I served in the forces for 14 years and was injured in December 2002. I was medically discharged in November 2005. I underwent rehabilitation at Hedley Court but there wasn’t much that could be done for me at the time – I had a degenerative condition that was slowly deteriorating at that time.
I really struggled for a few years after that – life was hard, very hard in fact. Around 2008 a military charity found me and helped me rebuild my life – for which I will be indebted forever.
Trying to Make a Difference
By 2011 my mobility was slowly but surely getting better and better. My mobility was something that the specialists couldn’t predict at the time of my injure and only time would tell if I would ever walk again. I went from strength to strength pushing myself day in day out taking one step at a time.
I used photography as rehabilitation. I needed to re-build my fitness and explore how far I could push myself, I did it slowly but surely.
I was extremely unfit and could barley walk initially – I couldn’t weight bear for more than a few seconds when I was at my worst. I started pushing myself more and more, I wasn’t a quitter, I knew something was changing though as it was getting less painful for me over time. I would push myself to much sometimes – an hours walk would put me in excruciating pain for a week.
I always carried a mobile phone in case I got stranded and needed help. I started taking occasional pictures initially, which slowly transgressed into the fully-fledged person I am today.
I also used photography for mental rehabilitation – not just physical. I’m not ashamed today to admit that I struggled with confidence and adjusting back into civilian life and also what others thought of me, I was in the prime of my life at 26 years old when I got injured... I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder and also being emotionally numb (which I found the hardest to overcome as I would push my wife and children away) – I was a broken man. I had lost all my self confidence but somehow I found that by sharing some of my images on social media sites and getting feedback from total strangers really helped me and motivated me more.
In the summer of 2012 I purchased my first DSLR and I’ve not looked back since!
I was highly commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 – Adult classic view and have had images published in magazines such as Country Walking, BBC Countryfile, BBC Winterwatch and images published in The Photographers Guide to the Peak District book.
I'm also very pleased to be a community ambassador for Kase Filters