Q&A

-How did you start out professionally in photography?

I started out in photography after i had a motorcycle crash, I was a roofer and I severely broke my leg. During my recuperation I met the photographer Matthew Donaldson and we became friends. I wasn’t able to go back to work and he kindly took me on as his assistant. That’s what I did for the next 2 years. I then went to the LCP for a year to get my portfolio together and from my show at the end of the year Sue Steward at The Sunday Telegraph started to use me to do their Arts Portraits. From there I started to build my client list, I had to do roofing as well for the first 3 years until I had enough clients and work to just shoot.


-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot? 

Hassleblad HD 40, 80mm and 50mm.


-How would you best describe your own style of photography?

People say it feels quite filmic, I have always used a fair amount of lighting whether on location or in a studio, I cant remember the last time I didn’t pop a bit of backlight into a shot, it pulls out my subjects from the background and emphasises there presence in my frame, obviously depending on the amount of ambient light and the feel of the shot will determine the strength of my lighting, I also like to use pocket lighting in larger scale shots, so I have graduation of tone through my imagery .


-What do you think is the most important factor when establishing yourself as a professional photographer?

I think a really important factor in establishing your self as a professional is to try to develop consistency through your work, this is done by putting the same values into every shoot you do, I feel preconceiving imagery is hugely beneficial and important, obviously you cant know every location you are going to arrive at but you should know exactly the feel of imagery you will be doing that day .


-What is your post-production workflow like?

In terms of post its really just about color, I take a lot of trouble to compose and light my pictures how they should be in camera, I started on film so it is second nature to me. So it’s really just a matter of putting a color grade on, and emphasising what we already have.


-What is your dream project?

 I think my dream project at the moment would be to shoot a Nighttime Arctic shoot; there is something completely magical in moonlit snow. Add a little artificial for my heroes whether it be people or glaciers and it would be something special.


-How much involvement do your clients have in developing the concept, style and tone of your final images? How much of the work is left to your own creative style?

 I really enjoy working with Art directors and making their ideas come to reality in my style. I bring the same values and process across all the different types of work I do whether it’s a portrait in a studio or up a mountain in Nepal, it’s an extremely enjoyable process bringing to life the idea and feel that they have nurtured from the beginning to end.


-Your portfolio is split between commercial work and personal projects. How do you find the time to be so diverse?

 I will always make the time to shoot personal projects if possible, I really enjoy going off and shooting an idea I have had in the same way it’s good to make creative ideas come to life. It’s just as important to me to make it mine! It will come from a chat in the studio or with my friends in the pub and then I’ll get into doing some research. The energy it creates is really positive and I really enjoy the process.


-What is your biggest resource in relation to technical knowledge and how long did it take you to master your technique?

 It’s probably lighting, I was always really interested in this aspect of photography and I loved the work of Horst P Horst and also the Hollywood photographers of the 40s and 50s and the more modern work of Gregory Crewdson, I’m always in a state of developing my own techniques and that will continue throughout my career as I carry on developing as a photographer.


-Do you see your work as documentary, commercial or art based?

 I see my work as all 3, I think It can work in all those mediums .


-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

 Do something every day to help your career.