Olympus Camera winner!

YOU GUYS. That was HARD. I feel like I have been on an emotional rollercoaster! ALL of the feels – happy and sad, simple joy, moments of profound loss, pride, excitement all captured in photos. Isn’t that the BEST? A click that captures a moment in time that can be with you forever, it’s why I love photography SO much.

I had 15 finalists to chose from well over 200. So many special moments that I got to see, from the bottom of my heart thank you for sharing with us all. The best bits for me though, were your words that went with them. Funny and sad…and everything in between. Maybe that’s what reading my blog is like for you guys? I love that.

Nights out on the farm grabbing photos of the night sky and scaring parents with being out for so long.

How one moment can make your remember what’s important and to stop worrying about things out of our control.

Sad moments in life being stopped by natural beauty.

A beautiful capture by a daughter losing her Mum suffering from Alzheimers that would break your heart.

Holiday escapes with friends that remind us of who we are, and how we can always look back at that time and remember how important (and needed it was).

Such sadness and loss…

The joy of family and adventure.

Simple moments in time, that remind us of so much more.

A little fun…

And then onto the winner.

One of my readers is an English teacher and her entry blew me away. She voted for one of her students and above is one of Emma’s photos. I had an English teacher like Bec when I was growing up, and they truly are precious people.

Here’s her entry…

Hi Beth,
Firstly – thank you for sharing all your beautiful pictures and details from your trip to London. I was so thrilled for you that you had the chance to go. In a weird way it felt like having a friend over there, one of our own, experiencing all the pomp, ceremony and magic that a Royal Wedding brings. 
I would like to enter your competition and would dearly love to win your camera so I can give it to a very special young person I know. Her name is Emma. I have known her 4.5 years as I first taught her in Year 7 back in 2014 and she was one of the most singularly talented and remarkable students I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. 
As I’ve gotten to know her more as time has gone on, I’ve discovered that her capacity for kindness is almost boundless: she is the most genuinely altruistic person I’ve ever met. Emma is a writer, and artist and an avid photographer. As an English teacher I have delighted to read her stories, poetry and we have spent hours together discussing musicals, literature, photography and art. She is a very special girl who could do anything she wishes in the future. Her dream for her future is to be a teacher. Bless her cotton socks. 
Emma’s mother, Lillian, is battling Stage 3 brain cancer. She was diagnosed a little under a year ago and the prognosis is grim. Emma has maintained her positive outlook and has been using her writing and photography to channel her fear, sadness and anger. 
She and I were at a school charity function on Saturday 19th where we were raising money for a trip the school is organising to Cambodia. Emma has volunteered to go on this trip, and was at the fundraising event taking photos. She came and sat with me awhile, showed me the photos she had taken (which were lovely, despite the wear and tear on the old camera she uses) and together we sneakily watched the live stream of Harry and Meghan’s wedding on my phone, gasping in delight when we saw her on that magnificent veil and jiggling with excitement as she made her way down the aisle. 
Being a teacher is a privilege. I have worked and fostered positive relationships with so many wonderful young people. But Emma truly is singular. She has shared so many of her thoughts, dreams and ideas with me. It would mean the world to me to be able to give her back something in return. I have attached a few of her photographs for you – I am sure you will agree that she is quite talented. 
I apologise for the frankly ludicrous length of this entry – but sometimes you’ve got to speak your truth and share your gratitude. 
You’re a good egg Beth. And this is a lovely thing you and Olympus are doing.
Best of luck. And thank you. 
Bec 
I think you will agree that Emma is a worthy winner. I know that this Olympus will be in good hands with her and I cannot wait to see what she does with it….the start of an amazing adventure I am sure! I emailed Bec to tell her about the win and she sent me this:

OH MY GOD!!!!! I’ve gone all caps crazy, are you for legit serious?? (Or as my 2 year old says – are you SPEERIOUS??) 

I am genuinely giddy. I just went and grabbed Emma from where she was helping a junior debating team (see what I said about her kindness) and had to explain to her all about you, and you blog and your trip to the UK and the competition and then show her what I wrote. 
We were both crying and laughing. Here is dreadful photographic proof:

I am genuinely in shock. Thank you so much Beth. This has made my insides feel like champagne: I’m all afizz!! 

And then Bec got THIS message from Emma! PASS ME THE TISSUES YOU GUYS.

OH MY GOODNESS OH MY GOODNESS I probably shouldn’t be emailing you like this, but your words well and truly made me cry some of the happiest, most amazed tears ever. And as for giving something back, it’s me who could never ever express the gratitude and love I am overwhelmed with, for your kindness, care, and everything Hufflepuffy and good, that you have shown me in the brightest and darkest of times.

I’m just going to reread this and pinch myself again now.

Doesn’t that just make you feel GOOD? It has made my day/week/month/year for sure.

Thanks again for all your wonderful entries and moments shared with us all, I wish I could have had 10 cameras to give away. Maybe one day! Until then…eep taking the photos, shitty iPhone or not, they are so precious and can remind us of so much.

Lots of love and thanks to you ALL for following along, and sharing your moments with me x

Comments

  1. I have tears. Such a worthy winner. x🤗

  2. I’m so happy for Emma. She will be able to carry that camera with her and hopefully feel that hufflepuffy of goodness for many years to come, remembering how it came into her world. A good teacher is THE best. Bec clearly has the goods.

  3. Best!

  4. Oh no, I’m blubbing!!! You couldn’t have picked a more worthy winner, awesome! How amazing! And your amazing mess too, for making it happen! X

  5. Jackie James says:

    Well done you , Beth! What a great competition where you could not only enter , but read lots of other entries and share in the joy of ordinary people like ourselves , capturing special moments in their life ! Thank you so much for sharing that amazing winning entry . What a special teacher , with a very special young student . Yes , it certainly left me feeling all warm and fuzzy, and thankful for so much . ( I’m grateful for having a delightful blogger to follow as well. Don’t even think about going to work in a shop)
    Jackie xx

  6. Tears here – just beautiful!!! Xx

  7. Martine Grant says:

    Ok pass the tissues 😭😭😭 Fantastic choice Beth 👌

  8. The. Best. Ever.

  9. Nicole Evans says:

    What a deserving winner!! All the photos submitted were gorgeous (a little chuffed mine was featured above too) however Emma is so deserving! And what a wonderful woman in Bec to submit the photo for Emma.
    You’ve got to love days like this Beth when you get to do these amazing things.

  10. Domenica says:

    How could she not win? So worthy. Go kick goals, Emma. You deserve it x

  11. That was beautiful a very worthy winner and lovely girl. ❤

  12. katie clews says:

    OMG Tears here.. so beautiful and so deserving xxxx

  13. Well done Beth!
    And mighty well done to Olympus – your prize will make a significant difference to this girls future. A positive reinforcement for all the good she does for others.
    Z x

  14. Annette says:

    BRILLIANT!! Go Emma go, and thank you Beth for partnering with such ace brands, encouraging us foster our creative pursuits.

  15. Awww what a beautiful story. Such a worthy winner 😢📸

  16. Sarah Ward says:

    Wow what a beautiful story!! So well deserved, thanks for sharing Beth x

  17. Amazing!! I got so teary! So well deserved and so glad you chose her!!

  18. Vanessa says:

    Oh I was hanging in there until Hufflepuffy, then the flood gates opened. What an amazing girl and wonderful teacher. Job well done Beth.

  19. Beautiful… just… beautiful 😭🤧🤗

  20. Vicki M says:

    With only one winner to be chosen that was a good one.

  21. KT Blake says:

    So glad she’s a worthy winner

  22. Such a worthy winner. What an amazing couple of women xx

  23. Louise King says:

    Nailed it.
    I love that Bec is such an amazing teacher to spend the time Emma needs to get through such a tough time.
    I would love to organise a gift from Arlington Milne and The Hunted Co to say thank you to Bec…. so many amazing teachers out there doing amazing things. Happy to send directly or through you….
    Lou – Arlington Milne xx

  24. So wonderful and tear inducing.. here’s to teachers! What an entry & what a worthy winner. Well-done Beth & Olympus. Very proud of my lifelong profession.. and sending all the best to this young woman’s mum.

  25. Awwww Emma is the most fantastic winner. What wonderful people they are. I’m so glad they have each other in their lives.
    Well done to you Beth for organising this. All the warm feels here in sunny Ireland . Xx

  26. Rebecca says:

    How gorgeous! Such a worthy winner. Xx

  27. Beautiful Beth. Loved reading this.

  28. Linda jenkins says:

    Great choice ! Tears here too ! I think teachers are amazing !

  29. Tears and cheers Beth, thats exactly the sort of teacher I want to be!!

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