My business today has come about through a mixture of circumstances. From an early age I have always had an interest in photography, getting my first camera at the age of 13. To me it was amazing and I shot rolls and rolls of film on it. Although, at the time it was a great camera, it couldn’t satisfy my desire to shoot to my limits.
A few years later, I managed to succeed in begging my father for an SLR. Now this was a camera that I could expand my creativity with and as it was a fully manual camera it taught me how to shoot without relying on auto this and auto that. I had the camera for less than a year only for it to be stolen in a house burglary Thank God for insurance and it was replaced straight away!
Not long after this I had the ‘tech bug’ and thus I wanted to upgrade to an all singing and all dancing new Canon SLR, but I only had a part-time job and this was beyond my means. The Bank of Mum & Dad would need to lend me the money (and for a change I did pay it back).
After college, like all in their late teens, I was more interested in other things than work. Eventually I did get my first full-time job working in the print lab of Jessops in Leicester, which was a bit of an upheaval as it meant moving out of home. I probably learned more from my few years there than I ever did during my college course, but as much as it was an interesting job with good colleagues I wasn't destined to stay and I chose to return to education. A short foundation course was followed by enrolling on the Photographic Art degree course at Newport university.
It was clear that a career in photography was what I wanted, but finding work in this profession isn't easy. I had a few jobs just to make ends meet, but none of them were in photography until I stumbled on one photographing drunk people in nightclubs. Not quite what I was after, but it was photography and it was a start. In an unusual way it gave me a huge amount of confidence as I had to arrange these clubbers into something resembling a nicely composed image, which was highly amusing when they were distracted by everything from the music to drink and everything else in-between. This was my stepping stone and the impetus I needed to take the plunge and start my own business.
I met someone who also wanted to do this, so with ‘eyes wide shut’ we opened a studio in Newport together. It didn't quite go as planned. My own fault really as I should have spent more time getting to know this partner before starting up a business together. He had other ideas and sadly we shut the studio in 2007.
I worked from home for a few years after this, which was great as my kids were still very young and it allowed me to spend time with them, however, it wasn't long before I had itchy feet and opened a new studio in Pencoed. That was almost five years ago and everything is still looking good.
Along my journey I have met many new faces. Some have been wonderful (I chose to marry the best one of them). Others have been unique in their own way. Some I would call my friends and two in particular have given me a whole new outlook on life…my boys.
My future is still waiting to be written.
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