Life through a lens: my lifelong love of photography

A framed print with a thick wooden frame, landscape image of a cityscape.
A framed print,  in preparation for his exhibition

Every time I take a photograph I put my heart and soul into my work. I have been fortunate enough to capture some creative people through my career. Meeting the singer Lisa Stansfield was an honour, and to take her portrait was amazing. She is a beautiful woman; really witty and creative.

It was in my teens when my eyesight began to deteriorate, due to having Usher syndrome. This didn’t diminish my love of photography, though – and I’ve been taking and exhibiting my pictures for years.

My first camera

I first held a camera when I was around nine or ten years old. Initially I was more interested in the mechanics of the contraption than anything else. It was when I learnt that this machine could take photos that I became hooked.

A lot of my youth was documented using a £10 camera. I also got heavily into silent movies as a child, and explored the world of cinema by watching copious amounts of eclectic films.

Childhood influences

The light I use in my photography today is inspired by cinema, and is one of the most important elements of my images. Most of my favourite photographers are from the ‘60s, people like John French, David Bailey, Duffy and Richard Avedon, and I like my photos to have the old-style film look.

Working around my disability

I don’t use any adaptions with my equipment, but I do worry constantly about when the time comes to put the camera down, as my eyes are the tools I need to be creative.

When looking through the camera’s view finder I have to scan around to make sure I’m composing the shot right. I also have to do this very quickly so as not to miss the shot. It can get immensely tiring on and after a photoshoot, but it is worth it to be able to create an artistic portrait.

Although it can be very difficult working with the limited eyesight that I have, I will continue until the darkness completely takes over.

Always learning and finessing

I’m lucky in that taking photographs comes very naturally to me. I haven’t been to university or college to study photography; I learn from my mistakes and by self-teaching and finessing what it is I see.

Everyone has their own way of learning so, if you are thinking about taking up photography, maybe join a class or meet with like-minded people who can share both information and their passion.

Ian Treherne, 38, from Essex, was born partially deaf and has limited vision. Readers may recognise him from last month’s appearance on Channel 4 TV show ‘The Undateables’.

On 15 February 2017 his new exhibition, ‘Release’, will be displayed at the Fiumano Projects in London, read more on the Sense website.

Author: Ian Treherne

Ian is a photographer who has Usher syndrome, a condition that causes both hearing and sight loss.

4 thoughts on “Life through a lens: my lifelong love of photography”

  1. Hello Ian.
    My name is Tony, I have a severe profound hearing loss, I wear bilateral hearing aids.
    As a child I was very interested in music.
    Of course I had to work around my hearing loss, I mostly wore head phones to listen to music.
    As I grew older, I developed an interest in learning to play the guitar, needless to say, I was not encouraged by those who knew me.
    Okay, so I decided I would find my own way around the problems I faced.
    Firstly I learnt to read music, with some very sketchy knowledge of how music is arranged, scales etc. I started to learnt to play basic three chord songs on an acoustic guitar, all self taught.
    Little by little I improved. I am now 57 years of age, I play guitar, bass, and some keyboards.
    I have played in several bands and have proven, mostly to myself, that I can do “almost” anything I set my mind too.
    I do, however, suffer from isolation and loneliness on a daily basis.
    I try to be positive and keep my chin up. I enjoy life as much as I can.
    It’s good to be alive.
    Thank you for sharing your story with me, it is sincerely appreciated.
    Sincere regards.
    Tony Robinson.

    1. Good evening I am a stroke surviver who is right side paralysed so my right arm doesnt work at all I am a wheelchair user who can walk afew steps with a tripod stick I depice the lonelyness that comes with being disabled and I am hoping to find new friends

      1. Hi Clare

        We’re really sorry to hear about your situation. The charity Scope has an online community group that you might find useful. Once you have signed up, you can talk to other disabled people about many different topics, including loneliness. You can join here >


        Edward (social media officer)

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