Back in the day, meaning about 3 – 5 years ago, I used to do Photography.
Whilst I lived in Manchester, between 2007 and 2011, I was involved with a company called WTS Music Group (Witness the Sickness).
It held drum and bass music events, had an online radio station which we used to stream our own live events, as well as others such as Hit n Run, Metropolis and Soundscape. It also had it’s own record label, all within the genre of drum and bass, specifically the darker side with the likes of Current Value.
My role was varied, due to the fact it was my (then) partners company, I soon became heavily involved with online marketing and promotional activity, out-on-the-street marketing, general administration and organisation of the different DJ’s on our rosta, I also helped with the legal contracts.
I have always had a creative influence, be that artistic, musical, written or media.
During my early years, I quite fancied myself to be a writer, I remember writing a christmas story about Santa’s Elves, I still have it in a box somehere! It’s never been typed up, still hand-written, I have thought about completing it, as it really was quite good.
I also used to be very good at art, when it came to picking my GCSE options, I was pushed to continue with my art studies by family, but languages by school teachers as they thought it would be more beneficial to me and I had language skills. I eventually settled for French and Spanish, then chose design technology as a compromise to dropping art.
During sixth form I chose to do film studies, as I had a keen interest in cinemetography, at one point I had plans to go on to do Film and Media at The Manchester College when I moved to Manchester as I hadn’t completed my A-Levels, but this was is in order to go to University to read law after finally making a decision about what I wanted to do at age 17. By that point, it was too late, I had already “messed” up my GCSE options and A-Level options after studying subjects which would be of no help, nor acquired the grades. At that age, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. How is a person at age 12 meant to know what they want to do for the rest of their life? I agree, that some may be pushed into a certain area and know from an early age. I didn’t. Well, actually, I always wanted to be a Marine Biologist as I wanted to work abroad and with Dolphins, it wasn’t until I realised how much I hated science during years 8 and 9 that I figured being a Marine Biologist probably wasn’t best suited for me. I then went from wanting to work within the Travel & Tourism Industry, I even began a BTEC in it at sixth form, before realising it wasn’t for me and requested to move back to the Grammar School.
It was around this time that I was having to make decisions as to what I wanted to study at University should I choose to apply. I was studying, at AS Level, Spanish, Geography and Film. I loved Geography, especially Glaciation. I thought about studying this at Uni, then I thought, “well I’m not the most enerjetic of people, do I really want to be trekking up mountains in the cold and sleeping in a tent?” – This from a girl who is 23 years old and has NEVER been camping. That idea went out the window. I wanted a career where I would be able to travel, on business, and incorporate my personality. I thought about Law, I decided not to pursue it as I didn’t think I was clever enough. I did some more research into it, and thought, “hmm..”. I spoke with a deputy Head, who really pushed me into studying it. 7 years on… I can say I do not regret my choice, even If I have gone about it the long way round.
Anyway, I appear to have gone off topic….
This brings me back to living in Manchester shortly after leaving school shortly after completing my AS Level exams, I say shortly, I spent the morning of my last exam, Geography, on 25th May 2007, packing. I just about made it to my exam on time. Sat it, went home, got a taxi with my suitcases and bags and on a train to Alderley Edge which was were I lived for a couple of months before my (then) partner and I found our own place.
Now, back to the WTS work, during our events, I found myself doing the photography. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a great way for me to challenge my creative influences. After choosing a subject like Law, I realised life was going to be very dull. Seriously, having to read so much statutes, I realised I was going to go insane (more so than normal) if I didn’t do something about it. Photography great release.
I worked closely with nwdnb.co.uk and ended up becoming their resident photographer. As I was at most of the drum and bass events in and around the North West for WTS purposes, It was agreed I would also do the photography of their event also, for example, I soon became the photographer for Hit n Run which was on a Monday night at The Attic. I used to come home from work, go to sleep for a few hours, wake up at 9pm get ready, go out and come home around 4am and be up for work and out by 8am the next day. I really don’t know how I managed it, there’s no way I could do that now. I’m too old! (I can now hear people reading this who are older than me thinking, ‘old? you’re only 23 for chrissakes, if you’re old what does that make me?’)
I went out and bought myself a Nikon 500 plus extra lenses, filters, flash and other accessories. I became a member of dontstayin.com, tilllate.com and became freelance photographers for them. This was a beneficial for both myself in my capacity as an events photographer, but also in my capacity within my role at WTS. I was able to get WTS free advertising and their events added as well as being given assignments for other events. Usually, I would have a turn around of photographs being uploaded onto the various sites within 24 – 28 hours. I loved it. I may not have been very good at it, especially not at first, but I loved it.
The event work also gained me access to meeting a lot of different DJ’s, Promoters and musically influential people. I ended up doing photo shoots for DJ’s and bands, I also had some of my work featured in the Urbis in Manchester.
I started to experiment with other areas of photography, but sadly didn’t delve that far into it.
One night, whilst working an event in Preston, it was a WTS collaboration night with Unjust. I was was taking pictures of the current DJ who was on set. I was at the front of the crowd and I noticed a kafuffle to the right of me. I stopped to see what was happening and realised that a fight was potentially about to break up. I stepped back, as I did so, one of the people involved in the altercation through a full pint of beer. Yes, it went all over me and my camera. It was goosed. It worked for a little while, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easily fixed. The sad thing is, I knew the person who did it, yet they didn’t even apologise. I was out of business. I contemplated getting it fixed, but I simply couldn’t afford to do so, I couldn’t afford a new camera either. I had to sell it. I have never been the same since, and have always felt that there has been something missing.
I am nearly the owner of a Nikon D7000. A family member received one as a gift, which they have no interest in it. Its a £2,500 camera included the lens and other bits and bobs with it and she doesn’t want it. I offerred to buy it cash there and then and was turned down. They’ve eventually caved, and soon I will be the lucky owner, once I have paid for it.
I can’t wait, and I’m going to experiment with so many different areas of photography. I probably won’t engage in event photography any more , see the aforementioned comment of me being too old, but I will definitely be attempting some landscape, macros and possibly portraits.
I have most of my photographs stored on a hard-drive, which is currently in pieces as it has died and I am unable to retrieve the date off it. I have found some of my old work on my old myspace and will upload my favourites from the small selection.
Please let me know what you think, and any other photographers if you would like to share tips on how I could improve, I would be very grateful.
I hope to provide you with some more examples soon, I see many road trips happening.