My first memory of photography is a free pocket camera with a fold out viewfinder from Coca Cola, not much bigger than a matchbox. I think I got it from collecting fizzy drink ring pulls. I was very excited to get it in the post. Even though the photos were awful, I still loved it; it was a first step into a new world.
My first "proper camera" was a Pentax P30 which I bought with a flash for £250 when I was a new college student. That was an enormous amount of money for me back then, but I knew that I finally had a real camera that would allow me to take good quality photos.
Over the next few years I suffered all the pitfalls of trying and failing to take good photos. When taking people's photos, plenty of those people would tell me to hurry up as I scratched my head and frantically fiddled with all the dials and buttons.
PEOPLE may have complained about having their photo taken, but beautiful landscapes don’t! After completing a degree in Kent, I set off for New Zealand (here are some photos), and I of course had my camera with me; now a well used Pentax MZ5. Having so many dramatic sights around me, I couldn’t stop taking photos. That was where I really learned to take photos properly. I had plenty of time and plenty to photograph…..and I made plenty of mistakes.
During my time of personal discovery abroad, people started to take notice of the photos I was taking, and whereas once upon a time people weren’t so keen on having their photo taken, now they wanted me to photograph their wedding. After that it was a slow snowball rolling down a hill, as the friends of one wedding I had photographed would then want me to also photograph their wedding.
I have now photographed over 125 weddings in Somerset and the surrounding counties.
Aside from wedding photography which was once stressful, but now comes naturally, I also do a lot of educational photography for Millfield School, Preston School and Bridgwater & Taunton College. For a number of years I worked in marketing in an educational setting so I have seen the sorts of photos that are required.
Almost all of my photography involves people, and I like that, even when it is business headshots; faces are just fascinating. And you know the best thing; after all these years of learning, I know that I have the tools and ability to consistently get great photos and that gives me great joy. A beautiful photo is right at my fingertips!