AN AMATEUR photographer from Cwmbran has come on leaps and bounds since buying her first camera just three years ago.

When 49-year-old Alison Phillips was made redundant form her job in health and safety, she began caring for her disabled father who fuelled her photography dreams.

Thanks to an early inheritance, the grandmother of two was able to buy her first camera and hasn’t looked back since.

“I take photos as a hobby,” she said.

“When I was made redundant I started caring from my dad who is in his 70’s.

“Not long after, he decided he wanted to give his three children their inheritance early because he wanted to see us enjoy it.”

“So he gave me £1,000 – which is a lot of money to most people these days and I saved it from April until the August of 2011 when I decided to buy myself a nice camera.”

Miss Phillips bought herself a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera and has since added a Nikon D71000 DSLR which she used alternatively.

“Since then I have joined photography Facebook groups and a British lady who lived in Ecuador has helped me quite a lot,” she added.

“I joined the Cwmbran Photography Society back in September, and came third in the end of year competition for my portrait of my daughter dressed up for Halloween.”

Miss Phillips has since completed the 365 day project where she was tasked with taking a photo every day for a year.

“I managed to do it for a year and a half – taking hundreds of photos a day, but had to stop after a year and a half as it got too much.

“I was taking photos of everything and anything– my dad says I would take a photo of the wind if there was nothing else to point my camera at.”

Favouring landscape photography Miss Phillips has taken many beautiful shots of Gwent in locations such as the Newport Wetlands.

“I am not that great at portrait photography but I have recently taken part in a model shoot at Beechwood House where models and makeup artists were on hand to practice their skills,” she added.

Miss Phillips takes her camera out during her other hobby – Geocaching – a digital treasure hunt where she used a GPS to find a hidden object.

“I also really enjoy astral photography – taking photos of the night sky.

“I would really like to enter some competition but I am still learning.”