Early Bird - Biography & Training
I have lived near Cartmel in the English Lake District National Park with my hsband, George, for 16 years.
For the last six years I have been working as an animal photographer, specialising in equine subjects. I have been on training courses with Emily Hancock the equine photographer, Andy Biggar, the dog photographer and Aspire.
In 2007 I started my own freelance business, The Early Bird Design, combining my love of animals and the outdoors
with all that I love about photography, design, illustration and writing.
As a freelance journalist, I have been writing lifestyle and country features for the Westmorland Gazette newspaper
and its associated magazines for four years. Many of my photographs appear alongside my articles.
I have 18 years experience of working for leading Cumbrian charitable trusts, arts organisations, historic
houses and museums in a senior role as a designer, photographer, illustrator and PR & marketing director.
A little background...
• Practicing artist and photographer with exhibitions in New York, London, Newcastle and Manchester.
• PR & press for the Northern Arts - Year of Visual Arts 1996.
• 12 years at Lakeland Arts Trust (Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Museum, Kendal Museum and Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House): Senior manager - PR, marketing, websites, catalogue and leaflet design. Major role in the fundraising, restoration and promotion of Blackwell. As well as promoting the gallery and three museums, I was the in-house designer producing all promotional literature and exhibition catalogues.
• From Blackwell I moved on to take up an exciting new challenge, working for Lord and Lady Cavendish, as Marketing Manager for Holker Hall & Estate. I was involved in all aspects of markeing, PR aand design for this magnificent Estate. Cartmel Racecourse, caravan parks, property and retail, and catering were all under my remit. I found promoting the homely hall, romantic gardens and annual Holker Garden Festival the most satisfying and rewarding part of the job. As the Holker Estate Estate Marketing Manager I was responsible for brand identity, re-branding and designing a new website, designing brochures and associated materials, PR, press and marketing.
• In 2007, just as the recession was beginning, I went freelance setting up The Early Bird Design Associates.
My particular passion for working in the arts, education and charities sectors has been channeled into the work I was commissioned to undertake for the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport, Mirehouse at Bassenthwaite, Tarnside Consulting near Kendal and local charity Bay Search & Rescue.
My love of food and writing has led to working with some fantastic local Cumbrian food producers, including Cartmel Cheeses, The Cavendish Arms in Cartmel and Hazelmere Cafe and Bakery in Grange-over-Sands.
Qualifications & Training
Post Graduate Certificate in Adult Education, Gateshead College, which I put to use teaching adults at Gateshead College and Acklington Prison.
Chartered Institute of Marketing, Newton Rigg College
I have trained with Cheshire-based animal photographer, Andy Biggar, who continues to be a source of inspiration and a very patient mentor - Andy Biggar Photography
Mark Harrison, Chief Photographer at the Westmorland Gazette, has also taught me so much about technical uses of the camera and creative composition. He has an amazing eye - solephotography