In the Beginning

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Every hobby/interest/ pursuit or idea has an origin and my love of photography is no different. It’s hard to trace the exact date because I grew up with it.

My father was a photographer.

I remember him regularly cleaning his camera equipment, sorting through negatives or asking my siblings and me to pose for him. He even set up a darkroom in my childhood home.

I remember days and nights where he’d step into this large back oblong box and later emerge with glistening wet prints. I also remember times where he invited me inside and in the soft glow of a dim red lamp, saw expensive-looking machines, reams of Kodak film and white sheets of paper beneath hazardous chemicals on which familiar images would magically appear.

“Sure, as a shy young man there was the appeal of having a way to speak to members of the opposite sex, but it became so much more than that.”

In spite of this, it never clicked. Sure I was encouraged and even given a camera, but it still never caught hold.

This would happen much later.

On that sunny sandy beach in Minehead whilst surrounded by friends, there were no parting skies and a rousing chorus of descending angels. Nor was there a bright beam of blinding light causing me to fall to the ground in awestruck revelation.

It was far simpler and mundane than that.

With a camera in hand (I’d later learn that it was a Canon 1000D), my friend commanded the attention of girls. He got them excited and speaking to him and he encouraged them to pose. I saw the way they laughed and gravitated towards him when he showed them what he shot.

And we had so much fun.

We walked, jumped, climbed and danced before his camera and laughed at the images on the tiny screen.

With my 2 Mega Pixel Nokia 6288 phone in hand I decided to have a go; asking my friends to pose and showing them the results and seeing their delighted faces.

And with that, I was hooked.

Sure, as a shy young man there was the appeal of having a way to speak to members of the opposite sex, but it became so much more than that.

I loved creating something that people delighted in. I enjoyed capturing people in fun poses and noticed how quickly my confidence grew as I left my comfort zone to ask people to pose for me.

I realised the thrill of spontaneously taking off on my bike to chase the sunset or crawling on the ground to photograph weird and wonderful textures. I remember that sickening mixed feeling of fear and excitement as I snuck into abandoned buildings to photograph objects of a forgotten time.

I enjoyed the time spent with friends as I experimented with creative ideas and perhaps above all, I enjoyed the delight on my friend’s faces as we gathered around my own tiny screen.

The passion to freeze moments that would have otherwise passed, the desire to create bold, beautiful and striking images, the need to tell stories and the thrill in seeing the delight in people’s faces.

Those days have long since passed and the journey to this present date has been filled with challenges, discouragement, and great opportunities.

I have upgraded kit, gained a foundation degree in photography, fell in love with Photoshop and have taken thousands upon thousands of images.

I have traveled abroad and shot great and beautiful scenes and have been invited to capture small, personal and intimate moments by strangers.

In all of this, the passion still remains.

The passion to freeze moments that would have otherwise passed, the desire to create bold, beautiful and striking images, the need to tell stories and the thrill in seeing the delight in people’s faces.

As I continue to develop my skills, push my creativity beyond that which is comfortable and explore this beautiful and challenging thing called photography, wherever I end up, I will never forget my beginning; that sandy beach, that 2 Mega Pixel Nokia phone and the delight around my own tiny screen.

Long may the journey continue!

Until the next time ?