I am a disabled photographer and part-time beekeeper living in a semi-rural area of Faversham, Kent. I retired as a Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police Service in 2014 after 10 years service.
I left school 30 years ago and entered into the world of printing as a pre-press originator before Apple Macs were widely used. Unfortunately the industry like many others suffered in the recession in the mid 90’s and I found myself on a different career path and enlisted into the Royal Air Force in my chosen trade as RAF Police. I graduated and was posted to one of the old WW2 airfields in Kent, RAF Manston.
RAF Manston, was then the sole training site for all RAF Fire Service personnel. Shortly after my arrival it was to become MOD FSCTE a Fire Training School for both the RAF and MOD Fire service. Two years later I was posted to RAF Brize Norton. I served the remainder of my 6 years service before leaving to pursue a change of career into the civilian police service.
My application to the Met was successful but I was put on hold for almost two years. In the meantime I joined the Prison Service and after what seemed like a long wait I joined my intake in 2005 at the now former Hendon Police Training school graduating 18 weeks later and posted to Borough.
So how does photography fit in?
Photography has always interested me and even more so when I ran a small business training new beekeepers. I found it very hard to explain what something looked like in the depths of winter. I decided to do something about it and picked up a DSLR and set about taking images of my hives at work in the Spring and Summer months using the end result in my presentations. Living with Kennedy’s disease is hard as there is no cure or treatment and although I will continue to deteroriate I will have quote “A normal life expectancy.” Whatever ‘normal’ is these days.
The disease fluctuates and this means that I cannot always do what my body wants to do even though the mind is willing! It’s a frustrating disease at times.
My work has evolved over the past year and I found a passion for documenting the Landscape, Seascapes, Nature and local places where I now call home the county of Kent. Originally born and raised in the small town of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire not a million miles away from the Slad Valley of Stroud famous for “Cider with Rosie” and rolling hills of the Cotswolds. I have swapped one beautiful county for another. I have the best of both worlds visiting home and returning to see what has changed since the last visit but the views remain largely unchanged.
I’ve had some success with my work and my images have gained recognition winning competitions with the Disabled Photographers Society and local camera club. BBC SE Today promoted the Weather Watchers launch using four of my images in their broadcast.
I have been fortunate or lucky I’m not sure which a bit of both perhaps that I took a shot of the Vulcan XH558 “The Spirit of Great Britain” at Reculver, Kent on her second to last flight in the UK. I was approched by the local press who for a request to use the image on the front page. Since then the print has been signed by Martin Withers who successfuly flew a bombing mission to the Falklands and was sold at auction raising several hundred pounds for the MS Centre, Canterbury where I have Oxygen Therapy. I continue to help fundraise with the sale of my work.
So, here I am the start of another chapter in my life a BA (Hons) Photography degree.