For anyone who knows me well you would know that I have always struggled to start projects. In all honesty I have probably been through every possible procrastination tactic in the book. To be fair some of those were genuinely useful, or so I kept telling myself. However, in the end you have to face up to the fact that you have to start somewhere and with a bit of a shove in the right direction from parties who will remain nameless (she’s called a mother) I’m finally making a start. So without any further waffling I will begin.
So why write a blog? I’m a recent UCA Farnham graduate in photography and I’m keen to turn that into a business. This is a great opportunity to get myself out there so to speak. In addition, this is also a way of sharing my crazy and rather unconventional life. Before this adventure begins however, I feel it necessary to give you some background.
I’m Thomas Blumire. As I’ve already said I’ve just finished my degree in photography and seeing as I’ve started with my photography I will continue. I’ve always had a strong attraction to creative subjects. One of the many reasons for this is that it serves as an escape from the pressures of life. However, other than my great love of music, I’ve not always known the best ways to express my creative side until I got into photography. I received my first camera as a twelfth birthday present and I was hooked. Now I know what you’re thinking, yet another photographer giving a generic account of his life just like all the others. What makes me different? What makes me stand out in a crowd?
I was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a progressive muscle wasting condition. This means I use an electric wheelchair and am dependent on the care of others for day-to-day life. I was officially diagnosed at the age of six, as I showed signs of finding tasks like doing up shoe laces and putting a coat on difficult. I became a full-time wheelchair user at the age of ten when I stopped being able to walk. Contrary to what you may think using my electric wheelchair for the first time was a revelation and the wheelchair services said I took to it like a duck to water. This finally meant I could have some independence back and the ability to go where I wanted to go, as before I had to be pushed around in a manual chair.
I am still just as grateful for my chair now as I was then. In fact returning to photography I use my wheelchair to my advantage. The difference in eye level allows me to gain a unique perspective and my chair becomes a tool when I take photos through my Perspex tray for example (more on that in future posts). I guess this pretty much sums up my outlook on my life. I do not wish to let my condition get to me and keep me from living life to the full. When people ask me how do I cope? I would say that when you live with a disability you learn to get by and it’s not something you think about, as it’s just not worth dwelling on. Most of all however, my disability does not define me. I am Thomas not that guy in a wheelchair. Of course I do get frustrated at times and find some things difficult, but these things shape who I am today. My Christian faith also changes my outlook on life, but above all gives me hope for the future.
I’ll give you a break now and thank you for reading. Next I’ll get into the photography so watch this space.