My Journey as a Photographer

On 16th July 2009 I did something I had never done before – I stood up before 900 pupils and staff at Dartford Grammar School’s last assembly of the year and gave a speech. I was there to present the winners of the school’s creative writing competition with their prizes. I gave them my signed and framed pictures they had written about when I had held a photography exhibition at the Mick Jagger Centre during April and May. I was nervous, especially about the speech, but I knew I could do it and afterwards everyone I met said I did it well. I’ve included the speech here for you to read:

‘Thank you for writing about my pictures.

It makes me very happy to give the winners my pictures as their prize.

Two years ago, I made up my mind to hold an exhibition at the Mick Jagger Centre and since then I have been taking pictures nearly every day.

If you make up your mind to do something, then keep trying and don’t give up. You might surprise yourself and others – I did. Thank you.’

When the manager of the Mick Jagger Centre replied, ‘Why not?’ to my asking if I could hold a photography exhibition there, I had no idea two years later what it would all lead to. I was told that the sixty pictures that I displayed at the MJC were seen by about, 3000 people! Sasha, the co-director of a company called Kit Kaboodle was so impressed by my photography that he designed and gave me my own web site

I felt very proud to be invited by the DSA to exhibit 10 of my pictures at the ‘Shifting Perspectives’ exhibition at the OXO Tower in London in June. I was one of five people who had work on display, some of them professional photographer’s. That exhibition was seen by about, 5000 people!

I now have my own digital camera; instead of the one I borrowed off my dad, which I won in Mencap’s 2009 National Annual ‘SNAP’ Photography/Film Competition. I entered three pictures and won prizes for two of them: ‘Grave Words’ and ‘Sandscape’ which are printed here for you to see. The winning pictures were displayed at the Proud Gallery in Camden in June and that exhibition was seen by about 10,000 people! I met many people at the awards ceremony, some of them celebrities from ‘Eastenders’ including Grace who stars in the soap, accompanied by her father, Simon Street. I’m ‘Eastenders’ biggest fan!

I enjoy taking pictures, especially when I get to talk to the people I photograph, which usually happens, after I have taken their picture. I first became interested in photography as a child, watching my dad taking pictures. He used to let me use his camera to take pictures that he wanted to be in. Now, at the age of 24, when we go to the seaside where I take most of my pictures, Dad usually gives me an assignment like, ‘Shop Window Reflections’, ‘On the Beach’ or ‘Seagulls’ and I snap away taking many pictures from different angles and distances. Not all the pictures I take are great but some of them are and I’m already collecting for my next exhibition at the Mick Jagger Centre, hopefully in two years time.

Chris on 26th July 2009 (I asked my dad to help me write down what I wanted to say, here).

Chris giving his speech as a judge in 2010 Chris came second place with this
in the D.S. Shifting Perspectives Competition picture entitled 10 to 12.
held at The Orangery, Kew Gardens.