My journey in photography has been a long one. One Christmas, as a teenager, I was given a Polaroid camera and soon realised that photography was a great way of capturing a moment in time and all the memories associated with it. I was hooked. After school I went on to Art College where I studied all forms of Art, including Photography. I then went on to study photography a little more closely and in 1995 I completed a degree in Editorial Photography. As a lot of people realise when leaving Art College, it is very hard to earn money from it and when I was asked to photograph a wedding for a friend I jumped at it. That was nearly 22 years ago. I felt totally out of my depth which, in a lot of ways, is why I loved it. I have been a member of The Guild of Photographers twice. In my early days, I needed a lot of support as I felt I was on my own. The Guild helped me a lot but I didn't help myself really as I felt I could it all myself and could develop my own style and technique. I was also busy with weddings so felt I must be doing everything right. So I left The Guild and found myself totally on my own. I still loved what I did but my business went stagnant and stale and I all of a sudden found myself very quiet. At the same time, I met my future wife, got married and started a family. It was a busy time, and although I loved every minute of it, my photography business took the back seat and that is where it stayed until 2014.
Also, until 2014 I was a very keen runner but that year I developed a knee injury which prevented me from running and all of sudden I had a massive hole in my life! I decided to re-join The Guild again. I really don't know why it took me so long - I haven't looked back since. My passion for photography was re- energised: firstly by the vast friendly community connected through social media, and secondly by Ann Aveyard, who, without her knowing it has catapulted me into a whole new world. We did a 365 day project together in 2015 and that really helped me start many private projects including landscapes and portraits. I have made many new friends all over the country, and they have all given me their time in helping me and my photography. Between 2014 and 2017 I have also been doing some mentoring with Neil Bowler, Karl Bratby and finally Julie Oswin. Julie, is an outstanding photographer and for her to give her time in getting me to where I am now is amazing. In 2017, I decided to set myself a goal: to become qualified. I knew it was going to be hard work but I also knew that I could do it. The Guild's 'Qualified' status is aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be 'pleased with the results' when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words 'Qualified' indicates professional 'competence' to a level where The Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association, so those who achieve that level should be very proud of doing so. To qualify, a photographer must submit 21 images over three different commissions. Each set of 7 images should capture the flow and feel of the day, whilst the overall selection should be varied enough to demonstrate that you are competent in the craft of photography. The judging process involves three judges reviewing the submission. I submitted my photographs for qualification just before Christmas, and I am pleased to say that on 12th January 2018 I heard that I had passed!