One of the few qualifications I managed to get in my life, was an HNC in photography. I was aiming for an HND, but I struggled to copy and replicate. To take exactly the same photographs as others. It was a creative subject, but often without creativity. I didn’t understand half the information I was given so I went on visual senses. I managed to do enough of the work over a two year period to get the HNC (a one year course).
I learned that I loved photography but didn’t know how to make money from it. So it was one of the few things I kept trying to do after the accident. After several attempts, doing nature photography locally I gave up. Not completely, but taking photographs, my mobility wouldn’t allow it, so I mainly went into editing. Creating artwork and my own desktop wallpapers. I didn’t do anything with it, didn’t have a way to judge my skills. This was long after I left Reid Kerr College, Paisley, somewhere I have little memory of. I continued to create photo imagery, for the joy of just creating.
When I began putting out mylifeautistic posts, I didn’t know how to express myself. How to explain my life, as I was still fearful of words, I still am at times. Of replies, and of going online.
However a post by Kalen Dion Poetry gave me an idea. He had used the image of flames behind one of his quotes. Something small but it had a big impact. I realised in that moment that the images that go with a post, can be as important as the post itself. My skills were really rusty, plus I couldn’t afford the pro version of Canva at first, so image choice was limited. When I did manage to get Adobe Photoshop and Canva, that’s when I fell into creating, all the time. During burnout, after meltdowns or panic attacks, and most importantly at times where I needed something positive to hold onto. When my creativity burst free, it started to give me a way to talk about my actual experiences and life for the first time.
What I loved about photography, and I still do, is, a creative mind, plus a creative medium, practically anything is possible.
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva