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 over 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 shores of Blighty soon gave way to taking hundreds 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!
I now run my own photography business full time, based in York but working across the UK, and in the past few years have built an extensive portfolio of diverse but always high quality work.
I 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).
The experience and expertise I developed as a journalist continues to serve me well as a professional photographer. This includes excellent communication skills and the ability to quickly gain the trust and confidence of people from all walks of life, but most importantly I am genuinely interested in people and their story.
And for me, the reward from capturing a precious, perhaps fleeting moment on a wedding day or in a child's life with a beautiful image that couples or parents can treasure forever is far greater than any short-lived buzz from meeting a tight deadline on a breaking news story.
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 than of one of the biggest days in your life, your wedding day.
And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...