I am often asked "How did you become a professional photographer?"
So here is my story...
Becoming a professional photographer had never been a plan, merely a thought and a simple enquiry with an over-zealous accountant at a very emotional time of my life, having lost both my mother and my grand-mother within a year. Besides, I was a trained linguist and a software engineer, hardly pro photographer material and even less an entrepreneur, or so I thought.
I was literally thrown into the middle of the pool, in the deep end at that. One day, serious amateur, the next, professional photographer. It was like getting a job after your CV had ended up on the wrong interview list.
Without clients, plans or money, the first year felt like a roller-coaster ride and I hate roller-coasters. Yet, somehow I managed to build the business up to enjoy a few years of success as a wedding and commercial photographer, attracting the attention of some prominent clients and even getting published in worldwide magazines.
But I now do Fine Art, so here is what happened next…
One word, illness! My brain started to slow down, my eyesight worsened, my moderate hearing loss deepened, quickly I found myself tired all the time and ended up sleeping up to 18 hours a day.
I was frustrated, worried, scared and angry, but without identifying the matter, all I could do was watch helplessly my business go down and my life disintegrate. For a few years, I was lost.
In 2018, I was finally diagnosed with severe obtrusive sleep apnoea and treatment followed. Slowly my life started to make sense again as I picked up the broken pieces one by one and mended them thanks to a handful of energetic and determined people I met.
They helped me recover from deep depression and self-harming, jump-started me back into hope and action, guided me to think positively and forwardly once more and made me walk again, proud and confident. Most of all, they gave me a chance to reflect in-depth and redefine myself.
I am deeply thankful to each and every one of them.
Part of the recovery process was to assess my business. I loved photography. All these years, in spite of everything and probably because of everything, photography had developed into a therapeutic presence in my life and it still is, a window into the world I could not reach physically any more.
Yet, I was worried that my severe hearing loss and my still-beaten-confidence could become an issue in my field of work by either creating delays in progress or even helping the negativity of self-consciousness re-emerge from time to time. I did not want to risk that and I had to find a stable, workable direction, one I could pursue with confidence and continue when retired. That’s when one of my mentors suggested Fine Art.
I paused, wide-eyed. “Me, doing Fine Art?” I said. I nearly laughed “You have to be a really good photographer to go into that field” I added.
“Why?” was the answer “Your photography is really good, why not?”
So, I walked away, got myself a book on how to sell Fine Art, swallowed it in a few days and became inspired and excited. Before I realised it, I was on my way to a new portfolio, deep, personal and hugely creative, a celebration of life and emotions.
This portfolio is dedicated to Rhonda B, Mark C, Carla M, Dawn W, Susan B, Louise L, Katharine J, Nigel M, Cilla T, Stewart G, Ann N and Jeni M who have been the friends, professionals, Artists or even strangers who helped me find myself again and become the person and photographer I never thought I could be.
It is also dedicated to all those, friends, professionals and strangers, who are there for others and help them become the person they never thought they could be.
It is finally dedicated to all those who, like me, lost their tracks in life and have, are or will regain it thanks to those who live to inspire people.
CONSULTANCY & TRAINING
I run 1-2-1 and group bespoke training in Commercial and Landscape photography.
Whether you want to improve your photography or learn new techniques you will find on this website or you own a business and want to learn how to create photographs which will promote it in the best possible way, I will organise a bespoke training for your specific needs.
I am based by Blairgowrie, Perthshire, scotland and although I primarily cover Perthshire, Angus, Dundee and Fife, I am happy to extend my services to the whole of Scotland, so do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to meeting you