A question I get all the time is “Why are you called Lotus Photography?”, some of your theories have been great and include:
‘She’s a yogi’
I love yoga, but I’m not a yogi.
‘Her parents were hippies and it’s her real name.”
Sorry to disappoint, but my parents are pretty normal and are not hippies, also my real name is Emily.
‘Her first memory was falling into a pond full of them’
Although I was 100% that kid, no, I never fell into a pond full of lotus flowers, although I did fall/jump into a pile of snow and got stuck!
So why lotus? Well, it’s a long story.
In my 20s I moved around a lot and never stayed in the same place for more than 18 months. It might sound glamorous to some, but trust me, it wasn’t, as I was following someone else and not moving for me and what I wanted.
By my late 20s I found myself single, with no money, no job, and nowhere to live. Somehow, and I still don’t know how, I convinced a landlord to rent me a flat on the condition that not only would I buy it from him in 6 months’ time, and that he would refund me all the rent I had paid when the sale went through. He agreed!
The flat was not in the best condition, in fact, it was freezing as the heating didn’t work, the oven didn’t work, the water tank leaked, the glass in the windows was held in place with tape, I even once woke to find a car had been torched in our carpark! But it was mine.
The only jobs available were poorly paid temporary contract jobs, so I became creative with ways to keep warm as I couldn’t afford to fix the heating. I would go for walks, read books whilst sat in the laundrette, and would exercise to YouTube videos on cold nights.
This may sound doom and gloom, and there were days it really was, but it began to shift my perspective. I could spend my life focusing on the bad or I could search out the beauty. My walks would lead me to the beach, the woods, or simply down roads with the most glamorous houses on. I began to read more and more whilst sat in the laundrette, and nearly wore out my library card. I discovered a YouTube channel called Yoga With Adriene and I still watch it to this day.
Somewhere along the way, I read about the meaning behind the lotus flower; it’s in disgusting muddy bog water, it grows a long tall stem so it can open its flowers in the open, it literally rises above it all to create something beautiful in less than perfect environment. When I read that, I remember grabbing a paintbrush and painting a HUGE lotus flower on my bathroom wall so that when I brushed my teeth I would remember that beauty real CAN be found anywhere.
A year after that I sold my flat, moved to Bournemouth to a gorgeous flat (with working heating), found a job that was secure, met Mr Lotus, and discovered my love of photography.
A lot has changed in only a few years, but the lotus I painted on my bathroom wall stayed with me, it reminded me how far I’ve come and how you really can find beauty EVERYWHERE.
Because of all this, I’m a huge supporter of food banks. I was lucky, I managed without one, but lots of people have no choice but to use them in order to support themselves and their family. So I ask, if you see a food bank collection point at your local supermarket, please, put something in it. Doesn’t need to be much; food, sanitary products, loo roll, nappies, whatever it is, it will be greatly appreciated.