I was inspired to become a photographer due to the works of one man – Don McCullin. I had always loved to draw as a child and his work not only introduced me to photography but introduced me to the idea of creativity with a real purpose. Photography became to me a way to make a statement about the wrongs of this world, to expose without glory the harsh realities of war, poverty, social disfunction and exclusion.
However, as a woman, and one from a council estate with a comprehensive education in a run down over crowded school, that was a closed path to me. My careers officer was only concerned with finding me a nice little job until I produced the next generation of factory fodder.
I sort of rebelled: I trained as a commercial photographer using medium and large format film cameras and working with the lead photographer on projects for a number of national and international companies including British Telecom and Hewlett Packard. It was still a man’s world but at least being in a studio, rather than a war zone, was slightly more socially acceptable…
This was followed by a stint as studio manager, photographer, and publicity designer for a company that hosted only the ninth fully digital photographic studio in the UK, having been early adopters of the Nikon/Kodak and Phase One systems.
From there I was then offered a role with a national newspaper group where I stayed for just over four years until I discovered, as the only woman in my department, a very large discrepancy between my salary and my male counterparts…
I quit and I became a freelance writer and photographer. Working as a freelance also meant that I was also free to move to any location, and I took this opportunity to move to the Peak District where I also became the deputy editor a small trade magazine, as well as working for a number of publications as a contributor of both photography and editorial features.
In 2004 I moved to northern Scotland. I was following my love for mountains and the more remote wilder places. Here my love for the wilderness, wildlife, and the environment become a passion, something which I hope will become increasing evident in my work and will raise awareness. I want to invite the reader not only to see our precious environment as something glorious to admire aesthetically, but to have a greater respect for the wild places and a desire to protect our wildlife and re-wild our country and our own lives.
I hope to reach an audience interested in the environment behind the images, and I finally feel I have found my voice and my true passion which gives a new reason to my photography. I have not forgotten why I fell in love with the photographic form. I am still inspired by Don McCullin, but now also by Lynsey Addario who had the balls to go where I feared to, and to show our male counterparts we are equally passionate, equally tough, and our work is equally valid.
My Twitter feed is already popular with a large number of followers @BlytheStorm for those wishing to keep up to the minute with my thoughts and comments. Be warned, I take no prisoners when it comes to the environment, animal abuse, politics, and the social conscious.
Our planet is, as far as any of us are aware, a very unique place. We only have the one, there isn’t a second option. It’s very greatest threat is US.
Call me a hippy if you want to, but I believe that individually we can make a difference and together we can (and should) change the world. I invite you to join me.