Despite his deteriorating eyesight and hearing impairment, Ian Treherne from Rochford, Essex hasn’t let his condition stop him from being a photographer. In one of their episodes for More Than An Image, Wex Photographic shares the inspiring story of Ian, and how he interacts with the world though photography with his debilitating condition.
A quick look at Ian Treherne’s portfolio shows the work and vision of a talented photographer. What the photos won’t tell us, however, is the immense challenge that he most likely had to overcome with every shot. Ian is inflicted with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that results in progressive hearing loss and visual impairment. At the age of 15, he was diagnosed with a deteriorating eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and has been suffering from tunnel vision. Still, that didn’t stop him from embarking on a journey with professional photography in mid-2000s, taking portraits and “thought-provoking scenes” incorporating British architecture.
What he has been able to create with this “naturally cropped” view of the world around him is a testament to his resilience and creative spirit. If you’re in need of something deeply inspiring today, Ian’s story below will surely make you want to push harder with your photography.
As with some of us, Ian’s curiosity and passion for photography began with a bunch of fashion magazines and a question: “How can I do that?” Eventually, he was able to find a way to work with the limited vision that he has, creating “a style with what I can see because I don’t know any different.”
“Being deaf and blind comes with a lot of isolation and causes a lot of anxiety and stress,” Ian said. But he also mentions that photography allows him to participate in the world and connect with people. This point of view definitely shows in his work.
Why is he doing all this despite the apparent difficulty? Ian says he wants to change people’s perceptions by embracing being known as a “blind photographer” as he copes with losing his eyesight.
“I will lose my vision eventually. I’m still going to continue pushing myself. I want to leave a body of work for others to be inspired by…to challenge themselves to pick up the camera…”