Monday Morning Mantra: Penelope Wincer, photographer

Penelope Wincer – a freelancing photographer and single mum of two, one with special needs – shares her inspiring Monday Morning Mantra and talks us through Monday mornings in her home in south east London…

What do you tend to be doing first thing on a Monday?
My son Arthur is usually the one to wake me up. He’s an early riser. Anytime between 2am and 6am. Yep, you read that correctly! Luckily 2am isn’t all the time, but it does happen occasionally. We usually cuddle in bed for a while before getting up. After I’ve taken the kids to school, the first thing I do is meditate, something I don’t always manage over the weekend.

How do you feel?
I love Mondays. I know, crazy. As a single parent weekends can be quite intense and busy and I’m usually ready for a bit of alone time and to knuckle down to some projects. I love what I do and as I work for myself, I have no dreaded meetings, unpleasant colleagues or office politics to put up with. If the kids have spent time with their dad over the weekend, our early Monday mornings are also a lovely time to reconnect before school and work.

What’s the first thing you do after getting out of bed?
Tea. In my favourite cup. Sitting at the kitchen table, usually with one or other of my kids on my lap. Because we get up so early, we usually have plenty of time for hanging out in our pjs before the day really begins.

Tell us about your freelance photography work…
I shoot interiors, lifestyle and kids for magazines, books and commercial clients. I love the combination of working in creative teams when I’m shooting and then getting plenty of time on my own when I’m not. Sometimes it’s calm and serene interiors, sometimes it’s mental with a whole lot of toddlers (and their parents) running around. I love the variety.

Where do you spend your working hours?
If I’m not shooting, I’m either working at the kitchen table or I’m at my desk in my shared office space in Peckham. Every day is a bit different. I’m often shooting out of London and I get the privilege of spending a lot of time in other people’s houses. I try and squeeze in as much life admin into my work days as I can too. Being a single parent and having a child with special needs means I can’t always get things done in the usual way. One of the great things about being freelance is that I can be flexible and more in control of my days (especially helpful when it comes to dealing with all the extra meetings I have at my son’s school and all the paperwork that comes with having a child with extra needs).

What one thing would improve your Monday-Friday?
I’ve been freelancing for so long that I’m used to my work being very seasonal. But it would be wonderful if it was a little more consistent! Pipe dream….

What gets you through the week?
Coffee, the promise of a little downtime on my non shoot days, working with other inspiring creatives, a G&T at bath time and an amazing part time nanny.

If you could wake up anywhere next Monday, where would it be?
As much as I adore my little house in south east London, I’d never say no to waking up in my home town of Melbourne. It’s been too long since my last visit.

If you’d like to share your Monday Morning Mantra with us, get in touch: