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A local photographer took a really interesting phone call recently. The person at the other end of the line told her that the BBC was interested in using her and her studio in a programme for C Beebies.

Apparently they had a family in mind and were looking for a photographer to do a studio photo session with them. Researchers looked at several photographers in the area and chose Joanne’s studio: Heartfelt and Cherished Photography as the most suitable for their purpose.

When I spoke to Joanne, she said it took her completely by surprise but also excited her. The cameras will arrive at Joanne’s studio on August 21st in time to see her open up and the family in question arrive, and will stay until the end of the session, probably in total for around three hours.

The programme will be aired on C Beebies in January 2018. That is all Joanne is allowed to say for the moment but I think you will agree it is worthy of our attention.

When I asked Joanne how she got into photography in the first place she told me: “I have always loved playing with cameras and I love people. Before I came into this I have always worked with people, whether in retail, retirement homes or even bars. No two people are exactly the same and I find that fascinating.

“So when my little boy Braeden was born I couldn’t help myself. I took loads and loads of photographs of him; his toes, his eyelashes, everything about him. I only had a little digital camera at the time bought from Argos. It was either a Canon or a Sony, I can’t even remember now.

“From that a lot of my friends with babies asked me to take their pictures too. I even was asked to do a wedding. Up until that point I hadn’t even considered photography as a hobby, let alone a profession.”

That was around 2009 and the seed was planted. Joanne bought her first DSLR and then started going around to people’s houses taking pictures and charging £50 to put them all on disc for her clients.

“By this time I decided I wanted a studio but with a mortgage and a baby we didn’t want to get into debt. Eventually these photoshoots allowed me to look for premises to turn into a studio.

“We went on holiday to Egypt and when we came back this place was on the market. We arranged a viewing and decided it had real potential. We signed the papers in April 2011 and after a lot of work to achieve what I wanted, we opened in July that year.”
Joanne remembers that opening day with fondness. She said:

“I didn’t have much to display so I got Lauren, one of my best friends to do a studio sitting and used some of my outdoor work. I got balloons with "Heartfelt and Cherished Photography" emblazoned across them and light up Peppa Pig and Buzz Lightyear full-size characters and opened the doors for the first time. That weekend I got 26 bookings. Suddenly I was a full-time photographer.”

Joanne told me she was largely self-taught. Watching videos on YouTube and tutorials on Google and from time to time buying tutorials from photographers she admired. Her message for anyone hoping to become a successful photographer is not just do their college course and think it’s all they need but seek help from a professional photographer. Ask them for tips and even if you can observe a photoshoot and never give up.

“You will learn more than you ever thought possible if you realise you don’t know everything.”

Since that first DSLR Joanne has now graduated to a Canon 750 D Mark 2 but her love for photography remains the same.

I have to say that it was a pleasure interviewing such a lovely, friendly person and such a very talented photographer and we at Acorn News wish her every success in the future.

© Peter Jones 2017 All pictures courtesy of Joanne McGloine

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