Spotlight on ……. Pat Stockley Photography

On my tenth birthday, my uncle presented me with a non-descript plastic brown box, and on it one word, ‘Boots’. I had convinced myself in the few seconds that I held it unopened, that it contained shoe cleaning equipment, always a bone of contention with my Mother continually annoyed by my scuffed, dirty shoes. But upon opening it, there lay inside a ‘Boots Comet 404x. My first camera! Sure, it wasn’t a Nikon, but it didn’t matter. I’m not sure I can attribute my future as a photographer to my uncles’ decision to buy me an instamatic, but it was a more attractive proposition than black shoe polish.

I still have many of those early photographs I took, The Eiffel Tower, a Dutch canal and many garden studies visited with my Mum. My Father had died when I was very young, but one of the things he left us, was a couple of albums full of black & white photographs documenting his travels as an officer and engineer on board the Queen Mary.

Of course, the perfect mechanical companion for a trip is a camera, and like so many tourists snapping life into oblivion as they disembark a cruise ship, I too found it unthinkable to go anywhere without a camera. I like to think my subjects were more considered than your average tourist, but who am I kidding.

After an uninspiring early education, I still had no clue of my future. Careers Day at a Southampton school in the 1970’s, consisted of the office clerk from the local engineering firm trying to recruit the next batch of apprentices. Not for me I thought.

By chance the sixth form college I applied to, had just built a new Art department. I can still remember the architects drawing, which showed it resplendent sat in front of a backdrop of mountains and forest, a typical Southampton view. That aside, the new building had fantastic open planned studios full of light and a photographic darkroom full of dark. Now I’m no artist but I could draw a bit and so I enrolled in art and photography.

My Art teacher was a lovely lady with wild hair and intensely engaging eyes. Her passion for art and her enthusiasm for her pupils was obvious, indeed I think she was the first passionate teacher I had worked with, who knows if Mr. Burden had been half as interesting as a woodwork teacher, I may now be writing about my life in carpentry instead. So, it was Anne that really initiated my interest in Photography and convinced me, I could pursue such a career.

And so, after three years of Art College and a spell as a photographer in Southampton I opened my own fashion and advertising studio in Islington. Business was booming and late into the evening the studios around Hackney lit the streets with flashes of light cutting through the night sky. It was an exciting time.

During my time in London, I met Donna, a beautiful girl, who everybody liked, they couldn’t help it. In fact, I think my friends liked her more than me.

Despite this, we married in 2002 and moved to Greenwich. As soon as we had children, we wanted to give them more freedom than young kids can have in inner London. So here we are in Donnas’ home county of Suffolk. I won’t lie, it certainly took a period of adjustment, but Felixstowe certainly is a great place to live. I shoot for companies large and small, start-ups to nationals. Anything from product shots, interiors or environmental portraiture, but I now produce corporate videos as well.  What else could I do, I’m no carpenter.

Pat Stockley Photography

Tel: 07973 672415

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