I CAN remember seeing my first Polaroid photo appear in seconds at six years old and I was hooked.
From that moment all of my pocket money went on film and not sweets.
As a teenager I saved for a really good camera and my parents paid the other half; by this time I was developing and printing all my own work.
At 15 my dear mother walked into a busy Southsea photographic services and volunteered me to work for six months for no pay in the hope of employment.
I did it and later got a job, giving me great experience of doing over 200 weddings and all aspects of photo finishing.
For six months I even worked as a photographer at a holiday camp at the same time.
After a while I decided wedding photography was not for me and started specialising in copying and restoring old cherished photographs which combined traditional skills with modern digital photography and proved a success.
I have been at Highfield Parade with my partner Maria since 1985 and today the business consists of copying and restoration work, picture framing and selling our own images of Portsmouth.
A favourite moment in my life was photographing Trafalgar 200 in 2005, a massive event in Portsmouth and the start of our range of Portsmouth images which by now have been sold all over the world.
Even today I still rush to buy a paper or magazine with my published photographs – the buzz is still there, just like that first Polaroid picture.
Visit costen.co.uk to see some examples of my work or pop into my studio.