I’ve edged past the half century post and I still love photography! I started out with a box brownie at the age of four and progressed to a Yashica 124G (a poor man’s rollie flex) and discovered my love for black and white film. At the age of seventeen I brandished the latest Pentax 35mm ME Super and started documenting life and all that was around me. And then I discovered wedding photography, which is where I bought my dad’s dream camera, a twin lens rollie flex, a Weston Euromaster light meter and a Metz 45 flash gun, and with those pieces of equipment I went out to conquer the world.
Formulaic weddings rolled in with standard posed pictures which did not extend me as a creative photographer but did establish my core skills of perspective, lighting and constructing good images. Then I re-discovered 35mm and armed with a Nikon F5 and a few rolls of Tmax 400 to record the ‘real life’ events and emotions of each wedding I started on my journey to becoming a documentary photographer.
From wedding photography I really established my style as an observational documentary photographer and over the years have developed many projects that form part of my portfolio, and have given me some wonderful opportunities to travel and meet people.
And so now I have the enviable life of not only running my own business but doing a job I love, that is my passion!
Other things I enjoy?… Well, photography in all forms does top the list, be it collecting photography books or visiting a gallery. And of course talking photography, I take my inspiration from others and equally I like to share my expertise and passion with others. Collecting old film cameras, I keep toying with the idea of going back to film for some of my work and the joy of the reveal from negative turning into a print.
After photography, music is really important to me. In the last couple of years I’ve got back into vinyl and building up my collection again, and there’s nothing like being up close and personal at a live performance. Currently Gregory Porter is my go to album of choice, but my musical tastes stretch from Bryan Ferry to Bryan Adams. I love the intense emotional musical journeys that Jazz takes you on. One of my favourite places in London is the famous Ronnie Scotts, you will find me there with a glass of Southern Comfort on the rocks encapsulated in the joy of live music so close to the artist you hear every heartbeat, wow!
My latest ‘hobby’ is a TR6, I’ve always wanted a classic sports car and now I have one. Being a member of the local club is great fun so watch out for a white triumph, roof down, and me in the driver’s seat, zipping past you on the M4!
Give me a good scotch or fine red wine, a Valpolicella preferably. I enjoy a regular date with a cake with a flat white at the local coffee shop. And I cannot say no to wine gums, (I just can’t stop at one!).
The combination of great food and even greater company; eating out with friends and discovering new restaurants, and arranging dinner parties at home, evenings spent debating the world over delicious meals and great wine. My dream dinner guests has to be Stephen Fry for his wit and stories, Grayson Perry and his psychotherapist wife Philippa , such a fascinating combination, oh yes not forgetting Grayson’s teddy Alan Measles, and photographically I’d have to have Sebastiao Salgado, one evening I would be happy to sit and just listen!
Watching football as a Southern armchair Manchester United Fan, who can remember the former glory days of Best, Law and Charlton. Hear me shout at the telly – well it counts as exercise doesn’t it? Although give me a good day and a long cycle ride down along the river and it does not feel like an hour down the gym.
I get my ‘action’ kicks in thriller films and books, there’s not a Grisham novel I haven’t read. In fact if they wouldn’t let me choose photography for my subject of choice on Mastermind that would be my next choice. For the cinema I love going to The Rex in Berkhamsted which is more of a night out than just your local popcorn odeon screen.
I ‘Sky plus’ everything but don’t away get to actually watch what I’ve saved, when I do sit in front of the tv I still enjoy classics like Black Adder, and the glorious John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, alongside new stuff like 8 out of 10 Cats and Russell Howard’s Good News. When I can, I enjoy hard hitting dramas that make sure you hit the series record button!
So if I had to list a few achievements that I’m really proud of in my career, I’d start with being the first photographer in the UK to be awarded a double fellowship for observational documentary photography and a master craftsman! I chaired the London Portrait Group for five years, an amazing opportunity to meet and work alongside some of the greatest photographers of our time and even establishing life-long friendships with some of them. I get to work in partnership with many great venues and companies, one of the longest I have is with UK, as one of their Ambassadors and trainers for street photography. Also working with The Hope Foundation in India has been an incredibly rewarding journey.
And what I still love doing the most?…..Documenting real people’s lives with my camera, capturing the emotions and telling their stories. I’m really lucky as I get to share my passion for this style of photography with other photographers and inspire them, when I run my photography courses in London, the UK and around the world, visiting some incredible places and people.
So now you’ve got to know me, I hope you enjoy looking at some of my portfolios on this website, and you may even been interested in joining me on a photography workshop or visiting one of my exhibitions. Please follow me on social media for more updates, read my blog and contact me, I’d love to hear from you.