Meet the Directors (Number 2): Graham
Hi there, Graham here. There isn’t much to report from Blip Central at the moment. We are still preparing for the re-introduction of membership fees and we’re currently wrestling with the complexities of having to charge VAT at each EU countries current rate. Not fun. So we thought that we would have another of our ‘meet the director’ posts.
I’ve taken on the role of communications director at Blipfuture (Blipfoto) and also work alongside Annie on the help desk to answer your non-technical queries. As you know we all have full time jobs and mine for the last 28 years has been working for a small rural local authority in Staffordshire, where I manage a team of environmental health professionals. This gives me plenty of opportunity to deal with residents’ concerns and complaints. In essence I’m a problem solver, which has helped me in this new role with Blipfoto.
I’ve enjoyed photography for much of my life, starting with a Kodak 126 cartridge camera in the 1960’s. My first ‘serious’ camera was a Canon AT-1, completely manual, I don’t even remember it needing a battery! My passion for photography was rekindled when I bought a digital compact Fuji camera with a 1.7 megapixel sensor! After that I bought my first dSLR, a Nikon d70 and have progressed through various updates to the main camera I use today.
I joined Blipfoto on the same day as Annie and Chris, January 1st 2012 and my initial motivation was to improve my photography and the discipline of finding an image each day seemed to be a great way to further that aim. I can thank John Gravett for finding Blipfoto. He was also starting a 365 challenge and I saw his post on Facebook; it was great to know someone else on the site. What I hadn’t realised was that joining Blipfoto would have such a profound effect on my daily life. It took about two months and then I realised how many Blipfriends I had made, how the interaction on the site was so supportive, truly a unique experience.
My passion is landscape and nature photography. I tend to wake up early naturally and can often be found out taking photographs before many people have had breakfast. I find it a great relaxation to be out early in the morning, often the first person to see a particular scene on any given day. I’m at my most content being outside in the countryside and find it a great therapy for the day job, which has become mainly desk (and computer) bound.
This drive to be out early has been rewarding and I was absolutely dumbfounded when I firstly got short listed for the 2014 Velux Lovers of Light competition and then can remember sitting in my car when I got a call from the organisers to tell me I had won!. Memories of the winner’s trip to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle will live with me forever.
How come I ended up as one of the four people who stepped forward to help save Blipfoto? Well I was contacted by another blipper from the U.S.A. who was aware of a proposal brought forward by Joe Tree and Graham Maclachlan for a community buyout of the site. He introduced me to Joe and initially about 25 people discussed it in a private on-line group. From those initial discussions Annie, Ian, Bob and I were nominated to head up the team to undertake negotiations with the American owners. The rest, as they say, is history.
I very much agree with Annie’s sentiments in her post. This is not about the four of us, it is about the whole community and we are rewarded by all of you blippers making this place such a special place to be part of.
We still have a lot of work to do, and pivotal to the continuing survival of Blipfoto will be the forthcoming transition to paid memberships to fund the running of the site. We’ve been buoyed by the community’s support. From an inauspicious start in our communications with you all, we have tried hard to keep you informed at each stage in our work. It can prove difficult, sometimes personal and work commitments have to take precedence, so we really appreciate your patience in these circumstances. Thank you.