I owe it in gran part to my friend Serge Krouglikoff and to the magical land of the Camargue if I am now a professional photographer. Since an early age I have been passionate about photography, taking my camera everywhere to the point of annoying friends with my insistence of taking just the last shot! Although dreaming about becoming a professional photographer, the practicalities of life, moving to London, first to study and then forging a career in sales and marketing, had taken priority over my dreams.
He was my friend Serge, a retired fashion photographer, who was to give me the confidence and encouragement to follow my dreams and who has since fuelled my passion for photography.
I have always been fascinated and amused by Serge anecdotes of his professional career, travelling the world on assignments for beauty magazines photographing icons models and, I admit it, always quite envious of the amazing career and life that he has had doing something he is really passionate about. It was when Serge decided to move back to France to set up create-away, www.create-away.com a company that specialises in wildlife & landscapes photography workshops in the Camargue, that I received, an invitation with some other friends to “test” Serge’s new workshops programme in the Camargue. I could not contain my joy and excitement as we were going to photograph the horses and bulls of the Camargue, the Guardians (the local cowboys) who look after them and the beautiful landscapes of marches and red salt lagoons teeming with pink flamingoes. Serge had secured a special arrangement with the local Guardians with exclusive access to their land not open to the general public. I will never forget that first trip to the Camargue as it was there that I decided that photography was going to be more than a hobby. Nothing had prepared me for the intoxicating environment, getting up at dawn and be ready with the Guardians to follow their white, beautiful horses in the marshes and lagoons photographing them at full galllop. I was completely taken by the unique experience of photographing stallions fighting fiercely in the beautiful light at dawn or photographing herds of bulls at sunset getting so close to them that I could almost touch them. The Ferrade, a Camargueise tradition,where young bulls are chased by the Guardians to be branded in a ceremony full of festivities, and the visit to the private Manade, where we mingled with the Guardians for an evening of folklore, gipsy music and fantastic food and where I ate for the first time bull meat cooked on a fire – Those are simply unforgettable magical moments. It was May 2013 when I first visited the Camargue and since than I have gone back several times. It is always so hard to get back to reality when I return to London. The memories of this magical land and its people will always be very precious to me. On my return to London, I decided that I had to pursue this passion professionally and I never looked back.