A MUM-OF-TWO has decided to set up business as a freelance photographer.
Paula Gordejczuk, who lives in Leek, began her love for photography during her many travels after leaving school.
The former Westwood High School student has been to many corners of the world including America, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Ireland, 11 countries in Europe, Canada and Asia.
Paula said: "This was my life over a period of seven-and-a-half years.
"I always had a camera at hand, capturing amazing memories along the way, meeting fantastic people and seeing astounding places."
Paula decided to finally settle down back in her home town after meeting her partner Steve Dale.
She worked at First Choice in Hanley, then Co-op Travel in Burslem, before she and Steve decided to start a family.
Paula said: "Cayman-Jack came along and my photography obsession returned, with me snapping away at my adorable baby at all times.
"Three years after that, a brother for Cayman arrived, Athen.
"Still my camera was never too far from my side. I was always putting photos on Facebook of day trips, dressing-up days and chocolate faces.
"One day, a friend approached me and said that she liked my style of photography, and would I take her daughter's wedding day photographs."
After initial apprehension, Paula decided to give it ago.
She said: "I visited the family, did a photo shoot of their children, then an engagement shoot, met more of the family, went on the hen night, and went to the church rehearsal.
"I really got to know them and I discovered exactly what they wanted from me.
"By the day of the wedding, they were at ease with me, and I was with them.
"I took loads of natural shots, and some formal ones, from 8.30am until midnight.
"We even went back to the wedding venue, Consall Hall, a few weeks later and did another family shoot. I surprised myself how much passion and drive I have for doing weddings from that day on.
"Since then, a few friends have asked me to do their weddings, portraits and even boudoir.
"I love it, and am learning all the time."
Of branching out and setting up a freelance photography business, Paula said: "It's not something I ever imagined I would be doing.
"But I have surprised myself about how much I love it. I mean 'really' love it.
"My best subject so far, by far, is my five-year-old son Athen.
"He is so used to the camera from birth, that he naturally does these cool positions and expressions for me.
"So now I have decided to take the plunge and go self-employed with it - to ride the wave of passion for photography.
"It means putting as much dedication into getting to know people, to capture their very essence along with a creative vision around them."
Anyone wishing to find out more about Paula's work can find 'Paula Gordejczuk photography' on the social networking of Facebook.
Alternatively telephone her on 07977 096920 or 01538 382660.
Here is Paula's account of how she got to where she is today:
My name is Paula Gordejczuk, i have decided to become a freelance photographer. It's not something i ever imagined i would be. But have surprised myself of how much I love it. I mean 'really' love it!
I suppose how it all started, is from when i first started travelling. (After attending westwood high, staying on at 6th form.) First stop; 17 states of America. It goes without saying that a camera is an essential item of a traveler. After 3 months in America, I came back to Leek, but by now, the travel bug was in my veins and was planning my next big trip before the plane had landed at Heathrow!
I was lucky enough to be welcomed back into my old job,my first job, at Hart Embroidery on station street in Leek. Working seven days a week, to save for many months to go to Australia on a years working visa. Working in Australia allowed me to save enough dollars to extend my trip, to New Zealand for three months,then onto Fiji and L.A.
Returning to Leek to continue the pattern of saving at Hart Embroidery to then work in Dublin and travel around Ireland. Then to travel across 11 countries of Europe, working in a tulip factory in the Netherlands.Then onto Canada and Asia.
So this was my life over a period of seven and a half years. ALWAYS with a camera at hand. Capturing amazing memories along the way, meeting fantastic people and seeing astounding places. Then one day whilst back in Leek on an average night out in the then local nightclub, Metropolis, I met a guy called Steve. Little did i know at the time that he would alter my pathway in life. Although, i still intended to go back to New Zealand on a years working visa. People would say to Steve, 'Paula won't go to New Zealand and leave you!' But they were wrong! Traveling was my life. It was all i knew in my adult life. I could'nt not go. I would regret not seizing that opportunity too much. I was not used to having a boyfriend! I also thought, "This will be the make or break of our relationship." It would be a test of time. And i went. Steve came out to Auckland to me for seven weeks. During this time, he was off work with a shoulder injury. The day he came out of hospital, he flew on a 26 hours flight to be with me. And you're not supposed to fly after an operation! Anyway, that dedication sealed out relationship, so when i returned back to Leek, I began to settle down, working for first choice on the festival park in Hanley, then at co-op travel, head office in Burslem before deciding to have children.
Cayman-Jack came along and my photography obsession returned. Snapping away at my adorable baby at all times. Three years after that, a brother for Cayman arrived, Athen. Still my camera was never too far from my side. I was always putting photo's on facebook of day trips, dressing up days and chocolate faces.
One day, a friend approached me and said that she likes my style of photography, would i do her daughter's wedding day photographs! Instantly i thought, 'no way!' I cound'nt possibly have that kind of responsibility put on myself. Then i thought, 'Does she really think i'm good enough to do something so special and important? To have that level of faith and trust in me?' So i went for it. I visted the family, did a photo shoot of their children, then an engagement shoot, met more of the family, went on the hen night, went to the church rehearsal. I really got to know them. I discovered exactly what they wanted from me.
By the day of the wedding, they were at ease with me, and i was with them. I took loads of natural shots, and some formal ones. From 8.30 am til midnight. We even went back to the wedding venue, consall hall, a few weeks later and did another family shoot.
I surprised myself how much passion and drive i have for doing weddings from that day on. Since then, a few friends have asked me to do their weddings, portraits and even boudior. I love it, and am learning all the time.
My best subject so far, by far, is my 5 year old son, Athen. He is so used to the camera from birth, that he naturally does these cool positions and expressions for me!
So now i have decided to take the plunge to go self employed with it. To ride the wave of passion for photography. Putting as much dedication into getting to know people, to capture their very essence along with a creative vision around them.
If you would like to see my work, or would like to contact me, you can find me on facebook, Paula Gordejczuk photography. Or call me on 07977096920/ 01538 382660