"When I found out, at the age of 15, that I was going to lose my sight, suddenly, imagery became massively important to me. I wanted to see everything, before I couldn’t any more."
Ian Treherne is a professional photographer from Essex, in the United Kingdom. To coincide with Deafblind Awareness Week 2023, he has written a blog about his love of photography for Sense – a British charity that supports the deafblind community as well as those with complex disabilities.
"I have a condition called Usher syndrome, type 2, which has caused visual impairment," explains Ian. "I’ve currently got about 5% of my eyesight left. I’m also profoundly deaf.
"Being deafblind, to me, represents a lot of challenges in life, but also opens a lot of other doors, which I would probably never experience if I was fully sighted and fully hearing."
Among those opportunities were the chance to photograph Paralympians, for British broadcaster Channel 4 ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, as well as a shoot with iconic photographer Rankin.
Despite those enormous career highs, however, Ian's most treasured achievement is the ability to inspire other members of the deafblind photographic community.
"The biggest highlight of my career, for me, is the amount of other blind photographers that contact me to say thanks for what I’m doing. Lots of amateur blind photographers say that I’ve inspired them to pick up a camera and have a go at photography. Why should we be limited by society’s ideas of us?"
Watch the video below featuring Ian busting some myths about deafblindness (you can also read the descriptive transcript). You can also find more information about Sense and the work it does at its official website.