When Gillian Downes’ parents gave her a camera as a child, it sparked a life-long love of photography.

Today, Gillian, who lives in Colehill, Wimborne, has made the hobby her profession, running regular market stalls and exhibitions selling her wares.

“I used to print off my own black and white photos from film in my parents’ attic,” she remembers.

“I loved the excitement of seeing if they had come out. I was brought up with two things – photography and sailing, which is my main thing. I used to take pictures of boats, but it was anything and everything really and I’ve just carried it on.”

When Gillian made the move to digital photography, she did a few weddings for friends and family, but had her heart set on something different.

“That’s how I started professionally,” she said.

“It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do, but I’ve always had a love of the sea, so that’s my theme – anything to do with the sea. I photograph wildlife, marine life, scenes on the beach and along the coast. I’ve got one picture of the Red Arrows, because they flew over the sea.

“They’re all Dorset, Cornwall and Hampshire mainly, because I’ve lived here all my life.”

Gillian, who has a stall at Lymington Market every Saturday and a monthly one at a farmers’ and artisan market in Salisbury, first took part in an exhibition with a group of friends she met at a photography course.

“I did a City & Guilds to get more into digital and then I did another couple of courses,” she said.

“A few of us came together and thought ‘let’s do an exhibition’.

“They have The Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country House, so that’s how that started. It just stemmed from there really.”

Her latest show will be on display in the Foyer Gallery at the Regent Centre in Christchurch until October 17.

“I try and do new things for each exhibition,” she explained.

Gillian is certainly dedicated to her art – she has been out several times in the early hours to get a shot of the beach huts at Mudeford, only to find on arrival that the light wasn’t quite right.

“I only ever use natural light and they’re all taken behind the lens. I only believe in Photoshop to be creative.”

Following the success of her exhibitions, where she sells a range of framed prints, canvases and pictures on aluminium panels, ranging from around £20 up to £120, Gillian is hoping to branch out further.

“I’m trying to sort out my website,” she said.

“I’m going to go into commercial and I’m also available for pet and people portraits on location.”

l gillysphotography.co.uk, facebook.com/temperatemarine.