THE JOURNEY AS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER IN LONDON HAS BEEN CHALLENGING, ENJOYABLE AND IMMENSELY REWARDING, NOW AIMING FOR GOLD.
It all started on my kitchen table, with my laptop in front of me, a cup of coffee, a head full of ideas and a gut full of passion.
As a proud mum and full time employed structural engineer the only time I could spend on my goal of becoming a professional photographer in London, was after my son was fast asleep and all the household chores were complete.
Despite these routine obstacles nothing could stop me from striving to achieve my goal of becoming a professional photographer in London, to inspire my son to follow his dreams by setting an example.
So how did I get here you may wonder?
Back in 2005 I completed my 5-year intensive university degree with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering. I then the tough decision to emigrate to the UK and pursue my career as a structural engineer, after previously visiting and falling in love with London and the UK. Two years after living and working in London, my friend told me that Arup, an English engineering company with offices worldwide, was opening a new division in Abu Dhabi. After number of discussion of food and drinks, we took the bold decision to apply for the position in this far away land. Thanks to this experience I got the chance to work on one of the world’s most iconic buildings e.g. the Aldar Headquarter which is the 1st circular building in Middle East, with Ferrari World just around the corner.
I returned to UK from Abu Dhabi after working there for nearly a year and continued to work for Arup for another year in their UK offices.
Just as my professional career in engineering was developing, I was blessed with the amazing news that I was pregnant. This news has completely changed my perspective on life. I was going to be a mother and for the first time my responsibilities were not solely focused on me, but this precious new life.
The birth of my son was the most wonderful moment I had the pleasure of experiencing, and just by having him, prompted me to capture as many precious moments as possible. And it was at this point where I believe my photography journey officially began.
As most people do these days, I started taking pictures with my phone, however back then the quality wasn’t that great on iPhones. And I always felt it wasn’t enough to capture my son’s wonderfully special moments. It was during this time I recognised a deep urge to explore my previously creative outlook on life. I began arching back to those wonderfully fulfilling artistic activities from my childhood, which however was suppressed by an overwhelming pressure, to focus on more academic pursuits within education.
Looking with fondness, I now know this was the creative inception of my photography journey, coercing me to purchasing my first DSLR camera. Now rather than painting on canvas, I started to learn how to paint through the lens.
Gradually I started to get increasingly positive feedback from my friends and family, which spurred me on. This is where I started to take part in competitions and I was lucky enough to win a Photography Lighting Course. I completed Shaw Academy Photography Course, attended multiple photography workshops and courses and continuously worked hard to perfect my craft, through the clients that I worked with.
Although I was continuing to work full time and enjoying my life as a busy mother, I still found time to pursue my career in photography, as well as having to continue my full-time career in engineering.
In 2011 I moved to a well-known global engineering practice, Ramboll.
During my time at Ramboll I had the fortunate opportunity showcase my photography skills to a global audience. Ramboll commissioned me to produce a range of images, which would promote the buildings designed by Ramboll. As part of the global marketing campaign I was also tasked with producing a series of staff portraits, photograph number of high profile corporate events and technical forums and provide images for the well-respected company services brochure.
Wanting to hit my 10-year goal of becoming an accomplished and professional structural engineer, I decided to embark on one last move in engineering. I joined a medium sized practice, which gave me more responsibility than I had ever had before which continued to teach me importance of precision, since I was now managing projects with a higher degree of autonomy. While working at Conisbee my photography work was also recognised and I was approached by the CEO to provide images for his company announcements to the engineering sector public.
After hitting my 10-year target at the end of September 2016, I finally decided it was time to pursue my career and passion for photography full time.
I knew that with the body of work I had completed to date, it was time to focus solely on my photography 100%. To name a few of the clients and companies I have worked with and produce photography these would be Ramboll, CItizneM, Great Northern Hotel, St James Sussex Gardens church, Palm House and Rose Garden at Kew Garden, Devonia Parish, Kirsty Heslewood Miss UK 2013, Jasmine Takacs dancer from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Creative Director of Channel4, head of design at ASOS, ScootLock, events for Women in Building Services Engineering, Lux Magazine, former President of Royal Institute of British Architects, professional TV broadcaster Angela Brady, multinational award winner Polish film and theatre director, producer and screenwriter Krzysztof Zanussi, Monochrome Fashion, Bill Phillips a Management Consultant at NLP Academy, London Motor Museum, polish actors e.g.: Wojtek Medyński, Weronika Książkiewicz, Anna Mucha, Lesław Żurek; Taqueria Restaurant, and many fantastic family and children, weddings and birthday celebrations.
Taking the same approach that I took at becoming a successful engineer I decided to create a detailed business plan, which incorporated a list of goals for the next 5 years. Following in the footsteps of the engineering industry it was important to me also to be accredited with well-established and respected governing bodies within Photography Industry.
As I am continuously seeking to improve and expand my photography skills I recently joined The Guild of Photographers. Upon joining in September 2016, I completed my profile and I entered number of images I was recently working on. To be frank, for the next 4 weeks, I had put it to the back of my mind, as I was working on expansion of my business and completing number of projects for my clients.
However yesterday late evening I looked at the date and I realised it is after 23rd of October 2016!!!! Which reminded me that I should check The Guild of Photographers competition site, to see if I had even just one comment or grade from the images I have submitted. To my absolute amazement and joy, and after taking a number a of double takes, I was shocked and excited to find that one of my pictures was awarded Bronze Bar within The Image of the Month competition.
To quote The Guild of Photographers Bronze Award Winners category:
“The Image of the Month competition is without doubt a challenge! It’s tough to be graded never mind get a Bronze Bar or above.”
I am utterly grateful for everyone who has supported me on this evolving and exciting journey to become a professional photographer in London.