From surviving child abuse to documentary photographer and author

Technology is the key: Typesetting in InDesign has facilitated the life of the publisher.Sally Hedges Greenwood has been taking photographs since the early 1960s, when she was just 5 or 6 years old — a passion she started to question when she was about 40 years old. ‘I began to realise that my experiences as a survivor of child abuse had shaped the way,  why and what I photographed.  I was a busy working mum, running an exhibition company and still literally living ‘With Photography’ just as I always had.’

Sally returned to university as a mature student, mainly to formalise her love of the medium, which led to the writing of her dissertation in her final year. ‘The Power in Photography’ explores why other photographers took the photographs that they did. ‘It was a revelation to find that other people, famous people, had used the medium in ways that were not unknown to me. I just had to write about it.’

‘It was not until 2008 that I started to write ‘With Photography® —not just an Autobiography’. Using my own photographs but also those of my ancestors and of noteworthy outside contributors when the story demanded it, there are over 1300 included in. It is the photographs that drive an expansive text which covers not only my own story but my general explorations and musings of the medium. The unabridged Limited Edition was published in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter.com campaign. The publication of the 2020 edition will be announced shortly; emendations to the 2014 text have been made with only a few additions to the photographic content.

‘Making Connections With Photography®’ – is the in-depth study of the various techniques Sally used herself and the stages that she went through, which was first published in October 2016.

Both are fully illustrated in colour and black and white.

SAbstract, was launched in 2011 to facilitate the research and publication of those and subsequent books, although Sally also sometimes undertakes typesetting and proofreading work for charities if the cause fits in with my own beliefs.

Sally is now in her 60s – and her drive and enthusiasm to get out there and photograph, then reproduce and publish the stories that she wants to tell has yet to slow up. She recognises that there’s not too much time to waste.

Currently working on various projects in the ‘With Photography®’ series of books, Sally is also preparing her dissertation for publication. ‘The Power In Photography’, written in 2005 is the reason that I wrote my first book which then, in itself, led to the series. It has a value in that it not only opens people’s eyes to ask themselves the question — I wonder why the photographer took that photograph? — it also gives some of the answers.’

Primarily Sally is a documentary photography, showcasing the ‘stories’, including her own that she now has the courage to share.

On a practical level, ‘It wouldn’t have been possible before this digital age — an era that facilitates just about everything I do’, she explains.

  • ‘There are now cameras that enable switching quickly from one challenging situation to another without having to change films, camera backs or lenses;
  • A digital Lightroom, which has now replaced the darkroom for most photographers. Although I miss it sometimes, I can produce work quickly and efficiently;
  • There are computers and the internet offering us all creative methods and practical solutions, quickly;
  • And, social media sites to facilitate the sharing of ideas and methods, enabling interaction with people all over the world and the solving of challenges as soon as they appear;
  • Sites like ‘People Per Hour’ showcase those with the skills that I need for a specific task  – I certainly couldn’t afford the luxury of permanent staff any more.
  • Lastly, although the list is not exhaustive, with today’s publishing methods I can access the best and most cost-effective ways to create e-books and actual books in both full colour and black and white print.’

Alliance of Independent Authors /  rps_arps_rgb