Danielle, from Burnley, is part way through her three-year Diploma in Photography and now runs her own successful photography business, White Noise Photography, with the support of her husband, Rob. She set up her business 18 months ago and now does professional shoots each month, including family events and groups, and hopes to expand her portfolio to include fashion and product photography.
"Rob bought me a camera for my birthday in April 2016 I was totally consumed by it. I just couldn't put it down and was always taking photos of my children and researching more and more about photography online.
"I decided that I needed some expert advice to take my photography to the next level and so enrolled on a basic photography course at Burnley College and, after chatting to my teacher, decided to carry on studying and aim for my Diploma. It's one of the best things I've ever done!"
Danielle (27) was a student at the former Ivy Bank High School and worked in retail for two years after discovering that her heart did not lie in the qualifications she was taking to allow her to follow her friends into a career in forensic science.
"While I was working in retail, I always felt that there was much more to life and I was capable of pushing myself further and achieving more. At 18 I headed to Burnley College Sixth Form Centre to study childcare: I got distinctions, was awarded the Francis Bean Award for my performance and received conditional offers to study Psychology at five universities."
However, as Danielle was expecting her first child, Summer, now seven, she put her plans on hold to become a stay-at-home mum. It was only when her little boy, Dylan, four, started nursery full-time that she decided the time was right for her to devote more time to herself and re-start her education in a subject she loved.
"When I arrive in college in the evening, I get a real buzz, whatever has happened during the day and however tired I may be. My teacher, Karen, is so full of enthusiasm and inspiration that she makes me feel anything is possible and that really lifts my mood and energy level.
"We learn so much, from studio photography to choosing locations, using smoke bombs to create atmosphere and different filters for mood. Soon we'll be learning about the history of photography and dark rooms: it's a fascinating course."
Danielle has advice for other potential learners who are considering returning to education after a break:
"Just do it. I used to spend all day being a mum and a wife, now I'm my own person, and bring so much more back to family life as I'm so happy and fulfilled. It's given me a new focus and a new career and if that can happen for me, it can happen for others, too!"
Love your hobby and want to make it your career? Need some time for yourself and a new focus in 2018? Burnley College has a lot to offer with courses to suit you at a time to suit you. Visit www.burnley.ac.uk/adult for a list of courses, call our friendly Student Services team on 01282 733373 or email email@example.com