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MEET:Michael Oakes by Kirsten Miller of www.quernuscrafts.co.uk


Tell us who you are and what you do. I’m Michael J Oakes, Creative Photography, which I started in February 2010.


What did you do before becoming a full time photographer? I worked for one of the top four supermarket chains for 27 years in many different roles. These included working in stores, training store staff and managers on IT systems and processes, project management, and security.


What made you decide to take the plunge and leave your old career behind? There was a round of rationalisation at the Company’s head office in London, my role was being made redundant and the roles that were


66 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2010


left were not ones I could do easily whilst living in Leeds so I took the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy. For me it was a “now or never” chance. I did not know at the time I left that I would go into photography but I knew that I would find something. It also helped that my family were very supportive of me and friends gave me plenty of encouragement (some were quite envious that I’d been able to make the move away from the corporate world).


What have you been up to since you became a full time photographer? It’s been a busy year! I’ve had three exhibitions in Leeds so far, and I have worked with three theatre companies on publicity photos. In addition, I have taken on some IT training, which helps to supplement


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