zero-to-hero-chriskerrey Zero to Hero Story from Chris Kerrey

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Chris Kerrey

 14th Dec 2020

My name is Chris Kerrey and I've started the business  ‘CRK.Photographic’ (whoops, that is the end, at the beginning of my story...!)

Photography; it happens behind the camera; in you.  The few inches behind whatever you are using to record light; photography is so very subjective.  So very easy then to think ‘maybe I am not good enough?’  You’d be wrong; you are good enough.

My first camera, a Kodak Browne in 1977.   First ‘proper’ camera 1983, a Praktica MTL5.  I loved it, it went mostly everywhere with me at 13 years old onwards.  I took photos of anything and everything paid for by my paper round!  I even got the odd ‘request’ back then to photograph people or subjects, for free naturally.

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When I left school in 1984 at 16, I headed for my dream of being a professional photographer, restless to get involved in what I loved doing.  After many attempts, a little success, but mostly failures.  I did manage two years at art school; but this was during the 80’s recession and people were losing livelihoods.  A bad time for a keen, willing but unproven teenager with a passion for photography, just out of college.  So, a hobby it remained to be.  And that’s completely fine.

I had always been told by those who cared to comment that I captured something of the person in the photographs I took, and to be truthful, I just went with it.

Fast forward 30 years or so, and in a space where I had more free time, I discovered the brilliance of Mike Browne.  What a superstar.

Mike’s narrative is perfect, it draws you back in with spirited simplicity so to make the whole journey interesting and engaging.  So, I watch and watch, in fact I am sure some I could quote chapter and verse.  You want to learn?  I told myself, practice time and time again until it hurts.  And it did, but boy what a journey of re discovery.

I brought a couple of cameras and a two lenses to start over again from London Camera Exchange, a Canon 70d, and 5d MK3 shortly after. Two L series bits of glass, for those who want to know that sort of thing.  I too believe it is you, not the technology which makes or breaks it.

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I had taken Mike Browne’s wedding photography course online, taking from this his advice to maybe try cold calling a wedding photographer as one idea to get your feet wet.  So I did; Andrei from Brixton.  Loved his natural photographic style, as I prefer this method.

I asked, simply ‘Can I be your bag carrier please and learn?  Maybe advance to 2nd shooter?'  Yes, was the reply after some 90 minutes talking, a week later we plunged in to Covid-19, and weddings along with life; stopped...

So, it starts with you and your passion and you spread your wings with friends and family, again, as in the 1980’s was for me.

I am a ‘social photographer’,  that’s my label if I had one,  not least because I cannot decide where I sit in the mix to be honest.  But I prefer that if any title.  And another mentor and tutor also happened to mention it of me.

As long as someone or something is in my frame; that’s me, happy.  That is what I do.  And that is what I am most happy in life doing.

Two years or so on, brings me to the end; at least the end of the beginning of my photography story here.  Maybe it will stop again, maybe it will continue, I am happy to have rediscover my passion either way.

Taking encouragement from friends and family, lead me to start up ‘professionally’, just recently.  A huge step, I kid you not.  Self-belief shy’s away during ‘life’ moments such as these, ‘Am I good enough?’  I mentioned that at the start didn’t I?  Well, I am!  As are you.

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My mate Kim also says so, and she has a very big boot, NOT to be messed with.  You need friends like that.

Professionally, I wrote my first invoice on the 8th December 2020, a day I will never forget.  I was floating on air all day!

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It also happened to be the same day the first person was vaccinated for Covid-19, at the hospital I work at, Guy’s NHS Trust.  Equally, an unforgettable moment in time.  Which we as photographers do each time we pick up our cameras; simply, ‘capture moments in time’.

Wishing you well in your journey, wherever it takes you; always reach beyond to realise your dreams.  You are amazing.

Chris Kerrey ☺