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Blue Lily For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp

The thrill of being published for the first time

Blue Lily, Melanie Sharp's first nationally printed photo


The thrill of being published for the very first time cannot be overstated. A mixed bag of emotions including elation, disbelief, pride and imposter syndrome, all wrapped up in one big rush of blood to the head at seeing my own work published in 'Amateur Photographer' on sale in a large supermarket chain.

Golden Tulip for DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp
Pink Tulip For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp

I am a very enthusiastic amateur, luckily my ‘real job’ pays the bills and allows me time and freedom to explore my passion. My journey into floral digital photography is a relatively new thing. I have had a camera of one sort or another as far back as I can remember. There are very few photographs of myself growing up, on vacation or at big family gatherings as I was always the one behind the lens. With the end of film and dawn of digital a whole new ‘less expensive’ world opened up to me and I began to experiment. I moved over to DSLR with the just released Canon 500D – I was off!

Large Daisy Flower For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp
Purple Flowers For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp

Unfortunately over time I have developed arthritis in my shoulders and can no longer carry the big lenses, tripod and equipment that I used to. The advent of Covid and the enforced stay at home gave me time to focus on what else I could do and still pursue my love of photography and nature. Still life floral became the answer. But I wasn’t getting the thrill that photographing birds and wildlife gave me. So I turned to digital manipulation. At last I had time to study, I did a short online university course, watched endless webinars and zooms on digital and fine art photography, editing and processing. And I love it!

Blue Rose For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp
White And Pink Edge Rose For DIG
CREDIT: Melanie Sharp

Flowers and editing have now become my passion and joining, firstly the RPS and then DIG has allowed me to explore this fascinating genre further. I love the huge variation of skillsets, ideas, genres and inspiration within the DIG. Beginners, amateurs and professionals all collaborating, helping and growing together. A wonderful safe space for us all to showcase our work, experiment and learn from likeminded people.

The combination of the DIG, lockdown and enforced medical restructuring has led me down the most wonderful path and to being published. No matter what happens in the future, be it full of bigger and better opportunities or never being in print again, that will never dull the thrill and pride of seeing my photo in a magazine for the very first time – in true Hollywood style, a copy of which now has pride of place framed on the wall of the downstairs loo.

The thrill of being published for the very first time cannot be overstated