make you a photographer".
At the time I felt discouraged, but ultimately defiant.
I have been sharing my photography for free for a few years now and these days everything I shoot I share with others.
I don't want a career where I am employed to take the photos that other people want. I want to take the photos that I want, my way, when I want to.
Supporting my work
Some people use my photos and never say thank you. Some people email me to say thank you. Some people mail me what they created with my photos. Some people send me money.
Sharing my photography for free doesn't pay my bills but it creates a whole network of connections that have helped, inspired and supported me. I've made new treasured friendships and I've grown personally.
Things don't need a monetary value to be worth something.
How I choose to share isn't for everyone, but it's right for me. I believe that being true to yourself can bring an authenticity to your work.
I don't want to follow a pre-defined career in photography. I want to follow my feelings and passion and see where it leads me. Ultimately if I don't have pre-conceived ideas or a plan I can never be disappointed with how my journey evolves.
If you would like to support my passion, you can do so here: https://paypal.me/anniesprattphotos - thank you x