Dear Photographer feature by Can’t.Stop.Staring Photography – Peta Hood

circa 2012

A letter of encouragement to my past self,

I see your incredible curiosity. Your sense of wonder. Your tendency to stop and take notice. Your dedication to celebrating the little things. The things others don’t always see: The miracles of nature. The magic of light. The cheeky shadows. The intricacies of connection. The beauty hidden just beneath the surface of the mundane. The miracles present in daily life. The fascinating nuances of human behaviour. The never-to-be-repeated moments of joy. The milliseconds “in-between”.

Thank you for your dedication to celebrating these things. Even when your inner voice trembles with fear. Even at times when doubt causes your heart to sink deep into your throat. Thank you for your dedication to shining a light on what would otherwise not be fully seen. This awareness is a gift. It is something to be treasured. It makes you unique. One day it will serve you incredibly well as an artist.

Thank you for living and loving with your entire heart + soul. With intensity, passion, and honesty. Always. Dedicated to telling the truth. And fiercely working towards worrying less about whether it will be well-received.

Thank you for working hard. For being willing to dream. For your unwavering dedication to your ideals. For your desire to succeed. For taking notice of the fire in your belly. For nourishing it. For fighting hard to keep it alive. Keep going.

Thank you for remaining curious. For questioning whether there is a better way. For remaining open-minded. For having hope. For trusting in the process, despite a vast landscape of unknowns.

Thank you for your love of learning. For your intense desire to find out more. For your gentleness and compassion. For your kindness, and capacity to give.

Thank you for taking the road less travelled. For trusting your intuition to be your companion and your guide. For having the courage to be different. Keep going.

It is here that you will find the light.

The light that eventually illuminates your truth. The light that guides you home. To that place that was always within you. The place from which you were born to create. Have the courage to stand firmly in it. Even when you feel you are being pushed from the sides.

You are not like the people standing beside you. You were never meant to be. Your uniqueness is your creative gift.

Be gentle with yourself. Keep going.

Let your truth be your guide.



Peta Hood is a creative, natural light photographer based in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia. Peta‘s style is honest and raw, and she is particularly drawn to creating black and white images with a nostalgic feel. She has a particular passion for documenting childhood, and motherhood, and has just embarked on a photographic project called “The Light of the Moon” – a curated series of written stories and black and white imagery of motherhood, that will be published in a beautiful book.

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