An accidental job application and eight months at sea changed this Colchester couple’s lives for ever

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia - Credit: Archant

Life has taken an exciting turn for photographers Miguel De Gouveia and Hannah Kinsella.

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia - Credit: Archant

And it all stems from a job application Miguel never meant to make. Sheena Grant finds out more.

Then Miguel De Gouveia accidentally applied to become a photographer on a cruise ship, he never dreamed how life-altering his “mistake” would prove to be.

Not only did he discover a passion for a job he had never actually considered before that accidental job application, he also met fellow photographer Hannah Kinsella, a woman for whom he would eventually cross continents, set up home and launch a business with.

“It must have been some kind of fate,” says Miguel.

Miguel De Gouveia and Hannah Kinsella, who together have set up Capture Yours photography, covering

Miguel De Gouveia and Hannah Kinsella, who together have set up Capture Yours photography, covering Colchester and surrounding areas of East Anglia. - Credit: Archant

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The couple now live in Colchester, where Hannah, the daughter of former Ipswich Town footballer Tony Kinsella, attended sixth form.

They are hoping the town will be the perfect base to set down some roots together and establish their photography business, Capture Yours.

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It’s the culmination of a dream that has been long in the making.

Hannah and Miguel, who is originally from South Africa, met when she signed up to work for eight months on a cruise ship.

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia

Hannah Kinsella and Miguel De Gouveia - Credit: Archant

“I had just left university,where I’d been studying for a degree in photography,” she says.

“I wanted to travel and work at the same time, so it seemed the perfect job, photographing holiday-makers and seeing the world.”

Miguel had already been working on cruise ships for around three years by the time Hannah joined and their paths crossed.

“I never actually wanted to be a photographer,” he says. “I applied for a photography job on the ship by mistake.

“I thought I was applying for a job as a deck hand. When I found out what the job actually was, I thought I’d give it a go anyway and went to study photography before joining the ship, which I had to do, of course.

“The first time I was handed a camera, I found I really enjoyed it. They can teach you the technical stuff in college but it’s not until you start taking pictures and experience the power photography can have that you realise howit can touch people’s emotions and you fully appreciate what it’s all about. It is a real passion for me now.”

For Hannah and Miguel, their shared interest in photography brings another dimension to both their work and their relationship.

“It’s lovely to share the same passion,” says Hannah, who continues to travel to London to work part-time, doing makeover and fashion photography while they establish their own business, Capture Yours.

“We complement each other in how we work, too,” she says. “We can work together on projects but we also have slightly different interests: me more on the fashion and family side and Miguel more weddings and landscapes.”

After her eight months at sea, cruising around the Mediterranean to ports in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and even further afield to the Caribbean and Miami, Florida, Hannah was ready to return to dry land.

“I really enjoyed the ships but after that I just wanted to settle down somewhere,” she says.

Miguel stayed on at sea a few months after Hannah, before returning to South Africa.

“I knew when I left the ship that I had feelings for him but things were left at a bit of a loose end when we parted,” says Hannah. “But then Miguel came over to visit and never went back.”

Miguel, who has Portuguese ancestry, found a job at a London photography studio and the couple lived in the capital for two years.

“We had our own business in mind for a long time,” says Miguel. “We’ve both got a wide range of experience now, and lots of ideas for bringing a fresh feel to photography. Weddings and family portraiture will be our priority and I love to do landscapes too.

“We do studio work but love to get families out of the studio, too, for photographs, capturing images outside where people can be more relaxed and feel less restricted. “We aim to create unique memories that will always remind people of the importance and value of life.

“It’s amazing to see how the pictures you take affect people. You really see that with weddings.

“When a couple see their pictures for the first time it is an exciting and emotional moment. It is like they are feeling the emotions of the day again, because they see moments we have captured that they didn’t see at the time. It always gets them shedding a tear.

“Photography is an art form and that is what we want to bring to what we offer. We want to be different.”

Hannah says: “I also think that a lot of the time brides don’t realise how beautiful they look until they’re able to see their wedding pictures. People’s reactions always give us an incredible buzz.”

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