It’s just over a week since Birdfair finished and I’m finally recovered from the Birdfair Blues. They seemed to hit particularly hard this year but I’m taking this as a sign of a great Birdfair. I think I’m even brave enough to say it was the best Birdfair yet; particularly for AFON as a group.
It was 2013 when I first met David Tipling. I remember looking through his website for quite a while before actually going to meet him, being stunned by the quality of his photography. When you go to meet one of the world’s best wildlife photographers, you expect to feel intimidated. And yet David is one of the most down-to-earth people I know.
Writing, of any genre, is one of the most competitive career paths out there. Add the word ‘nature’, ‘environment’ or ‘conservation’ and it becomes even more so. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, and with some hard work, determination and good advice one can forge a path into the world of the written word. For me, the AFON mentoring scheme has propelled my chances of success and boosted my confidence and I want to thank everyone involved in the scheme, especially my mentors, Stephen and Patrick, for everything that you have offered me so far.
I’m Catherine Bullen, I work during the day as a food and product photographer but enjoy heading to the outdoors and photographing wildlife and nature when I clock off. Last year I discovered AFON and the variety of things they do. I saw the mentor scheme advertised on their website, and thought it would be a great opportunity to meet and learn from professional wildlife photographers. I wasn’t sure what my chances would be of getting a place on the scheme, I thought something which sounds that good must be pretty competitive, but I figured if I didn’t apply then my chances of getting selected would be zero. At least if I applied I stood a chance!
“Hi, my name’s Ally and I’ve just finished reading your book Wild Hares and Hummingbirds – I really enjoyed it”. At A Focus on Nature’s 2014 A Vision for Nature Conference, I knew I’d be really mad at myself if I didn’t say hello to Stephen Moss. Like many, I had his books on my shelves, and had re-watched his wildlife programmes many a time. I had come to the conference to meet people so I had to say hi! After a couple of chats throughout the weekend covering topics from conservation to AFON and how I hoped one day to be a nature writer, Stephen offered to be my AFON mentor – needless to say I didn’t hesitate!