A B O U T
Richie Crossley is a renowned international photographer, www.chicproduction.com, and have operated various photographic studios internationally since 1992. After 20 years, most of them in London, and in 2012, Richie and his partner Maria, decided to relocate to South Wales, in Mumbles, Maria's home town. The idea behind this move was for Richie to enjoy an early retirement! but that was not possible!
After settling in their new home, locals found out about Richie's past photography and things did not take long to progress. In fact, it got so busy, that he had to find a suitable studio for his new clientele
Chicstudio, was based on 214 Swansea's High Street.
The studio in Swansea was opened with a "special aim", and not just for business. The story below explains how all this came about. He was very lucky to have the backup of Coastal Housing Swansea that provided him with a sponsored unit, to help him with his cause.
The Swansea studio was retired ending 2019 when the sponsored lease came to an end after five amazing years providing help for his amazing cause, he will now concentrate more time on his personal artistic work.
"A B O U T THE S P E C I A L A I M"
I was happily plodding along enjoying my so called retirement, and in 2012 few months after the move, my life was literally turned upside down! Out of the blues, and for no reasons at all, I was completely mentally paralysed!! Everyone around me thought that I was the usual me, healthy, bubbly, loud and full of life, but the matter of the fact was far from the truth! I was struck down with Anxiety & Depression.
I simply could not function and did not want to exist! I wanted it to be the end! It felt like people thought I was good swimmer, but in actual fact I was drowning very fast! and although I thought I was shouting for help, NO ONE could hear me or noticed me drowning! No one understood how I was really feeling deep down! Physically, I showed I was able, but mentally I was completely disabled.
I had everything one could wish for in life, a beautiful woman, house, cars, success and then, out of the nowhere, this "UGLINESS" of an illness hits you just like that! No If's or But's! This mental pain is so deep that your chest thinks that you are having a cardiac arrest! Literally.
Even in this tragic time I was going through, luck showed my way, again! After my partner had realised how bad I was, she knew I needed URGENT help, and after some disputes and denials, she gave me an ultimatum to either see a GP immediately or she will pack up and leave! This person was my rock, my life, so I listened to her, thank God for that! I was urgently referred to a mental health clinic where I was lucky to be seen by an angel! "A Very Special Angel!” Dr. H, who at the time was working as the head of psychology dept. for the NHS Mental Health. I am not one to open to people easy, After long battles and tears, Dr H, never given up on me! and I started to learn how to trust her and after a two very long years of struggles, she managed to open me up and show me life again and helped me beat this misunderstood illness.
This period had opened my eyes and realised how lucky I was, but on the other hand how many other souls were less fortunate than myself, and after what Dr. H had done with me, and how she brought me back to life, I promised her and myself that somehow I will pay back by doing something for society. After I got myself and learned how to cope, I decided to actually do something about it!
In 2014, after my long recovery, I wanted to keep my promise and with the sponsorship of the Coastal Housing I was offered a five year lease to open a new studio premises, and Chicstudio was created. With all the plans and help I/we built a team of trusted people with similar past experiences in operating a photographic studio. I/we was/were able to offer FREE education, guidance and various tuitions in subjects of: Photography, Studio Photography, Lighting, Post Production/Editing, Makeup and also Modelling tuitions, this helped me give something back to those suffering with Anxiety & Depression that I suffered myself and understood, but most important of all, for these lost souls to have a shoulder, someone to come too, to support them and not to be told, "I told you so!" but to be there for them when they are in need.
Over the five year period, I was very proud to say we helped countless of young & older souls that benefited from our venture! We also helped and support various other charities, one of them being the Roots Foundation Wales - www.therootsfoundationwales.org.uk A foundation that helps young struggling people after they come out of abused care homes.