So this is the first actual blog that I have ever done. I used to use Tumblr which was okay, but a little less personal and I personally think a little over-rated and I pretty much stopped using that at the end of last year.
I have now decided to create this blog on the back of my ALR Photography website in order to keep things together and link my two greatest projects… Photography & Life.
I will try to post often with updates and as much as this will be some sort of journal, it will also be an education resource for people who are interested in photography and some of the processes that my work goes through before it’s actually published to the web.
First I will start by telling you a little bit about myself.
My name is Aaron Lee Roberts, I was born in Bristol which is a great city in the South West of England. For my entire life, I considered myself to be pretty creative. Whether that be building tree houses with my friends or using my imagination to create something really obscure, I was always doing or designing something.
I went to a very normal school in the suburbs of Bristol in an area known as Kingswood. I developed a fascination of derelict buildings and abandoned places which was fueled by one particular building in Kingswood which I would pass very often in the high street.
The building is an abandoned church and associated grounds. It was due to this particular building that my photography started.
This church has a lot of history and passing it as a child fascinated me. There was something about the entrance and the “Keep Out” that made me just want to go in, and as you can tell, eventually I did.
The photo above is not the photo which started my career as a photographer because the original photo was taken on a pretty normal camera without any real knowledge of photography but it was enough to prompt someone to actually purchase the photo from me.
I sold the photo for £5.00, little did I know that this would be the start of something great. It dawned on me that if someone was willing to pay for photos of things that I just enjoy doing anyway, why not start taking this more seriously and in 2010 I launched ‘ALR Photography’ – an alias to help market my work which was primarily urban and scenic style photos.
All of the above photos were taken during the time that I was shooting with a Nikon L100, a point-and-shoot style camera that offered a wide-angle lens but little in the way of manual controls.. in fact, no manual controls which I soon realised was a real bottleneck and that if I was to start taking this seriously, I would need to upgrade. Unfortunately, funds were low and a DSLR was out of sight so I had to make-do with what I had.
However, eventually people started to recognise my work and I was asked to take some portrait photos for a friend. Mainly experimental, using a white sheet covered over a door frame and a lamp behind it.
For what it was worth, the photos came out looking okay and then my passion for portrait photography began.
I took a few more photos with this setup, I even had a friend travel all the way down from Scotland to spend time in Bristol and have one of my “shoots”. Again, the results were not too bad and the photos were a success but it soon became apparent that if I wanted to start working with Portrait Photography, my trusty little L100 will not be suitable.
On April 2nd 2012, I finally purchased my Nikon D3100 on finance and then I could really start taking my work more seriously.
I started offering more photo sessions, mainly outdoors with one of my most popular models in the UK, Fen Clarke. Our work is still all over my Facebook page, website and other locations and it was great working with Fen as we were both learning the industry together and the results were fantastic.
Here are some examples from our shoots:
Anyway, that was the PROPER start of ALR Photography. From this I invested in more equipment, including my studio lighting, backdrops and other tools. New lenses, filters and eventually even started to provide basic training and teaching for young people looking to learn about Photography.
I then started shooting at special events, expanding my urban and scenic collection as well as some commercial and advertising work for a few business in around Bristol. After a year, ALR Photography grew from a very small and basic company into something a little more reputable.
This was set to become even more interesting with my move to Romania which I will cover in the next post.
I hope that this gives you an insight into a little bit about me and what I do, stay tuned for more and hopefully interesting posts as time goes on!