The Essence of Ginger, Debbie’s Story

Have we lost the plot? Not just yet. This blog and the accompanying mother and daughter photoshoot of me and our gorgeous nearly 9 year old Lucy, is a celebration of 2 years working full-time together as a husband and wife team. 2 years since the ginger gene officially started infiltrating and influencing the family business and the day to day running of our portrait studio… In reality, it’s far longer than that! Our 25 years together mean I’ve been alongside Andy during every step of our business as it’s grown.

Regarding the photoshoot, like most mums in their late twenties (tongue firmly in cheek) I’m not entirely comfortable in front of the camera, so when Andy suggested we have a shoot to illustrate the post I was less than enthusiastic. Sitting there under the lights certainly gave me a new found empathy with our clients, I needed a lot of direction and encouragement from Andy. In the end I really enjoyed the experience and although my vanity will never allow me to fully enjoy the final portraits I’m thrilled we’ve finally captured some natural photos of Lucy and myself together, something that was sadly lacking from the family album up until now.

Okay so what exactly has this ginge added to our business over the past two years, apart from a much needed feminine touch? Let’s be honest from the start, being ginger is often a source of much hilarity and ridicule. Over the years, I’ve been called every ginger related name under the sun (many of which are simply too crude to publish here) but the weirdest was in my early nursing career when a psychotic patient used to call me his very own Pre-Raphaelite. This takes me straight in to the heart of this blog.

Being ginger gets you noticed.
I’m delighted that clients who come to us from national trade fairs of 25k footfall remember conversations we’ve had at the stall namely because of the work, but also because I’m a red head. I’m like a belisha beacon drawing attention to our wares, this can only be a good thing. So unlike my early days at school, I’ve no beef with being a ginge and wear it loud and proud. In a creative business, you need to stand out and be recognised, being bland does you no favours. This is very much why we’ve created and continue to develop our own unique artistic flavour. Our philosophy is to strip everything that doesn’t matter out and keep the clutter minimal. We focus on what really matters to us and hopefully to the clients who choose us; authentic expressions, natural character, real emotion and intimate relationships.

A spirited yet level headed temperament.
Passion and enthusiasm are positive traits in my book and I’ve certainly been known to exhibit the classic attributes of a fiery redhead. However, after 20 years passionately practising as a nurse, I’m professionally very calm, level headed and diplomatic. Andy has a spirited personality and passion by the bucketful, but his artistic disposition occasionally needs gently nudging back to centre. Although Andy as the photographer has his name above the door, we very much work as a team and our business has gone from strength to strength since we combined our energies and blended our unique personalities.

You certainly need a robust sense of humour to be a ginger.
At school, kids wanted to stand near me in the class photo to boost their low self confidence cos ‘at least they weren’t ginger’. Sad but true, however I’m not one to cower to mean spiritedness, there’s always a ginger joke to fall back on. Instead ‘gingerism’ has helped build robust foundations for a successful career and relationships, plus an earthy sense of humour always helps you navigate better through life. We rarely take ourselves too seriously.

Redheads are like walking thermometers!
Bit of a daft one this but I put it down to my colouring that I’m usually the first to shiver or overheat. Andy often jokes that we should have shares in Nivea suncream, I’ve been known to get sunburn in mid winter! This is an unexpected but welcome asset in our newborn baby photoshoots which are very temperature sensitive.

So there you have it, being ginger is pretty ace! Although I’ve left my nursing career behind me with inevitable sadness, it was the right time for something new and working together has been a very natural step.

On a final note, while our brand is always going to be Andy Nickerson Photography, in honour of the ginger behind-the-scenes influence our brand colour has recently been changed from pink to tetian, and rightly so!

Thanks for reading
Debbie
aka Copper-top, Irn Bru, Ginge, Carrot-top, Belisha Beacon, Rusty, Pre-Raphaelite, Orangutan, Duracell, Fire-top, Tetian, Coppernob, Ginja Ninja…etc

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