In the following post, I’ll be talking about why I picked up a camera and how I fell in love with photography.
I’d been taking a website and game development course at college in 2014, I completed the first year and fell out of love with the idea of being a website designer -I found the hours of staring at code boring and monotonous, from there I transferred over to a media course that I would drop out of just five months later, as a part of the course we were able to choose an additional unit with the choices being photography or film studies. I chose the photography option. This was where I’d first pick up a DSLR, but not where I’d find my love for photography.
Having left the media course and starting work as a waiter, I was looking to take up a new hobby… Fast forward to September, I turned 19, and with money that I’d got and most of my pay cheque from that week I went into the local camera shop and brought myself a Canon EOS 1200D DSLR with an 18–55mm kit lens. I had a general idea of how to use it, having a) Not picked a camera up in months, and b) having had very little practical use of a camera on the course I left, I still had a lot to learn and figure out.
My first photo that came out well was the one above at the start of this post, I’d got up at 6a.m and took my dog for a walk -my god why did I do that? It was freezing.
It wouldn’t be until the end of January 2016 that I picked up my camera again, and when I did I captured one of my favourite earlier photos, which you can see above. Having got a few more photos from early morning dog walks, I started becoming more and more fascinated.
I found out about Multiplay’s gaming convention, Insomnia 57, which was taking place in March. I attended with the idea of building up my portfolio. I decided I would need a better camera and some higher quality glass (lens) so I hired out a Canon 7D Mark II accompanied by an EF 24–70mm F/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens which produced some amazingly detailed images, I loved the challenge of getting the perfect focus and angle and being able to freeze and capture a moment forever. I got home edited the photos and put my camera to the side. Months went by where I wouldn’t pick it up and it essentially became an expensive paperweight. A bloody expensive one at that.
It wasn’t until November that I would go near a camera again, a friend of mine was hosting his second Drum and Bass night, Recoil, at a club called The Winchester, I offered to take the photos for him and it was here that I fell completely in love with taking photos and became fascinated with learning more, and getting better.
I remember a conversation with my manager at work, in which he told me about someone he’d worked with previously that had gone on to become a photographer. I ended up getting in touch with them just before shooting my friend’s third drum and bass event, Recoil 3 held at the Bomo Bunker, and recieved some brilliant advice from Sam Baggette in terms of framing, focus and lighting.
After shooting my second drum and bass event, I was immediately dissapointed with how my photos had come out. The venue was a challenge to shoot, behind the decks there was very minimal space, and the lightng was pretty difficult to shoot in. I hadn’t used my flash enough and configured my settings wrong; my images ended up either out of focus or seriously under-exposed and in the post-production of the photos they came out extremely grainy and still quite under-exposed.
April came around, and I wasn’t really doing anything other than taking photos of my family, dog and the occassional shoot for my friend Dan’s drum and bass events due to working pretty much all the time. Recoil were linking up with 20 Hertz to put an event on in Portsmouth, in which I again offered to do the photos. I focused getting as much light into the camera as possible without creating a ghosting effect. I was more than happy with how my photos came out and could see the progression from the first event I’d shot at The Winchester, to the Bomo Bunker and my most recent event.
I ended up leaving my job in June of 2017, and whilst looking for work I sent out a facebook message to everyone on my friends list asking if they knew of anyone looking for a photographer. Thats when I met Lloyd and Kurt, they both brought me on board as the residential photographer for their drum and bass nights they host at a club called Havana, I was taking photos every Thursday and Saturday night for them, and from this I started to see a drastic improvement in my photos from the consistency of doing it week in week out.
From meeting Lloyd I was given the chance to take photos at an event called This is Madness which was taking place at the Bomo Bunker, this was where I met another photographer Roberto behind 3Dimensional Media who gave me a mass of tips about kit and how to progress and take better images.
A week on from the This is Madness event, I was approached by Ryan behind Revolution DNB to shoot his event at a club called the Riviera and I was becoming to explore further into how I could turn my passion for photography something more.
After a couple more months of taking photos for the Unite 24/7 events at Havana I landed my biggest event yet. Major Bass -read about my experience here.
I can’t put into words the feeling of being behind the camera, looking through the lens and capturing the perfect moment, being able to freeze a moment forever and create a memory that lasts a lifetime. The ability to give something ordinary meaning, something people connect with is beyond amazing.
Thanks for reading,
Reece Carter Photography