Born down in a dead man's town, the first kick I took was when I hit the ground... Hang on that was born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen; I was born in February 1976 in Bolton, Lancs. (now greater Manchester, but I am a Lancastrian at heart) and, as the result of having been a home birth, until the age of 23 and the birth of my first Son, I had never spent a night in hospital (I still haven't for me). My parents, in their infinite wisdom, chose to name me Ashley, a name I have stuck with over the last 34 or so years, I'm kind of used to it now. Many of you will have come to this site from my father's websites http://www.Fatbirder.com or http://www.Fatfisherman.com so will know Bo Beolens (well the unofficial one anyway).
I have three children, Owen who came into this world just after the turn of the millennium (Jan 2000) his younger brother (by 4 years) Toby who managed to miss his brother's birthday by three days (Jan 2004) and their baby sister, Bo, the only true Bo Beolens known to the world (July 2009). So far no grand kids and it had better stay that way for a good long while yet!!
Being the son of Fatbirder (and having grandparents on both sides of my family into birds and wildlife) it was almost inevitable that I should have some leanings this way (although my sister managed to avoid this blow in her life, so maybe not!). After many years chasing birds across the country (sadly almost exclusively the feathered kind) I wanted to be able to keep better records (I have a poor memory, a friend and I once sat eating lunch watching a Bluethroat (type of bird) on a beach, I have absolutely no recollection of this event!) and so I turned to digiscoping, a combination of a camera and a field telescope. After a while this wasn't enough and I went down the full DSLR route in 2005 (roughly). Since then I have become far more proficient at photographing other subjects, especially people, although birds are still where my passion lies.
I reside currently in Milton Keynes, with my beautiful lady Zoe who, although having such a talented photographic genius in her life (well I'm alright) remains camera shy in most circumstances. Fortunately I have an extrovert daughter, who isn't happy if the camera is out and not pointed at her, to fill my memory cards with. I have travelled most corners of the UK, and am slowly traversing the rest of the world.
Fatphotographer.net is my attempt at producing an informative site to help bring together photographers from around the world, and generally make it easier for anyone interested in this vast and varied hobby to find what they need. I hope that other photographers will help to make this site a useful tool to everyone, and I hope that it may help showcase others works. I would also like to be able to offer my own reviews of photographic products to people, from a non-technical point of view, but for that I rely on major companies supplying the product... Or is that too obvious a hint?
My own photographic work is not commercial, I am an IT operator in the real world, but I do have some of it showcased at http://www.ashleybeolens.co.uk and may well one day become proficient enough to make it my career.
Finally, thanks you to all those that have contributed in anyway, and those who have come here and read this, I appreciate your time.