My dear friend and neighbor Brian Symonds helped me see through the lens of my first single lens reflex camera, the famous Olympus OM 10
Below is what his wife wrote about him when I invited her to write about Brian’s passion for photography.
“I first met Brian in 1967 and we eventually married in 1973.
I can always remember him saying that we would love to take up photography seriously. He was asked to do several weddings in Birmingham, including his daughters from his first marriage.Also did children’s portraits and students in their caps and gowns.
Brian’s love of photography stemmed from his love of the beauty of all Gods creations, from insects, humans, land and seascapes and mountains. he had a natural eye for capturing a picture that perhaps someone else, would pass by without noticing.
In 1976 we came to live in Telford, but Brian had to give up work as a drayman in a brewery, because of a serious spinal disease. The sale of our house in Birmingham, gave us a little spare cash, to get equipment that Brian needed to take his love of the camera further.
We bought an enlarger and developer and printer, and all the paper and chemicals that he would need.He also needed a new camera, a NIKON FE, and several lenses and filters. We both went to night school, a college course, to learn all about printing and developing, which was useful because if Brian was not well enough to do it, then I could.
Where ever we went Brian always carried his camera with him. We joined the Telford Camera Club which was held in the Lord Silken school (Telford Park School, as it was). We enjoyed the experience and company of the other photographers, and Brian even won several of the competitions, eventually he became secretary of the club, which he enjoyed immensely.
He arranged competitions with other clubs and did exhibitions of the work. Unfortunately, due to a serious flareup of his spinal condition, he had to give up this position and for the time, the photography, as well.
Brian taught several people how to use their camera, and the best way to capture a good photo. One was a young lady, who has now got her own photographic studio in France, and is doing very well.
Also, Brian would take Tony, who lived next door to us in Hollinswood, with him traveling around the local area.They captured the beautiful scenery, that Shropshire has, and enjoyed each others company.
Tony’s love of the camera has continued, even though he moved to America. Brian continued to take photographs and on many occasions did work for a caravan park in Talybont, Barmouth, he did photos for their brochures, The Site owners, even asked Brian to do photographs of the site, for 400 calendars, this kept us busy for several years.
Brian never lost his love of photography, even when he became seriously ill with cancer, he still tried to take pictures. Two weeks before he died, we had snow and he was there at the door, taking pictures of the garden and the woods beyond, even took a photo of a little lonely robin that befriended him.
Sadly Brian died on 11th January 2011- his 74th birthday and and our family and the world lost a very Special Man.”
Brian’s legacy continues to live on through me .
When I first moved to the USA our next door neighbors daughter wanted to learn photography and we bought her a DSLR outfit to encourage her continued learning.
This love of teaching others what Brian had taught me continues to be multiples through students at Homer’s Coffee House who wanted to Learn – Billy the fireman, Bethany, and whoever asks to learn to take better photos.
If you’d like to learn, please reach out via social media or the contact form on this site 😎