I get asked a lot how I got into photography and I was recently sorting through my files and found my first publication. It was a series of happenstances that has got me to this point but it was an idle idea about 4 years ago, at the height of the recession and when friends and family around me were all losing jobs, that the thought flashed through my head; if I get made redundant I’d like to be a photographer. I’d already signed up for a photography holiday in Morocco with Creative Escapes when the inevitable happened – my company had a massive downsizing and all the middle management were made redundant. I knew I should have been upset, but secretly I was thrilled. Although I really enjoyed my job as a marketing account director working on amazing brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Lynx, New Look and Paramount, I just wasn’t excited by it any more. However, despite being thrilled, initial money concerns made me worry that dashing off on an expensive photography holiday was probably not sensible. I tried to cancel or at least postpone and in response had an email from an old colleague and photographer, Colin, who was now teaching on the course, which persuaded me to go anyway.
So, the trip was fantastic – better than I could ever have imagined. I learnt enough in those 10 days to skip a year of college, which was what I decided to do on my return, and met inspiring friends whose ongoing support has been invaluable (thanks Dawn).
As the icing on the cake, at the end of the trip we were asked to submit some of our pictures to support an article that a journalist had been writing about Morocco. I didn’t get around to it but they found my pictures anyway and when I opened the PDF of the article I was stunned to see that one of my portraits had been used as the leader image (taken as a result of spending an entire day photographing the stinking chicken yard and sharing tea with the chicken men). And so that was the beginning. Since then there has been 2 years of college, awful waitressing jobs, endless unpaid photography work, many collaborative test shoots and now finally, feeling like I have made that fleeting thought a reality.