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Thomas Heaton

Thomas Heaton

I got serious about photography when I was 16. It all started with film, then digital and now I’m with film again… actually, we have an open relationship. I love being outside and I love the never ending challenge of trying to portray ‘that feeling’, you know, the warm evenings at twilight, the sense of isolation when you have a mountain to yourself, the sound of waves lapping the shore of an empty beach. My images are all about the outdoors and telling a story. To help tell this story I have created a Youtube channel, which has over 100,000 followers and 4million+ views; It seems I share my values with a lot of other people.

Photography
I love it! I just love it. The camera has truly changed my life and opened up my world. I am very self conscious and an introvert. Travelling by myself or even going for a wander to explore an ancient woodland always made me feel a bit… well, a bit of a loner. As soon as I had a camera in my hand, my travels and my wanders had purpose! The camera was the missing piece of the puzzle. All of my anxieties about being out for no reason were gone. Of course I couldn’t see it then, but I see now that I simply wanted to be outdoors and exploring.
From 2000 – 2003 I shot film and learnt how to develop in the darkroom. In 2006 I bought my first DSLR; the Canon 350D. This was one of the first DSLRs accessible to the average consumer. 11 years later and I have migrated back to film with a 4×5 large format camera. I now shoot both film and digital and we all have a great relationship. If I have my camera and I am exploring somewhere new, camping out, hiking or simply ambling along my local beach then I am happy and at peace.

Life Outside of Travel & Photography
I live in the North East of England with my beautiful wife, Charlotte, and Monty the dog. I enjoy most things that can be done in the outdoors. Second to photography, another passion is rock climbing where I partake in 3 disciplines; sport, trad & bouldering. For those interested, I climb to a bouldering grade of f6c-f7a (on a good day), sport 6C and trad E1 lead (on a good day). I am also a keen mountain biker, which is a lot of fun and helps me keep fit. I used to be a keen fisherman, however due to time restraints I have not picked up a rod for a while. Needless to say I also enjoy camping, hiking and running. Can you sense a theme?
When I am not lost somewhere in the wilderness I like to spend time with Charlotte and Monty. We travel, eat, watch Only Fools & Horses together, go on long walks and enjoy the bliss of married life.

about-4

Career
I went straight from my media degree to a full time job at a large events company. I was a ‘Video Technician’ and travelled all over Europe making corporate videos for various events and campaigns. It felt like a dream job. My days would consist of meeting new people, filming and editing as well as operating live cameras at big events such as music concerts and award ceremonies. After 4 years of the corporate life I started to feel very unfulfilled and had soon realised I could go no further, so I quit. Just like that. This was a bold move but it had to be done. I went freelance as a camera operator & photographer. It was hard work. One of my first regular gigs was to film at football matches for Sky Sports. This sounds like a dream job, but I hated it. Long days, little pay and the immense pressure that comes with live TV. I soon realised that photography was the answer and that I should focus all of my energy on this. I shot weddings, built a studio and found myself shooting more and more landscapes. My life was starting to go in the direction I had dreamed.

 

Youtube
In 2014 I started a Youtube channel. This was purely for fun and was a great method of telling the story behind the image, I wanted to create videos that would inspire others and entertain.  I taped my iPhone to a stick and went on a shoot. It took me several videos before I realised the power of Youtube and what it was capable of. I didn’t even know what subscribers were. Over the course of a year my channel improved, my videos improved, I started to understand social media better and began to appreciate the platform more. I now have an amazing following of loyal viewers and hope that in some way I have inspired people to see more, do more and photograph more. Videos have no doubt become a large part of my photography and I am blessed to have such a great audience who seem to care a lot about my journey.