Story of Origin

Photography has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the far North of England, not too far from Scotland, and some of my earliest memories are of my dad taking photographs of us- he always had a camera loaded with film on the mantle above the fire place ready to go. After mum separated from dad, it was a way that he maintained a beautiful, strong connection with me.  To get the rolls of film developed, then to post me the beautiful memories of our weekends spent together along with a little love note nestled in the envelope. I have treasured them my whole life, and have brought every single photograph with me to the other side of the world to live with me all these years on.

When I started earning ‘Pocket money’ the first thing I ever spent my money on was a disposable camera from the discount store ‘Savers’… I would snap away to my hearts content… oh my…. The FREEDOM! Being able to take my own photographs of whatever I wanted… and 27 of them! I still remember the feeling. When my next round of pocket money came in, I’d head back to Savers and put the camera in to be developed. Writing my land line number down along the perforated slip… “We’ll call you when it’s ready”. Goodness, how important I felt! I always struggled with my words as a child, I was incredibly shy, and so visual story telling was a safe and comfortable way for me to express myself.

I went on after secondary school to enrol in Design Technology College and was accepted into an Art and Design course (with a promise to better my maths knowledge as I had failed that particular qualification and it was a requirement to be accepted… fortunately my art portfolio had the nod of approval and the doors were opened to me. It was a mixed course that included interior design & architecture (hence the maths) and fine art. I adored the photography classes, and was introduced for the first time to the magical world of the dark room, but the fashion classes made me want to scream and run very promptly from the building! A year on I failed my maths GCSE again, but by that time I was figuring out the course wasn’t for me. After I learnt the basics of photography, everything else felt too restrictive for me, I felt like I was trapped in a box. I was growing tired of being told I was doing things ‘wrong’ when they felt so right and expressive to me, and whilst simultaneously being discouraged from this path, (such passions would never amount to a ‘decent career’, or any real money) I was swept into the hospitality industry. A world of chaos, burn out and endless split shifts.

At the age of 21, in 2009, my mum passed away quite suddenly- and I packed a bag and booked a one-way ticket to as far away as I could. Sydney, Australia.

After a 7 year journey in the veterinary industry, I still had a constant (sometimes annoying!) desire to pick up my phone and photographically document moments, especially in the midst of chaos. There was just something about the empty bottles of anti-venom, the blood stained floors and hands, the tears, the behind the scenes that no-one else saw, that was always so heartbreakingly beautiful to me.

 I decided I needed to do something about this burning passion I had deep within my bones… and Fifth of a Second was born.

I want you to know, dear reader, how much I truly love taking photographs. How it feels engrained in me. How much I treasure the idea of capturing moments that are gone in the blink of an eye. How I love bringing that passion into the world and giving people new eyes to see. A different perspective.

The idea of photography has always ignited my creative mind. It has often fascinated me, how many moments there are in a second, and how after that moment has gone… it is just, gone. We have only our memories, which can often fade or become distorted. But sometimes we can capture those moments on film, and they can be handed down from generation to generation. I still have photographs now that my Grandma Ada took, and I will hand them down to my own son when the time comes. We are quite fortunate these days, with the advancement of technology and the amazing capabilities of the cameras now conveniently on our mobile phones, quite often a moment can be frozen without much thought or effort at all.

So to wrap things up, I live in the beautiful South West region of Australia, Margaret River with my husband, little boy, and our 2 rescue fur babies… a beautiful loving Kelpie called Quiver, and a 3-legged Burmese pirate cat- Davey Jones. Also 5 chickens! Life is beautiful here, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. One can truly breathe in deeply all the oxygen that the surrounding forest provides us in loving abundance.

Despite all the chaos, thank you for taking the time to visit. It means the world to me.

Addie xx

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