This interview was conducted by Jo Glover, one of Blipposse's volunteer writers.
When dark clouds descend I doubt you’d see gloom befall the face of Chris; he is the consummate optimist, finding positives in any negative; assuming an engaged attitude towards living in the present and indulging in the creativity that life has to offer.
Working in financial services since leaving school, he currently manages an I.T. team based at various locations across the U.K., the traveling to which certainly provides diversity to his Blip photography – comparatively, he finds many a stunning Blip from the everyday things at home.
Chris is married to an equally busy partner, Annie, and has two daughters. Imogen (Immy) is at University and Rosie, on her last year at school. Additionally, the home is shared by Leonard, the cat. As well as his busy working week Chris fills his life with many interests, both creative and administrative.
The Busy-ness of Hobbies
A musician and former band member of, "So It Is," (see link for a music video made with the BBC), who released two self-financed albums in the ‘90s, he now spends some of his free time indulging in his passion for cars – two of which he currently owns; a 1978 Triumph 2500 TC (ex-Metropolitan Police car) and a Lotus Elise. “I’m no mechanic but I’m learning a lot from Triumph ownership. I’ve always loved Lotus’, partly because of their motorsport heritage but also because, when I was young, we would drive past the factory on visits to see my father’s parents.”
He is also an active participant of several clubs. “I have an inability to not get involved in things; if I’m in a club or association you’ll almost certainly find me on the committee. I’m an active member of a vibrant local camera club where I’ve previously been the chairman and am currently the program secretary.”
From a Snap to a Passion
In 2011 Chris and Annie attended a course in the Lake District run by photographer John Gravett which inspired him to elevate his photography from the humble snapshot to more arty stratospheres. He followed this with an Open University course where he obtained contact with several other photographers, many of whom he is still in touch with today.
“I think the blend of creative skills in terms of composition, mastering the camera, as well as the opportunities in post processing struck a chord with me.”
Chris’ photos cover several genres, anything that draws his eye is an opportunity to showcase his artistic talent; however he will frequently turn to architecture, cityscapes and landscapes. “I also love the challenge of lowlight and macro, especially in nature. I’d love to do more studio portraiture but struggle to find enough time to develop my skills in this respect.”
History at Blip
Congratulations are in order as, at time of writing, ‘AnnieAndChris’ have just reached a whopping 2555 entries! Originally Chris had his own Blip account before he teamed up with Annie to coproduce their Blip journal from the beginning of 2012. Annie became interested in recording images of their day to day lives as a 365day project. “This was also a way to improve our photography skills and, with her schedule she knew she wouldn’t manage it on her own, so we agreed to begin taking photos on alternate days.”
Despite the Blip handle, since Annie has taken on a Director role at Blipfoto, it’s largely Chris making the contributions to their journal. However, the final picture and associated text is still very much a joint decision; when they find themselves in different locales they will discuss their entries via video-calling.
“Blipfoto has greatly improved my photography. I was a novice when we began. The act of taking photos every day for over 7 years has had a massive impact on composition and technical skill. I wouldn’t be the photographer I am without it.”
A common difficulty for daily Blippers is finding both the time and subject matter, especially on less adventurous days, to post entries of interest; but Chris is committed. “I always want something that looks, to me, like a good photo, even if it means going out of my way to get it.”
Tips for Newbies
“There are many aspects of Blip I enjoy but probably my favourite is seeing the world through other people’s eyes. Even if it’s places that you know, you get to see someone else’s perspective or maybe an example of a technique you haven’t tried before. Whilst the photo for Blip is important the words can be equally so. Other Blippers will want to know a bit about it, why you’re publishing it and what was the context or technique. Ultimately it’s about getting a photo that represents your day.”
Chris lives with his wife Annie near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK. Cover photo chosen by Chris. Hyperlinks chosen by Jo.