Sometimes, we all fancy a career change don’t we? A completely different routine, a completely different environment.
Then once we’ve finished dreaming and found enough negatives to talk ourselves out of it, we go back to the day job. But what if you actually took the leap?
Johanna Elizabeth had the courage to jump, leaving her role as a midwife, to become a professional photographer.
It proved to be the right decision; ten years on and her studio in Hampshire, has gone from strength to strength. Now, she’s using her current role to help out her former colleagues.
“I am very emotionally attached to my local NHS trust," she said. "I trained and worked as a midwife with this Trust and also the neighbouring one overall for 15 years so there's a big connection with me and the hospital.”
“I know what it's like to work in that environment. I know what it's like to wear PPE, not quite full PPE, but I've worked in that environment for so many years and I can picture it so clearly, what they're having to cope with, it just really touches me.
"Whenever you see footage on the television and I've watched a few documentaries, it's very emotional. It really touches you, and I just thought 'what can I do? How can I help?”
Johanna decided to launch a fundraising appeal with the aim of raising money for the Portsmouth Hospitals Thank You Appeal, by providing a luxury photoshoot experience, normally worth £250, for just £99, with 100% of the fee being donated to the appeal.
“We're primarily boudoir photographers under the umbrella of women empowering experiences. Not everyone feels brave enough or ready or it's just not their taste to want to do that, so we also offer an alternative which is called 'beauty photography.'
“It’s all very simple, just beautiful, just capturing that essence of women really. They get to have the whole experience. It's empowering, it's confidence boosting whatever you're wearing so the two styles stick together really nicely and serve every woman I know really.”
This feels like more than photography. It’s a journey, between the photographer and the individual. The connection doesn’t just begin and end in the studio. Johanna remains in contact with each of their clients to maintain that confidence. Some of her previous clients have shown they still have it in abundance.
Orchestrated by Johanna, her previous customers have come together during lockdown to make a video. Spoiler alert, it’s a little bit racy! From wearing their pyjamas, or comfy outfits at home, they transform into their favourite lingerie, showing off their empowered self. As she describes the video to me, Johanna’s pride is clear for all to see.
She explained: “The goddess video isn't really safe for work, it's a little bit naughty at times but it's fabulous! It's just so wonderful to watch.They're doing it for themselves, they're not doing it for anybody else, it's just something that alleviated that boredom and they really delivered.
“I can't believe how much they embraced it, and just did it, and we launched it with a ‘watch party’ and our social media just went bananas! It was amazing that these women were just able to do that, just from the confidence they've gained from spending time with us. It was a very special moment and when I look back through lockdown, that is going to be my memory.”
The video can be found here: (It’s probably not one to watch at work!)
If you would like to find out more about the fundraising project, or to purchase a boudoir or beauty package, just head to https://www.johannaelizabeth.com/ to find out more. The products are only available until the end of August.