Rebecca Soanes, Photographer

IMG_2399Natural is a word that you’re likely to hear photographer Rebecca Soanes use a lot.

She is a woman with a passion for nature who has developed her own niche in the heavily populated world of photography by striving to capture all her subjects, whether they be a bride, schoolchild or even corporate promotion, in a natural environment.

Her tenacity in sticking to her guns and promoting her work with the help of social media has meant that she has just been offered the perfect job of working for the Wildlife Trust in the Midlands on a national marketing campaign, taking portraits in the environment.

Rebecca, 44, only started taking pictures seriously five years ago and is self-taught.

The mother of two teenage children simply popped a few of her snaps onto Facebook in the early days and found herself encouraged to keep going by the interest in her work from friends.

“I had always had a camera but it wasn’t until my dad died and he left me his camera that I started to take it seriously. I thought I ought to turn it on and see what I could do with it,” she said.

“I didn’t think I would have an eye for it, but it seems I have and it wasn’t long before I was hooked. I get my inspiration from nature – even before I inherited the camera I loved taking pictures of the landscape. I have clear memories of forever asking friends to stop the car so I could take pictures of poppy fields 20-plus years ago.”

With friends asking for copies of her prints the next step was reproducing them on cards and then canvas and eventually she had a website on the go.

“Then I was asked by a friend to take her wedding photographs. I pointed out I took pictures of sunsets and trees but the bride-to-be insisted I would be able to do it so I thought ‘why not give it a go?’

“I wanted the pictures to look as natural as possible and they loved them. I did all the formal shots of course but I just loved getting there early and getting those natural ones as well.”

Rebecca, who lives at Linton in the south of the county now also takes pet portraits and pictures for schools and nurseries. She steers away from conventional studio shots by taking each pet and pupil outside for their portraits.

“I don’t have a studio and really only like working in natural light so it suits me down to the ground and I just love the story telling aspect of what I do. It is wonderful to be able to capture special moments for people,” she said.

Even her corporate work has a natural edge and she has taken pictures for blacksmith Hayley Powell at Forever Forged and the tipis of Elite Tents.

While she has turned her one-time hobby into a thriving business it is still the nature images that she clearly enjoys taking the most and she fits in as much time as she walking in the countryside with her camera.

“My eye is drawn to the details that could easily go unnoticed in our busy lives and I get great enjoyment from sharing this beauty with others. I am amazed how it has all worked out.”

For more of Rebecca’s images go to http://www.rebeccasoanesphotography.co.uk or her facebook page.

Her work is exhibited at the newly opened Buzz Gallery in Castle Donington and Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, Swadlincote.