I want to tell you a story.

In about 1984 I was working at Rothamstead Experimental Station, in my village, in my year before going to Portsmouth Polytechnic, where I would go on to meet my wife.

One day the section boss took me to a second hand camera sale: in Guildford if I recall correctly. There I saw a lady selling photos. I liked the images and purchased one. I still have it on my office wall. On the reverse of the image was her name: Joan Wakelin FRPS. (Look her up, she is quite an important name.)

I asked what FRPS meant and she told me all about the Royal Photographic Society and what Fellowship meant. She said that anyone could be an FRPS if they kept taking photos and working at it.

That one conversation stuck with me. I always wanted to be an FRPS.

Well in November 2022 I got there.

I am so thrilled to have got there at last. A lifelong goal achieved.

The process of going from Licentiate, to Associate (in wedding photography) and then to Fellowship has been a HUGE journey of learning. Mrs Wakelin made it sound easy enough: it isn't. Indeed of over 11,000 members of the RPS fewer than 600 are Fellows.

That journey wouldn't have been possible without plenty of help from wonderful family and friends.

Do my clients need to know about all of this? Probably not.

Do they benefit from me having achieved the distinction of FRPS? Definitely. The images that I create for my clients are so different from what I could have achieved for them when I started.

Each panels is accompanied by a "statement of intent" which says what one is trying to achieve with the images. Here is my Statement of Intent and my panel of images. Three rows of seven images.

Give us this day…

Bread has always fascinated me: flour, salt and water is all you need to make magic happen. Baking is therapy.

My grandfather was a baker’s boy. I traced my great, great, great grandfather, Master Baker, Thomas, to his birth in 1805 in Pembury, in Kent. The family had shops in St Albans, Epping and through London.

Initially I was creating marketing material for The Real Bread Campaign, and the bakeries too. Recording small family bakeries, before they vanish, I found myself mesmerised by the skill and timing required for teams of bakers to get everything out on time. An intangible blend of art and science has breads and morning goods all ready when the shop doors open.

Working through overnight shifts allowed me to be largely documentary in my approach whilst I followed loaves from raw ingredients to finished masterpieces as bakers create our daily bread.

Here are the images for you to look at more closely.