Wow I just can hardly believe that my business turns 11 this month!
If someone had told me 11 years ago that this is where I would be today, with my very own studio , doing what I love every day, I would not have believed them.
The trouble is now I believe I can do anything!
I mainly wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for being there, for helping me live my dream, to every single one of you , whether you have had a session (or numerous sessions!) with me, told your friends about me or just helped to support me on social media, I could not have been where I am today without your support.
How I got into Photography
The year was 2003, I had finished school , started my first "proper" job at Sainsburys and had just started studying Media at Bournemouth & Poole College. The media course allowed me to do one A-Level alongside, so I choose Photography, as sure, why not, that sounded like a fun course! At that time I wanted to become a magazine editor (hence the media course) But that was all about to change.
From the moment I was handed my first SLR camera, and told to go for a walk around outside and shoot a roll of film, I was totally hooked. Walking along Bournemouth seafront and capturing images on film on a cold fresh morning, and then coming back to college and developing my first roll of film that is where the magic started. Watching the photos appear as the negatives were developed then making my own prints, it was pure magic. And the smell, I can still remember the darkroom smell now. This is what I wanted to do.
After my media course and A- Level I went on to do another 1 year photography course at The Arts Institute (now known as The Arts University), followed by the start of my degree.
Things were a lot different back then though, I was studying at the very start of the digital age. We were taught how to shoot on film and at the time digital was very discouraged, we were told by tutors that it would never take off! It was only during my degree that we began learning digital, when we had one digital unit as part of the course! I remember learning the basics of photoshop, and hating it, I am much more a fan of analogue anything, even now I prefer pen and paper to a computer screen any day.
Ironically, my least favourite genre of photography whilst studying was people!
We were taught to shoot portraits in a formal studio setting with 3 lights. I still was not sure where I wanted my career in Photography to go , but I was sure it was not there.
I spent my work experience with a very well known photographer in London who photographs celebrities, and whilst this was an amazing experience, it taught me that it was absolutely not what I wanted to do.
I decided not to finish my degree as I knew I did not want to take the path that was show to us.
College and university taught me a lot, the basics of taking photographs, but nothing to do with running a business. This is something that I have completely taught myself over the years.
How I started my business
After leaving university, I had a couple of photography jobs which didn't amount to much but they were a start.
During my second photography job I fell pregnant and was very sick so I had to leave.
I enjoyed being a full time Mum until my children were 3 and 1 then I realised I really should start working again. The thought of ever going back to a day job and leaving them behind filled me with dread so I thought I would give it a bash at getting paid to offer family photography sessions.
Apart from taking photos , I literally had NO idea how to run a business! I registered with HMRC, got myself insured, created a facebook page then dived right in at the deep end!
The first few years were quite slow as my children were still so young and I was learning what it was like to run my own business.
It was when my youngest started school that I took the plunge and went full on it my work. I decided that I wanted to specialise in newborn photography as I love babies so much and know how fast they grow and change and how precious those early days are.
Where I am now
So much has changed over the past 11 years, but all for the better and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have gone from photographing anything from weddings, to christenings to specialising in newborn and family photography and I even opened my very own studio 2 years ago! When I started 11 years ago I had no idea where it would take me!
I have been able to be there to watch my children grow into the wonderful caring teenagers that they are and running my own business has meant that I have never missed a single moment of their childhood.
It seems so weird that they are now an entire generation different to the babies who I am currently photographing.
I could go on forever about my business, but I mainly want to thank you all for your support over the years, I would not be where I am without you all.