Martyn Norsworthy (49) is without a doubt one of the most talented and well-known photographers in Devon.
He explains: ‘‘All I’ve ever wanted to do is be a photographer. Without getting all arty, you see the world in a different way.’’
‘‘I can still now feel the need and the desire that I had to capture that statue.
‘‘I can also feel my mum’s had pulling me back and stopping me getting caught on the railings.”
Martyn tells me how his career began: ‘‘Luckily when I was at school in Kingsbridge none of the teachers knew what to do with me when I said I wanted to be a photographer.
‘‘They sent me to The Gazette every Tuesday. I was allowed out of school for a day as a press photographer, working alongside Pete Allen in the darkroom.
‘‘I left there and went to Plymouth College of Art and Design to study photography for four years.
‘‘I have to admit after the first 12 months I couldn’t fund it any longer.
‘‘I had a chat with both my lecturers who were amazing. They told me to go out (and) embrace the world, that I had a raw talent which couldn’t be taught and basically anything else I needed to learn I could teach myself.
‘‘So I left after 12 months, worked predominantly as a freelancer for newspapers, the odd wedding here and there and went full-time in 2006.
‘‘I literally haven’t stopped since.
He continued: ‘‘As soon as I went full-time I started entering competitions.
“In 2007 I entered the PX3 Prix de Paris. I won a gold award with the first image that I entered which was of a local bride on a local beach. I always enter real work. I don’t shoot for competitions.
Martyn gave us a few tips: ‘‘Always have a camera in your hand, which is easy with mobile phones, but look at your surroundings.
‘‘It’s too easy to look at your subject and not look behind it. If you’re taking a beautiful picture of your other half, your kids or your dog, place them at 90 degrees to the window and you’ll get beautiful lighting. It’s that simple.”
Martyn then told me about his new premises: ‘‘It’s the building that we locals know as the Old Workhouse, what other people know as Homelands or the building in front of Palladium (Building Supplies).
Martyn has also been a photographer to the stars: ‘‘I’ve photographed Mary Berry twice and she’s lovely, Pru Leith who I had to try not to call Mary. I did a charity ball with Sophie Wessex and Deborah Meaden, Joanna Lumley and Paul McCartney’s brother Mike, and when Prince Charles visited Salcombe I followed him around.’’
‘Built in the 1800s, a massive building, beautiful loft studio, lots of natural light, beautiful floorboards, wall that could tell a lot of history but a great relaxing space to be photographed in.
As for his work, I was quite surprised: ‘‘Predominately it used to be weddings. Most of my awards have been for wedding work. Two years ago I got the photographer’s bar from the Guild of Photographers for my portrait work which is something I really relish.
‘‘I love photagraphing people and in the last 12 months I’ve been photographing dogs and capturing the character of the dog is just as important as the human.
‘‘I would say right now 70 per cent of my work is photographing dogs.’’