Teenage Choices…

At the tender, impressionable age of 16, I had to make choices as all teenagers have to make. It was the end of secondary school and the beginning of what was a very daunting but extremely exciting time; college!

I had to choose what courses I wanted to do and at that time I didn’t have one iota of what I wanted to do. I chose the usual academic courses; English Literature and Geography, but I always thought of myself as quite a creative person, but wasn’t very technically skilled with the old drawing skills. So what else could I do to sate my creative impulses. Not graphic design, too many rules for me; Art, as much as I wanted to, I wasn’t very confident in my skills and as a teenager, confidence is everything. That’s when I first saw that I could do photography. Something to sate my creative side, something new that I never really thought about as an artistic medium. And also, not many other people chose it, so it would only be a small group, perfect for a somewhat anxious, timid teenager; a fish out of water in many ways in my youth.

Thoughts ran rampant in my growing mind of the endless possibilities. What can I be once I’ve gained my qualification, a photojournalist, a fashion photographer a world famous photography genius….(like I said, I was young and impressionable and my mind often wondered at 100mph).

I dove in head first and loved it, but it wasn’t as simple as pointing a camera and pressing a button, not then anyway. So much technical jargon and skill I had to learn; exposure, aperture, ISO as well as learning about lighting, natural, ambient, fluorescent. There was so much but it just made me appreciate it more.

Eventually I started to pick it up and managed to persuade my father into buying me my very own SLR (admittedly he was drunk when he agreed, but I made him sign a contract on a scrap of paper. I made sure it was binding!).

And that is how my love of photography began but trust me it wasn’t always love, but we’ll save that for another day.

Jem x

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