I’d like to give you a chance to know me so I’m going to tell you about my journey into photography.
As a child I always remember having a camera with me (it was usually one of those you used to get free in a cereal packet). But really, my true journey into photography started when I took a mini course while I was at college around 30 years ago. Not having a 'proper' camera of my own back then, we used the college cameras with black and white film and we’d be sent off to take certain documentary style images. Then we spent time in the darkroom developing the film. I loved the types of photographs I could create so this opened my eyes to the world of photography.
I bought my first SLR camera in my early twenties; a Canon 300 film camera. I took the leap into digital with a Canon 300D a few years later when the technology really took off and became more affordable. The camera seemed expensive at the time, but it actually saved me a fortune on having films developed! I have stuck with the Canon brand as I find the controls easy to navigate from one camera model to the next.
To continually improve my photography, Camera Clubs have been amazing. The last one I was a member of held lots of practical sessions covering all sorts of genres. I particularly loved those with models, giving me experience in posing and communicating with people in front of the camera. I even did a couple of sessions as the model myself which gave me a real insight into how people feel when they are put in front of a camera. It was during my days at camera clubs that I invested in most of the equipment I still use today.
I have been a professional member of the Guild of Photographers for many years. They are a very inspiring and supportive group of photographers, offering training courses, mentoring and ensuring that I conform to their strict code of conduct as a professional photographer. I have taken a course on lighting and another on wedding photography, which were fantastic and I learned so much from them .
I have my Canon 5D MkIII and I shoot with three lenses. My favourite for indoors is a 50mm prime. It lets so much light in and is great for smaller spaces. I also have a 100mm prime for macro and close-up nature photography as well as for people, mainly outdoors, allowing me to keep a bit more distance for more candid shots, and my 24-105mm zoom which is perfect for photoshoots with faster-moving children and pets as I can easily and quickly adjust my focal length to keep up with them. Yes, I use a flash, even outdoors as I find that it enhances the photographs so much, particularly in shaded or woodland areas, but I always ask first as I have found some people are sensitive to flash.
I was worried that my photography would take a back seat in the early days of motherhood so I decided to take an Open University course in conjunction with the Royal Photographic Society in digital photography, which started when my daughter was only a few weeks old. I was so glad I did as it made me continue to pick up my camera during that very daunting time. As a result, I took some amazing photographs of my own daughter, the village I lived in and of our family life. Now I have photographs that my family and I can look back on of everyone who visited us in the early days of my daughter’s life. My daughter especially loves these....and so family photography was born. Not of the studio type, but of family life, with real expressions...real love...real interactions, in and around your home area and the places you love, making memories not only for you, but for your children and for their children. I have learned from experience that it is so important to be a part of those photographs rather than be behind the camera all the time; this is what your children will love to look back on, togetherness and family love.