I didn’t mean to fall in love.
I already had a passion. I didn’t think there was enough time for another especially with bringing up a family of 4 alone. It was already hard enough to find any time to spare for dreams.
Photography was a way to record the world around me and inform my real passion, painting. Photography, I thought, could never be as expressive as painting. It could never say as much about the emotional connection I had with the world. It was a tool to use to remind me of the details, a quick sketch with everything faithfully recorded. An adjunct to my sketchbook.
Photography was also a way to record events, especially family gatherings, high days and holidays. A reminder to look back on fun times and smile. It was also a way to produce great images of my other crafts.
That changed with the photograph at the top of a European Robin taken with my first Digital SLR camera. It wasn’t instant by any means, but somehow this picture changed what was possible for me. This was more than just an image. It was taken 10 years ago when I was still living in Wales. Since then I have changed my camera just once, a year ago, to the system I have now.
That 10 years was spent slowly honing my skills as a photographer. What started out as a tool was becoming a serious hobby. Now I can produce images of a technical quality that can be considered for professional reproduction. My next step, at the grand old age of 55, is to make a living doing something I would be happy to spend the rest of my days working on.
As a hobbyist, I’ve had some success selling my photographs. Most notably, one of Guy Martin at the TT road race. It was reproduced on a full page in a Motorcycle magazine. I have since sold several prints and cards with the image. Not that selling the odd picture to a magazine will ever make anyone rich. I got the princely sum of £80 for that!
How our Photograph saved Guy Martin’s Life.
This story took place at the TT road race on the Isle of Man, one of the world’s fastest and most dangerous motorcycle…
I don’t aspire to the heady heights of the superb shots of far flung destinations that fill lavish books on the coffee tables of homes around the world. At the moment, I’m much more interested in the small overlooked details of our everyday experience with nature. My garden, my immediate location and days out in my vicinity have become the focal point of my photography.
I will never be rich in monetary terms. But my life has a richness that is immeasurable. I’m doing things I love to do, writing about it and sharing with people across the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a Starving Artist, giving away work for the promise of Exposure. This gig has to start earning properly. Jeff Goins’ book Real Artists Don’t Starve is constantly on my bedside table as a reminder. To be able to create, I need time and sustenance. If I have to work the day job, I no longer have time.
Nor will Photography become my only focus. I am still driven to paint, to create in other ways, and to learn something new. It’s my belief that the more creative processes we use, the more they inform each other and create something unique in the process.
I wish you luck in finding your own passion.