A Volunteer’s Tale – Chelsie Bruce

The below is a personal statement from one of our participants, Chelsie Bruce. A volunteer at Bringing up Baby (BUBS), Chelsie has aspirations to pursue a career in photography. Find out how her connections made through Front Lounge are helping her realise her potential!

Chelsie’s Story

I am Chelsie Bruce, 25 years of age, and a mother of one beautiful girl. My Grandparents brought me up and whilst I lived with them I completed primary and secondary school. I went to Morgan Academy and even stayed on till sixth year. Truthfully I hated school, and this is reflected in the fact that I didn’t do particularly well in most the exams I took.

I left school with no clear direction or purpose in life. Since I left school I have had a few jobs in retail and food sales, and I even had a brief stint as an Avon representative. Although I always did a really good job and worked hard my heart was never in it.

When I was 21 my partner and I had a child – she is the wonder of our lives. She is now 3 years old and goes to nursery in August this year, and this has given me the opportunity to really think about what I want to do with my life.

About 5 years ago I bought a bridge camera and some filters and backdrops and started taking pictures of my friends and family. I really enjoy talking pictures of people. This has always been a hobby of mine. And I am at a point in my life where I really want to expand my knowledge and understanding of photography.

I also volunteer at a small playgroup (Bringing Up Baby aka BUBS) for young parents and their babies and toddlers. I started going to BUBS in the summer of 2015 and began to volunteer shortly afterwards. At BUBS I have had responsibilities for planning weekly sessions, facilitating weekly sessions, leading trips away, community outreach work, and supporting other parents. We are currently doing a four-week photography course delivered by Mr Drew Photography and this experience was the final confirmation I needed to explore a possible career doing something I really love.

Over the summer this year I hope to take over The Workshop (where BUBS is based) and turn it into a temporary photography studio and experiment further with lights, composition, and a green screen using friends and family as models. I am also planning to secure a placement with a professional photographer just so I can get a better insight into what it takes to do this for a living. I also want to have some experience of working in a darkroom, an experience I will set up through BUBS working with a local arts business with a darkroom.

I’m a hard working person. I push myself so hard sometimes I surprise myself. I also have a bubbly personality and I adore my family – they are everything to me. In a years time I would like to be successfully completing this HNC in photography and exploring the possibility of further study or job opportunities related to being a photographer.

Ultimately I want to do something that I am passionate about, something I enjoy, and I am passionate and really enjoy Photography. I want a career that is driven by my interests and I feel this course is the start of that.