Hello, and welcome! I’m Adam Young, and this is how I accidentally became a photographer!
This is not the first time I’ve had a website called ‘A Buzz & A Flutter.’ In fact, the first time round this website was for the selling of wildlife friendly garden plants. My aim was to leave my job by building up a plant business, with a three-year plan in mind. Unfortunately, or fortunately rather? I couldn’t see a way to grow the business beyond the third year. There were many factors in this, many of which I couldn’t control. Covid was probably the final death knell though.
As any business owner will know there are constantly costs to operating a business, with start-up costs possibly the highest. It was at this stage that I began to think of ways to could not only minimise costs, but also how to go on saving costs. With the online plant industry one of the ongoing costs is images, where images of the plants are needed and of a high quality. However, as any plant lover knows, they all have their seasons and for flowering plants, which is what I was selling, this could have been anything from February to October. My first option was to purchase from stock photography websites, but the issue here was the need for very specific varieties. The second option was for a photographer, but at the start of the business this would have been prohibitive as I would have needed to book a photographer maybe 6 times in the first year! So, with plants flowering at different periods throughout the year, with some months after having them, and photographs needed, what did I do?
I decided to go with the first option as I was fortunate enough to find enough of the specific varieties that I could at least get some stock up on the website, but what about those that weren’t? It was at this point that I decided it would be economical in the long run to buy a camera. Okay, so I wouldn’t have photos for all of my plants, but I decided I would leave them off and add them to the website once I had photos for them.
Most men will understand what happened next – I looked for reviews! I wanted to know all I needed to know about what camera to buy. It’s funny, because at this stage I thought that that was all you needed to know, I didn’t know they were so complex to use! So, the YouTube adventure began, with many rabbit hole trips to the illuminati and their plan for world control, and the odd trip to ‘how to cook the perfect poached egg’ (it takes you to some odd combinations!) I finally got focused and came across some helpful channels and I began to learn about camera specs and what I may, or may not need. I decided that I needed a simple camera, that also had good vlogging capabilities, as I could see the value in producing videos that led people to my website and pre-empted any questions that may come up. The answer?
The canon EOS M50 with 15-45mm kit lens, second hand from eBay, along with a 75-300 USM zoom lens, also off of eBay. I decided that seeing as the photos for the website were going to be ongoing, and given the fact that it made more sense to spend up front, as opposed to multiple times, that a camera would be good for the business. The 75-300mm lens was a cheap indulgence (for a lens) at £70 and I brought it to satisfy my wildlife needs outside of having a fulltime job, as well as a business, after all, there’s not much point in helping to save nature if you’re not going to connect with the nature that’s already there! And so, though there is more to becoming a photographer than what I wrote, it at least gives you an idea of how I got into it!
I said earlier, ‘that it was funny because I didn’t know how complex it was (photography)’ and it was true, I had no idea about shutter speeds, ISO, aperture, or anything else technical. Heck, I thought that you bought a camera and pressed the shutter, so that part, and much, much more, was a huge shock to me, but I took to it quickly, gobbling up YouTube videos (this time on photography general, as opposed to gear) and online articles. I was recommended some courses, but the truth is, money has always been hard, with me on almost minimum wage, so I decided to just learn the basics and go from there, so exposure triangle became the most important thing for me to learn. By the way, for what it’s worth, if you’re reading this (is anyone really reading this? Let me know in the comments if you are!) and you want to learn about photography, then I would say focus on learning the aperture triangle and composition. Most things can be corrected in any editing software available now, but get those fundamentals wrong and you might not be able to recover a photo. Still, that aside, I didn’t even know this! Though, to my credit, I naturally seemed to compose good photos. Technically poor, but composition fine. You could say I took to it like a duck to water! So, when did photography become an option?
I have to be careful here, as people have lost their jobs over comments made on line, but I think when answering a question like, ‘When did photography become an option?’ it’s important to put it into the context of someone’s life, and in my situation, I had a business need, become hobby, in photography that was giving me great pleasure, a low wage with family responsibilities, a full time job, a business not really growing and a number of people beginning to tell me to go into photography. I said it with the wildlife friendly plant business, that sometimes you don’t have enough pressure to start something, but when life puts the squeeze on and you find you want something more, especially when thinking about an example to your own children, you begin to act more out of necessity than want, and I guess for me, a procrastinator by nature, I just needed that extra bit of discomfort and squeeze to get me to do something. In terms of the actual knowing, or wanting to though, I think there are a couple of standout moments. The first came when I quickly seemed to outgrow the needs of the Canon EOS M50. I didn’t want to admit it at first, for a couple of reasons. The first maybe a bit of false humility and feeling that it was not right, and maybe arrogant to think that ‘I’ a man who’s only had a camera for a few months, could possibly have outgrown a camera. The second was when my wife said, “Why don’t you do pet photography?” My response was different this time, it took her aback, as I simply said, “Yeah, why not?” So, there you are, and here I am, about to embark on a new adventure, with the potential to do something too many people are afraid to do, which is to pursue something other than work and make my life work for me. This was always my moto with my initial business, to make my work, work for me, and it is still very true to me now.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my first blog, and if you have any comments, suggestions for improvements, (please don’t be brutal) have some photography questions, or simply resonate with what I put, then please, please, DO leave a COMMENT!