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JO'S STORY

ABOUT US

About me…

Those two words always make me inwardly groan…don’t you just hate writing these bio pieces? Whatever I write will make me cringe as I always seem to sound so cheesey and not at all cool when I read it back! But if you are reading this page then you’re interested , as I always am , in finding out a little about the person behind the business or organisation or in this case the camera.

So I am Jo, originally a West Country girl, who’s been living in the East Midlands since 2008 – I moved here, planning on staying for a year, along with my grumpy old cat O’Malley. I'd agreed to join my friend Dave in launching his new photography venture - Soar Photographic. Fast forward nearly 14 years…O’Malley has gained his angel wings, Dave has been enjoying retirement adventures for over 7 years now and I never went home! I have gained a husband, a home, a fondness for Leicestershire & Rutland, two dogs, a crazy terrier & a three legged Jack Russell plus 2 more cats and Soar Photo has evolved along with me through it all...

My original background from as far back as I can remember was dance & theatre – I trained professionally as a child & teenager then moving to full time vocational training at Arts Educational, London when I was 17. I was then fortunate enough to have over a decade of amazing experiences, performing as a dancer, actor, physical performer & model, with many, many spin offs along the way! From theatres to clubs, touring, film, studio, corporate exhibitions to cabaret, I’ve met a lot of fantastic and fascinating people along the way – it was amazing. I’ve been front of house & backstage and definitely experienced both sides of the camera! 

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The move in 2008 into photography was almost a happy twist of fate but now I can see why I was so drawn to becoming an image creator…From an early age I used to document my own life with photo albums & scrapbooks, then eventually when I entered my profession, a portfolio and publicity shots. I have only really realised this in the later years but I think it came from seeing my Grandmother’s albums of her own early life, her life during the war and beyond .I loved looking through the photographs in her tins, reading the dates, names and messages on the back and how they evoked a whole story & world for me.  The Leonard Nimoy (Dr Spock) quote always comes to my mind;

‘A Life is like a garden, perfect moments can be had but not preserved, except in memory…’ This is so true but moments & times in our lives can also be preserved in images & film, becoming a permanent record of our memories & moments. A reminder, a record, our stories  to experience again or share with others and pass on over the years…

That’s maybe the why behind my photography but the how is my fascination with light, shape & form. I began learning photography on print (just) digital was only beginning to take hold, as a model I had worked with many amazing photographers who created everything in camera, no Photoshop or memory cards – light meters, transparencies, polaroids  & contact sheets then. In fact I can remember one very well-known magazine tog declaring  ‘the media will never go digital’ as he squinted over my transparencies.  If only he could see it now, I don’t think he even had a picture phone then! So I still very much like to create in camera, especially working with natural light & shadows,  I am very influenced by nature, movement and real faces…I am confident and at home on a set or in a studio working with models or performers and of course with digital editing but also really enjoy capturing  ‘authentic’ life too. I guess that’s why I adore wedding work…it’s the ultimate high pressure photo opportunity, beautiful settings, lots of outdoors and light to play with but also with real family/friends and a couple. Media work sits really nicely for me too for similar reasons, its always about telling a story. And I am most certainly never, ever bored!

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