I wasn't christened "Naturally Grey", My name is Nick and I'm a photographer.

 

My Background

I was born in 1962 when the world was still black and white. My first camera (a Christmas gift) was a Polaroid, and by 11 o'clock that fateful Christmas morning, I had run out of film. I've been running out ever since. Lately, it's been card space, but you get the idea.

My first (proper) camera was an Olympus. If it was good enough for David Bailey, it was going to be good enough for me. That camera even came to bed with me.

I went through rolls and rolls and rolls of film; this was before the birth of digital. I either had to wait for the film to be developed, or watch as the photograph emerged in the darkroom. More often than not, I was disappointed. I soon learned that I had a choice. Take notice of what I was being taught, or send my parents to the bankruptcy courts. My parents weren't overly keen on the second option, and I was made to knuckle down and study.

I didn't go into photography as a profession at first. I joined the army, a different kind of shooting altogether, and then spent a number of years as a police officer. I took photographs for pleasure, with the odd wedding as a gift to friends. I was the official family photographer, but no more. I learned that you are never too old and did a degree in photography, mainly for my own satisfaction, never giving it a thought that I could make an actual living from it. After all, who would pay me to do what I loved?

On leaving the police I needed a job, and I only had one serious qualification, I managed to move to London and make a living with a camera, after all, I had a piece of paper that said I was good enough. Mostly from blind luck, I managed to get contract work through a group of national magazines. In those days jobs were available, and even then it was sometimes steak and sometimes soup, but I enjoyed that time immensely. 

For personal reasons, I moved back to Wales, found a proper job, and my camera started to gather dust. Either I had fallen out of love with photography, or photography had fallen out of love with me, I'm not sure. Which ever way, we didn't talk for a few years.

I am that I guy. I'm the guy that couldn't see any reason why a mobile phone would be of any use when there were plenty of phone boxes about. I'm the guy that, when asked by my wife, said - "what on earth would we do with a computer in the house" and much to my embarrassment, I'm the guy that thought digital photography was a fad and wouldn't last five minutes.

Then I had a phone thrust upon me that "took photographs"... You can only begin to imagine how I embraced that idea. But, gradually, I found myself taking the odd snap. I started to look at Instagram. Wait a minute; this computer thingy has lots of information on it. Not all of it is right but read, and now watch, enough and the information is out there.

I started to get interested again, decided that I needed new equipment, began to walk the Wales Coastal Path and here I was. In love with the same girl that I had been all those years before.

I found that I needed to brush up on my skills, which I'm still doing, but most of what I had learned in film was directly transferable, and this time it came with instant feedback.

I started to watch YouTube, and youngsters were teaching this old dog new tricks, but I still believed that this old dog had something to say... So here I am - online, on YouTube and as excited about photography as I was over 40 years ago.


There are no rules for good photographers, there are only good photographers.
— Ansel Adams, Photographer

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