What is it about the “about me” page that has everyone running scared? Well me anyway! Always the last page I put together and spend so much time thinking about. Writing not being my hottest subject (probably why I turned photographer rather than novelist) I seem to struggle with the whole idea of this simple piece of writing. That said, lets see what we can do!
Forty something years old and currently living “back home” in Hampshire UK after living for 12 years in the very beautiful Devon. I have been passionate about photography since 2006 after deciding to take it up as a hobby when all the kids had grown and didn’t need Mum so much anymore… There was suddenly a gap that needed filling! I had no idea then that I would become so passionate about it or achieve the things I have.
I grabbed my Fujifilm camera, my best mate Julie
and started a new venture which we really enjoyed together and jumped in to with both feet! This new venture gave us something new and exciting as well as making us laugh! Oh did we laugh!! Usually at Ju’s expense….
It wasn’t long before I realised I had a natural talent and was constantly striving to learn more about the subject… I signed up to a couple of online photography forums to get some constructive criticism on my images and became a sponge, soaking up every bit of advice that came my way from other great photographers that I became good friends with.
After trying my hand at many different genres I found myself being drawn more toward landscape photography, I enjoy being outdoors and the excitement when all the different elements come together to create an amazing scene for me to capture, implementing different techniques to create a more oneiric like image than the vision before me…
I am always very grateful for any advice given to me that will help me improve in some way and I wouldn’t be the photographer I am today without the help and advice from some ‘now’ very good friends along the way… Back at the beginning of my photography venture I was encouraged and nurtured by way of constructive criticism and advice by two very good friends, Dave Fletcher
and David Brennan
after joining their photography forum…. I remember getting my first “Picture of the Day/Month” on the forum and was so excited and humbled! I hear so many people say that these online forums are not worth the effort and they have no room for artistry, just technical correctness… well this may be true to a degree but I do think they have a place and when run correctly, without biased opinions they are a great place to receive encouragement and guidance!
I was quite happy for a while getting “Picture of the Day/Month” now and then but I soon found myself wanting more from my photography… I wanted to learn more, do more and achieve more! I joined my local camera club in Plymouth in the hope of meeting other likeminded photographers who I could share ideas with…. This is where I met Sue Brown (FRPS)!
Sue was the next major influence in my photography venture… She gave advice in abundance, encouraged new and more artistic techniques and pointed me in the direction of exhibitions and distinctions. She is also the one person responsible for my love of Black & White images after one day shaking her head at some rather questionable B&W images of mine, saying “they simply won’t do!’ (Remember that day Sue?). From that point on and equipped with the great advice Sue gave me, I developed my skills in B&W to the point I am today! I also like to think of Sue as my mentor in obtaining an Associate Distinction with the Royal Photographic Society and of course a very good friend!
Not long after this I found myself moving away from Devon and back to my hometown in Hampshire… As much as this meant being closer to my much missed family, it knocked both me and my photography sideways! Suddenly I had no friends, especially me Julie around me, no camera club which I had come to love and I was in a place that I did not know from a photographers point of view. I must admit I felt very defeated, I had both Julie and Sue asking to see new work, but had nothing to show them as I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to go out with my camera. Even a trip to San Francisco didn’t really get me enthused! In fact during 2012 my camera hardly saw the light of day and certainly never embarked on a “serious” photo session, I even considered selling my kit but instead decided to make a conscious effort in the new year to get back out there! I booked myself a photography trip to North Wales in the new year to photograph the lighthouses that can be found along the coast there to give me a push start…. I thoroughly enjoyed this time away and it gave me chance to really think about things. I came to the conclusion that somehow I had come to a stand still with my photography and I needed a fresh approach, I no longer wanted to get the clichéd shots of over photographed landmarks etc, nothing wrong with these images but everyone has them… I wanted something different! I got the most satisfaction from images I had that no one else had, the clichéd images were just taking up precious hard drive space and gave me no real sense of personal accomplishment!
On booking a weekend trip to Calais I decided to research the area for photographic interest. It was while doing this I came across the work of Russ Barnes
… I was instantly in awe at his photography and from reading his website his enthusiasm came at me in abundance. I knew I had to meet this guy and soak up some of that spirit. I contacted him and arranged a whole days shoot in Brighton with him…………….
This is where my new approach to photography was born… Im not sure he realized it but what I learned most from Russ was to be myself, shoot what I want, if no one else likes it, its ok! And to capture the moment! Although this was only a short while ago I have not looked back! I feel as though my photography has taken a completely new path and has a more definitive future, I have never felt so positive about it as I do now!
So, from my new positive outlook on photography "My Vision" was born. A collection of my images that for me are more about "the moment" than about the place!