Kites, camera, action!
My foray into the world of arts and crafts began with my involvement with the reintroduction of the red kites.
As someone lucky enough to work closely with the red kite chicks, it seemed a natural progression that I would begin to photograph them. Through trial and error, I taught myself to take photographs of an extremely difficult subject – a bird in flight! Slowly but surely the word spread, and I found more and more local people were asking whether I sold the photographs (I didn’t), until someone suggested I try making red kite greeting cards.
Having no idea where to start, I knew that this was going to be a steep learning curve for me, but over time, I found the right combination of my own red kites’ photographs and craft items to produce a greeting card, which could be used for any number of occasions.
I had the option of going down the mass production route, but the unique selling point of my cards is that each one is individually hand-made by me, locally, at home. I use only good old-fashioned arts and craft sticky tape, and my own photographs of local red kites. Yes, of course they are time-consuming to make, and many a dark winter’s night is spent making dozens of cards, but the satisfaction on hearing that people purchase them to send to family and friends located all over the world makes it worthwhile.
My cards are now sold in local shops, as well as by the National Trust in the north east of England. The proceeds go towards the funding of my website, which helps to raise public awareness of the life of the red kites, as well as providing important contact information of those organisations involved with these magnificent birds.