Why I Joined Croxley

Anthony Highet explains what inspires him about being a member of a Croxley Camera Club.

Becoming passionate about Photography really happened by accident. What started as a means of taking better pictures of the kids growing up has become an obsession, and one that has taken me by surprise. Though perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, I am a guy after all, so I am naturally drawn to ‘gadgets’, especially gadgets you can customise. So what better customisable gadget than a DSLR Camera? But that’s only half the story, long before I was able to use my camera in ‘Manual Mode’!

To explain the direction my photography has taken, it’s important to understand its origin. Besides my family, I really did not enjoy photographing people. First of all, people never do as you want. And secondly, they answer back. Give me a tripod and a cityscape over people, any day of the week! My first experience of portraiture was during one of the regular studio evenings held by the club, it’s a great way to learn studio photography & working with models. But I was terrified, faced with a lovely blonde model, I had no idea what I was doing. “Change your camera settings to this, point it at her, press the shutter button to take the picture” was the advice issued. Now to some, that might seem a little simple, but that really is the level of instruction that I needed, such was my lack of ability. Shot 1, “click”, and the result was the best picture that I’d ever taken. And from that point onwards I knew what I wanted to get good at. A year on and things have changed. That first studio shot, ‘the best I’d ever taken’, is now the ‘worst image I have ever taken’…by a country mile. And that’s not bad thing. It show’s me how far I’ve come and in such a short time, so seeing that photo now actually makes me happy. A year on and I’m enjoying my photography more than ever. My confidence has grown and I am shooting fashion & portraiture each week, I’m also challenging myself to make every shot better than my last.

With my confidence grown, it’s now time for the next chapter! This summer, I‘ve had a go at organising a couple of portrait ‘social’ events. A full afternoon giving 5 photographers the opportunity to work with a top model whilst enjoying the Great British Summer, before finishing in the pub for drinks, food & great company. In fact, we have recently enjoyed the first ‘Portrait Social’ in Croxley’s famed ‘Orchard’. Thankfully everyone came away smiling, with tons of great images, and lots of material for next season’s competitions. And it didn’t rain until we had finished shooting. A perfect day!

Though I must confess, I had hoped the shoot might give me the opportunity to practice some ‘tutor’ skills, but it wasn’t to be, thanks to our model. Our model for the day, the delightful Sinopa Rin is an incredibly hard working & talented young lady, as well as a talented photographer. Such is her talent, it’s impossible to take a bad picture of her, and if you somehow managed to achieve the impossible, Rin knew just what to do to remedy the situation. So no need for a ‘tutor’, our model had it covered!

As Rin took our photographers to shoot with her one to one, experiencing how easy it was to achieve great images working with such a talented person, I was left feeling a little redundant and contemplating the advice given to me at the beginning of my journey as it felt like an appropriate way to describe working with Rin;

“Change your camera settings to this, point it at her, press the shutter button to take the picture”.

All images ©Anthony Highet.