In the beginning.. the 1980’s
In the words of Public Enemy, Nineteen Eighty Nine!
The Leap, 2011
In March 2011 I took the plunge, leaving a wonderful job, a kind boss and an ace team to set up my own photography studio. I remember my hand was shaking when I handed over my notice letter and I felt really sad to go. But I had a burning desire to take this risk and do something that had been in the back of my mind. I was to turn 40 the following year and wanted to achieve a goal to start my own business before I hit this milestone. Pic below is me (in black sandals) with the ND Creative team I left behind in Horsley.
Photography Business Training
When I set up my business after working in studios since 2002 in both portraiture and advertising I felt diversely experienced in photography and well prepared to manage projects and work flow. However I knew little about running a business and so signed up for a local scholarship scheme that supported start ups in digital media. Middlesborough University’s Digital City offered courses and funding for digital businesses such as Photographers, Graphic Designers and Website Designers so I placed myself on the long waiting list. Simultaneously I signed a contract for a studio in Kingsland Church, Byker a building converted into artist spaces for the local creatives, first a small then later that year a double space as you see below.
Disaster and my first adaptation
Two months into my business launch and training, my father became ill and died very suddenly of heart failure. The shock and grief was unbearable as he had just turned 60 and was fit and healthy. I had to pause everything I was working towards for a moment to focus inwards and work out how to cope. Only weeks before this he had bought me an upgrade of my very basic Nikon D70 to a more professional Nikon D300 camera in support of my venture. This is what drove me to return to my studio. I knew he’d have been really proud of me if I could make it a success.
I printed a huge poster for my studio wall with the word Believe from a set of photos I took at the Hoppings Fairground on Newcastle town moor in 2010, somewhere that had lovely hook-a-duck memories for me as child. This positive message helped though the private teary moments and kept me focussed for years. There is added tongue in cheek as this is the Freak Show telling believe in ‘Remo the 2 headed fox’ and giants that ‘must be seen’. If you believe in that well you’ll believe in anything! And other excitingly news you can actually believe, you can have your very own Hoppings Fair Photo Print along with others on my Fine Art Print shop here
Then in 2020 after so many ups and downs and adaptations to fab and not so fab years, the pandemic hit! It meant a temporary halt to all work in spring and to my summer exhibition ‘Peckham Loves Me 2020’. This was a project marking a return to the places I captured in 2000 for my degree show at Camberwell College. More info on the Peckham project can be seen on this blog here and it is 100%, to be continued!
For highlights of my decade you can see some some amazing experiences on my blog, just click on the live links; 2012 sees me teaching summer school at Goldsmiths University, 2013 brings Thames TV to film Take Me Out in my studio and shooting for TK Maxx on a moving metro the same year.
More 10th anniversary work will be live on a pandemic friendly, virus free, virtual exhibition coming later this month! Watch this space…