I discovered photography in 2006, when working at the Telegraph with a creative director who was utterly obsessed with the medium.

He helped me choose my first ‘proper’ camera – a Panasonic DMZ-500 bridge, I believe – and encouraged me to go out shooting at lunchtime, on the train, at weekends.

self portrait with my first bridge camera | carlalouise.com

(with my beloved Panasonic – and to give you an idea of timescale, LOOK HOW SHORT MY HAIR IS…)

I took self portraits everywhere, mainly because I found it easier to use myself as a model than faff either asking a stranger or organising a proper shoot.

self portrait at the Telegraph circa 2008 | carlalouise.com

self portrait on the train circa 2008 | carlalouise.com

After my intern year finished, while my boyfriend of the time revised for his Masters exams, I took myself off on photo walks around our home town. I took accidental pony porn, terrible close ups of flowers, pictures of cars, dogs on walks, woods, people, shops.

Most of them were technically awful, but by that time I was addicted to the feel of the camera in my hands, the click and whirr of the lens, the ability to capture a moment in time by pressing a button.

Eight years on, I’m still blogging and still photographing – and recently rediscovering just how much I love the click of that shutter and committing moments to paper or pixels. And the pull of creating what’s in my head through my lens is as strong as ever – it’s an elusive thrill but one I never tire of chasing. It’s kept me sane through ups and downs more times than I can remember. And my camera is probably the one inanimate object I’d save from a fire if I could only pick one thing.

 

I’ll be forever grateful to Himesh for starting me on that journey and giving me the confidence to try a new art form without worrying about the results.

What’s your starting-photography story? Did you grow up camera in hand, or discover it a little (or a lot) later in life?

Sunset walk by the river
Thrifty finds: the Velveteen Rabbit