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Telling Incredible Stories
I had my first brush with photography as a child when my dad let me take the reins of his Canon T70 on a family holiday.
I didn’t know much about exposure and composition but the noise of the 35mm film winding on and the click of the shutter button captured my imagination.
I progressed my budding hobby by buying my own point and click: a Canon Sureshot 60 zoom. With little technical knowledge, I would pick up my prints from the local developers and sometimes find the dreaded sticker of shame!
I was undeterred though, and continued my hobby throughout university where I studied psychology and sociology. Like many young people, after graduating I wasn’t certain on my future career but as photography had remained a keen interest I decided to enroll in a photography course at Shipley College.
Here I learnt the basics of the craft and was able to hone my skills. The course also opened my mind to the idea of photography as a career. At the time my sister worked as a reporter at a local newspaper and it was through her that I was able to secure a week’s work experience.
I was instantly smitten by the quick pace of press photography and, keen to learn more, I secured a place on the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) press photography course at Sheffield Norton College.
It proved to be some of the happiest days of my educational life - there was never a dull moment on the one-year course. My love for the profession deepened and after passing my exams, I was delighted to secure a trainee position at the Scarborough Evening News.
Working alongside a team of four other photographers, I was forced to up my game in order to cover the wide variety of subject matter on the coastal patch, and to temporarily change my camera brand in the form of the Nikon 1D. I loved every aspect of the job: the variety, the people I got to meet and the events I got to cover.
With 20 months experience under my belt I was keen to progress further and pursued a position at one of the country’s leading regional daily newspapers: The Northern Echo. Consequences on the day of my interview helped me secure the position - I literally sniffed out a story after smelling smoke en route to the office. It led me to a building fire and I leapt into action, taking pictures of the emergency services in action.
I spent 12 very happy years at the Echo - where I got to work on some incredible projects including the 2012 London Olympics and President George Bush’s visit to the North East in 2003 - before going freelance in 2015, giving me the freedom and opportunity to pursue an even wider variety of work.
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