MIKE BLACKBURN - PHOTOGRAPHER
After more than two decades in journalism I still like to tell stories, but with beautiful images instead of words...
I began the career switch from newspaper reporter to professional photographer ten years ago with the birth of my son.
I was already armed with some decent gear thanks to a passion for landscape photography, but snapping the windswept wildernesses of Blighty soon gave way to taking thousands of photos of our cute little bundle of joy.
Before I knew it I'd quickly built up a nice little side business photographing other people's babies, then entire families - and I absolutely loved it!
For me, the reward from capturing a precious, perhaps fleeting moment in a child's life with a beautiful image that parents could treasure forever was far greater than any short-lived buzz from meeting a tight deadline on a breaking news story.
I now run my own photography business full time, and in the past few years have built an extensive portfolio of diverse but always high quality work.
I now specialise in weddings and engagement photography as well as commercial and events (but I'm an extremely versatile photographer who still loves those lifestyle shoots with happy families on a sunny summer afternoon or crisp autumnal morning).
And the experience and expertise I developed as a journalist continues to serve me well as a professional photographer. This includes having excellent communication skills and the ability to quickly gain the trust and confidence of people from all walks of life.
I can meet tight deadlines if needed and am happy to work with complicated briefs and challenging subjects (like photographing children or animals, or both at the same time!!!)
But of course, the ability to tell a story is still at the heart of my work. And what greater story is there to tell than of one of the biggest days in a person's life, their wedding day.
And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...