I used to do a lot of film work. While working on a feature film in San Francisco I was asked to take some behind the scenes photographs. I had a 5dmk2 but had never used it for anything other than in video mode. In short, I blagged it but had so much fun over the six week shot that I came back to London with a new passion! I vaguely knew one professional model from a TV commercial I had shot a number of years before. She was incredibly kind and agreed to shoot with me one afternoon. One of her model friends saw our shots and asked to be introduced. This process kept getting repeated with other personal introductions through various networks and it went from there!
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? If so why?
I guess you would describe it as lifestyle/fashion portraiture. The principal change would be that I’ve got better! When I started out I had little idea what I was really doing either in lighting/composing shots or editing but, through just shooting as much as possible and learning from mistakes, it’s starting to fall more into place.
How do you approach a shoot? Do you pre plan, or is it a click and run?
I always like to scout locations and prepare mood boards to give to models. This also helps me, particularly in the early days, to remember specific ideas and allow me to communicate them most effectively. This then forms a basis around which to improvise and be inspired to create new results. That said, sometimes the weather doesn’t play ball or something else changes so be ready to improvise. That unpredictability is what I love.
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
I try not to get too fixated with an idea or end goal and prefer collaborating with models to riff off each other’s styles. This always brings something new and exciting to each shoot.
Do you have any influences you can share?
No one thing, influence comes from everywhere. It’s important to be open to try new things and make mistakes. My influences constantly change.
What inspires you?
Depends on my day, my mood – can be absolutely anything – sounds, colour, a smell, the location, the weather. The unpredictability is what makes it so exciting.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph?
Yes, I take them all the time!
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
Just to improve and keep having fun. Through my work in the music and film industries I’ve learnt to say ‘no’ and only to take things on if I really want to - not just because I get paid.
I already have a day job and the one thing I really lack is time and as soon as you start doing it for someone else giving you deadlines or asking for things to be done in a style that isn’t yours, the fun soon disappears.
Which social media platforms do you use and why?
Instagram, tumblr, pinterest – all for inspiration and networking.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media?
Tom Mitchell, Kat Irlin, Steve Gindler, SageVT, Raul Bateman, Guido Stazzoni, Ryan Wilson, Alessio Albi, Guen Fiore, Jesse Herzog, Darien Pannella, Kid Circus, Koray Hussein to name but a few.
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless?
It’s a wormhole discussion. My advice is to find what is most important to you and stick with it. There is way too much hype about the “latest ting” which rapidly becomes obsolete. If you love what you’re doing you’ll create great work and have fun.
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice?
I use a 5d mark iv and mostly use the 50mm f1.2. I have always used Canon and bought a 5dmk ii when this was first released as it was the pioneer for shooting DSLR video and stuck with them ever since. The 50mm I have had for ages and just using a prime made me really learn its good and bad features. Limiting your options is a great learning tool allowing you to focus more.
What is your dream location to shoot at?
I would love to shoot in abandoned buildings (much in the style of photographers like Steve Gindler aka “Cvatik”) but we have very few such buildings in the UK. I need to travel more!
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it?
You can’t ask me that, it’s like being asked to choose your favourite child! No one image springs out, they all have their good points and bad points. I find it interesting how certain images I’ll still love a year or so later and others (which I loved at the time) don’t hold their appeal.
In three words how would you describe your photography?
Moody, dark, natural light (ok, that’s four words!)
How do you feel about better quality cameras being put into smart phones?
As they always say “the best camera is the one you always have with you” so it can only be a good thing.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images?
Not at all. I cannot count the number of times I get asked about what equipment I use but you just need to master whatever you have, keep it fun, push your boundaries, work hard and you will create great work. There are very few shortcuts - it’s hard work and enthusiasm.