Whilst still at school back in 87' I took up an interest in photography as it was one of the options available.
Enthusiastic art teacher, Mr. Shreeve taught photography at Caister High School, and I can remember there being a collection of Cosmic Symbols and more exotic Kiev's and maybe even a Zenit that the students could use. There was a basic darkroom for processing and printing Black and White film.
We often used to go out on 'location' in Mr. Shreeves rickety old Land Rover.
I remember my father bought me a Pentax P30, my first 'proper' camera.
I gained my first taste of work experience with Mr. Fisher, who was a well respected wedding photographer who had a premises down Market Row in Great Yarmouth.
I remember one occassion when I accompanied him on a wedding South of Norwich, and the weather was awful; a combination of snow and thick fog.
We were running half an hour behind schedule and made it just in time for the guests to arrive! He used to shoot on a Leica SLR 35 mm and worked well into his 80's!
Upon leaving school, I landed a photographers job at a local press agency, learning all aspects from image capture through to processing and printing. Tea making was also an essential part of the job description.
The whole set up was very old fashioned, and health and safety wasn't an issue as I can recall on many occassions I used to suffer from electric shocks as old switches were still in place as opposed to pulley chords!
I then had a stint working at various holiday parks throughout East Anglia, including Pontins, Potters and Vauxhall Holiday Park with whom I worked with the wonderful John Chown from Riverside Colour Laboratories in Gorleston at the latter. John was a really decent guy - sadly no longer with us.
I spent 5 years at Kessingland Beach Holiday Village and at the time it was by far the most popular holiday destination on the East Coast with a superlative entertainments programme with well known impresario Kenny Cantor at the helm. I have very fond memories of Kessingland as they were by far the best days ever!
I graduated with an HND in Photography at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology in Kings Lynn under the tuition of the remarkable John Hansell who is sadly no longer with us. John had an amazing enthusiasm and really drove his students to maximise their potential.
He also had a very dry sense of humour, and I recall that there used to be a fellow photographer on one of the evening courses which I also attended, who used to print on extremely small test strips - the size of a postage stamp!
John would see the funny side as it would be near impossible to determine the correct exposure from such a small area!?! I have to admit that my stomach would ache with so much laughter - I kid you not!
Shortly after finishing college, I landed a job as a publicity photographer at an Arts Regeneration Agency working with Steven Page who unfortunately had to take early retirement on health grounds.
I have had work published in numerous magazines and books.
I now specialise in capturing Forgotten Norfolk...
More to follow soon...