The toughest writing job ever ~ The about you page

Jun 9, 2013 | Business, News | 6 comments

Well, I’ve had a bash at writing the ‘About’ page for my ‘Passion Photography Experience‘ website it and I thought I’d share it with you here. I chose to write in 1st person because I so dislike writing from someone else’s point of view using 3rd person. I occasionally use 2nd person when I’m writing a how to blog post but as I’m no Hemingway I avoided 2nd person * for my ‘About Me’ page. The trouble with writing in 1st person is it is easy to sound big headed and self loving. I used a few simple questions as my basis for the project to try and avoid that problem. Here is my 1st attempt…

 

I grew up with my parents among the orchard and hop farms of rural Kent. My mother is an art teacher and my father was an architect. I’ve always been a visual person having been taught about composition, texture and form in art from an early age. I was 12 when I first experienced the magic of making photographs with a Patterson enlarger in the bathroom. I’ll never forget the pungent aroma of the stop bath chemicals. Two magical moments I am glad to have experienced at an early age are peering at the processed film for the first time as it is removed from the processing tank and watching the image form on the photographic paper in the developer tray.

I’m inspired by beauty and as I have matured as a photographer I’ve learned to see beauty in just about everyone and everywhere. It’s not what I look at that matters to me it is what I see. I am always converting the three dimensional scene in front of me into a two dimensional image in my mind. The exhilarating visual experience I have every moment of the day drives my passion for photography. I love studying the work of other photographers to  relive the excitement of their captured moment.

I’m a self motivated guy with quite an entrepreneurial streak in me. It’s been quite a journey from my days at the BBC where I trained and worked as a cameraman and lighting director. 14 years of BBC life taught me nothing about making money but everything about image making that I could ever have dreamed of. The entrepreneurial skills came later in life when I embarked on a lucrative career and teamed up with my wife Julie as wedding photographers. Having a distinct style kept our work at a premium level and we charged high fees accordingly. After 10 years and 400 weddings it was time to move on.

Cutting loose from weddings allowed me to follow my heart and become a portrait and beauty photographer. I suppose I’m quite similar in mind to Helmut Newton, obsessed with detail and excited by beautiful people and places. I love to direct my subjects and take control. To part fund the transition into portraiture I published my first book on wedding photography in 2007 and it went on to sell some 35,000 copies making it an instant best seller in it’s field.  Next came my first art book called Chloe Jasmine Whichello. This has gone on to receive wonderful critical acclaim. More information about the book and signed copies at ‘cheaper than Amazon prices’ can be purchased here. It took me until my early 30s to develop a maturity that enabled me to direct my clients and models. Effective communication and the ability to forge instant rapport are skills I learned quite late in life. Helping other photographers achieve their goals has been a big highlight in my recent years. My role in life has become to inspire and educate other photographers through a sharing of knowledge, wisdom and passion.

A few other random facts about me…
I love people and I suppose women in particular. I love their mannerisms, fashion, style and beauty. I love photographing women. I also get a buzz from teaching. My favourite colour is green. It is the signal colour for the start of spring and it reminds me of lying on the ground in apple orchards as a child. I’m an evening person. I come alive as the sun goes down, It’s when I like to party. I feel I have some Latin spirit in me that just wants to party until dawn. I have my roots firmly in the UK yet the climate is not how I like it. I’d like to live 1500km south of here in the Mediterranean region. Travel, photography and adventure are my main motivators right now. I like to have at least three international trips in the diary ahead of me.

Six things that I like…

  1. Youth – Vibrant, beautiful, effervescent, alive and broad-minded people excite me.
  2. Music – Rhythmic, mood enhancing and well structured music provides the sound track to my life.
  3. Sunlight – Sunlight uplifts me, it creates visual contrast and generates fabulous patterns of light.
  4. Food – Slow roasted lamb shanks with Dauphinoise potatoes and I suppose chocolate are my favourite foods.
  5. Drinks – Fine old world wines, beer and cappuccino are three of my life excesses.
  6. Connectivity – smart phones, and devices keep me connected via Twitter, my blog Prophotonut and Facebook.

 

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The aides and questions I used as the basis for the About Me page are…

Brief description of growing up
–          Lasting family / childhood impression
–          What inspires you in life
–          What drives you (are you politically, humanitarian, business, entrepreneurial, spiritually, visually, etc., inspired? And describe in a sentence – what that means!)
–          Your favourite things (colours / number / time of the day / activities and pastimes )
–          What you miss most OR what do you find is lacking in the world
–          What’s your ultimate ambition
–          What do you want most – for yourself / for others

* Example of Hemingway’s writing in 2nd person. Earnest Hemingway and Mark Twain are my favourite word-smiths.

It’s a start, how did I do? Have you seen an ‘About Me’ page that you like? If so please link to it in the blog comments section below.

6 Comments

  1. damien

    Hi Murray,

    Thanks for the compliments. Good points about the shortening process. Yes the fixer did smell but not as pungently as the stop bath. It was the stop bath that cleared your nostrils in the morning. Many companies tried to make odourless stop but was nearly twice the price so we stuck to the pungent one with the dye indicator :)

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  2. Murray

    Hi Damian,

    It’s a good read, your openness and love of what you do shines through but, it’s too long.

    You could try what I used to do when I was writing scripts for TV commercials, write what you want to say, time it then remove words without destroying the message to fit the time available. For example if I change the sentence to “when I was writing TV commercial scripts” it conveys the same message but saves using the word “for” thereby saving time. BTW Isn’t it the fixer that smells?

    Best…
    Murray

    Reply
  3. Chris Hanley

    Should of got me to ghost write it bud. :))) ” Day Two in the big castle. Italy 03.30am, sat in the bathroom big enough to hose down a football team, we sat giggling like two naughty boys. The prosecco had been flowing tonight. The Chandelier swinging, whilst wearing a terracotta hat, was the juxtaposition to earlier in the day teaching and creating career best photography.” ……..then there was the time we trumpeted traffic cones on the streets of Manchester…… but these are stories for the Italian adventure October 2013 maybe ?
    Great writing BTW, see you soon
    C

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers Chris.

      Our laughter and pranks are the stuff of legends. I obviously learned my character traits while reading the Beano. There will be many good times ahead too bud.

      I can’t wait for Italy October 2013. I’m popping out there on Thursday to check out the country locations for us. Italy 3 in October will be an amazing trip.

      Best D.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    Hi Damien. That is longer than most About Me’s I have read elsewhere, however I found it absorbing. Normally I would have read the first couple of paragraphs and then clicked on. I didn’t. I read all of it and tend to read all of your blogs as well. There are few people who can teach well, but being the happy owner of virtually every DVD you have produced I can say unequivocally that you have a great talent for it. One day I hope to spend a one on one day with you!
    Regards
    Steve

    Reply

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