I guess some would argue it’s not a ‘professional’ camera, but it looked the part and had lots of extra buttons and functions to any other camera I’d used before, I hadn’t a clue what they did. In fact I knew nothing about photography really, other than you point and shoot. I decided I wanted a camera because I had just chosen a new path in life, at 38 I was about to attend university (Kingston) studying a degree in science, and knew a camera would come in handy as I’d be attending many field trips in the UK and abroad and would see some wonderful sights. I consulted with a friend first (Chris Vaughan) who’s primarily a wedding photographer which camera would be the best for me. He recommended the Panasonic, it was great choice as it’s been a wonderful camera that I’ve truly loved using (yes I still have and use it today). I would definitely recommend the Panasonic range to anyone starting out and also professionals too, in fact we’ve just bought the new Panasonic GX8 recently, truly awesome.
Anyway over the last few years my photography skills have come on leaps and bounds and it was in mid 2013 that Jo was looking through some of my images and commented on my style of photography, particularly how well I captured peoples expressions, naturally…a kind of reportage style photography, she said I had a gift. I guess she gave me a huge compliment, and with that she had planted a seed in my head, throughout the rest of that year that seed began to grow. I really couldn’t stop thinking about photography and how cool it would be to go professional. However, I still hadn’t a clue what I was doing, or should I say what I was doing wrong, particularly in indoor photography. I was hopeless, and this showed (frustratingly I might add) when in 2014 I was asked to photograph Jo’s sisters wedding, her daughters 18th birthday party, and also my younger sisters wedding all in the space of 8 days! Did I mention I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, haha! Well I guess this was the real turning point as most of the images taken (indoors) were a disaster, don’t get me wrong I did capture some great ones at all 3 events but so many went wrong, terribly wrong. I mentioned this was the turning point, as I knew then I had to figure out what I was doing wrong.
I decided to book on a photography course in September that year, I went along to my first class and within the first hour I was told everything I needed to know. I guess the most important part of photography…how to control light!!! That’s it, that’s all I needed, someone to actually show me how to use the controls on my camera…properly, and with that it opened up a whole new world to me, there was no more guessing or trying to work out what I did right or wrong, everything started to make sense. And yes I did go back and finish the course, in fact I booked on a few other courses too, namely studio lighting set-ups and also post production editing. A very big thank you to my teacher Berlinda Bean Photography who taught me so much.
On December 31st 2014 Jo and I stayed up all night (until 5am I believe) browsing the Internet looking at images of female models, particularly boudoir style photography, nude and erotic art. We judged every image we looked at asking ourselves what and why it presented itself as a good image, what made the difference to make it an exceptional image and of course what made a bad image. We also discovered a lot about ourselves too, we discovered we had similar ideas and tastes in art, but also seemed to work well together as a team. From that day (ok night) we decided that we wanted to try our hand at photography…professionally, and of course like everything I do (or attempt to do) I always just jump straight in at the deep end and just learn it as I go along…