I have two people who inspired me.
Let me start at the beginning, and I must warn you the first half of this can get rather mushy.
A few years a go now I knew I wanted to try photography. I used to look at images and think “I wish I could do that”. I was also in a period of my life when I was surrounded by a lot of negative people.
Then times moved on and I met the most amazing person I could have ever hoped to meet; My wife Joanne. Not only was she everything I could have ever hoped for in my life she was also extremely supportive.
In a passing comment one day I simply said photography was something id always wanted to try. She set out to make that happen and made sure that on my next birthday that everyone who normally would get me a gift gave me a little bit of money instead, and with that came my first camera.
From that point I never looked back. Other than karate as a child I can honestly say I have never carried on any other hobby longer.
Well here she is, my light in the dark. I can honestly say that she is my best friend, and that without her none of this would have come to be. To you Joanne I say Thank you and I love you.
Joanne is not just a pretty face, she came up with the theme for the above photo and even suggested how it should be lit. This is favorite of all the photos I have ever taken of her, I hope you all agree how stunning she looks.
Now that’s the end of the mushy stuff.
Now everyone needs a teacher. My second inspiration is exactly that. Ray Bilcliff is a man that i met in my younger years through the previously mentioned karate.
He is a man that has wore many hats in his life time and always has an interesting story to tell.
I first kept in contact with Ray through social media. Very often I would see some of the most beautifully crafted landscapes appearing on his social feed. I am not ashamed to admit I was more than a little jealous of his talent.
So one day I bit the bullet and decided to send him a message asking for some tips. Rather than give me those tips, which would have been near impossible to do over an email or two, he went one better and invited me out on one of his regular photo walks.
He gave me tips on composition, settings and even explained some of the trickier aspects of my camera in simple English. Then he did something I wasn’t expecting; he invited me out again. and again. and again. In-fact he is still inviting me out to this day. Whilst I cant get out as much as I used to I still enjoy our little jaunts around the North of England.
You can check out some of Rays work on his website https://www.raybilcliff.com/
I think you can all agree he has some stunning work.
Thank you Ray for all your help and advice. It really means a lot.