Self taught from the age of 10, I eventually landed an assisting job in my late twenties with one of the UK's top still life photographers. He told me, "you need to know everything I know, otherwise you'll be of no use to me". The sheer volume of knowledge he shared still makes me feel indebted to him 20 years later. I fiercely love what I do, and none of it would be possible without the support of an endlessly giving and understanding partner. Thank you Lynn for the quality of my life and for recognising potential when it was blind to itself.
Freelancing as a photographer and writer for the annual Chronicle magazine often means treading on foreign and sometimes scary ground. Like having to study architectural proportion from scratch - just so we could publish an 8 page story called "Beautiful, no?". The weeks of research and interviews with some very cerebral types ensured that the feature appealed to all ages and abilities. In the same 2019 issue I had to climb a 100m tower crane to interview and photograph the operator for "Wish you were here?". My eyes were shut most of the way up the early morning ladder climb. Oddly, I can't wait to get up there again.
Pictures shouldn't serve as a wrapping for the words of a story. Their function is to draw attention to the subject matter and to keep the reader glancing back at them for extra depth and resonance. On their own, pictures stand as a reminder of how the story makes you feel. What I write and photograph is just one person's opinion on a subject. Understanding my own creative process has enabled me to deliver these articles with confidence. By completely immersing myself in the subject, information eventually begins to bubble out in the form of pictures and words. It can take a few days or months. I trust the process completely.
I used to favour certain subject matter until I realised I enjoyed solving creative problems in all photographic fields. Teaching photography is another great love and I have found many practical ways to create "aha" moments in students navigating their way around modern camera technology for the first time. The best way to teach is still with an old analogue camera so you can see what is happening inside when you change the F stop. And teaching light painting in a dark room is a great way to permanently imbed the principles of exposure.