Stories Of The Everyday - Home

Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

Home is where the heart is, home from home, there’s no place like home. For the July Stories of the Everyday theme, we brought things back HOME. The place, the people, the pets, the light, the details and objects that make it the heart of who we are. The places that make us feel secure, the places where we’re loved, and love.

“Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.” – Cecelia Ahern. I love that. It’s been a joy putting this blog together, looking through photos and their captions. Hope you enjoy the collection too.

And just to let you know, the August theme is all about COMMUNITY. It could be your street, village, town, city. Maybe it’s a group you belong to, or a community you are part of online. Whatever makes you feel part of something, sharing ideas and thoughts with like minded people. Looking forward to seeing what we all come up with. Just tag your photos #storiesoftheeveryday_community. Have a great rest of the month. x

“My children always held their discos in this room. Now it’s only the best room. It holds such memories, I’ll miss it when it’s sold, the house is too big for one person these days.” Carole, who featured in my Home in Maindee project which explored some of the homes of some people who chose to live in Maindee, Newport. As well as why some were choosing to leave.

One from this morning. I know everyone is hot but I love it ☀️🌞☀️🌞☀️ [image description: flowers sit on a windowsill behind a sink, with morning sunlight streaming in casting a shadow on the wooden countertop ]

‘One of our must-haves when choosing a boat was a decent galley! I enjoy cooking and wanted space to nurture this in the children if they chose to join me. We eat loads of fresh fruit and veggies so storage space was essential too. Goosander well and truly ticked the box. Six enormous drawers and masses of side storage too. We forfeited the traditional saloon table but the girls can sit up at the kitchen bench while I cook. The space is big enough to share with their crafts and we chat away while we all work.’

‘I’m increasingly interested in capturing people in their surroundings, giving context to their behaviour, showing relationships to people and objects, telling a bigger story ... my daughter was resting in strong light and it would have made a good portrait, but that didn’t tell any of the story, so I pulled back. She was wilting in the hot weather and had taken herself off for a nap, her body sprawled across the mattress too hot to curl up ... the mattress on the floor next to her bed in her small room, where her sister has been sleeping for a few weeks as we decorate the other bedroom, it’s been an unexpectedly long project fitting it in around life, so the girls have become accustomed to being roomies and the fun of permanent sleepovers ... it’s good to have a memory of this time, but I think it may become a regular fixture at weekends and in holidays as they are now complaining about their imminent separation as the new room approaches completion!’

Counting down the days to the start of the summer break when we can loosen our routines and having to be in certain places or time. These two are getting their practice in with their bedtime antics. If only it was that easy for them to get away with it.

This little lady is bold enough to sneak through my legs as soon as I open the door. You see she loves the dog’s food, the dog loves the pig’s food, and well the pigs will eat anything. It’s one wild and crazy life up here on our hill.

‘Home for us is Somerset, one of the flattest landscapes. In winter, it can be quite bleak and definitely very soggy, when its not flooded and under a few feet of water! But much of the time it is beautiful, a little rough around the edges, raggedy hedgerows battered by the wind and rain, with beautiful views for miles across both farmland and moors. We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some truly beautiful countryside and walks.
This image was taken in the nearby lane, where the verges are now filled with heads of dry cow parsley, dried from the heat of the sun and just about to spread their seeds to the wind for another year. Behind stands an old wall, historically kept preserved, which has stood for hundreds of years.
Our other 'Home' is further down the country in Cornwall, almost as far as you can travel actually. While we do not have a physical home there, our hearts tell us that this is 'home' whenever we arrive, one of our happy places, a place where we can simply relax and return to a simpler life for a brief moment. My heart sings when I catch my first glimpse of the rugged coastline, just as it did as a child, and the coast walks that take simply your breathe away around each corner. Somewhere to stop and breathe.

Our concept of home is usually defined by the house we live in, surrounded by the possessions we have gained throughout life, the interiors we choose, the photos and memories, the books we collect. Yet it can also be the place which calls out to our hearts every so often, irrespective of possessions.’

‘I love the evening light we get in our flat whilst we cook tea (and take photos!). Thinking about joining in with #storiesoftheeveryday_home has encouraged me to look a bit more closely and celebrate the beauty in the simple things like this. I have a few little clusters of @juriannematter's BYGGE houses dotted around - sometimes three houses on their own, sometimes more - but this little village is my favourite, probably because it has the sunniest spot!’

‘Current Workspace’.

‘A favourite corner. It’s taken years for this climbing hydrangea to fill the shady corner outside my kitchen, and I’m happy to say it was worth the wait 🌿’

‘Winter on Film
18/92
(expired Fuji Superia 400)
This is his first art project from Nursery, I'm sure he had lots of help but my heart bursts with pride everytime I look at this wee clay bird and the imprints of his little fingers. A treasure forever.’

‘Our wee three | dreich outside, CBeebies inside’

‘Couple of weeks ago we celebrated first birthday of my little girl. I can’t believe she is one! I mean where the time has gone? Her big sister still gives her cuddles and kisses and I love to observe the way they interact with each other. They fight over cup of milk, they fight over mummy cuddle, they chase each other around the house as Hania is walking already! And they kiss each other goodnight which makes me so happy every night.
On my list to do is to write a first letter and put it safely in our adventure book. Do you write letters to your children?’

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Stay healthy!’

‘Morning light in my childhood home.’

‘Celebrating the 1st July with a special birthday.
89 today- that’s our neighbour Brierley and not the tractor 🚜. I asked him what the secret to eternal youth was and he told me, so, here it is: Pilates; spending a lot of time giving things ‘a coat of looking at’, and making sure all his drains are clear.’

‘Sunday morning.’

‘I often wonder what it’s like to be their sister. They’ve got a good thing going💞
Side note: in this relationship Maya almost always loves passionately and Coco allows herself to be loved.
What’s the case in your family? Do you have one child who is more affectionate?’

‘Feeling nostalgic... these hammock days on our front porch have been so good for all of us. A space for alone time, or time together. A space to breathe, or to connect. A space for one, or for all four. A space to watch, and to learn.... wherever we live next there will surely be a hammock too... ♥️’

‘Last of the birthday snaps I promise 😂💖. It’s clearly a tough job being 7, but someone’s got to do it 😍. I’m loving having this tiny gal around now it’s the summer hols, you don’t realise how much you miss out on when they’re at school full time do you?!’

‘L a s t v a n m o r n i n g ...note the lazy breakfast of biscuits in hand! 🍪 vibes ✌️’

‘Heart melted 😍 ⁠⠀
Just snapped this quick shot while she was playing the other day.⁠⠀
Please give Lyla a ♥️ if you see this post!⁠’

‘I am a terrible grump in hot weather with no water to cool down in. So to make amends I picked rose petals, chamomile and lavender from the garden with my girls, and we made a floral bath. 🍃🍃’

‘Sometimes the way he stands at these windows I think its due to him being the ruler of the roost. I have realised its fear, as he looks down four stories.’

‘She's nearly one. She is a one I'll tell you that. Either clung to one of my appendages or off climbing some precipice in a split second she isn't clung to said appendages.’

‘And with the endless washing of clothes comes endless showers too 🛀’

‘Inspired by Jo's @twowildheartsthreeloves post, I asked my youngest if he loves mandalas and would love to create one ... He said "oh yes" and started immediately with all that our garden and kitchen offered 😁😍’

‘Summer on the allotment.

It’s all getting into its stride now down at the plot. After a little Rose fettling and squash admiring I even managed to snatch 40 winks in the chair today!

Our allotment is a real solace and the perfect place for downtime from our respective creative businesses, though it invariably ends up being equally creative, just in a different way. More can be seen on my IG stories, I always worry that (perhaps over)sharing our enjoyment of the plot during the season may actually confuse as to what it is we actually do, but then it’s all become so intertwined that I’ve given up caring, much like my incredibly rampant sweet peas this year!’

Quite frankly I don’t think my mum have a good taste. (Sorry mum, but that’s true.) But her cooking is excellent, she taught me how to use a single knife to chop vegetables in tens of different ways and has always put meal on our family table with care. Her choice of tableware wasn’t my fav at all, yet the way she serves different meals combined with different bowls was something I liked and stayed within me deeply. I wonder why I have chosen to be a potter and what kind of potter I’d like to be. I have never thought of my mum’s influence for my career choice, but there is something that rooted from her caring approach. Maybe my eyes were eager to look for a better choice of pottery to fill the gap I used to see. To enjoy meals in a best possible way. My pottery is for everyday use. I focus on the practicality within the form, pay attention to the details of curves, lines and edge, and at the same time I try creating simple beauty in utility.

’I often get asked why I don’t make Japanese pottery. To be honest, it has never occurred to me making chawan or yunomi whilst I’m working in UK, as it won’t be practical in my opinion. How many people would actually use chop sticks daily to eat rice from a chawan or drink Japanese tea in a yumoni? Don’t get me wrong, I have no offence to any potters who like to pursue Japanese pottery anywhere, or people embrace Japanese pottery in their life. But my point is that I want people to use my work daily so it seems natural for me to make something they can adopt naturally. I didn’t want my work to be up on the shelf to look at. You may see my work have Japanese philosophy of handmade and aesthetic, certainly an influence of food culture from my background, but my practice is focused on people who receive them. I try to imagine how they use them as I make and my own experience on how I would use them at home in UK. At the end of the day, my pottery can only be complete when people use it. You make my mission accomplished. Not me.
#ponderingpotter
[image description: 1 ‘sekihan’ (red bean rice) served on a porcelain chawan with cobalt decoration. 2 my mother preparing dinner in her kitchen surrounded by all sorts of stuff.]’

‘I rarely take Emi to her swim class as it’s a Daddy Daughter activity and I love that they have that, however tonight we swapped and oh my goodness she was so flipping AMAZING! I got a lump in my throat as the teacher told me how impressed she was. To top it off she got her first Octopus badge, which she then just HAD to sleep with. Oh Emi, you make me so proud ❤️ x’

‘The hallway seems to be the go-to place for everything in our house right now. Scooting, eating, singing and most definitely dancing! Wishing you a wonderful weekend 💃🏼’

‘A cheeky little triptych of a cheeky little boy. My poor pictures haven’t been straight in 6 months since this guy started climbing on the sofa 😭’

‘100 mornings captured from April 2nd to July 10th...my middle son’s 13th birthday...I wasn’t sure I would manage to photograph something different each day but I more or less have whether it’s family, pets, our home, the garden or anything else that caught my eye first thing, especially that lovely morning light. I’m going to create a photo book with these images that we can look back on in a few years...’

‘Lots of complaints about the sunshine, (not from me) I have difficulty keeping Vit D in my body so I need to lap it up. Yesterday it felt like autumn which I don't mind in actual autumn dark all day and the same today. I am.way less productive in grey skies.’

‘It’s all in the #details for me as a photographer, I love to get up close and capture meaningful, detailed moments that time may make me forget. His little hands holding that train and the concentration as he gets up close in his playtime ❤️ I dread the day my children outgrow their play with toys like these, I love watching them and listening, and sometimes joining in, #mumlife 😂😍’

‘Because sometimes you just want to snuggle up on the sofa and relax ❣️’

‘Home mid July..’

Finding Your Voice

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Finding Your Voice, it’s a term that gets thrown around within creative disciplines a lot isn’t it. And photography is no exception, in fact we have a day workshop called just this. We ran another one this week, and it’s made me think about a few things, as a few recurring conversations happen every time we run them.

You’ve probably heard a lot about finding your why, a buzz term at the moment, but one we keep coming back to. We like a good Ted Talk like the next person, and you may have already seen the Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, if you want to watch it again, here’s the link. I got goosebumps when I first watched this with a marketing mentor a few years ago. And it’s something we share with our retreaters and workshoppers too. “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He repeats it, and I can often hear his voice saying it.

On our workshops, we’ve had so many conversations about Instagram, curating our feeds, and the mythical beast that is the algorithm. I know I’ve posted photos that I think fit the criteria, seen the little red hearts beating before my eyes, my dopamine fix sated, for now, until I crave that next hit. And then a feeling of hollowness. Because I didn’t really FEEL that photo in the first place. I’m trying to quiet that voice that says, in a bit of a high pitched Yorkshire accent, ‘Ooooo, that’ll look nice on the grid’.

Why are we taking the photos we are taking? Who are they for? Surely, ultimately they’re for us. Only when we feel something in our images, will our viewers feel it too.

If something catches your eye, don’t overthink it. Take it. Show it. If we’re drawn to a pile of toys lit by the sunlight in the corner of the room, or a peg on the washing line glistening with rain, take it, and try and stop that niggle that might start questioning if it’s ‘right’ or not. We felt something just before we pressed the shutter. If it makes you feel something - BINGO! Surely that’s all that matters, and not creating something we think people want to see. People want to see you.

Let’s ditch perfection.

We’ve had a few people messaging us this week saying that they feel in a creative slump. Sometimes it’s a push to pick up your camera, it’s as if all our muscles in our body are conspiring against us to create, due to fear of failure. But these times of resistance are the times I encourage you to pick it up the most, if you feel you can. The camera can sometimes become a conduit to what you want to say with your images, and a rope ladder to bring you out. When I feel most stuck, I look at an object, say a bowl of fruit, and think about how I can take 10 different photos of it. Setting the scene with a wide shot to show it in the environment, and then a close up of a detail, maybe the stalk on an apple. I’lll try different light and perspectives, maybe holding one in my hand, and if I’m feeling energetic enough, maybe set the camera up on a tripod, set it onto a long exposure, and put myself in the frame walking behind the bowl to create motion blur. When I set myself to do something like this, it nearly always shakes me out of a slump, and gets me thinking about all those things I want to do, and maybe spark a few more ideas too.

We wondered if you’d like to do a week long project, making a commitment to pick the camera up at the same time each day for the next 7 days, that hopefully is manageable? As our monthly Stories Of The Everyday theme is HOME, we thought we could base it around that. When you have a theme, or limit yourself in this way to a time or word, (or even a combination of the two), it can lead to stronger images. If you’d like to join in please hashtag your images on Instagram with #storiesoftheeveryday_home if you want to show them. And I guess we’re all trying to bring it back home, to find what is right there inside, the gems that make our work, and our viewpoints unique.

It feels quite pertinent that Instagram are trialling hiding likes on posts in some countries. We’d love to hear from you if you’re in one of those countries, has it influenced what you’re showing or want to show in the future? I think it’d be great to roll it out here too.

So, are you in? Will you join us for the next 7 days? Just pick a time of day when you think it’ll be most convenient to capture a photo that symbolises home (maybe set an alarm on your phone). We hope it’s a gentle way of just picking your camera up each day to create, and if you feel those niggles, we’re here to encourage you to push through it, and take those photos that make you feel something. Let’s get creating!

We’re going to be running another Finding Your Voice retreat day in October. If you’re interested in joining us, please send us an email to express your interest and you’ll be the first to hear about the next date - info@sarahmasonphotography.co.uk.

For now, we hope you have a lovely weekend, and have fun creating!

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If you're in the mood for a bit more reading, I wrote a post last year about not being able to please everyone. If you’ve got a cup of tea on the go, and you want to put your feet up for a few more minutes, here’s the link.

P L A C E

Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

We knew at the start of the year that Sense Of PLACE was going to be one of our Stories of the Everyday monthly themes. It’s been such a big part of who we are in our work over the years, so thanks for embracing it, and sharing your places with us. Sea views, holidays, gardens, home and favourite cafe’s to name but a few.

And we thought for the first time that we should share captions too as these words make up the whole sense of place.

At the end of the blog, we’ll share July’s theme, another one close to our hearts. But first, enjoy this beautiful collection.

‘I started going to this place 17 years ago with my grandad, just us. It was our special place and we would always eat the same thing. I haven't been in 7 years because he developed dementia, he recently passed and I wanted to share this place with my children and my husband. In this first photo my kids and husband are in blurr in the back and the woman at the front is the same woman whose been there all these years. This photo brings together old memories and new for me. The place hasn't changed at all ❤️’

‘These roses hang just outside my bedroom window. They are an instant signifier of home for me and are one of my favourite things’.

‘The beautiful dunes... this is one of the things I miss most about life in the uae... they were my sanity saving weekend escape and a little piece of my heart will always be there...’

‘Grasmere, from Allan Bank House. Stunning whatever the weather. Mr F-D and I were lucky enough to have a weekend away together in the Lake District, celebrating our wedding anniversary. We married in the Lakes, the rain falling from the skies in the week leading up to the wedding, much as it poured down last weekend and ever since it seems. Fortunately the sun came out for our wedding, although I do remember the heels of my ivory satin shoes sinking into the water logged grass whilst having our photos taken. The heels of those shoes still carry a water stain to mark how far they sank!’

‘Time spent on the little beach along from the marina is their version of playing in the garden.’

‘Take me to this place again.❤️’

‘Funny how time changes our memory - a bit like childbirth! When I think back to this Cornish holiday in 2018, I see the kids running free with kites or building moats around their carefully constructed sandcastles next to the clear, turquoise sea. But in reality, it was tough. My little boy had a nasty case of hand foot and mouth disease, there was no sleep and we were sharing a very small caravan! Nonetheless, Cornwall will always be the place I choose to return to time and again, whatever diseases are thrown our way! @sarahmasonphotouk monthly theme is all about ‘A Sense of Place’ in June and there really isn’t anywhere else I feel so entirely happy and free. So I guess this is mine.’

We called by for an hour at Dove Cottage. I often think that 20 minutes in any garden, but, especially this one, should be prescribed to anyone who needs to decompress.

I often don’t know what I’m going to record for people when I first walk in to their lives and it’s THIS that is the most exciting and important part of my process. The not knowing. To be let in, trusted and to able to explore that part of a journey with them, into their beautiful real, is beyond special to me. I happen to know these two more than most, as I stood here part of their father-daughter moment. -My father, my sister.’

‘There was so much warmth and colour everywhere - all blending together and made gentle by the sun and sea. Sun on your bones every once in awhile fills your boots with energy and healing. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃’

What a difference a day makes...
I was ridiculously lucky to be able to tag along with @joannewithers and @damian.withers.9 for another swim in Windermere this evening. It was glorious! Although admittedly the water was still quite cold, but the atmosphere couldn’t have been more different above the water. Sunshine and blue skies in abundance.
I couldn’t help but think what a contrast this all is to how I spent my days even five or six years ago. No daily commute in traffic, no standard 9-5, no built up grey cities, just flexible hours, time to escape and green countryside and gorgeous lakes and rivers. I am incredibly lucky.

‘These are a few of my favorite things ...’

‘I’ve been documenting mornings in our home for the past 82 days as part of a 100 Day Project ~ here are a few of the snaps I’ve taken. Of course, they show a snippet of serenity in what is invariably a chaotic time of the day here, getting everyone up and sorted for the day ahead before dashing out of the door. I’m also joining in with @sarahmasonphotouk monthly hashtag which is #storiesoftheeveryday_place .
This place is my home and although I love being out and about exploring, I always love coming back here ~ and these photos will remind me of this time in our lives...’

‘My photographs are inspired by a bit of everything, but mostly a love of nature and art. It's where my children and I spend the majority of our time. There's nothing better than finding a weekend free to explore a nature reserve or walk in the local woods. I've shared the story of where I first found these inspirations that influenced my early childhood, and in turn, of my children now. It's up on the blog now along with some images shared from this summer adventure. I would love for you to have a look.’

‘R a i n y d a y van scenes... and the magic - closeness - they bring’

‘I’m just going to leave this here - a little poem me and the girls memorised and read to him this morning:
If I scratched my knee,
Or if I bumped my head,
When I was afraid of the dark,
Or that thing under my bed,
When I cried in the night,
Or even in the day,
You were there for me
To make it all ok.
You ticked my feet,
And laughed at my jokes,
You taught me to believe
In having high hopes.
You made everything good
That was once bad.
I just want you to know
I love you, Dad☺️’

‘Whitby today..no I didn't blend out the background in preparation for a painting. That is summer in the UK. It is pretty gorgeous though isn't it?’

Finally coming round after a gorgeous break in Norfolk. We camped in a field at @kelling_heath which basically feels like Center Parcs without the price tag. The woodland site even had its own train stop so we took a steam engine to Sherringham and spent far too long snapping its vintage station. I couldn’t help but use Silva and her smock against all the vintage props (milk churns for the win!) We spent lazy days at Wells and Holkham beach eating picnic after picnic. The weather shined, the kids slept well, and it was the most inexpensive trip yet they loved it.

‘Sea fret. I love them. The freshest of facials. This one rolled in within 20 minutes in Denmark then rolled out again 20 minutes later leaving us with clear skies and sea. Reading @sarahmasonphotouk newsletter today, this little memory was the first thing I thought of, shortly followed by any forest I've ever visited, for the #storiesoftheeveryday_place

99% of the time I spend here at Wild Meadow I am on my own...making beds, cleaning floors, weeding the veg patch and mowing. So it was pure indulgence to spend a whole day with a wonderful group of IG friends, enjoying great company and plenty of laughter.

One of my faves from our @chesterzoo visit last month. I wanted to capture one of the boys looking wistfully up at the glorious sea critters, or wistfully up at any of the zoo animals tbh... but mostly I got blurs and backs of heads like usual 😂 ❤️

Outside is my kinda motherhood.

H O L I D A Y S are all about building sand castle cities and seaweed sea defences ❤️😂 I’ve got the holiday blues today, remembering our relaxed and easy, lazy days of last week in Corfu. Still, I’ve got my photos to start editing, these are all iPhone shots but I love them none the less! It doesn’t matter which camera you have to hand so long as you capture memories 💕

‘Dale brook Pool, Kalk Bay, Cape Town. A little bit of my heart is in this spot! This year it will be 20 years since we first fell in love with Cape Town’.

No filter.. just home June evening 🌒

I’m not quite sure how if this insta video will work for everyone, but wanted to share this one from @ashleaflondon These words seemed so fitting for the theme: ‘ Greeting you this Sunday morning with the delicate touch of sunshine through these ferns I had the pleasure to witness in Richmond Park two weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but for me, spending time with nature brings me to the quietest of places within myself. It allows me to step back and just observe with awareness within and with-out. This is the place where I don’t feel the urge to do anything or be anyone. This is my definition of quiet. The place that offers me stillness, richness and a quality of attention hard to find elsewhere. This is the place where I seek solace. Without visiting this place often through the doors that nature offers, I feel, I would be less able to make sense of the world I inhabit.’

Thanks so much for filling us up with your stories of PLACE. And now onto July’s theme which is all about HOME. The place, the people, the pets, the light, the details and objects that make it the heart of who you are. Just tag #storiesoftheeveryday_home. We’re looking forward to sharing your images already!

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