I’m Paul Sanders – fine art photographer, Fuji ambassador, speaker and photography mentor. I’m passionate about the benefits of photography to mental health and wellness.
I have been a professional photographer since 1984, beginning my career as a fashion and advertising photographer. I moved into newspapers in 1991, starting at The Daventry Express before progressing on to News Team International, a successful agency based in Birmingham. I was appointed Deputy Picture Editor of The Manchester Evening News in 1996, and two years later joined Reuters, the international wire service.
I’ve always had a need to prove myself, to push myself to the limits and to succeed. For me, success was embodied by attaining a senior role at a national newspaper, which I achieved when, in 2002, I was approached by The Times, by 2004 I was The Picture Editor.
Looking at nearly 20,000 images every day and the associated responsibilities left me suffering with stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. By 2011, depression had got its claws into me. My relationships with friends, with my wife and with my son all suffered and I was in a very bad way. At the end of December 2011, I left The Times to pursue a career as a freelance landscape photographer. I’d no experience in landscape photography, but it gave me something that I’d been missing; it gave me a way of expressing myself where words failed me.
I love being outside surrounded by the beauty of the world we live in. It never ceases to amaze me, as I watch the storm clouds blow in over the coast, listen to the waves crashing against the rocky shores or watch sunlight stream through trees on a foggy morning, how lucky we are to have such beauty on our doorsteps.
You can stand in a location for several hours, waiting and waiting for the light to give you a bit of something; you can wait for the rain to stop or for the fog to lift or come down – it’s trying to get the best out of what mother nature gives you without feeling frustrated or judgemental - she rarely gives what you want but she almost always gives you what you need.
Today, I look at success in a very different way. Success is appreciating what you have in and around you, your family, friends and health, material success is like chasing the wind, to me that doesn’t bring happiness. I am happy with who I am, therefore I am successful.
I’m absolutely passionate about the power that photography has to help people overcome anxiety, and to positively adjust their outlook on life. Still brings together my love for landscape photography and my personal experience of using photography for wellbeing, offering you a new way to use photography to express yourself and explore the world.