Alicia Letij is a North West based photographer and mother to three boys. Having completed a degree in contemporary photography from Stockport University she is now working on a variety of projects including running the newly established and extremely successful ‘AM Photography’ with creative partner Meg Jones.
You’re a mum of 3 boys who’s ages range from toddler to teen, how do you adapt your parenting style to suit them all?
My parenting style is really relaxed and calm. We don’t have much in the way of routine which suits us perfectly. I don’t feel I have to adapt my parenting style because the children are different ages, I just have to ensure each lad has quality time with me individually and together. Luckily we have great relationships so talking comes easy!
Where or who do you turn to for parenting advice?
I lost my mum to cancer at an extremely young age so I think I took on a parenting role really young to my sister. I take advice from everyone and anyone who I look at and think, that’s ace how you did that. You can never learn too much about how to bring up children.
You left a high powered career to re-qualify as a photographer what drove you to do this and where did you source your motivation to make such a big life changing decision?
Yes, after 15 years in engineering and offshore recruitment I decided to give it all up to follow a lifelong passion. I’ve always been artistic and photography has always been a huge part of my life. I felt I had to do it now or I’d always say ‘what if’. My motivation came purely from wanting a job under my own terms, offering something special yet affordable and enjoying myself along the way!
It can’t have been easy, what were the biggest challenges you faced to make it work and what advice do you have for anyone considering doing the same?
Doing my degree after almost 20 years out of education was my main challenge. I was still working full time and found out I was pregnant in my first year, so I had to get super super organised very quickly which in itself was a huge challenge.
Getting the boys ready for school before getting yourself off to work must have to be executed with military precision, is there any part of your daily routine that you just couldn’t function without?
We are just a standard family and some mornings are plain sailing whilst other mornings I hurt my own ears screeching for my middle son to get out of bed for the 40th time. A cup of coffee and biting my lip generally gets me through.
Do you have any tips for parents trying to capture action pics of their little ones on a basic smart phone?
The best way of getting natural pictures is to simply join in on their play, interact and have the camera ready to snap away. Never make it too obvious or ask them to smile! Just snap away…you can always delete and keep that one perfect image!
What was the first camera you ever purchased, do you still have it?
My first DSLR was a Nikon D70. I actually used this in my first year of my degree. It was a fairly bulky camera but a great one to learn on. I sold it to a young girl who wanted to learn photography. I’m not precious about my cameras and am always looking for the next upgrade.
As an artist where do you draw your inspiration from and for any budding photographers out there, who’s work do you recommend they follow?
I draw most of my inspiration from life experiences and from people I meet on a daily basis. I love watching documentaries and this often gets the creative juices flowing for potential photography projects. I am personally inspired by so many different photographers and it’s such a personal choice depending on your interests. I love portraiture and street photography so I love the work of photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus, Dougie Wallace, Rineke Dijkstra & Bruce Gilden.
What area of photography do you specialise in?
I guess I’m a portrait photographer. For now I’m studio based at the weekends with family/sibling and newborn shoots and during the week I work on documentary portraits in the community.
What’s you favourite kind of shoot and why?
I like photographing people off-guard on the streets. I like the fact I put them on the spot which effects their body language and the way they interact with me. I also love my studio work with children, capturing natural moments and making sure they enjoy the experience as much as I enjoy capturing it.
You can see Alicia’s work on her personal websites:
Or for information and availability on future shoots or projects you can email her and Meg on:
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