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Lauren McWilliams, Iguassu Falls, South America

The month of love?

This month is famous for St Valentine’s day on 14th February. I’ve personally never thought of it as a special day. However, I do believe in love and celebrate that all year round; my amazing family and partner Kieran, my lovely friends, my incredible business network and of course photography!

This month, I wanted to share with you all my love story with photography, for me, it has been something that has always played a huge part in my life. I was born and raised in Burnley, Lancashire and I was lucky enough to go on some amazing holidays and trips with my family every year. No matter where we ended up, we always packed a camera.

Photography in my family is so important, with thousands of printed photographs boxed up in my grandma’s house of our family, my grandparents, their parents and grandparents. The photos were a way for me to learn about my family history, to remember stories from my childhood and for my family to see everywhere we went as we couldn’t always all go at once. These photos were before social media allowed you to click share. They are the story of me and my family which we all treasure.

I and my family went all over the UK on weekend and day trips, European tours, travelled several states in America, Egypt, Tunisia and even China!  I’ve seen some breath-taking views which, I often would get upset that I didn’t have a good enough camera to capture what my eyes were seeing.

For years I would see people getting Canon, NIKON or SONY DSLR’s. I still had my small compact Samsung camera. It did a great job and captured thousands of shots from my trips until it, unfortunately, took its last breath in America in 2012.

I had been travelling from Denver to Las Vegas, it was drawing close to the end of our trip. So before heading to Vegas, we visited Antelope Canyon, Arizona. For those who don’t know it, it’s famous for being photographed by some of the worlds best!  The rich intense reds, yellows and pinks fire through this magnificent canyon.

Great Wall of China 2016

As I was walking through the tour guide asked to use my camera. Of course, I said as he showed the other tourists’ different ways to capture the colours and the lights. At this point I was so amazed by everything, he was teaching the settings on the camera and I wanted to know more to be able to do it myself. At this stage, I just pointed and clicked. Before I could ask a question to the guide, the camera had slipped from his hands into the fine red sand destroying the mechanisms of the lens.

I still had five days left on my trip, all in Las Vegas. I couldn’t believe it. Over 2000 photos were inside. THANKFULLY, they were safe on the memory card, a kind lady on my tour bus had brought two cameras so lent me one for the rest of the trip. My heart had completely sunk, I thought I had lost everything.

It wasn’t until 2016 before I got my first Canon DSLR. I was set to travel to the American South East Coast. However, at last minute we decided to go somewhere completely different to anywhere we had travelled to before. We booked a 10-day tour of China, Visiting; Shanghai, Xian and Beijing. The trip was incredible including sites I never thought I would see in my life, the Great Wall of China, The terracotta army, Tiananmen square and so much more.

Grand Canyon 2012

Yet again, here I was seeing all these amazing sites. This time was even worse than my other trips all I had was my phone. It was good but it still wasn’t what I wanted. I spent hardly any money on my trip (Which isn’t like me) I managed to save it and on my return to the UK we stopped off in Dubai airport. I decided to get my camera. I bought a Canon 700D. I still use it to this day! I absolutely love it.

I now have a second camera and looking to upgrade them both soon but for now, they support me and have allowed me to start and grow my business to where it is now.

What’s your love story?

I would love to hear all about your business love in the comments, For You Photography™

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