My first photographic memories are of my Dad’s black and white images from his home-made darkroom. They were the usual – family and holiday photos. Dad had made his enlarger, from two green, metal desk-lamp shades and an Army Surplus bellows camera. He’d welded the two shades together and attached it via metal tubes to a stand.

Dad bought me a Halina Instamatic camera when I was 13. Then, when I was 18, I inherited his 18 year old Agfa bellows camera when he upgraded to a Zenith. The Agfa had no light meter but my uncle (also a photographer) gave me his Gossen light-meter. I used that combination for 9 years before getting an SLR, which I bought just after the birth of our daughter – just like Dad had done when he bought that Agfa. I now use a Digital SLR or if I want to travel light, a compact or bridge camera.

I enjoy action or sport photography as I find it a challenge. Over the past few years I have specialised in photographing competitive swimming – which is definitely a challenge. I also enjoy landscape, natural history and travel photography.

Several years ago I joined a camera club and also started on a City and Guilds photography course at the local college. The C&G modules marks got me an exemption from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) for a Licentiate award. Shortly after that I achieved my Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) Credit award (2003). One year later I put in for my Associate award with the RPS and got it on the first time of trying. I felt on a roll and in the following year I tried for my Distinction award with the PAGB and got that too. The next awards are Fellowship of the RPS and a Masters award of the PAGB and yes I do think about them and maybe ... one day ... who knows!

Every so often I have entered national and international competitions. If images are 'accepted' they go on exhibition in the home town of the organising club. In National/British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE) I have got a BPE3* award which means I have had over 100 acceptences. In International Exhibitions (FIAP) I have got a EFIAP/b (bronze) - awarded in June 2015 - I have over 330 international acceptances and 6 awards. The FIAP rules for their 'levels' (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) changed in January 2016 which meant I would need more than double what I have already for my EFIAP/silver - as a consequence I decided not to enter FIAPs any more. Instead I concentrated my efforts on BPEs and in August 2016 got my BPE4*.

If anyone is considering doing the FIAP awards my best piece of advice is to keep very precise records of all your acceptances - country, individual salon names, FIAP number for that salon and year. It will make putting together your application a lot easier. Who needs ‘brain training’ when you have photography! For more info see my Links page.

I have made several books of my photos and find this a good way to record my images, rather than most of them staying on a DVD or a computer hard drive. I believe photos are meant to be seen not hidden away. My latest book is - Marilyn's Photographic Archive 2012-2017. See My Books page.

I also have two travel lectures that I give with Mike, 'SE Asia, people and places' and 'A Grand Tour of China'. They have accompanying books also.

*See below for letters information -
LRPS – Licenciate of the Royal Photographic Society
ARPS – Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society
CPAGB – Credit award of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
DPAGB – Distinction award of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
BPE – British Photographic Exhibitions. 1 = 25; 2 = 50; 3 = 100; 4 = 200; 5 = 300 acceptances.
FIAP – Federation International Amateur Photographers
AFIAP – Artiste of FIAP
EFIAP – Excellence of FIAP
EFIAP/b - Excellence of FIAP, bronze level.