Meet the Frog in Frog and Field
For those of you that have only just joined me on this rather bizarre journey I’m going to tell you a bit about me and give you an insight into my slightly bonkers lifestyle. So, I’m 32 I love bubbles, pictures and sunshine! I am happily (most of the time!) married with two cats called Nelson and Mandela. I also have a recent addition, a cockapoo puppy called Margaux. An absolute joy who is quite frankly mad as box of frogs. She makes us laugh daily and is totally bonkers.
Frog in her Greens
We live in a little town called Snodland, not the prettiest place in the world but our generation can’t be fussy with house prices the way they are. Three days a week I am Head of Training at a busy veterinary referral hospital in Surrey. I’ve been a qualified vet nurse for 10 years and been at the referral hospital for 8 years on and off. Now I love veterinary nursing and its part of who I am. Contrary to the public’s perception I don’t just cuddle puppies all day.
For a start, we are a referral hospital so don’t see may puppies. Those that we do see are often really sick and we can’t cuddle them. Plus if we were cuddling all day who would run the bloods, place the Intravenous Catheters, take the bloods, take x-rays, administer meds, monitor anaesthetics and so on?
A Frog’s long term goal?
As you’ve probably worked out I’m quite opinionated, strong willed and some would say bloody minded. I’ve developed my people skills over the years and have become ‘fluffier’ but will always be me. Striving for better and always wanting a plan in place. So because of this I’ve set my ‘When I’m 40 and don’t want to drive up the m25 every day with a sore back’ plan. The obvious answer is to nurse somewhere else minus the M25. However, I don’t get on in first opinion, some nurses are just referral nurses, and that me. Probably because of the opinionated blah blah …… Now I’m able to admit my faults and not kid myself so I wouldn’t go down that road. If I left the referral hospital that would be my nursing game over.
Horses are in the frogs soul
Anyways I digress, photography is what you are here to read about! Having always wanted to work with horses but going on my father’s advice I didn’t pursue an equine career in the early days. I trained as an RVN with the intention of doing equine but it never really happened. Having owned a pony and then selling her due to a difference of opinion shall we say I found myself missing the horses in my life. I’ve always loved photography. I studied it at sixth form and then went onto graphic design- I told you it was a random story.
Being opinionated and young I didn’t fancy being told what to draw for the rest of my life so I went on a diversion. 10 years later I’m back round doing photography and graphic design and finding myself loving it more and more with each logo I design and every horse I photograph.
I love fully emerging myself (well 4 days out of 7) into the horsey world and I love visiting different yards and making new horsey friends, I embrace the country lifestyle and I’m happy in my country boots with a camera crippling me…I know wasn’t that my worry with vet nursing? I’m lucky enough to have some amazing clients who have given me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. Photographing William Fox Pitt has to be up there, as well as attending Badminton as Media and also Tattersalls and RWHS. I’ve lived the dream so far, this summer but it’s not all horses and processco. There is a lot of hard work and time management that goes into trying to run two business, have a part time job, run a home, look after the animals, keep fit and be a wife.
I set up and run two companies alongside the day job. These are Frog and Field Photography and Graphic Design. A does what it says on the tin company who specialises in event and portrait photography, alongside working with small business to get their branding sorted. In addition, I run the Pferd Images website. An equine stock image provider that I set up to meet the needs of the equine businesses and to try and combat image theft.
First of all, let’s just say I wouldn’t be doing any of this without my husband. Provider of the camera and the computer but also the IT genius who helps me create our websites and maintains them. Still there is much to do.
Schedule for success
Monday’s are admin days, possibly a business shoot. I’ll get up super early as the husband leaves for London early. I’ll whizz the dog round the park and then she takes up residence under my feet at the desk. Scheduling are what Mondays are about. I’ll finish off any editing from the weekend, currently I edit as I go, and then hit Facebook. I schedule all my posts for the week. I’ll try and include a Meme, a saying, a throwback and then a couple from the recent events or shoots. All posts have images and if I get time or I have a lot of pictures to share I’ll make a video.
That process will normally take a couple of hours, in-between which I am checking emails and responding to any Facebook messages. As my phone never leaves my side I’m normally up to date and it’s a constant part of my life now. Sad really but I don’t know how else I’d keep on top of it? By this point I head to Pilates. It’s a luxury but vital, hours spent over a computer and in car means I have to look after my back. Then it’s off to do the food shopping-boring but someone has to do it. I have to try and not eat most of the shopping on the way home…. This can fall by the wayside quite easily. Then its toast!
The evening I intend to leave free but I’ll end up playing around with an image or pushing myself to learn something in Photoshop, always trying to learn more and reflect on errors.
Frog saving lives
Tuesday to Thursday I have my green cape of Vet Nursing on. Normally wake up 3 hours before I need to leave the house for the day job. This allows me time to catch up on Facebook, post on Instagram and then check out upcoming event, fill out media accreditation forms and do some image upload to Pferd Images. It’s extraordinary how many hours can be spent filling in forms and looking for places to stay, Then of course there is the washing machine saga to start.
Always a drama as it always seems to operate in different minutes to the rest of the world. When it says 10 minutes remaining what it means is 20 minutes remaining and you have to pick between being at wokr on time or being in uniform…..
I get into work about 10 and if I’m lucky the traffic has been kind I may be early and I can keep in touch with my clients. Lunchtime is the perfect chance to respond to emails and I’ve taken to reading in the lunch hour. Currently Million Dollar Blog is the book of choice, very good read indeed. Highly recommend. Home at 8 after saving lives (not really, I do more training but it sounds better) and its downtime. A bit of Hollyoaks and a cuppa keeps me sane, although I think it drives the husband mad.
Friday is Funday for Frogs
Friday is shoot day or a journey to an event depending on the season and then most weekends are spent looking down a lens and editing. This can be on my own or with the ever-faithful Mr Frog and Field. Depending on location there may be a Margaux with us and we will be in a B&B or hotel. It’s a funny old lifestyle. One I wouldn’t change now but I fear it needs changing to be sustainable. The weekends need to include some ‘friends/family/husband time’ built in and I feel so much guilt. Either guilty because I’m not at event trying to earn money and get myself out there. Guilty because for the fourth weekend in a row I’ve abandoned the husband. I do need to admit that I’m not super woman and I can’t do everything. Nor can I keep everyone happy, this is tough for me as I’ve got high expectations and expect the best not only from myself but also from others.
Some changes are needed
Currently we are paying back the start-up costs. So I’m working extra shifts and we are planning how to make things a little more sustainable. A cleaner is on the cards and once the start-up costs are payed back hopefully less over time. A motorhome is an option to make life a little easier. It would provide us with a dog friendly home from home. Still it’s by far not all doom and gloom. Like I said I’ve done so many cool things I have to pinch myself. I’m slowly realising I can’t do everything and the business is slowly starting to make money. So onwards and upwards, this is what makes me happy. Like people say stress is doing something tough that you don’t love. If it’s tough and you love it becomes your passion.
Btw Frogley was my maiden name. My nickname was Frog. I am now a Thompson but I will always be a Frog