WHO Am I
I’ve never won an award for my sporting prowess, nor have I represented my country at anything. I’ve never dreamed of scoring a winning try or lifting the World cup. But I’ve always loved sport. It’s taken me to some amazing places and I’ve made some lifelong friends while training and practising various different disciplines. And I’ve made it my life’s goal to capture the beauty and dynamism of sport and of all the athletes who strive every day, just to become the best version of themselves.
If I’d never started Capoeira, I would never have met my wife and may never have found my passion for photography. Without CrossFit, I would likely have gone mad during my first few years of business. And without my true love of sport I would never have started my Sport as Art project which led onto some really exciting opportunities.
Creating compelling images and telling people’s stories is what makes my heart race. And I start everyday excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I’m a real person and I love to meet other real people. So lets get out from behind these screens and have a coffee and see what we can create together!
I was a late starter when it came to photography. My grandfather never handed me a camera as child and my teenage years were (mis)spent playing the drums in the punk clubs of Manchester. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Brazil in 2004 that was the catalyst to buying my first camera, a Nikon F80 which I still have today. That three week trip turned into six months and the images I shot had a profound impact on me. I still look back at them today as a great reminder of where it all started.
I trained and ultimately taught the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira for 10 years. Shooting this fast paced dynamic sport really piqued my interest and my passion for photography, and more specifically sports photography grew and grew.
During a 10 year career in the pharmaceutical industry, my photography developed into a real passion for creating better and more dynamic images. Photoshop was becoming more mainstream and this opened up new creative options. I loved experimenting with new techniques. I had only once developed my own film, so the digital darkroom was not so scary for me as it was for some more traditional photographers. I would spend hours learning and trying new methods for creating the images I had in my head.
In 2014 I decided to take the leap and set up Neil Shearer Photography. When I started my own business, a lot of people told me I had to ‘shoot everything and take whatever work I could just to survive’, and that ‘sport was too small of an area and being outside London it would be too difficult’. However I’m proud to say that with a clear and determined plan I have been able to make it work.
Shooting commercial sports photography with a dynamic and bold style naturally appealed to a wide range of people and I quickly found a market for my work. With a growing list of international clients including the Ford GT racing teams in both America and the UK, plus Fit Rebel an exciting new Malaysian sportswear brand, I am really excited about the future and the direction that my business is heading.