• Katrina Bartlam

My life at the BBC


I just recently made a huge decision. See, up until recently my wedding and portrait photography was a wonderful side line business for me - I'd do no more than 10 weddings a year and a handful of family and children's shoots, simply because I loved doing them and a bit of extra income was a lovely bonus. My main job was working as a producer at the BBC Natural History Unit - y'know the place that makes all those amazing wildlife documentaries with David Attenborough, and yes I did get to meet him and yes he is as utterly incredible as you would imagine.

It was the job I had dreamt of doing since I was a child. I would travel round the world visiting awe inspiring places and filming wildlife - I witnessed sights that money can't buy - congregations of black rhino at night (they are incredibly endangered and notoriosuly solitary), amazing ants the colour of mercury and the speed of light, herds of elephants mourning their dead in the midst of a horrific drought.

I camped in the middle of the East African savannah for weeks on end with lions and hyena patrolling around outside my tent and waking up to herds of zebra and giraffee every day; I was evacuated out of the life sucking humidity of Nigeria after getting caught in the middle of an ongoing battle between 2 neighbouring villages; I spent days journeying to remote North African deserts where I slept under the stars, sipped African tea in front of the camp fire and filmed some extraordinarily resiliant insects; I gained the trust of addax in Tunisia and chipmunks in Canada by spending weeks sitting for 12 hours a day quietly observing them until they grew to trust me and allowed me to film them closer than every before. The experiences were truly extraordinary.

But then, I was a twenty something when I was doing all this. I would spend months away from home in foreign lands with little communication. When I was in the office the hours were long and the pressure was high. The programmes I worked on had big budgets, but huge risks - if a shoot I was involved with failed for any number of reasons that was £50,000 down the drain. My family and my friends saw very little of me - I was essentially married to the job. Which is fine when you are young with no responsibilities. But I am now married to an amazing man and have 2 amazing children. At the same time that my family was growing my photography business was really gaining momentum - I was gaining more recognition from industry peers and experts, being published in magazines and blogs, my style was developing, improving and most importantly - I loved it. Every spare second I was working on it - photographing, marketing, researching - I couldn't get enough, I wanted to get better and better and do it more and more. The thrill and excitement of filming wildlife abroad was being replaced with the high of creating real art - that's how I feel about my photos. I was learning to master light and composition, I was getting braver and bolder with how I shot and so one day I realised, the time had come.

So I left the BBC - a place that I had called home for the last 10 years and decided to go full throttle into the self employed world and give my all to my photography business. And that is where I am now and it was such a great choice. I am so passionate about this, I still think about photography all the time, my brain is full to bursting with ideas and plans, this will fulfill me for so long.

My time making wildlife films has fed into what I really love about weddings - I love weddings that take place in barns and fields and marquees in the the open, with beautiful wild flowers, big vista's, bare feet and a bohemian vibe. I am a free spirit at heart and this suits my photography career perfectly - I get to travel the country, I visit so many beautiful wedding venues and stunning locations, I meet lots of new people and I share in the one of the greatest adventures we can have - meeting the love of our life and comitting to them forever. To all my clients, thank you so much for making this a possibility, Here's to an exciting and creative future xx


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© 2012 Captured by Katrina Photography | Katrina Bartlam | Natural and Relaxed wedding & Portrait Photography Gloucestershire

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