The strangest thing happened a few weeks back. I met someone new and right away she asked me where my accent was from. I told her it was from Los Angeles. People phrase the question that way all the time here because they don’t want to offend a Canadian by asking them directly if they are from The States. That is not the weird part, what happened next was… She responded that she thought I might be American and that she was from Ohio. Only been here two years. At that moment it hit me. I can no longer “hear” an American accent. A fact which threw me for a completely unexpected loop of questions. American accents used to stick out in a crowd of voices like a lighthouse in foggy weather. What did it mean? Was I really becoming Australian? Was I no longer an American? Do I really have some hint of an Aussie accent myself? Or even, was I going to end up sounding like Madonna or Natalie Merchant with some weird posh accent that people think I am putting on to be cool.
This has been going around and around in my mind since that day. Nearly five years here in Australia now and I am still finding my place, but that is OK. Everyday is different and just when I come to terms with something, it changes. I am no longer a mom of a preschooler and newborn twins, but now a mom of three little independent and opinionated beings. I not a newly arrived ex-pat American either, but a soon to be official Australian who will also be hanging onto her American passport. The year we arrived in Melbourne, I hosted a Halloween party. Decorations had to be brought in from America. There was even a mum at Gemma’s kinder that did not want to attend because she thought Halloween had to do with worshipping Satan. The next year one lone trick-or-treater caught me off guard and treatless at my own door. Cut to this year and the Aussie shops are filling up with decorations and Halloween candy for sale. Australia, I believe you are getting a bit of an American accent.
It isn’t completely a thing here yet, so last year I printed up some small posters and delivered them around the neighborhood. It made the evening stroll with little ones so efficient and pleasant as we knew which doors wanted to see their tiny little grubby greedy faces! They were so popular that this year I have made them again and am hosting them here for free download. American ex-pats rejoice and get printing…the free candy holiday is now global!
Those are not the only elements of my life that are evolving. I have been photo-blogging life as a parent since 2004 when I joined Flickr and in business as a photographer since 1995. I have seen a lot of change in both industries over that time and have always just grown where my efforts took me. My career is transforming once again. Today I am able to announce that I have signed with Nuffnang’s new talent agency for bloggers. I will be able to really focus on combining my commercial photography and love of blogging into digital content creation for brands. It isn’t just about more ads or product placement, but a new media creative collective that will be able to work together to bring better campaigns to the public and even help brands to develop concepts through the combined experience, connections and expertise of the trust. It means that projects like littleSIDEKLICK can go from dream of mine to being released to parents everywhere so they can bond with their kids over a love of photography and seeing the world. It means that another idea I have for giving back to the community through photography might actually happen. It is a really exciting time for blogging in Australia and I am honored to be in the company of such talented women.
It doesn’t mean that anything major around here will change except that I will be able to spend more time doing what I love to do and less time chasing paper and possibilities.