I’m often asked about the path that brought me to being a photographer, and my answer is always the same – the clues were there from the beginning, but it’s only over the last few years that they solidified into a career!
The first time I recall becoming obsessed with photography was on my 12th birthday – when I received a camera of my very own after several weeks of bugging my parents for one. It was a delightful fluorescent green colour, and had a manual shutter slide and film winder.
At the time, I was living on an equestrian centre, and I filled ENDLESS film rolls with pictures of the love of my life – my horse, Prince.
There were pictures of Prince standing.
Pictures of him walking.
Standing and looking.
Looking and standing.
And some more of him standing and looking.
Let’s just say it wasn’t award winning stuff, but boy was it exciting to me! The sheer thrill of receiving my processed images in the mail was only equalled by the discovery of Tripleprint – a photo lab from whom you could order 2 miniature-sized versions of the main photo for your wallet ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Sheer genius.
To everyone else, those pictures were a pile of poop. But to me, they were gold.
As I got older, my love of photography grew, and I started to branch out and take pictures of stuff other than Prince (he was probably relieved).
A few years later, I knew it was time to ‘Go Pro’… and asked my long-suffering parents for an entry-level DLSR for my birthday (can you see a pattern here?).
From that moment on, I was properly hooked; I could change lenses on my 1000D and I felt so cool! No longer one of those ‘tourists taking snapshots’ – I was now a PROPER PHOTOGRAPHER! My skill started to grow, and I attended a day course where I actually took my camera off Auto. What a revelation! At last I could actually make the camera do what I wanted it to do, rather than just pointing, pressing the shutter, and hoping.
The Turning Point
But it was the six months of travelling in South East Asia in my 20s that turned an interest into a passion. During that half-year, my hubby and I saw and experienced so many incredibly beautiful, fascinating things, and my camera allowed me to capture it all. When the experience came to an end, those images became so precious to me – little slices of a memory, a feeling, a place, that instantly transported me back there. (To see more about our travels, check out our blog).
And more than that, I began to see the world with different eyes… how morning light slanting through a window was – in and of itself – beautiful; how a wrinkled, wizened face was as fascinating as a flawless one; how cloud shadows on a mountainside move and glisten like they are alive. I realised the piece of plastic and metal I took everywhere had became an extension of my arm, and a lens through which I appreciated life from a fresh new perspective.
Something inside told me that this was important, and I knew then that photography was my passion.
After recovering from the jet lag, I got straight to work on building my business and investing in training and professional kit. A fantastic week in the Lake District with Aspire Photography Training on their A-Z course took me from “I really want to do this, but I have no idea how” to “Awesome! Let’s get this show on the road!”.
I shot my (incredibly brave) best friend’s wedding as my first event, and continued learning about lighting, creativity, marketing and portraiture techniques.
I began blogging, networking with other photographers and suppliers, and posting diligently to my beloved Instagram account. I tweaked and streamlined; found out what worked and what didn’t.
My confidence grew, and so did my client list. I fell in love with what I got to do everyday; and with the people I got to do it with. One of the best days of my life was when I left my day job to dedicate 100% of my time to my photography business.
…here I am – metaphorically and literally living the dream – my dream.
It is my absolute pleasure and privilege to do what I love every day – serve amazing clients, create images that connect people to the beauty of themselves and Nature, and to be in the driving seat of my own life.
I am so grateful for the journey thus far, and can’t wait to see where it will lead in the future.
‘Til next time,