RawFfest - Youth Arts Festival

'Why Photography has changed and saved my life' - Miriam Hughes

Posted in Blog

Hello my name is Miriam Hughes and I am a 17 year old freelance photographer from West Wales. It can be hard for me to write about myself and my artwork because I like to express myself and speak through my images however here's a little bit about me and why Photography has changed and saved my life. Photography and I are like cheese and crackers - we are meant for each other.

'Why Photography has changed and saved my life' - Miriam Hughes

*Tiny violin playing*

Years ago I was suffering from severe depression & anxiety, which lead me to be self conscious and lonely. I spent most of my time watching youtube videos of filmmakers and photographers. Even though I never met these individuals, I felt connected, inspired and apart of the ‘camera club’ .

For Christmas 2013, the only gift I asked for was a video camera, Santa delivered my request it was a ‘Polaroid ID2020’. Even though the camera was a camcorder, I mainly used the photo feature on it. Obviously it wasn’t the greatest camera but from that day onwards the world seemed different. I noticed light, shapes & colours.

In 2014, for my birthday I received my first ‘proper’ camera, it was a ‘Nikon Coolpix’.

I only took photos inside my house and played around with the inbuilt filters & effects however I found them to be so cool!

I thought they were so amazing I decided to upload them to my old Instagram account.  Little did I know this would be the beginning of a beautiful and colorful story.

After years of bullying & negative words, people actually liked my photographs! Looking back at this moment I didn’t realise that a stranger’s nice comment would impact my life so much.  In 2015 I’ve realised that I should pick a theme for my photography. I started off with landscapes, nature and then photographing people.

Before I started photography, myself and people were like cheese and chalk- we didn’t get along.

I experienced bullying and due to this I never trusted anyone and as bad as it sounds I thought everyone was horrible.

Long story short, the fact I decided to photograph people was a huge step for myself and for my photography career. I started taking photos of my younger sister then I did some street photography, It was great!

I felt like people noticed the images first and then realised that I took them.

In 2017 (I was 15) I shot my first wedding! Yes an actual paid wedding shoot. I couldn’t believe it, someone trusted me to photograph the biggest day of their lives. After the first wedding it led me to photograph two other weddings. They both went successfully.

After the third wedding, I realised this isn’t what I wanted to do. Even though I enjoyed meeting new people, capturing the happy moments and gaining experience it didn’t make me happy. The whole reason why I decided to start photography, was to find something to occupy me, make me happy and think positively.

At the end of 2017 I made the decision to stop photographing weddings. Instead, I want to concentrate on the world around me, the strong mountains, the salty sea and mainly I want experience other countries, cultures and beautiful scenery all around the world.

In May 2019 it will be the 5 year anniversary ever since I started photography. I may be young but I have experience and gained SOO many amazing skills thanks to my camera.  

I occasionally photograph the odd quirky and fun events however I really enjoy documentary photography and capturing the souls of humans, nature and the world.