A leap of faith isn't necessarily a leap in the dark. For Stuart Runham, light was a vital part of his ambitious plan.
When Stuart was made redundant, after 20 years in the civil service as an aerospace engineer, he had a choice: to look for another job or set up in business as a professional photographer.
"I'd always been interested in photography as far back as I can remember" says Stuart. "We'd got some savings so, after careful consideration, we decided that I'd give it a go."
'We' included Stuart's wife Clair, a nursery nurse. With encouragement from family and friends Stuart researched the market, enrolled in business courses, made up a marketing plan and set up a website.
"It was the scariest year ever" he confesses "I didn't realise how hard it would be. Just making people aware that you even exist is a full-time job. I only had one week off in the whole of the last year. Initially I was going to concentrate on portraits and landscape photography but I decided to give fashion a go. I discovered several networking sites online and made contact with one or two local girls to start with. I started to get good feedback from models and from other photographers and I've just begun to feel that this might work. I've invested in a big shoot that is coming up this month at a well-known studio in London with six or seven different models, a make-up artist, stylist and the clothes on loan from local shops."
And does Stuart feel that it's worth taking the risk?
"I have no regrets. I would even be happy with failure. I know that I've done everything I could."Aimee Marie in Brown's Wood Clapham
Stuart explains: "Although still only young (her dad accompanies her on all her shoots) Aimee is already an experienced model registered with Mission Models. Aimee Marie wanted a fairy tale feel to this picture. We shot in Brown's Wood, Clapham with Aimee creating a 'Tinkerbell' feel to the shot."
Stuart: "Georgia contacted me with an idea to shoot on the 'beach' by the lake at Priory Country Park. It was a great idea and we got some great shots - luckily it was quite a warm day. Even though Georgia is something of a beginner in terms of modelling (though she is currently a regional finalist in the Miss Earth Bedfordshire contest) and even though we attracted quite an audience Georgia was completely professional.
Danielle Latimer by the boating lake
Stuart: Danielle is a student at the University of Bedfordshire studying dance and she is also captain of the UOB cheerleading squad. We had a lengthy shoot by the river one evening where we got some lovely shots.
Aimie in Brown's Wood Clapham (different Aimie from 1st shot)
Stuart: This was a fantasy-themed shoot with the aim in this particular shot of trying to create a sense of being 'lost' in the beauty of the woodland. Shot in Brown's Wood, Clapham we were very lucky with the light. Aimie recently made the final 10 of the 'Face of Lady K's' competition for Lady K's Burlesque Boutique.
For more information call Stuart on 07757 338568 or check out www.aethereal-visions-photography.co.uk
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