Wedding, lifestyle and wildlife photography at the cutting edge - a lifelong passion for inspirational photography
I have had a passion for photography since leaving school, when I brought my first SLR, a Russian-built Zenith, followed by an Olympus OM1, and specialised exclusively in colour transparencies. I converted to digital in 2003 and upgraded to a Canon 300D DSLR before going to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia with the Royal Air Force in 2004. Photography helped keep me sane over the 6 months I was down south and it proved to be a truly life changing experience.
When I returned home in early 2005, I believed I had the passion and interest to make a go of photography as a second career. Initially I took a Careers in Photography course in October 2005 with Len Bateman. He recommended joining the SWPP & BPPA, and I registered with the Mentor Me programme under the guidance of Martin Grahame-Dunn. Martin encouraged me to look at the images outside the constraints of the 4:3 box, and this really opened my eyes and got me to take a different view on composition. I also attended a number of courses, again with Len Bateman in Pembrokeshire, in portraiture and wedding photography. I put on my first exhibition of my wildlife photography at a local gallery in August 2006.
I gained my Licientiateship qualification for my wildlife photography in October 2006. This was followed in January 2007 by being awarded the title SWPP+BPPA UK Nature and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2006 for my image of a South Atlantic Tern. In 2007 I completed my first professional weddings to much acclaim with one image being awarded a Merit at the SWPP+BPPA 20x16" Print Competition in front of an international panel of judges.
I was also invited to give a presentation on my photography in the South Atlantic to the Mearns Camera Club under the banner of 'The Best of British'. This was closely followed early in 2008 by my gaining an upgrade to Associateship level for my wildlife work and being awarded my Licientiateship for my social photography. Also in 2008, I participated for a time in the Contemporary Photographic Training (CPT) Bespoke programme with Annabel Williams Studios based in Staveley in the beautiful Lake District.
2009 was a great year. Exhibiting at the premier Your Wedding Exhibition in Aberdeen at the beginning of the year ensured that I hit my target number of wedding bookings for the year. To improve my standing in the industry, I qualified as a Licientiate with the Master Photographers Association (MPA), the body open only to full time professional photographers. An image of seatown in Cullen gained a merit in the MPA Annual Awards in 2009. The year also saw the construction of my own log cabin photographic studio and framing workshop at my base in Arradoul near Buckie. With a number of very happy wedding couples and some commercial work, I can say that 2009 was very good for the business and a good omen for a successful future in photography.
Last year was also the best yet with more wedding bookings than ever. It is also the year I was named Most Promising Classic Portrait Photographer of the Year 2010 at the MPA Scottish Region awards.
The photograph of Andrew Gransden (top left) was taken by Dave Newman of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.