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Andy Rapkins

For 30 years I had only taken photographs for me, for fun - not professionally at first. It runs in the family though: my grandfather had been an early professional photographer, my uncle worked in the Canadian Navy as a photographer and my cousin is a commercial photographer. I had only ever had it as a hobby whilst I worked in different industries.
After some life-changing decisions, I began the move towards a career change to exercise my creativity. I started a photography business in 2009 specialising in newborn portraits. That quickly developed to family work and before you know it I was asked to photograph a wedding.

I said no. Whilst I loved photographing people, I had a preconceived idea about what wedding photography was and didn't think it was for me. Then I thought about it some more, did some research, did some training, got some experience working with other photographers, and I said yes. It was a significant step. All the preconceptions I had about wedding photography disappeared as I realised it was something that could be done in the way I liked to work: passively. An observer, telling stories, capturing emotions, recording the day without getting in the way of it.

I continued for a year or so with more weddings shot as a result of recommendations and referrals, and then the next significant step was in 2010 when I became an Associate of Allister Freeman. Following mentoring and tutoring by Allister, my approach, style and service delivery was developed, and I quickly built a reputation for high-end documentary photography. Allister is renowned for his approach and photojournalism, and continues to be a source of inspiration, guidance and professionalism.

Since working together, demand for my work has increased hugely with bookings all around the UK and destinations into Europe. It's busy. And fun. I still find time to record the other things that interest me: architecture, shapes, patterns, the occasional landscape.

It's busy at home as well. I live on the English south coast in Dorset. I'm married, have two young sons, and two enthusiastic dogs.

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  • Bournemouth, Dorset, England