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  • Charlotte Chapple

How I started: My Road to Photography

I had never really thought about photography as anything more than a hobby.

The first two cameras I recall using were a Practica DC Slim camera and a Fuji Finepix S5800. I have a few vague memories of taking photos on holidays and day trips. I remember wandering around grand houses and estates taking quick and often blurry snaps of flowers and photos of my parents. Through the years I began to really fall in love with photography and if I didn’t have a camera next to me then something was wrong!

In the early years of me beginning to view photography as something more than a simple hobby, I began to use a Nikon D3200 which I shared with my dad.  I recall there always being a silent competition between me and my dad to see who could take the best photo! I started to enter local photography competitions at the local Denbigh Show held during the summer break. Between 2014 and 2016 I entered photos in a number of categories (My Pet, Trees and Flowers, Landscape, Textures and Animals) winning both first and second prizes. This experience really made me view my photos has something more than simple holiday photos and I began to develop my compositional skills. My enthusiasm for capturing the moment and atmosphere of a scene and the creative process really began to evolve and develop. This experience helped my find my love for nature, wildlife and landscape photography.

My composition, design and technical abilities have developed through experience with using my Nikon as part of my Fine Art A level course. I used photos that were compositionally accurate and detailed to create observational drawings, helping me develop a keen eye for precise attention to detail.

I clearly remember the changing point from thinking of photography as a simple hobby to seriously considering taking it on as a professional practice and future career. It was a warm spring day during year 13 and I was sticking in photos of eagles to use as references for my art and my teacher metioned how they looked professional and very sophisticated. That was it, that one compliment did it for me. I had a great deal of respect for my teacher so to have her speak so highly of my images felt amazing! It was that very evening at home I began to look at photography courses offered my university’s and began to set my sights on becoming a professional wildlife and natural history photographer and filmmarker.

And here I am now! At the end of my first year studying Photography and Video at university. Through the first year I have used both the Nikon camera and my new Canon 750D (my dad has got his Nikon back, much to his relief!). This first year at university has given me a few twist and turns in my photography journey and I can’t deny that the road had been a bit bumpy, but I am looking forward to the rest of my photography journey.

I promise myself to stick to my life motto ‘If not now, when?’

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