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Joe Porter • A Photographic Journey

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What if you get in a bit of a creative rut and begin to get demotivated? Would you try something different? Something new? Joe Porter tells of the time Lensbaby came into his life and changed everything

My photography journey has been a long one. I bought my first SLR in 1983, on my first big trip to Canada. That Ricoh KR-10 served me well for years and introduced me to the wonderful world of the still image. That was the years after my wedding, setting up home and eventually becoming a father to my four children – but that spark never really went out.

I needed a good job with a reliable income and chose to become a nurse, something I wanted to do since leaving school at sixteen, but finally happened at the grand old age of thirty, when I became a student nurse in Glasgow. During that time of learning I did all the usual parent photography stuff, but I was very much an occasional hobbyist photographer, where the camera came out for birthdays and holidays and not much else.

Strangely, nursing was my route back into photography. I eventually ended up working as a manual-handling instructor, teaching other nurses how to move patients safely and this led to me writing learning modules for the hospital I worked in. As part of the process for making the content I needed good quality images and the easiest way to get them, without infringing copyright legislation, was to take them myself. I persuaded the hospital to buy me a digital camera and a few basic accessories – the fire was lit again...

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