Yorkshire Life Reader Writes - Cat Hepple

Cat Hepple is one of our new reader columnists who write about their lives in Yorkshire. Here<br/>she introduces herself and describes how Yorkshire stole her heart

If you asked me to jump off a cliff with no parachute, I’d decline. Yet last autumn I felt like I was doing just that as I decided to take redundancy from my job as a television correspondent for BBC news to start up a photography business and found out I was expecting a baby. Talk about events happening in threes. It was one of the scariest and challenging moments of my life, I was jumping off that cliff with only a dose of courage and hope to cling on to.

For more than seven years, working under my maiden name Catherine Marston, I’d been reporting across the north of England for the six o’clocknews on BBC1. I’d moved to Yorkshire from London to take the job of correspondent and my role was to get the north of England on the national news more frequently. The job took me to some of the worst parts of the region and some of the worst stories of the decade-the Selby rail crash, the foot and mouth crisis, the Carlisle floods.

I  covered some truly terrible court cases, crime stories and tragic events. Despite that leaving the job was a huge wrench, but after 17 years at the frontline of journalism a new career was calling.

Photography had been a love of mine since I first held a pin-hole camera at primary school and marvelled at the cleverness of it all. Working in television years later I learned so much about light, imagery and composition.

I discovered how to tell stories with pictures and realised one image really can say more than any amount of words. As the chance to take redundancy emerged it was time for me to indulge my other passion and get behind the lens instead of in front of it. It was time to set up my ownphotography business.

In March this year as Cat Hepple photography began to take shape, my baby daughter Etienne Dior Rose was born in North Yorkshire. On that day my family became irrevocably linked with this beautiful county just as my business was also putting its roots down firmly in the region.

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Yorkshire stole my heart when I moved to Leeds more than eight years ago. It was only meant to be a six month relocation at the time, the plan was always to move back to London but once I was here I knew it was where my heart lay. Leeds is such a vibrant city and it’s now my permanent home.

When I met my husband Gary, a Welshman, I did wonder if he’d really want to leave his homeland but he loves Yorkshire as much as I do and could not wait to move up here. Gary now works in Harrogate and I am based out of north Leeds. It’s a perfect base to enjoy the city and all its culture, food and shopping and it’s right on the doorstep of some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK.

I’m finding myself immersed in life here, capturing happy events in peoples lives. The landscapes make amazing backdrops and with my business connections I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people in the county, there are so many creative and talented people based here.Without doubt the past few months have been some of the most challenging of my life.Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat

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