Meet Me – Who I am and why I do what I do

Meet me…

I’m Gavin. I’m also a husband to my lovely wife, Karen, a father to my two wonderful children, Genevieve and Jonathan, and a full-time photographer based here in Guildford, Surrey.

I also believe I’m the luckiest person there is, you see, I wasn’t always a photographer. I’ve been on an incredible journey over the last few years and turned a lifelong dream into my future. This is the story of my journey.

The story of my journey…

Best photographer in Guildford, Surrey and London

Gavin Thorn Photographer

I’ve always been a keen photographer. Ever since my parents gave me my first SLR camera for my 18th birthday. It was the best birthday present ever and I shot literally hundreds or reels of film with it. It cost me a small fortune in developing and printing but it was worth it. I loved it. I should have taken it up as a career back then but everybody I knew kept telling me to “go and get a proper job!” So I did. I ended up as an engineering apprentice at British Aerospace working on spacecraft. I studied hard then went to University and partied even harder. The result was a BEng(Hons) degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and a great job as a Systems Engineer in the Comms. Engineering department. That was way back in 1991 and probably the coolest job ever.

Fast forward a few years to 2005. My second child, Jonathan had just been born and I’ve persuaded my lovely wife, Karen, that we really need a new DSLR to take some great pictures of the family. I always loved working with film but there was something about digital photography that rekindled that passion from my very first SLR. My engineering career was developing and I was rising through the rank and file of my fellow engineers, only to find myself a very disillusioned engineering manager. What had gone wrong? I used to love engineering but my life had changed and I hadn’t noticed.

I loved my family but the demands of my job meant I saw my children for about 10-20 minutes each day. I was earning fantastic money but the cost was too high. I was missing my children growning up. My family and I were growing apart. Something had to change. I had to make a choice.

Model Portfolio Photography - Guildford, Surrey

Gavin photographing Leah on her Model for a Day experience shoot

I chose my family over my career. It happened one morning. I sat at my desk having been to see my GP. He’d measured my blood pressure at 160/100, first thing in the morning, sky high for someone who’d recently turned 40! In the ensuing conversation he advised a lifestyle change, more exercise, eat healthier. All the usual stuff. But one thing struck a chord: the pressure at work was killing me. I decided there and then to walk away from my engineering career and return to my photography instead.

The rest is history.

I spent a few years acquiring the skills and expertise I needed. I studied hard and trained with some of the biggest names in contemporary, digital photography. On August 10th, 2008 I founded QTImages which evolved into theLightMatters in 2009 and then Gavin Thorn Photography on April 1st, 2011. By this time I’d become internationally published, was house photographer for a model agency in London, worked the runways of London Fashion Week and met some wonderful people along the way. In 2012 I had an image feature in British Vogue (albeit a very tiny one) and shot a pin-up calendar for Help for Heroes. More recently I had a douple page feature in Guildford Magazine and Woking Magazines and an 8-page spread in Alt-Mu Magazine.

This summer, July 2014, I added to this by being asked to shoot two magazine covers: Hampshire Life, August 2014 and the inaugural issue of A+ Education, both published by Archant.

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Why I love to do what I do…

I consider myself to be amongst the luckiest people in the world. I have the perfect dream job. There is something so very magical about working with a client and making amazing images of her. To see the look of amazement and disbelief on her face when she sees them for the first time is incredible. It’s always a very special moment. I’m very priviledged to do what I do. Working on a set, highly charged with positive energy, surrounded by creative people whose sole purpose is to make my client be the best shes ever been is very infectious. The energy is highly addictive. There’s a buzz in the air. It’s an enormous rush. I know when I’ve done a good job – my hands are trembling from the adrenalin. Its a standing joke with my team.

That’s why I love to do what I do. It’s a lifetime away from that highly stressed, disillusioned engineering manager having to suffer corporate politics and miss his family growing up.

I now make beautiful pictures of grown up people and love every minute of it.

And finally…

(Please read this bit very carefully)

My photography isn’t just about the images we make together. It’s just as much about the experience. When you shoot with Gavin Thorn Photography you’ll receive a completely different experience to a traditional High Street studio. My driving force, my whole philosophy, is to make you the images that you want; not the ones everyone else has “because that’s the way the lights are set up!” At Gavin Thorn Photography I fit the client to the studio, not the other way around. I use about a dozen studios and many more locations in and around the Guildford area. If you want the white wall you can have it. If you want the bedroom/boudoir set, you can have it. If you want a garage set, you can have it. If you want something quirky, you can have it. If you want something derelict or distressed, you can have it. If you want, we can even shoot in the desert, right here in Guildford!

cd cover - band photography - london

Cover for Ande Dilema’s first music CD

The choice is yours and because I’m independent, not tied to a tiny High Street studio, you have the freedom of having much more choice.

Many of my clients hate having their picture taken. I can sympathise with that, I really dislike being on camera too. I will promise you this though: when you’re on set working with me you’ll be so immersed in the moment that your nerves will disappear. You’ll need to work very hard to make it happen and it may take a while but they will go. Trust me, I’m a professional 😉

When you come to Gavin Thorn Photography, you get time to relax. You get time to enjoy yourself. You get time to have fun. You can even choose to be pampered and made to feel special or have the full fashion model experience. But most of all, you’re not on a production line, you’re part of my team.

My team just happens to make great pictures of you, your family and your wedding.