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.

Ian Treherne

Author: Ian Treherne

Ian is a photographer who has Usher syndrome

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