Barrie and Bev Downie Racing to success! - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Barrie Downie Published 01/08/2009


Barrie and Bev Downie steered a rather unconventional route into photography. Both were passionate about the art from a young age yet each followed a separate career within racing industries until the early noughties. Barrie had a very successful career teaching people to drive racing cars at the Goodwood Motor Circuit and Bev was involved in racing on four legs rather than four wheels as PA to the Racecourse Manager at Goodwood Racecourse. A chance meeting sparked by a karting event organised by F1 driver Johnny Herbert (that is a different article!) bought the two together and they have never looked back.

Friends originally initiated Barrie's entry into wedding photography asking him to photograph their weddings for free, which he did using a Nikon F100 and a Pentax 645N. The results were good and eventually he moved into the realms of digital with a Canon 10D, discovering new and greater things on a daily basis whilst still maintaining a full time career.

When the couple met, demands for Barrie's services as a wedding photographer were so great that Bev decided she either had to join him or never see him at weekends, so Barrie gained an assistant who carried bags and gave moral support at the earlier and occasionally none too inspiring weddings of the early days. One thing led to another and Bev eventually picked up a camera and started shooting candid shots alongside Barrie and within 12 months she was also being asked to photograph weddings for friends and the cycle began again!


In 2004 Barrie left his full time job to concentrate fully on his career as a photographer and Bev followed suit in 2005. Both consider themselves fortunate to have had many years of commercial experience as they have gained skills that are directly transferable into running their own business and these are skills that many photographers who have not pursued another career previously seem to be missing. Barrie's strengths lie in sales, creativity and design and he is a very confident people person (instructing people to drive at over 100 miles per hour tends to focus the mind!). Bev brought to the business extensive marketing knowledge and again a great depth of experience of communicating with a wealth of different people.

In January 2007 there was a turning point in their careers when an image of Barrie's posted on the DWF resulted in a telephone call from one of the greats, Gordon McGowan. It was his unique style that originally inspired Barrie and from that first telephone call Gordon became both a friend and a mentor to both Barrie and Bev. His willingness to help and his straightforward critiquing of the their images bought a huge improvement in many areas but, most particularly formal posing, which is now why their signature images generate such great enthusiasm and business from couples. This friendship has continued and Gordon was the photographer at their wedding in Venice in April 2008. The good thing about this marriage was that the company name BD Wedding Photography did not need to change as Bev went from a Davies to a Downie and that is where they are today!

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1st Published 01/08/2009
last update 07/04/2022 09:07:21

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