When I was just 12 years old my Grandad passed me his camera, I don't remember the model but I know it was Olympus. It was way before the days of DSLR's. I remember feeling excitement and happiness all at once. He talked to me about F numbers, shutter speeds and setting the right ISO for the film being used. I took several photographs of him using all different settings and he took some of me too. I couldn't wait for the film to be processed and sent back to us so I could see how I'd done. When they arrived I was so excited and actually really impressed. My Mum still has one of the photographs he took of me on her sideboard! Every time I look at this I am always brought back to that day. This was my first ever experience of using an SLR camera and after that I looked forward to seeing my Grandad even more so I could have another go!
In 1997 at the age of 16 I worked 3 jobs over the Summer Holidays to save for my own SLR camera as I was starting college in September and doing A level Photography. It was so good to finally have my own SLR camera. I can remember taking photographs all the time, my friends, neighbours children, I wanted to take photographs everywhere I went.
When I left collage, photography jobs were incredibly sparse so I ended up working an admin job instead, this was ok for me at the time. I met great people. I had a couple of different jobs over the next 4 years, including IT support work, admin and accounts.
In 2003 at the age of 22 I had my first Daughter Tara, and a year later I went back to work part-time until I had my Son Sol in 2005. I had a couple of jobs after that doing care work and cleaning.
I know you are thinking where's the photography, I was still taking photographs as a hobby, mainly of my own children using the SLR I bought in 1997.
In December 2008 I was given my first Canon DSLR by my husband as a Christmas present. I was so delighted I could have cried when I opened it and realised what it was. That was when the love for photography really bloomed. I took every opportunity I could to photograph my own children, my friends children and anything else that took my fancy. I took my camera everywhere. I joined photography forums and read books about all different aspects of photography. It became such a passion.
In May 2010 when I was expecting our 3rd child my world was completely turned upside down. In the early hours of the morning on 15th May there was a knock at the door, at the time I thought it was my husband returning home from his evening out, unfortunately that was not the case, it was the police and they had come to tell me that my husband had been involved in a serious car accident and was in a critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit in hospital. He was in intensive care for 2 weeks and spent nearly 6 weeks in hospital in total, for those 6 weeks I was unable to pick up my camera, it made me so emotional and felt wrong. I think because he gave it to me I had an emotional attachment to photography at that time. When he came home the real recovery started, nothing could have prepared me for what I was faced with over the next two years. When he came home though I did rekindle my love of photography again and quickly went back to taking my camera everywhere.
In the Summer of 2012 I realised that life was too short to be doing something I don't want to be doing when I have this passion for photography. I started off taking photographs a motocross events that my Son was racing in. I really enjoyed it but my real love was portraiture, specifically newborn babies, it occurred to me that I could photograph babies at the clients home. I saved and bought the equipment needed to do this and watched many videos and bought online training courses in newborn photography. In February 2013 I had my very first newborn client. I couldn't have been happier at that point!
In September 2013 I went on a proper Newborn Training course with award winning photographer Karen Wiltshire. There is nothing like someone actually showing you what you should do and making sure you are doing it safely. It was definitely money well spent and my work improved quite dramatically after the training.
I worked really hard over the next year photographing newborns in the clients homes and doing larger family photo shoots at my local hall. In October 2014 I found the perfect place to move my studio permanently. I was so excited. I spent the October half term in 2014 moving everything in, buying furniture and fixtures and was ready to use it properly by 1st November 2014.
By 2017 it was becoming clear that my perfect space was becoming rather small due to my ever growing collection of equipment and props. After many months of patiently waiting for the right place a finally moved to a bigger place at Flaxdrayton Farm in July 2019.
Here I am! business is great, I've done loads more training courses and still continue to learn. But I couldn't have done it without all of my wonderful customers over the years. Without you I definitely would not be where I am now! So Thank you! Thank you for helping me turn my passion for photography in to a successful business.
Photo of me taken by Lee Hatherall Photography.