My start in photography was actually as a male model, for Mobo Toys. I started photography as a hobby using a box camera when still at school. Bitten by the “bug”, I used to do my own developing and printing in the cellar using a home-made enlarger adapted from a plate camera. I also mixed all my own chemicals. Later I was given my first 35mm camera – a Paxette. The most notable thing about this was that it had a built-in light meter. This was not one of the new fangled electronic ones – you looked through a viewfinder at numbers on a series of grey squares. The highest number you could see gave you a value you could look up to see what the exposure should be set to. This was never very successful, so I learnt to judge exposure and distances by looking at the light, and guessing the number of times I could lie down between myself and the subject. It may have been inconvenient, but it certainly gave me a very good understanding of the photographic process!
In about 1997, I bought my first film scanner, an A3 colour printer, a copy of Photoshop, and so entered the world of digital photography. Nowadays I use the latest digital equipment almost entirely, although I sometimes miss the excitement of seeing pictures gradually emerge on paper in the dim red light of a darkroom.
One of my all-time favourite photographers was Henri Cartier-Bresson. He was a pioneer of the photo-journalistic and candid approach to picture taking. He applied the idea of a “decisive moment” when taking a picture. It is the special instant when the subject and the composition of the picture come together to record the essence of the moment. It may be the look on a child’s face when opening a present, the moment a motor-cyclist jumps through a lighted hoop, or simply a gesture or expression that is typical of a person. In my view, the ability to capture this moment is what separates good photographers from ordinary ones.
I have always enjoyed meeting people, and get a great deal of satisfaction from learning what makes people tick and trying to show this in a portrait. While there is little time to do this at a typical event, it takes skill and experience to make people relax and look natural – no-one wants to look like a scared rabbit caught in headlights!
When I turned my hobby into a profession, I decided to concentrate on doing the things I like most, and gave me the opportunity to follow this approach – event photography and portraiture. I also undertake commercial, weddings, and travel assignments.
When I’m not working, I may be singing (Jazz, Rock or Opera) or gigging with a bass guitar. Or I may just be taking photographs for fun.
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Photographer for Wedding, Event, Portrait, Commercial and Fashion Photography in Northampton
Providing Pictures for Commercial and Fashion photography in Washington, Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and the North East