24 March 2014
Although currently a long way from London, Claire Brown has joined Bleeding London in anticipation of her home-coming in June.
"I am very new to photography, having only picked up a proper DSLR camera for the first time on a course last summer. The course was run by two Army photographers, Paul Morrison and Steve Blake who were so completely infectiously passionate about their trade, it was impossible not to get hooked immediately. Their enthusiasm and constructive criticism, delivered in typically robust military style throughout the course really sparked my interest. Unfortunately I had to give back the camera I had borrowed from my brother at the end of the course, so I very quickly scoured EBay to find an affordable second-hand camera to get practising with.
Two months later, I deployed to Afghanistan on a nine month tour, working with the Afghan National Army to build a new officer training academy. Throughout the tour I have used my photography practice as a way of documenting the work of our team here in Kabul. Most Afghans seem to love having their photographs taken, so it is an excellent excuse for chatting to people, and I enjoy the challenge of getting people to look relaxed in front of the camera. I am also extremely lucky that Afghanistan and its people are such photogenic subjects. I'm still working out how to make pictures come out the way I planned every time so the more practice I get, the better.
I am due to return to the United Kingdom in June this year and joined the Bleeding London project as a way of getting ideas from other people to incorporate into my photography, and perhaps to see whether joining the Royal Photographic Society might be a good idea for me. I'm looking forward to the challenge of capturing bits of London the way I see it, for others to enjoy. I plan to take my pictures on different types of camera, including my iPhone (instagram user: littlegingeruk), and I hope my efforts encourage other less experienced photographers like myself to get stuck into the project, I think it's going to be fun!"
Images: (Top) Claire Brown by Sgt Dan Bardsley of the Combat Camera Team © Crown. (Bottom) Onslow Square, SW7 by Claire Brown