My name is Gareth Williams and I live in sunny South Wales in the UK.

How did I get into photography? Completely by accident to be honest. A wonderful, brilliant accident!

It all started at a christening; sitting in the church minding my own business when the parents of the 2 boys being christened turned and asked me if I would take some shots for them, then they handed me their little DSLR and my world completely changed. I was hooked and I spent the entire day taking pictures of everything and anything at the party. The guests, the hosts' dog, the birds in the bushes in the garden, everything.

I felt like I had awakened in Narnia and I didn't want it to stop.

Not long afterwards I booked a holiday to Venice with my then fiancée, now wife. A trip to a camera shop, a million lenses and cameras I knew nothing about and one incredibly helpful store assistant later and I walked out with my first DSLR, a Canon 400d. That holiday completely altered my perception of the world.

Then a wedding... standing outside the church with the other guests when the groom comes and takes me aside. Their photographer wasn't coming, he had dropped his camera in the car park and snapped the lens off of the mount. Did I have my DSLR with me? Yes, it was in the boot of the car outside. Five minutes later I was shooting my first wedding. I was terrified but it was a wonderful experience!

From there a chance meeting saw me join a local camera club where I found a group of like-minded people who would become my friends. Soon enough I found myself going to abandoned farmhouses, asylums and derelict buildings. I had been introduced to this whole underworld culture of Urban Exploration or Urbex as it is commonly referred to. Photographing decaying buildings and possessions that people would once have treasured, now discarded almost sang to me. I wanted more! Trips to Belgium and Germany were arranged and done. Then a conversation, telling me how a trip to Chernobyl was possible. Somewhere I have been fascinated with since I was a child, a nuclear wasteland and one of the most dangerous places on earth... where do I sign up?

This wasn't the only genre of photography I liked but it has definitely shaped my style towards the dark and gritty. I started to take portraits of people and I am still intrigued with how a simple shift of light can alter a person's face. But I still wasn't satisfied, I had a head full of ideas but no way to create them. So I started learning as much as I could about flash photography. Speedlites, studio flash, reflectors, modifiers I spent hours and hours learning as much I could. YouTube was a constant source of information but I still had this fear that I couldn't do it.

So I took the plunge, found a model (well a girl who worked in a little cafe in an indoor market), booked a makeup artist and blagged my way into this incredible location, with a smoke machine and a full set of kendo armour complete with a real sword, and had an amazing time.

These days I still follow my dreams and imagination. Everyone should.

Oh and what does the ARPS mean? It means I am I am an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and something you can read up on by clicking the link below.
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