The difference every day makes…

Around this time last year I watched a few insta friends as they took to the streets snapping photos for the @24hourproject.

Could I do that? No way. a. I would need to ask people if I could snap them (remember I am a shy introvert). And b. I’m a photo-taking hack, not a photographer.

Fast forward a year and a I’ve taken a whole lot of photos. I have built some confidence after helping Zoë with her One Girl fundraiser. That fundraiser showed me that one of the reasons I keep my life simple is so that I can jump on board when something I care about crosses my path.

So, when this year’s project came up and it turned out that I would be in Dublin on my own for the weekend and a little gentle encouragement from Rachael aka @thebowerbirdgirl (an actual real street photographer), I signed up.

It would have been easy to say no but what an adventure I would have missed out on. I’m not sure how it happened but I adopted the persona of Fran the street photographer. I actually thought I was one, maybe I really was.

Photographers from across the world participate by taking photos in their city documenting humanity and uploading a photo an hour onto Instagram. This year the project was raising awareness of @LesvosSolidarity. A refugee camp in Greece run by volunteers providing shelter and hospitality to the most vulnerable humans. It’s fair to say that participating in the project shifted something in me.

For many days after I felt the need to retreat, reflect and question what this momentous 24 hours had meant to me. P.s. I did sleep through the early hours as I didn’t fancy wandering the streets alone and basically, I need my sleep.

Back to the shifting. There was the obvious realisation that if you practice something every day, in my case photography you will get better. You just will, fact.

I also wondered where my courage had come from. I confidently cruised the streets talking, looking, learning from and admiring people while asking to photograph them without fear.

Maybe it was that my confidence had grown as a photographer but really I think it was because I was part of something bigger. Raising awareness for an important cause while being connected to snappers across the world. An online community and a project unfolding in real time, gosh it was FUN and inspiring.

I was visiting Dublin for the first time and what a way to travel within a city. Exploring it through humanity, seeing the sights but focussing on the people. I saw Dublin in a way that I wouldn’t have if I had I simply wandered from sight to sight.

During the 24 hours I witnessed it all. By looking into the eyes of humanity I saw fun, joy, sadness, hope, desperation, kindness, gratitude, passion and love.

I spoke with Michael who was just out of prison and bought him some dinner. He had a gentleness that most people would probably walk right past. I probably would too normally.

There was so much excitement and fun on the streets. The weekend party revellers dressed up as they danced and sang with  joy. What a gift live music can bring to a city.

I sat for my lunch on a shared table and witnessed a conversation that was one of the most expressive and moving ones I’ve ever seen. I didn’t understand the language but I read the feeling.

I met the café owner who spoke to me with a great passion for real food. He eagerly told me of his local suppliers and of a recent conversation he and his staff were having about becoming a café that doesn’t serve Avocado on the menu. Imagine that. He is right though, avocados are not really sustainable or local in Ireland.

Every time I asked someone if I could take their photo they were more than happy to accommodate. The cause resonated and people genuinely wanted to be photographed to help. That in itself was so cool.

Although it didn’t resonate with some that follow me on Instagram as they slowly dropped off while I was posting. It’s never easy on the ego when that happens but after stepping back a little and sitting with it I realise and accept that when you change and grow, or do something different not everyone comes with you. That’s really ok.

I remind myself that it really is braver to stick with who you are rather than stunt yourself trying to keep everyone happy. That’s how flow happens for me. If I let go of worrying about judgment something else wonderful happens. A new connection, a kind word or an invitation. I try to focus on this good stuff.

The 24-hour project was an adventure alright and one that I can’t wait to partake in again next year. I wonder what city I’ll be in?

Moral of this story: A year is a long time and a lot can happen if you practice and put yourself out there a little. Stepping out of the comfort zone and into the let’s give it a go and see where this goes zone.

And if you’re in Dublin…be sure to dine at Meet Me In The Morning. Delicious. I am also very grateful to @withaglowingheart for pointing me in the direction of this wonderful café. I do love the connections I have made across the world online and the doors that open because of them.

6 thoughts on “The difference every day makes…

  1. Hi Fran,

    “A year is a long time and a lot can happen” – wow yes, look at your last year! I have to tell you, this morning I showed my husband the pictures from your post about Ireland, and the ones from the Pyrenees – got him yearning for being out there exploring. I’m so ready to move to a smaller house, adjust my work situation etc, but it’s going to be a longer journey with him. He was totally on board with the decluttering, even the second round. This winter he has been lamenting our climate and six months of winter that don’t allow you to exercise outside. Talk of travel, and then the yearning this morning. Slowly, I have to be patient, we might be able to make some changes one day.

    Honestly, we have to stay for another year or year and a half so our son can finish college, and then I don’t like pulling the rug out from under him too soon either. But a job change for more flexibility/free time, maybe we can get that going. I know it took time with your husband, and your slow, consistent approach worked so I’m hopeful!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely Lisa,

      Yes, it takes time and sometimes things move faster, sometimes slower. I think we all need space to get to where we need to get.

      A lot of honest communication, gentle patience and work where you can do the work I think. We are all responsible for ourselves. Start living the life you want to be in. Connect with the inspiration that will take you there and be kind, appreciate all the small moves hubby makes but don’t expect the massive shifts until he can make them.

      That is kind of what I did…but I’m no expert 😉 I do think though that if a change need to be made we can really only move ourselves forward not push or pull someone, they have to come of their own accord. Sounds like he is, gently.

      F x


  2. “I remind myself that it really is braver to stick with who you are rather than stunt yourself trying to keep everyone happy.”
    It is a brave thing. It shouldn’t be, but it is. When my pot plants get stunted, something needs to be changed up- some plant food, maybe a little extra love and attention. Sometimes they will have had a growth spurt, and no one else noticed, but that’s when it’s exciting, because then you get to replant them into something slightly different. Bigger perhaps or maybe just a different position… Bugger staying in the same pot all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Brydie,

      Isn’t it wonderful being in a space where the smallest of change can be noticed and answered. Adjusting sometimes slightly, sometimes in a more grand way but always moving.

      Thanks for the fiercest of chats that always help me to adjust.

      F x


  3. Hey fran
    Another beautiful post and your mum must be loving it!
    What a wonderful adventure spending time in Dublin alone taking all those amazing photos! And for a wonderful cause! Well done you for taking on the opportunity .
    I wouldn’t give a second thought to followers lost along the way … do they de follow or just not ‘ like’ ?? I am an instagram novice for sure but you have so many followers it’s incredible! I’m not there yet connecting with people I don’t know so much in person …I guess social media … Its probably not for me for varying reasons ,that’s not to say it’s wrong in any way at all. ( of course I am open to change) I do though enjoy the beautiful and varying connections I have with people in my life. ( like you!!) Anyway I really only take time to look at your instagram posts .( and a few others) … so I imagine others may be caught up in stuff and not have time to always follow or just miss certain posts .
    Keep going …. follow your heart .
    What an amazing journey to share.
    Is there somewhere I can send more private messages to you? It’s your ( and followers) space so I don’t like rambling to much about myself!
    With much love


    • Oh I love your rambles! Ha ha that’s exactly what I do ramble about myself 🤣🤣 nah it’s not really a follower space more a little community of like minded people connecting. So your honest rambles are perfect and very welcome.

      Oh no not likes, I don’t really worry about that stuff. I like the ability to meet and talk to like minded people. The unfollow is more about when people you thought you had a connection with unfollow you. But I get it, I think it’s better to unfollow if your not digging what people are sharing. I’m different to the person I was a year ago so it’s normal that people would drop off. I really post my own thoughts with family and friends in mind.

      It’s a funny beast social media. You know me personally so know it’s probably far removed what I would have ever thought I’d enjoy. Many times I think should I be sharing so much??? I have gotten past worrying about sharing vulnerability though. The positives as in the people I’ve met and connected with far far outweighs any discomfort. Plus the access to the inspirational and thought provoking real life conversations has truly pushed me to give more shits about creating a meaningful life.

      F x

      Ps I’ve what’s ap’d you.


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