One year ago today I decided that I wanted to be a photographer!
The Edinburgh festival was in full swing and I was writing reviews for an online magazine called Informed Edinburgh. I received a last minute email from the editor asking me to fill in for a sick photographer. I only had a point and shoot camera but I really wanted the opportunity to have some of photos (as well as words) published — just another thing I could put on my CV really.I did a little background research on the show I was going to and was quite excited to find out that it was arial/acrobatic theatre. I followed Google Maps to some oscure street in Leith, Edinburgh, finding myself peeking hesitantly through the gate of what looked like an abandoned factory.
I heard a noise inside so I creeped through the overgrown bushes until I saw a man standing with a clipboard talking to other people who had cameras dangling around their necks. Pretty sure I was in the right place I strolled up looking rather empty without a massive camera bag in toe. It become obvious pretty quickly that I wasn't at a show, I was at a photo shoot! I had no idea what I was supposed to do and I didn't exactly have equipment to fiddle around with so I looked around as if I were extremely interested in the building. The man with the clipboard moved closer and I realised I had to tell him which publication I was representing. Oh dear, this all seemed very official.
When it was time to start taking pictures, I reached into my little purse and trying to hide the paintful cringe on my face I pulled out my little "camera." There was a girl beside me with a fancy camera and (I can't believe I said this — I must have been feeling really embarrassed), I said with a laugh "My normal camera's broken." What a bold faced liar I am! Oh dear. As if that made the situation better, there's no way she would have believed me. Cringe.The actress acrobats started climbing up the chains that were hanging from the ceiling and they twisted and turn in all directions as the little mob of photographers shouted up directions from below. I just went along for the ride and soon settled down when I realised no one was paying me any attention whatsoever. The models stuffed themselves into garbage cans and propped their legs up onto burnt wooden doorframes — the photographers huddled together, clicking away, "Look over this way" "Drop your chin" "Leg higher"... Flash umbrellas popped up all around me. "This is what America's Next Top Model must feel like," I thought to myself.The whole thing only lasted one hour and by the end of it (10:30am) I was all jazzed up with adrenaline. I spoke to the models afterwards to get some words to accompany my photos, carefully traversed the derelict landscape, and embarked on a stroll home that gave me the chance to contemplate all that had happened. I remember passing by some police officers and I flashed them a big happy smile.
I turned the corner and stopped into a Bethany charity shop to photograph some shoes (I was blogging about shoes you can find in charity shops — random lol) and I remember the feeling of wanting to express my joy — I felt like skipping but I think I just swung my arms and had a HUGE smile. The walk home took 20 minutes and somewhere between the factory and my in-law's house I realised that I wanted to be a photographer. I couldn't remember a time in my life when I had found something so exhilarating as I had just found that photo shoot. I wanted to do it again. And again. And again.So when I walked in the door I marched straight to my computer and started Google researching cameras. I found my first camera, a Sony a200, for sale on Gumtree for about £200. Miggy wasn't convinced by this whole new venture of photography and I had to convince him to trust me that it wasn't a waste of money. He escorted me across town to the seller's house and the nice man handed me the camera. I asked him to show me how to use it because I had zero idea which buttons to press.Miggy and I walked home across The Meadows, a beautiful big grassy bit of Edinburgh. The camera only stayed in the box for about 20 meters before I practically ripped it out and started taking pictures of Miggy walking down the path. Of course, I was shooting on automatic and I remember thinking that I've never seen such crisp amazing images. I LOVED THIS CAMERA instantly! It was utterly amazing. One year later and I can't stand to take photographs with my a200 — it's waaay to blurry, dark and lacking in manual controls...funny how times change. I still love it though because it got me started.