A chance Christmas present nine years ago has led me
to forge a new career following my dream of photography. What started out
as a hobby has now turned into a full time business.
I loved photography so much that, having given up my
previous work, I began a new career taking childrenís portraits.
I had previously trained as a nursery nurse and
worked for Essex County Council for ten years in schools and nurseries.
Once my circumstances changed I thought I could
combine two things that I really enjoy: working with children and taking
photographs. I feel my work experience helps me in my approach to taking
childrenís photographs. Children quickly sense when a person is relaxed
with them, which can make a huge difference to the end product.
I took a business course through the job centre,
which provided me with the basic skills to go it alone. From there it all
seemed to fall into place. I specialise in childrenís portraits but this
frequently includes family portraits.
The way I work is to visit people in their own homes
or a setting of their choice. This tends to add to the informal and
relaxed feel of the photo session and results in relaxed and informal
The other area of my work that I enjoy is Landscape
Photography. Many of my photographs are of Wivenhoe and the surrounding
areas. These and other prints are on sale in the Wivenhoe Book Shop,
Cutting Corners Framers and Oops a Daisy flower and antique shop.
I am working on a long-term project of compiling
photographs of the islands around Britain and Ireland. Last year I visited
Sark in the Channel Islands, and this year I photographed a number of the
islands in the Isles of Scilly. Beautiful and tranquil places for a
relaxed holiday and with wonderful photo opportunities.
I have had a number of exhibitions. The most recent
being at Cabaret Voltaire. The exhibition was based on the idea of song
and dance. To date that was probably my favourite exhibition. I have also
exhibited at other venues including Life Gallery in Colchester and locally at the Bakehouse, Wivenhoe Book Shop and the Rose and Crown public house.
I have been fortunate in a variety of commissions
that have come my way, which have included photographing the work of a
local artist and the most unusual, photographing vehicles for a company at
The final area of my work, which is also an ongoing
project, is the collection of cards that I have put together. Some of
these have come from landscape prints but I have compiled a set of about
12 cards, which are now on sale in various shops and galleries including
the Minories Art Gallery in Colchester.
I have had photographs published in the Essex County
Standard and on the Wivenhoe web site. Last year one of my photographs of
Wivenhoe waterfront was chosen by the Essex County Council to appear in
its 2005 calendar.
One or two people may have read the articles about my
work in the Essex County Standard and The Evening Gazette. They may also
remember the wonderful photograph that accompanied the Standard article. (
gulp, blush. Well we donít need to discuss that)
At the end of my first very eventful year of business
I cannot think of a job that I would rather be doing and feel immense
satisfaction in producing photographs that give so much pleasure.
Frances' web site and then Wivenhoe Christmas for Wivenhoe Christmas
|Above: An example of
Frances' ability to capture a child looking very natural