Harriet Brown

Nostalgia is Scary.

Nostalgia is Scary.


The end of every year always makes you reminiscent of something. A friend said to me in the pub last night: “This season is always the time you re-kindle old flames because the cold just makes you nostalgic” 


I guess he’s right, the cold does seem to bring out a form of reminiscent nostalgia in lots of people. We love looking back with rose tinted glasses firmly affixed to our eyes, especially when the weather is shitty, money is tight and theirs not much else to do.  


This year I have found looking back extremely difficult, not because my year was bad, but because it was good. The summer seemed to sprawl on. Every festival, every beer garden, every long sweaty drive in a badly air-conditioned van, seems now - in my mind - to be coated with a gold hue. Good old rose tinted glasses.


When you’re flying so high, the world feels like its yours for the taking… its a long fall back down. 


I finally left London at the start of Autumn, after a long and complex 22 year relationship with the city. I would like to say it was a bitter sweet decision but in all honesty it wasn’t and, even though I miss the people, I haven’t missed the city. Being a creative, flying the nest for the first time, however, is fucking terrifying. 


After a summer of feeling like a completely unstoppable powerhouse of creativity, I got to my new home and quickly realised the following: Being a music photographer when the only other thing you have to worry about is uni may be a bit of a juggling act, however, being a music photographer in a world of rent, bills and needing to afford to eat, is like trying to climb up the side of a cliff - unassisted - while continuing to juggle. 


This year I have gone from not being able to see a future where I wouldn’t be shooting full time; living my ‘best life’ in neat 4 x 4 squares, for the world to see. To not being able to see a future where shooting full time is currently a realistic option for me.


This brings me back to my point. Nostalgia is Scary. Gluing my rose tinted glasses firmly back onto my eyes and imagining the past year like some kind of teen movie highlight reel, is a form of escapism I cant afford right now. The longer I wear my rose tinted glasses the greyer the world looks when I take them off. So, for now, my glasses will be folded away and tucked in a drawer until its time for me to reminisce on my first few months in Brighton and the amazing world that has opened up for me since I moved here. 


This isn’t a goodbye letter to photography by any means, I’m still here and will always be creating in some way. This is, for me, an acceptance letter to myself, reminding me that I need to be more realistic and honest with my goals and how I’m going to achieve them. While things are maybe going to be a bit different than originally planned, I think thats ok. 


Even though I am in a creative slump, this New Year I’m going to sit on the beach and, instead of looking back, I’m going to look at what’s right in front of me.


Anyway here is a bunch of pictures from the year in a vaugely chronological order (because I don’t take my own advice and looked back anyway)



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