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Zero To Hero

Inspiring stories from photographers like you...

We asked our amazing students to share their photography journeys and they have blown us away. 

We'd love you to inspire others by sharing your Zero To Hero story too...

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cupMike gave me the confidence to tackle this new challenge., I felt I understood the way to do it and I took myself to the city. However I didn’t do it the straight forward way. I put myself on full view on the street, first a cyclist, then people with dogs, then just people. Not all in one day, step by step. No one reacted badly to me, people looked... people smiled... people wandered about. One cyclist turns around and I really panicked but all he wanted was to see the photo...

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foldsAs time goes by I'm falling apart more and now with arthritis I have to restrict my walking to short distances, therefore most of my images are from my garden or immediate surroundings, from the car and nearly always are close up. If interested my efforts can be found here

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dave keyworth 5After looking at lots of photographers online, I finally came across one of Mike’s video tutorials and I have never looked back since - in fact, you could say it has totally changed my life.

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aska liu 5Photography has opened up my views, my thoughts to this world, and made me realise that it's actually not a bad place and in many ways Mike has helped me to get to this point. 

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steve bray2So to be honest my photography journey has only really just begun and I have such a long way to go. With the help of online trainers like Mike Browne I feel I now have a great starting point with a solid foundation to improve. I've improved no end thanks to Mike...

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F5CD1D951A5E4A898AF072BDCB6FA306I always had in my head what type of shot I wanted to take, but found all the technical aspects of the camera daunting. Nevertheless I was determined not to just use ‘auto’ mode when there was obviously so much more potential with this clever piece of kit.

I was recommended to ‘watch a guy called Mike Browne on Youtube’...

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gill edwards 5My success encouraged me enormously so I began buying magazines and looking at YouTube, which was where I first encountered one of Mike Browne’s tutorials. My first thought was, “Why doesn’t this guy have his own programme on terrestrial TV?”. My second thought was, “Where’s the ‘subscribe’ button?”. Now I had three fabulous resources to help improve my photography – magazines, Mike Browne and my fellow U3A photographers who were wonderfully generous with their help and advice.

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Robert-Wiggers-5...You’re sitting on a train and have no clue what the couple behind you are talking about. You hear words like “F-Stop” and “Dragging the Shutter”. They are muttering sentences like “OMG how much dynamic range do you have?” and “Did you use the correct sync speed?” Being blown away by all these strange words, you just sit there with a face like a goat on astroturf… What on earth is going on here? You sit in silence, listen to everything and take it all in.

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Nick-Jeffery-4I never gave up and realized that my love was for portraits, people and their journey! I looked at other works of photographers around the world  and was lucky enough to be in India for 15 years where I delved into a whole world of faces! 

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Debbie-Mitra-Singh-3I never gave up and realized that my love was for portraits, people and their journey! I looked at other works of photographers around the world  and was lucky enough to be in India for 15 years where I delved into a whole world of faces! 

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Terry-Hammond-2Following a bad break up with my then girlfriend I finally decided it was time to learn how to use the camera properly. The fact that I’d been called a ‘dreamer’ and laughed at by said ex spurred me towards my goal.  I started an online course (not Mike Browne) and quickly realised I was learning very little. 

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Susan-Leonard-5I continued to work really hard to boost my knowledge of photography but then entered the doldrums - I was becalmed, I was directionless.  Going out taking photographs just for the sake of it just isn’t me - too lazy I guess.  I needed something to aim for.  I looked round for camera clubs and, well, honestly they weren’t my cup of tea, they were competitions, competitions, competitions orientated nothing else.  They were also old school and anything out of their comfort zone was not acceptable.

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Miss-Casca-4That attitude changed in June 2014 when my dad passed away. Seeing him laying in a hospital bed with a million wires attached to him really changed my perspective.

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Tom-Lee-3 I have dabbled in portraits (which I rather like) and have done some shoots for the schools to which my grandkids go. This latter exercise resulted in the school blowing up my photos to poster size and they are now all round the walls of the infant and junior schools; great for the ego! I also enjoy photographing meteor showers (sometimes staying up all night) but I've learned that I don't enjoy street photography.

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Ian-Smith-6In 12 months I have gone from beginner to professional and still learning every day. Learning is something I will continue to do each and every day as it’s the key to improvement.

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Jim-Tarabocchia-5Photography is a never ending learning process, from the technical side of it to the art and storytelling side of it. The journey is all part of the fun.

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Marko-Marin-5For me it has always been that simple. I've had it all: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social issues etc. The list goes on and it took about ten years to get to where I am right now.

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Karl-Newholm-4In the early 2000s, I bought a Canon Powershot G2 after seeing a deer in my back garden.  This was in the days before mobile phones had decent cameras and I was disappointed that I didn't catch the moment. 

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Manon-Tremblay-6I soon got over the fear of showing other people my photos, just because they weren’t at the standard the I knew they could be. Work, work, work…

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Fadi-Chahine-3My name is Fadi, I am 37 and I am from Beirut,Lebanon. I really like the idea of sharing and talking about our photography experiences and i am sure, there are plenty of incredible stories out there and it would be awesome to hear some of them but I’m afraid mine is boring :) i am definitely no pro and no hero...i still make mistakes and i am still learning.   

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James-Hariss-2My photography journey started when i was in my early twenties, I remember aspiring to a dslr and spent many of my early years shooting on a Sony dsc-h5 bridge camera off my dads old Velbon tripod. I'd attend car meets and have massive envy over people using much bigger dslr cameras. 

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Alan-Radley-4Although I have been taking photos for a long time, I have never considered it to be any more than a hobby. My first SLR was a Zenith 35mm film camera, using it mostly at airshows, back in the 60s and 70s.

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