Barry Forshaw Photographer
From Newcastle’s Social Services to Superintendent at the city’s Registrars Department and potential location scout for TV series Wire in the Blood - helping people has been a continuous thread in Barry Forshaw’s fascinating career as he strives to capture those special moments in our lives as a successful self-employed photographer…
Like many of us, Barry Forshaw sought to find a balance between expressing his creative side alongside the commitments and responsibilities of a full time career. Having left school and started work in the Social Services department at Newcastle City Council in the Sensory Support Team, helping blind and deaf members of the public, Barry continued working with the local council for over a decade on various community-led projects – namely helping launch the successful Shopmobility Scheme which helped disabled people gain access to the city centre. Writing and photography proved to be important creative outlets for Barry whilst working full time, but it was taking the plunge and enrolling on a Media Production degree as a Mature Student at Northumbria University in 2000 that would be the catalyst for his career progression to become a self-employed photographer and published author.
Describing his Media Production course fondly as ‘a bit of everything’, it was here Barry learnt the invaluable transferrable skills that lend themselves so well to the Wedding and Portrait Photography business he launched in early 2014 such as a the basics of web design, working with film and gaining experience in scriptwriting which further fuelled his creative side and passion for photography. Graduating with a 1st Class Honours proved Barry’s capabilities, but student life had taken its toll on his finances so when opportunity came knocking at his door in the form of a job as a location scout for popular crime thriller television series Wire In The Blood, a lack of funds meant Barry couldn’t afford to buy a car needed to fulfil the commitments of the role.
Taking a side step from his ambitions to pursue a career in the creative sector, Barry went back to the council, working in the Registrars Department. In a twist of fate Barry credits his time here as the foundations for launching his business Barry Forshaw Photography. Before he knew it, Barry had risen through the ranks to become a Superintendent within Newcastle’s Registrars department – conducting as many as 11 weddings in one day – and gaining a unique insight into weddings from traditional and simple ceremonies, to civil partnerships and lavish events. Having actively pursued an interest in photography as a hobby, Barry began investing in camera equipment and honing his craft taking photos over time whilst travelling and in the background at the weddings and parties of family and friends. It wasn’t long before people began to take notice of Barry’s innate abilities behind the lens and he was asked to photograph his father’s wedding in 2012. A pivotal point in his career, Barry realised just how much he thrived on such ‘an exciting and exhilarating creative challenge’.
It seems taking that job in the Registrars department all those years ago turned out to be a blessing in disguise; fast forward two years and almost everything has changed for this incredibly talented and hardworking man. In almost fairy tale-fashion, Barry met the love of his life Alicia at the Registrars department and the camera he uses to shoot couples’ weddings today is none other than the Canon 5D series used to capture their big day which he later bought from the photographer. Conducting his last (and 2,000th) wedding as Superintendent on a Saturday, Barry became a father to a miracle baby girl on the Tuesday and from then on everything changed.
Spending six months at home with his wife and daughter, Barry began to nurture ideas of starting his own business alongside writing an e-book about his wife Alicia who suffers from a debilitating chronic auto-immune disease known as Wegener’s Disease.
‘Once we had our daughter everything changed, I sat down and thought about the kind of life I wanted for myself and my family and worked backwards from there to set about achieving those dreams’ explains Barry. ‘I wanted to spend more time with my family and work for myself and knew photography combined both of my passions. Perhaps more importantly, I understood just how fleeting those special family moments are, and how important it is to capture them.’
Armed with over a decade of unique and insightful industry experience, state-of-the-art camera equipment and an abundance of creativity – Barry applied for funding from local enterprise agency PNE Enterprise to start his business and Barry Forshaw Photography was born. Having become increasingly familiar with venues and suppliers in the wedding industry across the region over the years, Barry specialises in wedding photography and thrives on ‘thinking on his feet’ to capture the best light, angles and perfect moments for his clients. Collaborating with local venues on a range of styled shoots – from Gatsby glitz to vintage themed shoots – Barry has also become a member of the esteemed Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers to add further gravitas to his work.
1. Barry Forshaw Photography is a North East based photography business specialising in wedding and portrait photography
2. Barry Forshaw received funding from PNE Enterprise to start his business and buy essential camera equipment
3. Shopmobility is a nationwide scheme which lends manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to members of the public who have limited mobility.
4. High resolution imagery and examples of Barry’s work and ongoing series of themed photo shoots are available on request.
5. Additional information and social media profiles can be found at http://www.barryforshawphotography.com/