I didn’t really speak to my Uncle Benny, when I was a child. He kept himself to himself. When I would visit my Nan, and sip on a glass of milk and indulge a pink wafer biscuit or two, Benny wouldn’t say anything.
My Nan was my light in the darkness. She knew just how to make me smile. She knew how to make me happy.
She passed away when I was a teenager. It was tough. It hit me hard. I lost the one person in my life I could turn to and know she’d always be there for me. I’ve never truly gotten over her death. I wish she was here every day. I wish she saw me grow up.
When I lost my Nan, something changed. My Uncle and I spoke more. My Nan’s death brought us closer together.
I met up with my Uncle on a day he was meeting my Mum (they’re twins), and mentioned I needed some help. He didn’t really quite understand what blogging was at this point, but knew it was something I loved. It reminded me of my Nan. My Nan would always do the things you want. She’d always put others first.
Remind you of anyone?
I thought nothing of asking my Uncle to take photos for me. It was a one off. It was a post about my Mum’s Cancer battle (another tough life event). I wanted to open up about how it affected me. When Benny took the photos, I realised I needed him. I loved writing and I wanted to produce regular content.
I was unaware of things like a tripod, I didn’t have a DSLR camera, and my phone was alright. It done the job. Benny has never had a mobile phone. He’d never taken a photo until he was helping me.
I liked the support. I was able to get shots I couldn’t get on my own. I had goals for the blog. I wanted to get better with creating content. I knew the importance of having somewhere there to help.
The one-off help turned into a week of support. The week of support turned into a month. As time went on, Benny and I would explore new cities. We’d catch the local bus service for 45 minutes to get to the right location. I was researching more into the places I wanted to photograph. I was putting more time into my writing. I was creating more content.
As Benny and I’s relationship grew, it positively impacted the content. I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was talking about more personak things. I opened up about wanting to commit suicide as a teenager. I shared what life was like when people in my life were battling for their lives. The blog went from talking about volunteering to the person behind the charity work.
Benny was an integral part in me opening up about my life. You, my readers, got to know me more. I was learning more about myself. There were no barriers. I was talking about what I wanted to talk about.
He was also benefitting. Benny has grown in his images. (Did you see my post yesterday about his favourite images? Click here if you haven’t.)
He’s been shortlisted for a photography award, has had an image featured in Blogosphere Magazine, along with photography features on websites around the world.
I’m incredibly proud of him. He stepped out of his comfort zone to help me to tell my story, and he’s a massive part of it. He’s given me advice with my photography, taken some amazing snaps of things/in angles I didn’t believe would work, and has helped me to feel like my Nan never left.
In a few weeks, I’ll be saying goodbye to him, as Jade and I leave for Leicester and it’s going to be hard. 2 more photoshoots and the next chapter will begin.