I’ve been a long-time admirer of the wonderful Emma Croman. I first saw her portrait work on Instagram when I was just starting to build my Who I am Coaching business in 2017.
Emma has an absolute knack for capturing the natural spirit and essence of those she captures in her portrait work..I’d love Emma to take my biz portrait, thought I!
And so, on a bright skied wintery day in January 2018, we headed to a place I love very much, the Undercliff from Brighton to Saltdean.
Much to my surprise, it was a lot of fun! It felt completely natural to be myself with Emma, we had a lot of shared love for music, in particular DJ Shadow!
📷 Photo Credit : Kitty Shaw
Challenging the Status Quo - Valid
I was blown away by a very important project Emma started towards the end of 2018, Valid.
Valid was her project about body image and the damage of body shaming. It came from having had enough of people feeling they have the right to make body shaming comments, which are both cruel and damaging.
Through a combination of beautiful photos and stories, from the courageous participants in the project, including herself, Emma challenged the shaming that happens to so many, when they don’t fit a stereotypical “mould” of what healthy humans look like.
📷 Photo Credit : Kitty Shaw
Travel & Nature
Alongside her commercial work Emma had a blog called Retr-eat which was all about her love of beautiful food, travel and nature. Writing about her inspiration in these areas, sharing her knowledge and of course documenting these with wonderful photographs.
Whilst Emma acknowledged that Retr-eat nurtured her soul and energised her, she always felt guilty about the time she took out to enjoy nature.
Along came a…. Global Pandemic!
Of course, all of our lives changed in 2020, we all had to adapt, especially the army of us who have our own small businesses.
Travel has been off our agenda for some time or the old ways of traveling, which have mostly been about getting on a Plane and leaving your country of residence.
Getting out in nature started to have a much deeper meaning for us. When your time outside is limited, to once a day, it sharpens the focus on making the most of it. Pausing. Noticing. Hearing. Tuning in.
And of course for Emma and Monty, her beloved chocolate brown Labrador, being lovers of a good walk, to parts mostly off the beaten track, their connection with nature was part of everyday life BC (before Corona!)
Emma’s natural instinct to document, share and inspire led to her extending the range of her work and meant that her focus on nature became a much bigger part of life in 2020.
Challenging the Status Quo – in Nature
Emma is well aware of the stereo type images that exist of “healthy” people enjoying nature and of women solo travellers.
As with all her work, Emma’s captures a much broader experience of how people enjoy nature, making it inspirational and accessible to everyone.
Meeting her Powerful Self….. TIDE
A wonderful part of the work I do is introducing people to their Powerful Self’s, your inner leader, someone or something who believes in you unconditionally and without question, who wants the very best for you in life.
When Emma took part in a Powerful Self group session, I held for members of The Womenhood community, in the summer of 2020 it gave her the space to connect with what she was really longing for in her work and life.
As well as connecting with it, she courageously said it aloud, sharing with a group of encouraging and supportive women, that she wanted to launch TIDE.
Taking to the road for food production and lifestyle photo shoots, exploring and documenting her travels along the way.
This was the start of Emma giving herself permission to enjoy adventure and play, with work that fits with the life she wants to live.
Living BOLDLY the Emma Croman way!
When I asked Emma, what does being BOLD means to you? she shared that it’s about being unapologetic, doing confidence your way. Knowing that living and working in this way will resonate with some, but not all.
And that’s a big learn for Emma, it’s not about trying to get it “right” to appeal to everyone.
In Tide, Emma will be a Solo Traveller, in her way!
She will inspire thorough sharing how it works for her. Quietly being an activist in challenging the status quo and sharing resources that are available for all of us to bring TIDE inspiration into all of our lifes.
Make the Leap
Emma made the leap to TIDE much quicker than she originally thought.
The first part of her BOLD action was to get the van she will travel and live in.
Her initial thoughts were that she would need to complete something before she could start TIDE, and her aim was to get the van in 2021.
If you’re ready to take the leap to do what you’re longing to, Emma’s advice to you is make space for it early on, swap your focus, say no to something to make space for what you’re longing for.
In Emma’s case she made the decision to say no to alcohol. The money she has saved by doing this helped her to have the funds quicker, to not only buy, but also convert her beloved Vivivanne.
Vivivanne was purchased towards the end of 2020 and conversion, including fitting solar panels, took place in December, meaning Emma could start getting a flavour of what it will be like live a TIDE life at the beginning of 2021.
Find Your Focus
Adapting to the times we’re living in and to fit in with her TIDE travels, Emma has recently launched a brilliant four week programme for photographers to help them Find their Focus. Emma has well and truly found her focus and in is now in service of helping other artists and photographers find theirs.
Her inspirational photos and music choices make her Insta reels a perfect escape from the challenges of Lockdown living!
I wonder where Emma and Monty's first TIDE road trip will take them when we emerge from Lockdown?.... that's an adventure that I will look forward to following in 2021!