Oliver M Parker
In order to talk about myself I need to take you back to the start where it all began...
I grew up in Northern England with a wonderful family who cared, nurtured and encouraged me to express myself in all that I did. I was lucky enough to try my hand at many different things in life including a wide cross section of sports and various musical instruments. However, it wasn't until my late teens that I discovered a passion for photography and all things creative. Consequently, at the age of 19, I decide to combine my love of sport with photography by travelling to Canada to pursue a season snowboarding as well as capturing images of the outstanding scenery. It wasn't until I got over there, saw the sights and lived the lifestyle that I started to see my creative personality emerge and flourish. I started to play around with different cameras, video equipment and applications on my computer. I learned how to take the ideas buzzing around in my head and formulate them into something real and tangible.
Roll on to 2007 and I was in my first year at the University of Worcester studying Creative Digital Media. The 3 years at Worcester consolidated my thinking in a variety of ways. It intensified my love of photography, provided a platform to develop new skills and generated an energy to pursue a career in what was initially just a hobby.
After Worcester I started a photography business with my cousin Matt (a very talented photographer in his own right). We wanted to focus on simplicity in our approach and it was during that time that my enthusiasm for fashion and commercial photography was ignited. Matt taught me a lot too. His approach and “out of the box” style really opened up my eyes to how we view those things around us so that we create images that are unique and conspicuous.
Unfortunately, hard times in the UK economy meant that we had to reluctantly close shop and look at other ways to earn money. However, the fire still burnt within and after a year working in sales I began freelancing again.
Freelancing for that year turned out to be one of the best experiences I ever had and with great friends, family and business contacts I found some fantastic ways to express myself and take on exciting pieces of work. Then in February 2013 I took up an appointment in Birmingham with Claire's Accessories as their lead photographer. At Claire's I had the lofty task of managing all the product imagery that is used across the UK and Europe, from the initial photography itself, to retouching and image library management. In June 2014 I moved back to the Northern promise land as Head of Photography for getthelabel.com, part of the JD Sports Group PLC where i still work to this day.
Photography to me is more than a skill, it's part of me. And to leave you with a quote, someone once said to me, "The day you stop learning is the day you stop living".
Don't stop yearning for more; don't stop learning and forever keep good folk around you. They will drive and motivate you to new heights as well as keep you grounded and rounded.