Read our letter of the week, from an Amateur Photographer reader, sharing their views and opinions about a photography related subject. Find out how to submit your own letter to share your views.

Letter of the Week

Letter of the week – 29 August 2015

Snap Reality

I empathise fully with Andrew Henning’s letter about following his dream of photography (AP 1 August). When I left school in 1976 I wanted to be a photographer with British Rail. However, for reasons that escape me now, I didn’t follow it through, taking instead an apprenticeship in sawmilling – my parents thought highly of apprenticeships.

An attempted job move in 1981 to set up and run a sawmill in North Carolina involved my first flight to the USA, three hours in immigration and a return to UK on the same aircraft, all due to my work permit not having been properly sorted. That hassle did, however, give me the time to re-assess what I really wanted to do: follow my heart into photography.

A six-week ‘walkabout’ in 1982 photographing the steam trains of India and Pakistan sealed that dream. Later that year I embarked on a self-financed (by part-time work and odd jobs) City & Guilds course in general photography. Upon its completion two years later, I landed a government-funded one-year Manpower Services Commission post in Lewes Museum, East Sussex, as general photographer. A year later I secured a job as an assistant ina London museum, taking objects to the studios to be photographed. I then transferred into the photography department where I’ve been ever since. I took the opportunity, while working, to do a four-year part-time degree in photography at the Poly of Central London that I successfully completed in 1995.

Unlike Andrew Henning, I’ve probably earned less money through this career than, say, finance, but it’s been a great ride so far and my love of photography continues. I still enjoy AP every week, which a colleague passes on to me. One year ago we moved into a brand-new purpose-built studio suite and on a day-to-day basis we use Phase One backs on Sinar 5x4s alongside Hasselblads and Nikons. It’s good varied work and each day brings challenges undreamed of: amazing objects, visiting VIPs and foreign travel. Maybe Mr Henning might like to pay us a visit? – Dudley Hubbard, Surrey

What a wonderful story and a great example of how you don’t always end up doing the job that you train to do  – Richard Sibley, Deputy Editor

Submit your own letter

Share your views and opinions with fellow AP readers every week on the AP Inbox pages of the magazine.

If your letter is chosen as Letter of the Week* you’ll win a great shockproof, waterproof and dustproof 5-Proof Technology 16GB Samsung Orange SDHC Plus memory card offering up to 48MB/sec transfer speed.

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*NB: Prize applies to UK and EU residents only

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Write to ‘Inbox‘, Amateur Photographer, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU or email with the subject heading ‘Letters’.

Please include your full postal address and daytime telephone number with your submission.


You could also send us your views for our ‘Viewpoint’ section of the magazine. Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? Send us your thoughts in around 500 words and you could win a year’s digital subscription to AP, worth £79.99.

Write to ‘Viewpoint‘, Amateur Photographer, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU or email with the subject heading ‘Viewpoint’.