The World’s Worst Winner – by Annie Littlewood

Possibly a controversial way to start a photographer’s blog – but I despise having my photo taken. I feel awkward, self-conscious and cheesy. When I see myself on camera, I am drawn to every flaw. “Urgh, look at my stupid smile / double chin / *insert any number of current negative self-perceptions*”..

So when my friend entered me into Helen Rowan’s Mothers’ Day competition, I had mixed feelings. I felt warmed that someone would be kind enough to nominate me, and excited by the idea of some proper photos of my girls – yet simultaneously uncomfortable at the prospect of a photo shoot. These feelings were amplified when it was MY NAME that was drawn from the hat.

As the day approached, I became increasingly anxious. I had no idea what to wear (if I was going to be captured on film, did I need to emit the essence of me? If so, what in god’s name was my essence? Who was I, anyway?! *cue existential crisis*), I started looking in the mirror (a pass-time I generally avoid, which serves me well because I don’t really think about what I look like, as you will probably have noticed if you’ve ever seen my – let’s call it ‘eclectic’ – styling), and the dark circles under my eyes got bigger as I struggled to sleep. I’m not exaggerating – I was really worried about it. I became slightly obsessed, and not in a good way.

I am sure, on the weeks leading up to the shoot, that Helen wished she’d picked a different piece of paper from that hat. I was SO annoying. I sent her pictures of the kids’ outfits; I sent her pictures of my (potential) outfits; I sent her pictures of picture frames I’d seen that I was thinking about buying to put the currently-non-existent photos in… I was a nightmare client.

Helen worked hard to reassure me. She answered messages, gave feedback on ideas, and told me not to worry. I still worried.