Photographic Memories  

– Frances Belsham

A chance Christmas present nine years ago has led me to forge a new career following my dream of photography. What started out as a hobby has now turned into a full time business.

I loved photography so much that, having given up my previous work, I began a new career taking children’s portraits.

I had previously trained as a nursery nurse and worked for Essex County Council for ten years in schools and nurseries.

Once my circumstances changed I thought I could combine two things that I really enjoy: working with children and taking photographs. I feel my work experience helps me in my approach to taking children’s photographs. Children quickly sense when a person is relaxed with them, which can make a huge difference to the end product.

I took a business course through the job centre, which provided me with the basic skills to go it alone. From there it all seemed to fall into place. I specialise in children’s portraits but this frequently includes family portraits.

The way I work is to visit people in their own homes or a setting of their choice. This tends to add to the informal and relaxed feel of the photo session and results in relaxed and informal photographs.

The other area of my work that I enjoy is Landscape Photography. Many of my photographs are of Wivenhoe and the surrounding areas. These and other prints are on sale in the Wivenhoe Book Shop, Cutting Corners Framers and Oops a Daisy flower and antique shop.

I am working on a long-term project of compiling photographs of the islands around Britain and Ireland. Last year I visited Sark in the Channel Islands, and this year I photographed a number of the islands in the Isles of Scilly. Beautiful and tranquil places for a relaxed holiday and with wonderful photo opportunities.

I have had a number of exhibitions. The most recent being at Cabaret Voltaire. The exhibition was based on the idea of song and dance. To date that was probably my favourite exhibition. I have also exhibited at other venues including Life Gallery in Colchester and locally at the Bakehouse, Wivenhoe Book Shop and the Rose and Crown public house.

I have been fortunate in a variety of commissions that have come my way, which have included photographing the work of a local artist and the most unusual, photographing vehicles for a company at Stansted Airport.

The final area of my work, which is also an ongoing project, is the collection of cards that I have put together. Some of these have come from landscape prints but I have compiled a set of about 12 cards, which are now on sale in various shops and galleries including the Minories Art Gallery in Colchester.

I have had photographs published in the Essex County Standard and on the Wivenhoe web site. Last year one of my photographs of Wivenhoe waterfront was chosen by the Essex County Council to appear in its 2005 calendar.

One or two people may have read the articles about my work in the Essex County Standard and The Evening Gazette. They may also remember the wonderful photograph that accompanied the Standard article. ( gulp, blush. Well we don’t need to discuss that)

At the end of my first very eventful year of business I cannot think of a job that I would rather be doing and feel immense satisfaction in producing photographs that give so much pleasure.

Click on Frances’ web site and then Wivenhoe Christmas for Wivenhoe Christmas photos.
Frances Belsham

Photographic Memories


Tel: 01206 826044

Mobile: 07990 788690


For Frances own web site, click below:

Above:  An example of Frances’ ability to capture a child looking very natural